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:
Wing/5-10/Cortland, Ohio (Lakeview)
Guard/5-5/Pittsburgh, Pa. (Serra Catholic)
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.
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.
Wing/5-8/Johnstown, Ohio (Monroe)