Parkway West boys and girls racquetball
The Parkway West boys and girls teams are state champions in high school racquetball.
The girls won state for the second year in a row. The boys team won for the first time since 2010.
Parkway West girls came in first with 655 points. Lindbergh was second with 440 points.
Parkway West won four of the six singles flights in girls competition.
Senior Katy Moran, the No. 1 seed who attends Parkway South, defeated Bella Bertarelli, of Lindbergh, 15-8, 15-1 to win the Varsity No. 1 state championship.
At Varsity 2, Erin Slutzky, of Parkway West, won with a 15-4, 15-3 victory over Samantha Streb, of Visitation.
At Varsity 3, Parkway West’s Faith Malek won with a 15-1, 15-3 victory over Mary Beth Weiss, of Nerinx Hall.
Taylor Caton, of Parkway West, won Varsity 6 with a 15-0, 15-6 triumph over Katie LaChance, of Cor Jesu.
The Parkway West boys team finished first with 505 points. St. Louis University High was second with 455.
Parkway West’s Mark Duffie won No. 2 singles with a 15-7, 13-15, 11-0 win over Matthew Hayes, of SLUH.
Jason Sauer, of Parkway West, won at No. 3 singles when he scored an 8-15, 15-5, 11-2 victory over Adam Hanson, of SLUH.
Andrew Lofgren, of Parkway West, won No. 6 singles with a 3-15, 15-13, 11-10 win over Ryan Lieser, of SLUH.
Whitfield girls basketball
Whitfield’s varsity girls basketball team defeated Clark County 60-42 to take third place in the Class 3 state championship.
The team finished with a 23-7 record.
Aijha Blackwell, a standout 6-foot junior guard, sparked the Warriors to the third-place finish at John Q. Hammons Arena in Springfield on Missouri State’s campus.
Against Clark County, Blackwell led all scorers with 27 points. She also pulled down six rebounds and dished out three assists in the victory.
In a 67-50 semifinal loss to eventual state champion Strafford, Blackwell also had a game to remember. She scored 25 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Strafford, undefeated at 33-0, now has won state for three consecutive years.
Blackwell had a season in which she passed 1,000 points in scoring. She led the area with a 24.2 points per game average. She also was among the leaders in rebounding with an average of 8.3. Blackwell averaged team highs in assists [2.9] and steals .
Last year, Strafford crushed Whitfield in the Class 3 state title game 83-37.
This time, the Warriors gave the Indians a spirited battle. Whitfield led 31-28 midway through the third period. However, Strafford promptly turned the game around. The Indians outscored Whitfield 21-9, built a 49-40 lead and never looked back.
St. Joseph’s Academy third at state tournament
St. Joseph’s Academy defeated Liberty 49-48 to win third-place in the state tournament at John Q. Hammons Arena on the Missouri State campus in Springfield.
Coach Julie Matheny said it was nice for the Angels [24-7] to end on a positive note.
“I am not a fan of third-place games but it helps to end the season with a ‘W,’” Matheny said. “I’ll take it – winning the last game. Only two teams get to do that.”
St. Joseph’s played for third place for the second consecutive season. Last year, the team met Rock Bridge in the third-place game, falling 64-51.
The Angels faced Springfield Kickapoo in the semifinal. Matheny said her squad was set to go against the Chiefs.
“The girls were more than ready for the game against Kickapoo,” Matheny said. “I think we didn’t expect them to be as physical and strong as they were. And they shot lights out.”
Kickapoo defeated St. Joseph’s 58-44.
Senior Alex Kerr, who had 46 points in the quarterfinal win over Hazelwood Central, played well in the Final Four, Matheny said. The 6-foot-2 Missouri S&T recruit scored nine points and had nine rebounds in the loss to Kickapoo. Against Liberty, Kerr scored 22 points. She also had seven rebounds, two blocked shots, a steal and three assists.
USA racquetball scholarships
Three West County girls have been awarded USA racquetball scholarships.
USA Racquetball furthers the education of its members through the 2018 USA Racquetball Scholarship. Since the scholarship’s inception in 1990, more than $55,000 has been awarded to over 100 individuals.
The 2018 USA racquetball Scholarship recipients include Kelly “Nick” Maeda of St. Louis, Claire Lux of Manchester and Katy Moran of Ballwin.
Having played racquetball for four years, Moran, a senior at Parkway South, and her team partner Elyse Duffie, won the 2017 high school doubles championship title. Moran intends to major in mechanical engineering.
“The general friendliness and camaraderie of the racquetball community has inspired me to be a better sportsman and has brought me some of my closest friends,” Moran said.
Maeda, who is a senior at Lafayette, will study interior design at St. Louis Community College-Wildwood.
“I play racquetball because I believe pressure is a privilege and that I can overcome any challenge,” Maeda said. “Racquetball has been life-saving.”
Claire Lux, who goes to Cor Jesu, began her racquetball career as a freshman. She wants to study biomedical engineering and/or mechanical engineering.
“Playing doubles has taught me to communicate better, but, more importantly, I have learned to work well with people who are different from me,” Lux said. “Racquetball has taught me how to balance work and play. Having a positive outlook, both on the court and in life, [changes] your perspective and sets me on the road to success.”
Applications for the 2019 USA Racquetball Scholarship will open in fall 2018.