Saige Glover credits her older sister for teaching her a lot about basketball, but the 5-foot-11 sophomore forward for the Pickerington High School North girls team is hard-pressed to remember any specifics about that sister's record-setting career with the Panthers.
While Kavunaa Edwards was becoming one of the best players in program history, Glover had too much energy to sit and watch a game.
"I don't remember a lot. I'm not going to lie, I was an active kid and I was always playing out in the commons," Glover said. "But she would rebound. She hustled. She always made good plays, made layups and (good) post moves. She made me strive to play harder."
Edwards, a 2011 North graduate who set single-game program records for points (37), rebounds (21) and steals (eight) -- all of which still stand -- and earned first-team all-state honors and a McDonald's All-American Game nomination before playing for Villanova University, didn't mince words in doing so.
"When I was in PYAA (Pickerington Youth Athletic Association), she'd always used to scream at me and told me I was so lazy and needed to box out more," Glover said. "I wasn't that talented when I was in PYAA. She told me if I wasn't going to be talented, I needed to box out and get rebounds to make up for that."
Rebounding has made Glover a valuable inside presence for North, but she also has been scoring at a clip that makes her one of the team's most well-rounded players.
Glover was averaging 16 points and 11 rebounds through 12 games for the Panthers, who were 7-5 overall before playing Dublin Coffman on Jan. 9 and are 2-3 in the OCC-Ohio Division.
"Saige is extremely athletic. She is a very quick jumper," coach Dave Butcher said. "We see a lot of (Edwards) in Saige. She's very aggressive on the boards (and) quick to the glass, she's athletic around the glass and she can take the ball to the hole a little bit. She is getting better and better and eventually her perimeter game will come, too. Her future is very bright."
Glover saw limited action as a freshman, never scoring more than four points in a game.
She immediately served notice that this year would be different, scoring 24 points in North's 64-30 season-opening rout of Walnut Ridge on Dec. 1. She matched that career high in a 70-16 win over Whitehall on Dec. 12.
"She's grown up on the court. She's a person I can count on if I pass the ball (to her). She'll score and do her best to get to the board," forward Kyla Sawyer said. "She's played well against everybody, and we've had some tough competition. She hasn't had that rough period yet. She can rebound, she can jump (and) she's tall and athletic. It helps me out because I don't have to constantly be rebounding."
Although Edwards already was in college by the time Glover began to put everything together, the two keep in close touch. Edwards now teaches at Uncommon Schools Camden Prep, a charter school in Camden, New Jersey.
While Glover is confident near the basket, she said she wants to improve her mid-range shooting and continue to get stronger.
"I have to (execute well), get rebounds and be a leader," Glover said. "I want to work on mid(-range) shots because I have trouble from there when I'm open. I want to get more rebounds, too, and take advantage of my opportunities instead of sitting back and watching people get them."
Hunter passes milestone for boys
The boys basketball team's 67-55 win over visiting Beechcroft on Jan. 6 capped a big day for the program.
In front of a near-sellout crowd in the fifth and final game of The Challenge, senior forward Jerome Hunter scored his 1,000th career point and senior center Ross Ryan made his Panthers debut.
Hunter, an Indiana recruit, passed the milestone on a slam dunk in the final minute of the first half. The game was stopped briefly as his accomplishment was announced.
"One-thousand points in three years ... that's a big accomplishment," Hunter said. "(Doing it) in three years, I don't know what to say to that."
Hunter finished with a game-high 29 points and had 1,018 for his career before North played Coffman on Jan. 9. The Panthers were 8-2 overall before facing the Shamrocks.
Ryan, a 6-9 transfer from Centerburg, fractured his right kneecap during a Nov. 15 scrimmage. He averaged 14.3 points last season.
"(Doctors) told us (Ryan) would be ready early this month. That's great news," coach Jason Bates said. "I've never had a senior get hurt like he did, but he attacked his therapy. The doctors and trainers were excited about how hard he is working."
The Challenge, which is in its second year, was put together by Bates and his brother, Africentric coach Michael Bates. The event will alternate between the schools each year.
The Panthers held off Reynoldsburg 48-42 on Jan. 5 to improve to 4-0 in the OCC-Ohio.
Senior guard Corey Baker, a transfer from Groveport, becomes eligible Friday, Jan. 12, when North plays host to Grove City in a league contest. Baker, who averaged 12.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists last season, had to sit out the first 11 games per Ohio High School Athletic Association transfer rules.
Freshman forward Jack Sawyer had 20 points, 14 of which came in the third quarter, to lead the Panthers past Reynoldsburg.
Swimmers responding well to training
Swimming coach Justin Dortch hopes a stellar start that has included contributions from underclassmen continues Saturday, Jan. 13, when 23 individuals and four relays compete in the Northeast Classic at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
Dortch could not have been more thrilled about how his team responded to a recent change in the schedule. Instead of not participating in any meets during the recent holiday break, North went to the Cloverleaf Stampede Invitational on Dec. 30 at The College of Wooster.
Powered by nine top-three finishes, the girls team scored 291 points to win the 16-team event, ahead of runner-up Avon (242.5). Grace Cherryhomes won the 100-yard breaststroke (1 minute, 12.61 seconds) and placed third in the 200 freestyle (2:05.88), Kelsey Morgan won the 500 free (5:33.38) and was third in the 100 butterfly (1:04.24) and North also got wins from its 200 medley (1:56.2) and 400 free (3:52.17) relays.
Freshman Lilian Muszynski was second in the 500 free (5:07.44) and third in the 200 individual medley (2:26.55).
Morgan is a senior, and Cherryhomes is a junior.
Led by runner-up finishes in the 200 medley (1:49.25) and 400 free (3:37.53) relays, the boys were seventh (95) of 19 teams in the meet, behind champion Richfield Revere (162).
"Instead of training (during the break), I wanted to see how they did swimming tired," Dortch said.
"Their performances were terrific to see. Some of our kids are more casual swimmers, so this is the first real hard training they've gone through, and they are responding well. Not even some of our veterans are used to going quite this hard this time of year."
Swimmers must meet time standards to qualify for the Northeast Classic. Branin Natatorium is the site of the state meet, which will take place Feb. 21-24.
Below are the coming schedules for the North boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Jan. 12 -- Home vs. Grove City
Jan. 13 -- Cincinnati Princeton in Flyin' to the Hoop at Kettering Fairmont
*Jan. 12 -- At Grove City. The Panthers defeated the Greyhounds 45-36 on Dec. 5.
Jan. 16 -- Home vs. Hilliard Davidson
*Jan. 11 -- Worthington Kilbourne at Rule 3
*Jan. 12 -- Hilliard Darby at Game of Western Columbus
*Jan. 17 -- Hilliard Bradley at Rule 3
SWIMMING & DIVING
Jan. 13 -- Central Ohio Splash Invitational at Ohio Wesleyan and Northeast Classic at Branin Natatorium in Canton
*Jan. 11 -- Home vs. Gahanna and Reynoldsburg
Jan. 13 -- Big Dawg Invitational at Dresden Tri-Valley