NORTH JACKSON, Ohio (WKBN) – Sometimes team leaders are not always the most vocal. Sometimes they are better at leading by example. That is the case with Jackson-Milton Blue Jays standout senior guard Michaelina Terranova.
Michaelina may not be considered very vocal on the court or in her post-game comments, but she certainly lets her hard work and steady play be an example for her teammates to follow. Along the way, she has reached the coveted 1,000 point mark in the first game of the year when they played Lordstown.
“I’m very honored to get to coach her,” Blue Jays head basketball coach Pat Keney said humbly. “She is a great kid.”
“You would never know she had a great game the next day at practice. She just comes out and works hard. She leads by example. She doesn’t say boo, she just works hard. She is a super, super person,” Keney remarked. “She does whatever we ask her to do, that’s what is fun in coaching her.”
“I feel I’ve been more vocal this year,” Terranova contradicted. “Especially with my other two seniors we have shown great leadership on the floor this year. I’m really happy about that.”
Terranova, along with seniors Haley Lengyel and Emily Williams have the Jays at 10-0 on the season and leading the Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference with a perfect 6-0 mark.
“She leads by example in games and in practice. She demands the other girls to step up,” Keney proclaimed.
Terranova admitted that she wasn’t really focused on reaching the 1,000 point milestone at the end of last season since the Jays already had two players obtaining the mark during the season. Both Kaitlyn, and twin sister Ashley Totani hit the 1,000 point plateau in route to the Jays winning the ITCL Blue Tier and reaching the OHSAA Regional Finals in 2016-2017.
“Last year I wasn’t really pushing. We had two senior twins last year and they got their 1,000. I was really happy for them, but I was just letting it come to me,” Terranova said of pursuing the goal. “I wasn’t trying to push for it.”
“I wouldn’t be where I’m at without the Totani twins pushing me,” Terranova added. “Since my freshman year they were one of my role models, and because of them, I’m just playing feeding off what I learned from them. Playing one-on-one in practice and from what all the coaches have taught me. That’s how I’m the player that I am today.”
“She is so unselfish,” Keney exclaimed. “She passes to her teammates when they’re open so that when they get the chance they pass to her. So I tell them that team’s that are unselfish will do well.”
Terranova admitted that she would love to continue to play basketball at the collegiate level, however, those plans are still undecided, “I want to play basketball in college, but I haven’t decided yet honestly. Between track and basketball, but yeah I don’t know.”
Terranova has a younger brother Anthony who is a freshman Blue Jay runner and an older sister Haley who graduated from Jackson-Milton. Her mother and father are Jennifer and James, which Michaelina jokingly said her athleticism has come from her dad.
“My dad was a pretty good athlete, my mom was a role player when she ran in track and stuff. I get my athleticism from my dad’s side of the family,” Terranova said with a chuckle.
The Jackson-Milton community has had an opportunity to watch some very talented players the past few years as coach Keney has built an outstanding program. With Terranova helping to lead the way the Jays could very well win another league championship and reach the regional finals again.