HUDSON — The star power could rival Hollywood’s A-listers.
Malina Howard, Ashley Morrissette and Bailey Reid are just a few hallowed names who once made their home on Ravenna Road.
The Twinsburg girls basketball team’s newest star, who hopes to make the school’s Hall of Fame one day, is junior guard Alana Ellis.
She might have a running mate when it comes to achieving the prestigious honor of Tigers’ superstars.
That’s because a precocious sophomore point guard has invaded the pantheon of legends.
Her name is Jada Austin.
Thanks to Austin’s dazzling array of playmaking skills, the Tigers got the best of their rivals to the south yet again when they cruised to a 62-44 win over host Hudson Wednesday at Ray “Buck” Hyser Gymnasium.
Austin finished with 16 points, but was more lethal as a distributor. The talented Twinsburg floor general dictated the action throughout the evening by attacking off the dribble and finding teammates in their preferred spots with hands ready to fire.
“I feel like we played great (Wednesday),” Austin said. “I had a rough week … rough games all week. I felt like I bounced back and played hard.”
The Tigers, who improved to 8-10 overall and 6-6 in the National Conference, entered Wednesday’s game in a little bit of a funk.
Host Twinsburg lost to Wadsworth 59-26 on Tuesday and Austintown-Fitch 53-40 on Monday.
The Tigers may not compete for a state championship this season. Nonetheless, they have a pretty good idea who will be at the controls for the next two years.
“Especially for being a sophomore, she’s a great vocal leader,” Twinsburg first-year head coach Jess Mazanetz said. “She works her butt off. You won’t find a kid that will play harder. She’ll run through a brick wall if you ask her to.”
The soft-spoken Austin isn’t afraid to make her voice known when she’s around her teammates.
“I like to talk on the floor,” Austin said. “I like to lead my teammates.”
What makes Austin so dangerous is her ability to play two ways. Opponents have difficulty staying in front of her and getting past her.
“She plays just as good defense as she does offense,” Mazanetz said.
If her team needs a push, Mazanetz can count on a young lady to take the initiative. And it’s a safe bet that young lady will do so with great delight.
“When I have a message that I want to communicate with the team, I do it through Jada,” Mazanetz said. “For me, having her for another two years, is a godsend.”
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.