The 1976/77 Cardington-Lincoln High School Girls basketball team was honored Friday night between the JV and Varsity games played with Centerburg. This girls’ team was Cardington’s first championship team.
Athletic Director Bill Clauss who coached the team, explained that the Ohio High School Athletic Association did not sponsor girls’ athletics until the 1973-74 school year. At that time schools were allowed to play only 12 games. There were only three divisions (A, AA and AAA) and there was no three point line. The first season Cardington was 0-12 followed by seasons of 4-8 and 8-4. In 1976-77 schools were allowed to play 16 regular season games plus a tournament format similar to today.
This team was Cardington’s first championship team, going 14-1 in the regular season and 3-1 in the tournament, losing in the district semis. They averaged 56 points a game without three pointers, while giving up only 38 points. This was Cardington’s first of three consecutive Mid-Ohio Conference Championship teams and it began a winning tradition for Cardington girls basketball.
Introduced were team members Brenda French Traxler, of Paragould, Arkansas and Sue Klingel, Delaware who were sophomores; Deb Knauber Faulkner and Shelly McGinnis Smith, both of Cardington and Kathy Mattix Greenwood, and Mary Hoffman, of Mansfield, all juniors that year and seniors Tina Clark Pfahler, of Cleveland and Carol Mories Brannon of Cardington. Unable to attend were Lori Jones Miller a sophomore that year and Donna Peterson, of California, who was a senior. Assisting Clauss with the coaching was Cynda Ebert, now of Arizona.
Clauss commented “Ladies, you will always be the first in a long line of outstanding girls basketball teams at Cardington-Lincoln High school and the first team to win a conference championship.”
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