New coach Vance Venesky leads inexperienced Mississinawa Valley girls basketball team


UNION CITY – The 2017-18 Mississinawa Valley Lady Hawks will have a new floor general this year with previous coach John Hershey stepping down. There also will be some new faces with very little playing experience after graduating their top two players from last year.

Gone is Mikayla Stump, who finished as the school’s all-time 3-point record holder, and Kelsie Hunt, one of the school’s top rebounders in history.

The duo has moved on to play basketball at the Wright State University Lake Campus.

Mississinawa will be guided this year by Vance Venesky and assisted by Katie Fuson.

Venesky is no stranger to coaching but a new face in the area.

Venesky has three daughters of his own and is from the Cleveland-Akron area. He was an assistant coach at Twinsburg High School for seven years with two Division I championship teams.

He also coached one of the most successful AAU programs in the area for 11 years, the Western Reserve Stars.

Due to a career move, Venesky came to the area a few years ago and coaching was something he still wanted to do. Now he looks forward to guiding the Blackhawks this year.

Mississinawa will be another in a long line of young teams in the Cross County Conference this year.

Sidnie Hunt, a 5-foot 7-inch junior forward, is the only returning letter winner and will be the Hawks’ leader this year.

Olivia Murphy, a 5-foot 6-inch junior guard, was hurt most of last year and is the best all-around player on the squad.

Riley Price, a 5-foot 4-inch freshman guard, has shown a defensive intensity and will be counted on for that this year.

Leah Scholl, a 5-foot 5-inch freshman guard, will get duties at the point guard spot.

Bailey Johnson, a 5-foot 4-inch junior guard, is the team’s best pure shooter and can knock down the long range shot.

Dominique Champ, a 5-foot 8-inch senior post, is a hustler and will look to mix it up inside.

Lindsay Johns, a 5-foot 5-inch sophomore guard, lacks experience but will look to shore up the point guard spot.

Kya Lavy, a 5-foot 10-inch sophomore post, has great upside in the paint and gives the team much needed size inside.

“This is a young team with little or no experience at the varsity level,” Venesky said. “They are eager and willing to learn to get better.

“Our keys to success will be the girls executing what we are trying to do both offensively and defensively,” Venesky added.

“Our team we will focus on defense this year as I’m a defensive-minded coach. We will let our defense transition to offense,” Venesky said.

“As a coach, it’s my goal to develop a winning mentality with the girls and win as many games as we can.

“The conference has a lot of competitive teams with Tri-Village, Franklin Monroe, Covington, Arcanum, Newton and Miami East all being tough teams in the CCC,” Venesky concluded.

Mississinawa Valley will have one of the least experienced teams in the Cross County Conference. Valley will have one of the least experienced teams in the Cross County Conference. Dale Barger | For The Daily Advocate

By Dale Barger

For The Daily Advocate

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