Athletes from Chagrin Falls, Cuyahoga Heights, Geneva, Independence, Kirtland and North have been named Varsity Travel Players of the Week.
Each athlete was nominated by his or her coach and selected based on their performances during the week ending Sunday, Jan. 14.
|Name: Bella Dalessandro
School: Chagrin Falls
Stats: Scored 30 points with eight rebounds and seven steals in two wins and held one team’s leading scorer scoreless from the floor and forced six turnovers in the other game
Coach’s Quote: “Bella has been working hard to become a multifaceted threat on offense,” said Chagrin Falls coach Brittany Anderson. “She is not just a good shooter, but can attack and finish at the rim and she is everywhere on defense. She is a selfless player who hustles to get everything from steals to traps to rebounds. Her work ethic on defense has paid off with offense in transition.”
Notable: A two-year letter winner in soccer, Dalessandro also earned all-conference and all-district honors in basketball as a freshman.
|Name: Emma Lipkowski
School: Cuyahoga Heights
Stats: Recorded a school-record 115th 3-pointer in a win over rival Independence on Saturday
Coach’s Quote: “Emma’s 3-point shooting ability opens the floor up for her teammates to find driving lanes,” said Cuyahoga Heights coach Al Martin. “Emma competes very hard at both ends of the floor and has a very high basketball IQ. She has been a key player in our success over the past three seasons.”
Notable: Lipkowski converted 62 3-point tries as a junior to set the school single season record.
|Name: Hailey Peoples
Stats: Scored 33 points, with 16 rebounds, nine steals and a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line in two wins
Coach’s Quote: “Hailey is a senior who has been driven to persevere and finish strong this season after recovering from an ACL tear last year,” said Geneva coach Nancy Barbo. “Hailey was instrumental in these key conference victories to help us continue to strive for a conference championship.”
Notable: Peoples carries a 4.0 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society.
|Name: Jenna Sayle
Stats: Scored 33 points with 11 rebounds, 13 steals, two blocked shots and finished the week 15-of-23 from the floor (65-percent)
Coach’s Quote: “Since the overtime game at Independence, when she scored six of our eight points in the win, she has been playing with more confidence and more determination to get to the basket and not being quite so passive,” said Kirtland coach Bob Bell. “She knows she is one of our top two scorers and understands that without her contributing offensively it makes Sydney Snyder’s job much more difficult.”
Notable: Sayle also was a starter on Kirtland’s state runner-up soccer team and runs track for the Hornets.
|Name: Sammi Valaitis
Stats: Scored a career-high 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting with four rebounds in a win over rival South
Coach’s Quote: “Sammi is a high-character young lady and a fantastic student who has worked hard to get to this point in her athletic career,” said North coach Paul Force. “She is a wonderful example of what we want the girls in our program to be–great people, great students and hard-working athletes.”
Notable: Valaitis carries a 4.48 GPA and also plays volleyball for the Rangers.
|Name: Brooke Wilson
School: Cuyahoga Heights
Stats: Scored 31 points with 12 rebounds and three assists in two wins
Coach’s Quote: “Brooke played very well at both ends of the floor in two important conference games,” said Cuyahoga Heights coach Al Martin. “Brooke works hard every day in practice to improve her game.”
Notable: Wilson also plays soccer and softball and competes in gymnastics for the Redskins.
|Name: Josh Stasek
Stats: Finished 5-0 with three pins and a win over a Pennsylvania state place winner at the South Side Duals
Coach’s Quote: “Josh loves to compete and to wrestle,” said Independence coach Ken DeAngelis. “He is willing to take on any challenge and embraces the opportunity to wrestle good kids. He works hard in the room and is a leader on and off the mat. Josh is a testament to the idea that hard work pays off.”
Notable: Stasek, who is 22-4 this season, also earned all-district honors in football.
COACHES: NOMINATE YOUR PLAYERS
Coaches, click HERE to nominate your athletes for the Varsity Travel Players of the Week. Athletes from all Northeast Ohio schools are eligible for the award and nominations are due by midnight every Tuesday.