2017-2018 Solon High School girls basketball

The 2017-18 Solon High School girls’ basketball team. Front row from left, Nadia Gibson, Kyra Lance, Mariah Modkins, Julia Gersey, Kailyn McQueen, Katherine Dittoe. Middle, coach Sean Fisher, coach Trish Kruse, Riyah Ali, Rebecca Lin, Minah Ali, coach Dana Banda, coach Brian Wisniewski. Top, Valencia Myers, Hailey Weaver, Rian Dortch, Gabby Mitchell, Maria Leskovec, Sammi Rinicella. 

The Solon High School girls’ basketball team is the Cleveland Jewish News-Buffalo Wild Wings Warrensville Heights Player of the Week.

The Comets, 26-3, were the Division I state runners-up, losing to the Pickerington Central Tigers, in the state final March 17, 49-45. The Comets reached the state championship for the first time since 2006. They lost in a state semifinal in 2015 and 2016. Solon beat Wadsworth, 52-31, on March 16 to advance to the final. Along the way, they beat Massillon Jackson in a regional final, 47-41, and St. Joseph Academy in a regional semifinal, 48-32.

Solon head coach Trish Kruse said this season, despite not having the ending she hoped for, exceeded her expectations after losing multiple seniors from the previous season.

“We started five seniors all year, they led us every single game and practice, their attention to detail every day, especially in the postseason, was outstanding,” Kruse said. “Probably the best group I’ve ever had.”

She said senior Katherine Dittoe and junior Sammi Rinicella surprised her the most.

“Dittoe made 66 threes this year, that’s maybe 40 or 50 more than she did last year,” Kruse said. “Rinicella was huge for us in the postseason. During the beginning of the year she was playing (junior varsity) minutes and kept on working really hard and kind of found her groove with the team.”

The team’s leading scorer was McDonald’s All-American Valencia Myers, a senior who committed to Florida State University, who averaged 15 points per game. She shot 47 percent on field goals and 45 percent on 3-point shots this year. She also had 236 rebounds, 55 assists, 45 steals and 52 blocks during the regular season.

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