PAINESVILLE, OHIO – After a strong effort during the early signing period which saw six student-athletes put pen to paper and commit to playing at Lake Erie College, Storm women's basketball head coach Bob Booher has added five more this spring to bolster a squad that loses 10 members from one of the most successful seasons in school history.
Wings Ali Gagne (Cortland, Ohio/Lakeview), Tayler Tackett (Greenwich, Ohio/South Central) and Sarah Thomas (Johnstown, Ohio/Monroe) along with guards Lauren Mrazik (Pittsburgh, Pa./Serra Catholic) and Dana Salesman (Presque Isle, Mich./Alpena) have signed letters of intent to play for the Storm beginning with the 2012-13 season. Their signings bring the Lake Erie recruiting class to 11.
"We knew we were losing a lot, both in terms of talent and numbers, with last year's senior class," Booher said. "We felt that in the fall we were bringing in players who could help bridge that gap and we have definitely continued to do that with our spring group. All five have a chance to make an impact for us starting as early as next season."
Gagne is the most decorated of the group, earning All-Ohio special mention and All-American Conference Player of the Year honors. Tackett was also an all-state selection and Thomas was a two-time all-district pick.
All five players were at least three-year letter winners and all served as team captains during their high school careers.
The Storm posted a 16-11 overall record in 2011-12 and qualified for the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament for the first time. It was the third time in five seasons Lake Erie has won at least 16 games, however, the Storm graduates eight of its top 13 players and loses 10 players total.
Below is a brief breakdown of each of the Storm's five spring signees:
ALI GAGNE Wing/5-10/Cortland, Ohio (Lakeview)
PRIOR TO LAKE ERIE: Three-year varsity starter at Lakeview High School… served as captain her senior year…named first-team all-district and Special-Mention All-Ohio… voted All-American Conference Lower Tier Player of the Year… holds single game school records of 46 points and 21 rebounds… scored 1172 career points, averaging over 20 ppg. and eight rpg. as a senior… also lettered four times in soccer and was selected all-county… three-year letter winner in track, qualifying for regionals once and district meet three times.
PERSONAL: Born Aug. 4, 1994… daughter of Michael and Elizabeth Gagne… undecided on a major
Coach Booher's Comments:"Ali is an athlete who can really run the floor, attacks the basket, and is a natural for our full court aggressive approach."
PRIOR TO LAKE ERIE: Three-year letter winner who served as a team captain her senior year at Serra Catholic High School…set single game school record with six three-pointers … averaged 9.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game… played on three sectional finalist teams… competed in Pennsylvania State All-Star Game.
PERSONAL: Born July 17, 1993… daughter of Michael and Linda Mrazik… plans to study sport management.
Coach Booher's Comments: "Lauren gets to the basket and is also a strong three-point shooter, which fits in well with our offensive philosophy."
DANA SALESMAN Guard/5-6/Presque Isle, Mich. (Alpena)
PRIOR TO LAKE ERIE: Four-year letter winner and two-time team captain (junior and senior years)… voted team most valuable player... career three-point record holder at Alpena High School... averaged 6.2 points, 1.5 assists and 1.7 steals per game.
PERSONAL: Born March 8, 1994… parents are Kevin and Julie Salesman… plans to major in physical therapy and sports science.
Coach Booher's Comments: "Dana is a consistent scorer with good three-point range and the ability to find open teammates."
TAYLER TACKETT Wing/5-9/Greenwich, Ohio (South Central)
PRIOR TO LAKE ERIE: Four-year letter winner at South Central High School… served as team captain her senior year… averaged 20.4 points for career… named All-Ohio Third Team her senior year when she averaged 23.2 ppg, 6.9 rpg and shot 81% from the foul line… also lettered twice each in softball and track and field… first-team All-Academic Firelands Conference selection in three sports… finished second in conference in discus.
PERSONAL: Born Sept. 18, 1993… parents are Tony and Kim Tacket… plans to become a physician's assistant… aunt (softball) and two uncles (baseball) played collegiately.
Coach Booher's Comments: "Tayler is a shooter with great outside range, and will easily transition to the college three-point distance."
SARAH THOMAS Wing/5-8/Johnstown, Ohio (Monroe)
PRIOR TO LAKE ERIE: Four-year letter winner at Monroe High School… was a captain her senior year… honorable mention all-district pick both her junior and senior years... scholar-athlete award winner… also lettered twice in soccer and once in volleyball.
PERSONAL: Born March 31, 1994… daughter of Scot and Cathy Thomas… plans to study pre-veterinarian and equestrian training.
Coach Booher's Comments: "Sarah is a hard-nosed player who thrives on doing all the little things (screens, boxing out, diving for loose balls) that make a team successful."