NEW MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Springfield advanced to the Sweet 16 a year ago by topping Maplewood (36-31) in the Mineral Ridge District championship matchup on February 26. Before their loss to Buckeye Central, the Lady Tigers had won 11 of their prior 12 contests. Three of the Tigers’ five losses were decided by six points or less.

Coach John Matisi returns a bulk of his 21-win team from last season, including senior Jacey Mullen, who averaged 18 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Mullen scored double-digits in 21 games last year, including 12 which went for 20 or more. She also garnered double-digit rebounds as well in 10 outings. She hauled down 19 against McDonald on January 13.

“I expect Jacey to come out and have her best year so far,” said Matisi. “She puts in a ton of time in the off-season. She really shot the ball as good as I’ve seen her shoot it this summer. I’m expecting her to [put up numbers comparable or] even better this season.”

The Tigers welcome back other starters Maddie Lesnak and Jameka Brungard back into the mix this winter. Returning letter winners – Peyton Kliem, Ava Vacchione and Mariana Tuscano – will also be asked to contribute as well. Look for Emily Gerthung as well as Kendall Maughan and Karigan Mullen to step into more defined roles this year.

“I think we’re always going to expect to be in contention for the league title and district title every year,” Matisi indicates. “Our league is very deep again this year, but we’re excited for the challenge.”

Springfield begins the 2022-23 season by squaring off against South Range on November 21.

“We’re going to have to learn to play with a target on our back this year,” said Matisi. “We’re going to be counting on three or four sophomores for big contributions and that can sometimes lead to inconsistency. We’ll have to lean on our upperclassmen to carry us through any rough patches.”

Springfield Tigers
Fast Facts
Head coach: John Matisi
2021-22 Record: 21-5 (11-3), MVAC Scarlet Tier
2021-22 Post-Season Finish: Won Mineral Ridge District; Lost to Buckeye Central, 61-28, in Regional Semifinal

2021-22 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 53.9
Scoring Defense: 36.2

2021-22 Individual Leaders
Scoring: Jacey Mullen – 18.0
Rebounding: Jacey Mullen – 10.2
Assists: Madison Lesnak – 2.4
Steals: Jacey Mullen – 3.5
Free Throw Percentage: Jacey Mullen – 66.0%
Three-Point Percentage: Madison Lesnak – 36.5%

2022-23 Schedule
Nov. 21- South Range
Nov. 28 – at Crestview
Dec. 1 – at Brookfield
Dec. 5 – Hubbard
Dec. 8 – McDonald
Dec. 12 – at Sebring
Dec. 15 – Mineral Ridge
Dec. 19 – Columbiana
Dec. 21 – Lowellville
Dec. 28 – United
Jan. 2 – at Western Reserve
Jan. 5 – Jackson-Milton
Jan. 9 – at Waterloo
Jan. 12 – at McDonald
Jan. 19 – Sebring
Jan. 23 – at Mineral Ridge
Jan. 26 – at Lowellville
Jan. 30 – Western Reserve
Feb. 2 – at Jackson-Milton
Feb. 4 – at West Branch
Feb. 6 – Waterloo
Feb. 9 – at LaBrae