AVON LAKE — Casey Morrissette won more than her share of awards during her stellar high school career at Firelands, but she’ll have to make room for one more.
And it’s a big one: Lorain County Miss Basketball.
Morrissette was named the winner of the county’s most prestigious girls basketball award Wednesday night during the senior all-star games at Avon Lake High School.
The award is the crowning achievement of a high school career in which Morrissette was a four-year letterwinner and a three-time All-Lorain County and All-Patriot Athletic Conference selection.
She was also a Division II All-Ohio special mention and the Lorain County Division II Player of the Year this season.
“This is a goal I’ve worked for since the beginning of the year. I worked hard and I achieved it,” said Morrissette, who will continue her basketball career at Mount Union next year. “I’m honored to be selected and I’m proud of myself, too. It’s really an awesome feeling.”
The Falcons won PAC Stars Division championships in Morrissette’s junior and senior season. Although both seasons ended with losses in the sectional finals, Firelands won 39 games over the past two years.
“Casey’s leadership has been the key to our success,” Firelands coach Dave Kudela said. “She got the girls around her to buy into (the idea that) if we put in the time and energy into our skills that something special would happen and obviously it paid off.”
Morrissette’s all-around numbers on the basketball court her senior season — 12.3 points, five rebounds, 3.7 assists, 3.2 steals, 50 3-pointers and 85-percent shooting from the foul line – only tell part of the story of why she was named Miss Basketball. She also sports a 3.39 grade-point average and has volunteered countless hours teaching basketball and volleyball to young girls in her community.
Yet even on her special night, Morrissette was quick to deflect praise to her teammates and coaches.
“I’m thankful I had D.K. as my high school coach,” she said. “He really pushed me and was really supportive of me. Playing AAU basketball also really helped my career. Coach Mac (Kevin McNamara) from TNBA always gave me positive feedback and helped me become the best player I could be. I also would not be here right now if it wasn’t for my teammates. They helped me more than they’ll ever know.”
Morrissette finished her high school career with 1,017 points. She is the third Firelands player to win the award, joining Beth Becker in 1993 and Ali Stack in 2007.
If Morrissette had not been as unselfish on the court, her scoring numbers likely would have been much higher. Kuleda said on numerous occasions over Morrissette’s career that he had to tell her to look for her shot and not always focus on passing to a teammate.
“Miss Basketball is a well-deserved honor for Casey,” Kudela said. “She has put a lot of time and effort into the game, she spends a lot of time in the gym just coming in and shooting in her free time. But her greatest contribution has been promoting the game to our younger players and her teammates and bringing them along. She’s been the face of our program for the last three seasons.”
Although Morrissette is excited to begin the next chapter in her life and attempt to win championships as a Purple Raider, she is mindful of the legacy she and her teammates have created at Firelands.
“I know Firelands will continue to win championships in the future,” she said. “All of the girls work so hard there are only great things in their future.”
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Miss Basketball winners
2014 — Casey Morrissette, Firelands
2013 — AuBree LaForce, Vermilion
2012 — Emily Julius, Avon
2011 — Shanique Ogle, Lorain
2010 — Emily Nagle, Columbia
2009 — Tai Dotson, Elyria
2008 — Honesty King, Elyria
2007 — Ali Stack, Firelands
2006 — Audra Mihalic, Amherst
2005 — Kate Verhoff, Elyria
2004 — Holly Earl, Clearview
2003 — Christina Jackson, Southview
2002 — Lisa Verhoff, Elyria
2001 — Anetra Williams, Admiral King
2000 — Jessy Verhoff, Elyria
1999 — Holly Koepp, Lorain Catholic, and Layla Willis, Clearview
1998 — Monique Ross, Midview
1997 — Tyshekwa Madison, Elyria, and Rebecca Sandor, Avon Lake
1996 — Kristi Littleton, Vermilion
1995 — Megan Chewanski, Avon Lake
1994 — Stacey Fifer, Avon Lake
1993 — Beth Becker, Firelands
1992 — Sherri Horvath, Lorain
1991 — Kyle Lathwell, Lorain
1990 — Renee Aggers, Vermilion
1989 — Monica Taylor, Elyria
1998 — Anne Forbes, Elyria West, and Chris Nagy, Lorain
1987 — Anita Godlewski, Lorain Catholic
1986 — Ann Gilbert, Elyria
1985 — Amy Welch, Elyria West