Blue Streaks forced to go young

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Madison closed out last winter with an 8-15 record but high expectations for the 2017-2018 season.

The Blue Streaks were poised to return all five starters from last year’s squad but lost two to injury before the preseason even started.

“We were excited to have all five starters back from last year but two injuries from other sports led to surgery,” said 21st-year head Madison coach Mike Smith. “We have become very young quickly, but are excited about our young players and the leaders we have back.”

Alyssa Rose, a three-year starter, broke her leg during the summer softball season and starting point guard Grace Terelmes had knee surgery after the soccer season ended.

The Blue Streaks do return a solid core in seniors Aly Berry and Shyenne Ledford and sophomore Mykayla Askew.

Berry, a guard/forward, averaged 9.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 1.2 assists as a junior. Ledford, a forward, averaged 7.2 points and 11 rebounds per contest. Both players earned All-Western Reserve Conference honors.

“Aly is that player that can play any spot on the floor for the Lady Streaks,” Smith said. “Shyenne is one of the best rebounders I have ever coached.”

Askew emerged as one of the top underclassmen as a freshman last year and is expected to continue to develop this winter.

She posted 6.3 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals and 1.7 assists per game from her guard position.

“Mykayla is a returning starter from her freshman year and we are looking for great leadership from her,” Smith said.

Sophomore guard Sydney Guyer and junior forward Brannigan Cramb round out the projected starting lineup.

Guyer averaged 2.1 points and 2.0 steals per game while Cramb dropped in 2 points and pulled down 2 rebounds per outing.

“Syd is an intense player on defense whose skills are getting better with each practice,” Smith said. “Brannigan is a hard worker who looks to contribute a lot this year.”

Smith also expects junior forward Jessica Schafer, freshman guard Chloe Wakim and freshman forward Lydia Schafer to contribute this season.

“We have a wonderful group of hard-working young ladies,” he said. “It is to be determined as to the style we will play. Execution will be important. I believe we will need to keep the score down and keep the game in the half court.”

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The creator and publisher of OhioVarsity.com, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for IrishIllustrated.com, a member of the Scout.com network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. OhioVarsity.com was created in 2004 and was a member of the Rivals.com network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.