PORTSMOUTH — While Monday’s contest does indeed count towards wins and losses, it was also a time of reflection and celebration of the life of a loved one.
For the first time since her passing, the girls basketball programs at Minford and Notre Dame came together to play in the 1st annual Mamie Brisker Pettit Memorial Scholarship Benefit game.
Pettit, a 1996 Minford graduate and member of the 1999 Shawnee State University women’s national championship team, passed away suddenly in May 2018 while living and working in Panama with her husband Greg.
Since then, administrators and those working behind the scenes came up with the perfect way to honor Pettit’s memory — by playing basketball — while also establishing a scholarship fund in her name for which one recipient each from Notre Dame and Minford will receive on an yearly basis.
“I went to school with Mamie and Carrie (Purcell), it’s a special cause for me being a Minford guy and knowing the family so well,” Notre Dame principal and girls coach J.D. McKenzie said. “We helped raise a lot of money for the scholarship, and it’s going to help kids from both schools.”
Prior to the start of the varsity game, Pettit’s niece and nephew — Ryan and J.J. Purcell — spoke to the crowd on-hand about Pettit and explained why the scholarship foundation was created.
“It was cool to be a part of,” McKenzie said. “Carrie (Purcell) and Robin (Hagen-Smith) did so much with it, I can’t wait to see how it grows in the future.”
When the game tipped off, Notre Dame (19-2) was able to put away early scoring trouble and turn a late first-half lead into a 68-49 win over the visiting Lady Falcons (9-12).
Minford held a 24-15 lead over the Lady Titans early in the second quarter, before ND would go on a 15-0 scoring run in the blink of an eye. By halftime, McKenzie’s group held a 33-27 lead over their guests.
“Got off to a slow start, but we’ve been talking about getting our energy and momentum back,” McKenzie said. “I thought we played hard against Ashland, but tonight I thought we played Notre Dame hard.”
Notre Dame would put together its best stretch of the game during the third, winning the frame 23-11 to take a 56-38 lead after three quarters.
Four Notre Dame players broke into double figures in scoring in Monday’s win, while six Lady Titans scored at least eight points. Ava Hassel scored 16 in the 19-point win, Taylor Schmidt scored 12, Claire Dettwiller scored 11, Lauren Campbell scored 10, Isabel Cassidy scored eight, Cassie Schaefer scored seven, and Olivia Smith scored four.
The Lady Falcons were led by Maddie Slusher’s game-high 18 points and Hannah Tolle’s 14.
Minford will close out its regular season with a road trip to Northwest this Thursday, while Notre Dame prepares for its Senior Night game versus Green that same night.
“It’s games like this that help us,” McKenzie said. “And I hope it helps Minford in prepping them — we’re a pretty doggone good team when we play like we did tonight, and it gives them a good look ahead going into tournaments as well.”
Minford 16 11 11 11 — 49
Notre Dame 15 18 23 12 — 68
MINFORD 49 (9-12, 7-8 SOC II)
Bella Reffit 0 0-0 0, Jaden Cartee 0 0-0 0, Ally Coriell 1 0-0 2, Makayla Watters 0 2-2 2, Makenzie Watters 2 2-4 6, Ali Brumfield 0 0-0 0, Maddie Slusher 6 5-5 18, Hannah Tolle 5 3-3 14, Sydney Mougey 1 0-0 3, Micah Thacker 0 0-0 0; Three-point field goals: 3 (Maddie Slusher, Hannah Tolle and Sydney Mougey 1 apiece)
NOTRE DAME 68 (19-2, 13-0 SOC I)
Charlee Lansing 0 0-0 0, Taylor Schmidt 5 0-0 12, Ava Hassel 4 4-4 16, Cassie Schaefer 3 0-0 7, Olivia Smith 2 0-0 4, Chloe Delabar 0 0-0 0, Claire Dettwiller 4 3-7 11, Isabel Cassidy 3 0-0 8, Kamryn Bradford 0 0-0 0, Lauren Campbell 4 2-4 10, Mallory Boland 0 0-0 0; TOTALS: 25 9-15 68; Three-point field goals: 9 (Ava Hassel 4, Taylor Schmidt, Isabel Cassidy and Cassie Schaefer 1 apiece)
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved