MARY JO STAUNCH

Mary Jo (Vodenichar) Staunch was one of the top girls basketball players out of Sharpsville High School and Mercer County.

A 4-year member of the Blue Darlings squad, she was a three-year starter and letter winner. She scored 1,215 points in her career, a school record that lasted for 26 years.

She helped lead the Blue Darlings to the state championship game in 1980-81 and was named MVP of the Mercer County League that season when she scored 431 points.

In the Western Regional title game in 1981, she hammered in 27 points in a 40-38 victory over North Catholic. In the Western semis, a 47-45 win over Aliquippa, she had 16 points and 15 rebounds.

She won numerous tournament awards and was chosen to play in the Western Pa. Basketball Classic her senior year when she was recipient of the Robert Burton Scholarship.

She played basketball for two years at Penn State Shenango, where she won a 1983 Kodak All-American Award after scoring 1,438 points in two seasons and leading the team to a pair of Commonwealth Campus championships.
After Penn State, Mary Jo played two years at Youngstown State University and was team MVP in 1985, leading the team in scoring with 17.4 points per game. She ranked 4th in NCAA Division I foul shooting and once converted 32 straight free throws.

She coached 8th grade and assistant varsity girls basketball before taking the reins as varsity head coach at Sharon High from 1994-2002. Her teams went 158-92 and won a pair of Mercer County Athletic Conference crowns. She served as assistant athletic director at Sharon from 2002-2010 and is a PIAA basketball official.