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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

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Too bad for Oak Harbor girls basketball fans that Dan Christie decided to raise

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his family in Central Ohio instead of his hometown.

Christie, a 1983 Oak Harbor grad who led the Rockets to the 1983 Class AA state championship game, played basketball at the University of Dayton. He married and stayed in the Dayton area, where he is a financial advisor for UBS Financial Services.

Had Dan and Margie Christie, who will be married 21 years in June, moved to Oak Harbor two decades ago, the Rockets' girls basketball program would have reaped the benefits of their three daughters' basketball skills.

Ashley Christie, 18, is a senior guard at Kettering Archbishop Alter High School. Her sister, Courtney, 16, is a junior guard at Alter while their older sister, Nicole, 20, was a standout for the Knights and is now a sophomore at Ohio University.

Nicole and Ashley were both starters and Courtney was a freshman sub in 2008, when Alter won its first girls state basketball title in school history. The Knights beat Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown 60-46 in the Division II title game at Value City Arena in Columbus.

"I was just so happy for them and the coaching staff at Alter," Dan Christie said. "They put in a lot of work and a lot of time, and the staff is extremely dedicated to the girls. Knowing what it takes to get there, you have to have a little luck and kids playing well at the right time. It was pretty cool they pulled it off."

Ashley and Courtney are starting guards for Alter (16-2), which is ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press Division II state poll. The Knights finished in a three-way tie with Dayton Carroll and Dayton Chaminade-Julienne for first place in the Girls Greater Cincinnati League.

Ashley Christie was named the state tournament MVP in 2008. In the state

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semifinal, a 45-31 win over Columbus Mifflin, she had six points and five steals. In the title game, she scored a game-high 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting, with four steals and two assists while playing just 19 minutes.

On Feb. 5, Ashley, who is 5-9, committed to play at Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, Md.

"We're extremely happy," Dan said. "It's going to be a good fit. It's a small Division I school in the Northeast Conference. I think she's got a chance to play her first year. She's got a thin build and might need to bulk up a little bit."

Ashley and Courtney are averaging 12 and 8.5 points per game, respectively, this season. Ashley also leads the Knights in assists with 3.5 per game.

"Ashley can score when we really need it," Alter coach Christina Hart said. "She has that ability to explode. She is our best ball handler and makes the best decisions with the ball in her hands. Courtney is a scorer. She is a long-range shooter and is developing the ability to get to the basket and score."

Nicole, an education major at Ohio University, decided not to play college basketball but is on a club team at OU.

"She had different ideas on what she wanted as a college experience," Dan said. "She had opportunities to play Division II or Division III. She plays as hard as you're going to find and she shoots very well."

As a senior at Alter, Nicole had 12 points and four steals in the state title game as the Knights finished with a 25-3 record. She averaged just over nine points per game as a senior.

"As that season wore on, Nicole became the kid who guarded one of the other teams' post players," Hart said. "She had to be willing to be physical for us, which was not a problem for her. We needed her to rebound, and she could hit the long-range jump shot for us."

Before transferring to Alter, Nicole was a freshman at Chaminade-Julienne in 2005 when the Eagles beat Sylvania Northview in the state semifinals and then beat Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame for the Division I championship.

Dan coached all three of his daughters, from second grade through eighth grade.

"We traveled all over the country in AAU and CYO leagues, playing ball from Louisiana to Nashville, from Michigan and Texas," Dan said. He now coaches his son, Kevin's, eighth grade team.

"The kid can shoot lights-out - and he likes to shoot," Dan said of Kevin. "He loves sports. Kevin's not really that big, but he could be a heck of a player."

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