The Ohio Surge program started four years ago, and each summer the club has stepped up its efforts to face the best possible competition. In 2015, that journey led the Surge to the Deep South Classic in June, and they will be competing in the Summer Derby Classic in July.
The Summer Derby Classic will be played in Louisville, KY on July 23-24. The tournament, which will include many of the top travel programs in the country, will be played at the Mid America Sports Center.
“We started the program when these girls were in the sixth grade, and every year we try to evaluate where the team is, and what type of events we should be playing,” said Coach Todd Pennington. “We had to fight through some injury issues in the spring, but we got some good experience, and everyone is healthy now. I think we’re ready to make a strong run in July.”
That run will be powered by a trio of talented athletes from the Class of 2018. That group includes Grace Pennington (5-9, PG, who is the coach’s daughter), Victoria Flehman (5-11, W) and Ise Bolender (5-9, G).
“Grace is a natural two guard, but she plays the point for us. It helps our team to have her at the point, and it has really helped Grace become a better overall player,” the coach/father said. “She can score but she also does a good job of getting our team into our offense and getting everyone in the right place.
“Victoria is a versatile player who is a tough matchup for our opponents. She can shoot the three and drive to the basket, but if she is going against a smaller guard, so can use her size and strength to post people up.
“Ise has probably been our leading scorer through the first part of the season. She is very good at slashing to the basket, and she is also a very good shooter. She had a game in our last tournament where she hit six three-pointers.”
That perimeter unit will be complemented by a promising young post player, Mikala Morris (2019, 6-3).
“Mikala just joined us in the middle of the spring, and then she had an ankle problem, but she is a player with a very bright future,” Pennington said. “Right now she is a true post player, but she is working to develop her outside game. She is great already out to 15 feet, and she is working hard on all her perimeter skills. She has good size and she moves very well, and I just think she is a player that everyone will want to look at.”