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DeGeorge led Falcons to D-II district tournament

Mar. 23—When Joe DeGeorge was a young boy, his parents got him into sports, including basketball and he just kept playing and enjoying every minute of it.

"I just love everything about it, the way the game is played and how it works," DeGeorge said.

At 6-foot-5, the Jefferson senior is usually one of the tallest players on the court and has the skills to shoot from beyond the 3-point line or score in the post.

DeGeorge and his teammate Anthony Covetta were usually the focal points of the Falcons' opponents. Teams would usually do everything they could to try to stop DeGeorge whether it was face-guarding him or trying to deny him the ball.

DeGeorge led the Jefferson Falcons to a 15-10 record overall and 8-6 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Lake Division and averaged 23 points per game this past season.

DeGeorge also set

the single-game scoring record at Jefferson

on Dec. 9 when he poured in 45 points in a 100-83 loss to Chartiers Valley.

For his play, DeGeorge was named 2023-2024 Ashtabula County Player of the Year as selected by county coaches.

"I'm really honored having the county coaches select me is really awesome. It was probably a close one between me and [Edgewood senior] Jacob Ernst, he's going to do big things," he said. "I'm just really honored to receive this."

DeGeorge was also selected to the 2023-2024 Northeast Lakes All-District Division II first team earlier in March.

He finished with 1,326 points in his career, which is second in Falcons history to Sam Hitchcock who scored 1,543 points.

His favorite memory on the court was hitting a buzzer-beating shot at the end of regulation against Benedictine to force overtime on March 1. The Falcons went on to win 71-64 and advanced in the tournament.

"It was a 3-pointer, we were down by three and had to go the length of the court and shoot from the three-point line and it went in," DeGeorge said.

He enjoyed playing in the CVC Lake Division against local schools and especially against rivals Edgewood and Lakeside.

"It was a lot of fun getting to play against guys I used to play with," DeGeorge said. "We lost a handful of close games in the beginning that we definitely should have won, but we got a few back the second time we played them. The fans get the games going with a lot of energy."

DeGeorge aims to play basketball in college, and is looking at playing at John Carroll University and Baldwin Wallace.

Playing sports in college runs in the DeGeorge family as his father Rick DeGeorge played baseball at Gannon University and his mother Becky DeGeorge played volleyball at Edinboro University. His older sisters — Emily and Sarah — both played volleyball at Cleveland State University.

"I want to thank my family for their never-ending support and my teammates for working hard and making me better and my coaches for making me better a practice and I thank them all for that," DeGeorge said.

Jefferson coach Rob Pisano said DeGeorge has been a role model for the entire program and he will be sorely missed. Pisano said any college team will be grateful to have DeGeorge become part of its program.

"I've known Joe for five years and I can't say enough about him," Pisano said. "He's never said a negative word to a player or anything about practice ever. He's been the most positive and best leader you could probably imagine, we're really going to miss him.

"On the court, we're going to miss his scoring, his rebounding, he's been the best on-the-ball defender for our team since he was a sophomore," Pisano said. "There are so many basketball things that he does is great."