Federal League Champs Girls basketball completes undefeated league campaign

By Michael Adelman, Sports Editor — The last time a GlenOak basketball team won a state championship was almost 30 years ago, in 1989 when the girls team defeated Mother of Mercy 49-47 to give Stark County its first ever girls basketball state title. This could very easily change come next month. This season’s Federal League champions are led by seniors Dai’Shona Washington-Polk, Da’Vina Shelton and Mikayla Vance and are entering the playoffs with a dominant 20-1 overall record and an unblemished 12-0 record in the Federal League. They currently tote a 13 game winning streak with their only defeat coming to Mount Notre Dame from Cincinnati.

With their nearly quintessential overall record and their flawless Federal League record, the number four ranked team in the Ohio Girls Basketball AP poll has their sights on making it to the state capital to play for the state championship.

“It feels great to win the Federal League because we worked really hard over the summer,” Vance said. “We are not satisfied with that though, we still have work to do, so we can win the district and make a deep run in the tournament.”

One week ago, “FLC” echoed throughout GlenOak’s gym. The screeches of the student section roared with excitement about the girl’s basketball team’s first league title since the 2013-2014 season.

The Eagles defeated archrival Hoover in front of a huge crowd in their Federal League finale by a score of 49-44, capping off an unblemished Federal League campaign. On top of the team completing their league play undefeated, that Wednesday night at GlenOak was a night to remember for everyone involved.

The team received their Federal League trophy from league commissioner Joe Eaton and cut down the nets commemorating the achievement. The student body gathered on the floor chanting “FLC” and “EagleNation” with the players to honor this grand accomplishment. On top of this, the Eagle’s All-Federal League selection, Polk, reached a career milestone of 1,000 points on a 3-pointer just over two minutes into game. The game was momentarily stopped and she was honored by the GlenOak Athletic Director Scott Garcia with a special basketball and a standing ovation from the crowd.

“It felt great for me to reach one of my goals,” Polk said.

Three days later, the team went on to defeat Kenmore 85-26 in their regular season finale, which capped off a commanding 20 win season. Their impressive resume has earned them the top seed of the Canton Division I sectional-district tournament and a first round bye. On Feb. 23, they will play the Sectional Championship at home against the winner of Ellet and Green.

This season’s success has brought a great resurgence to the student section. The amount of students attending games has drastically increased, with students even attending some of the away matchups.

“The team has been really enjoyable to watch this year and I am already looking forward to the playoffs,” senior Jake Allensworth said. “I think the team feeds off of students showing up, so I go to as many games as I can.”

With the success so far this season and the momentum they have going into the playoffs, the sky is the limit for the team. Watch out Columbus; GlenOak girls basketball is coming for you.

[Updated Aug. 20, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]