By Sharon Wisch-Ray
In addition to the community getting to hear Jon Daniels’ insights on the 2013 Texas Rangers (see Page 3), several great sports stories have developed locally over the past few weeks that I’d like to catch you up on.
Amazing Grace does it again
Grace Horn helped make Texas high school girls basketball history when her Plano West team defeated Houston Clear Springs, 107-105, in five overtimes during winter break.
It was the highest scoring girls game in Texas history, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations. The 212 combined points scored at the Sandra Meadows Classic in Duncanville made it the sixth highest-scoring girls game ever nationally.
One Houston-area newspaper wrote, “Considering the quality of the teams it was probably the greatest girls game ever played in Texas.”
Plano West was ranked No. 3 in Class 5A, the state’s largest, most competitive classification. Clear Springs was No. 4.
Grace played every minute of all four-minute overtimes.
Not bad for a Levine Academy graduate who got her start on the wood backboards in school’s small gym and played for three straight Dallas Maccabi basketball teams that brought home one gold and two silver medals.
A point guard, Grace’s primary responsibility is to run the offense, distribute the ball and press defensively in West’s fast-paced style. It wasn’t until the fifth overtime, after several of her teammates had fouled out and others were in severe foul trouble, that she took it upon herself to shoot more. Grace scored seven of West’s 13 points in the final four minutes to help seal the victory.
“Horn made huge decisions and plays during those overtime periods,” one recruiting newsletter reported. It graded her the top senior guard in the 32-team tournament yet to commit to a college.
Among the schools that have recruited her are Tufts, Johns Hopkins, Brandeis, Emory and Trinity.
Ironically, Grace hadn’t been expected to play much in against Clear Springs. She suffered a foot injury earlier that day in a victory over Beaumont Ozen, the top Class 4A school in the state.
“She gutted it out and that just shows the heart she has,” West coach Don Patterson told reporters from around the state after the game.
Grace is the daughter of Sharon and Barry Horn.
UT junior Holiner Maccabiah-bound
Mazel tov to David Holiner, a University of Texas junior, on his appointment to represent the United States as a member of the 19th Maccabiah Games open tennis team. These games, the third largest international sporting competition in the world, will be held in Israel from June 17-30.
David joins many of the best Jewish athletes in the United States on Team USA and will compete with athletes from more than 60 countries. David represented the U.S. in the 2009 Maccabiah Games, achieving a bronze medal in men’s doubles.
“I am so excited and proud to represent Dallas and my country,” he said. “These games are the highlight of my tennis career and combine my love of athletics and Jewish heritage.”
David, a business communications major at UT, is a starter on the Longhorns tennis team, which is ranked No. 23 nationally. David and partner Chris Camillone are ranked 13th in the nation in men’s doubles by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. As a high school tennis player, David traveled all over the world competing in tournaments and was ranked as the No. 6 junior player in the United States.
David, a graduate of the Greenhill School, is the son of Joel and Wendy Holiner and grandson of Harlan and Ethel Holiner. Sister Camille is a sophomore at Tulane University, majoring in business and psychology.
Parish slates first pink-out varsity basketball game
Parish Episcopal Day School senior and Levine Academy graduate Dillon Shipper, son of Ronnie and Cynthia Shipper, put his tikkun olam thinking cap on this fall and came up with a great idea for raising money for breast cancer research: a pink-out basketball game.
Dillon and his Panthers teammates will take on Waco Reicher Catholic School at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18 at the Parish varsity gym. What’s different about this game is that the Panthers will be dressed in special pink uniforms and proceeds from the game will benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Sheri Cole, mom of Panthers player Chris Cole, has underwritten the pink-out T-shirts that the boys are selling, with the BCRF receiving the proceeds.
Everyone that comes to the game will receive a pink headband and pink ribbon. Special prizes and raffles will be given out at halftime. The Parish gym will be pinked-out with balloons.
In addition to Shipper and Cole, members of the Parish varsity team are Justin Albert, Ty Bennett, Patrick Bryant, Tristen Cooper, Kamil Herrji, William LeMaster, Cooper Lyon, Preston Klein, Michael Murph, “Q” Oliver, Davis Plummer and Jonathan Wells.
You may wonder what made Dillon think of a pink-out fundraiser. He was inspired by two things. The wife of his adviser, Richard Perrine, died from breast cancer, and he wanted to do something to honor her memory.
Dillon’s mom, who has had a distinguished career as a national account manager with Wilson Sports since 1984, launched Wilson’s Hope line of sporting goods in 2004. The first item was a tennis racket made exclusively for women, its black cover bearing a distinctive pink “hope” design. A donation from all sales of this racket went to BCRF. In addition to the rackets, there are golf sets, visors, hats, gloves, tennis shoes, socks and headbands. Wilson makes a donation to BCRF with every sale.
Incidentally, Cynthia has a connection to Holiner. She also played tennis for the UT Longhorns after graduating from Trinity Valley School in Fort Worth. She was inducted into the UT Women’s Athletics Hall of Honors in 2005.
ATID to hold blood drive
In honor of Martin Luther King Junior Day, ATID will hold a blood drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 20 at Ann and Nate Levine Academy, 18011 Hillcrest Road in Dallas.
Someone is waiting on your donation. There is a critical need for blood donations after the holidays.
To make an appointment or for more information please contact Bob Brenner at Bob.firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-570-9600, or Gail Herson at email@example.com or 972 740-6751. Carter BloodCare is co-sponsoring the drive.
• Congratulations to the alephs of Eamon Lacy AZA for winning the fall flag football championship and to Jennie Zesmer BBG for winning the championship for the fall season of volleyball. For more information about BBYO contact Tracy Davis at 214-363-4654 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Elie Allen is hoping to raise funds to join BBYO on the March of the Living this year by holding a garage sale from 6:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20 at his family home, 6309 Oakleaf Road in Dallas.
Elie is a senior at Richardson Pearce and is a varsity wrestler. A story on his wrestling success will appear in next week’s edition of the TJP.
Off to Israel
TJP managing editor Dave Sorter is heading off to Israel as part of an American Jewish Press Association press tour, being organized by the Israel Ministry of Tourism and El Al Airlines.
He will visit Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and parts of the Galilee during his 10-day trip.
Dave will be tracking his thoughts on social media. Follow him on Twitter at @davesorter and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dsorter.
Look for his stories in the next few issues of the TJP.