During their stints as the girls basketball coaches at Notre Dame and Wheelersburg, respectively, J.D. McKenzie and Dusty Spradlin have proven themselves as intense coaches who expect nothing less than excellence from their players.
That was proven in the latest version of the SOC All-Star units, as the Lady Titans and the Lady Pirates put all five of their starters on the first and second teams in the SOC realm to head the charge of Scioto County athletes on the unit, with McKenzie and Spradlin winning coach of the year honors in their respective leagues.
For Notre Dame, the Lady Titans put Hagen Schaefer, Lexi Smith, and Molly Hoover on the first team unit, with Schaefer, the lone senior starter, receiving player of the year honors in the conference as Notre Dame ran the table in the SOC I realm. Smith and Hoover, along with second team honorees Katie Dettwiller and Taylor Schmidt, will all return to head the unit’s efforts next year. Notre Dame recorded a 23-2 record in 2016-17.
New Boston enjoyed perhaps its finest girls basketball campaign in nearly a decade behind the abilities of first-team honorees Ali Hamilton and Kaylee Stone as well as second-team honorees Mariah Buckley and Lexus Oiler. All four players return as New Boston will look to make the final push back to the top of the SOC I ladder in 2017-18.
In addition to New Boston and Notre Dame, Clay sports an impressive set of young talents in their own right. Sophomore Jensen Warnock led the team in scoring, while fellow first-team honoree Skylar Artis proved to be one of the league’s top passers and defenders over the balance of the year. Regan Osborn, a second-team member, rounds out an impressive young core for the Lady Panthers to build around. East’s Shay Brown and Peyton Helphinstine, who combined for over 38 points per contest, and Green’s double-double machine, Kaylynn Blizzard, rounded out the list.
Of the non Scioto County schools, Symmes Valley topped the list by tying Clay for third place in the conference at 9-5. Jensyn Shepherd and Payton Walsh (first team) and Kaitlyn Crabtree (second team) represented the Lady Vikings.
C.C. Shanks, who averaged over 20 points per contest as a speedy and impressive lead guard for Western, created many of her opportunities off of defensive turnovers that she forced. Shanks won the league’s defensive player of the year honors. Fellow teammates Haley Whitt and Kylie Tong, along with Cassidy Fremont and Olivia Hatfield from rival Eastern, rounded out the honorees.
In the SOC II realm, track star Ellie Ruby, who averaged over four steals per affair, was deservedly named as the conference’s defensive player of the year for her efforts on the year. Fellow teammates Abbie Kallner, who was Wheelersburg’s leading scorer, and Makayla Akers, who signed with Alice Lloyd earlier this month, joined the track star on the first team, while softball standouts Kalle Coleman and Brittany Swim obtained second team honors for the Lady Pirates.
South Webster’s Ellie Jo Johnson, who was named as the SOC II Offensive Player of the Year, showed off her skills in an impressive campaign that saw the senior rack up team-highs in points, rebounds, assists, and blocks. Wirey guard Avery Zempter joined her on the All-SOC list by obtaining second-team honors.
Minford, who finished just behind Wheelersburg at 12-2 in the SOC II, was led by another standout junior as Erin Daniels, who led the team in points, assists and steals, earned first team honors, along with sophomore Ashley Blankenship, who averaged nine points and 12 boards per game. They were joined by Abby Grasso and Marissa Risner, who obtained second team SOC II honors.
As for the remaining SOC II schools, Valley, West and Northwest each obtained a pair of honorees, one each on the first and second team. Valley’s Hannah Conley, who led the unit in points and rebounds, West’s Makayla White, who was the Lady Senators’ leader in points, rebounds and steals, and Hannah Breech, who paced the Lady Mohawks’ in points and rebounds, were first team honorees. Bre Call, Madison Compton, and Shae Patty represented each respective school on the second team.
Oak Hill and Waverly were each led by 20-point-per-game scorers in Bethany Blanton and Laken Smith, who obtained First-Team All-SOC honors as well. The Lady Oaks put Caitlyn Brisker on the first team unit as well, and Carlee Dempsey (Oak Hill) and Morgan Wiseman (Waverly) on the second team list.
On the boys side of the coin, it was Clay who did most of the damage throughout the year. The Panthers, who put four players (Cole Gilliland, Nate Hinze, Cameron King, and Brody Riffe) on the first team, went 24-3, won the SOC II title for the second time in three seasons, won the Division IV, Athens I District Championship, and made a thrilling run to the regional final — the latter pair of accomplishments being the school’s first since 1969.
Not surprisingly, Clay swept all of the major postseason accolades, with King, Riffe and Adam Betten winning the SOC I’s Offensive, Defensive, and Coach of the Year honors.
East and Notre Dame showed off a pair of skilled scorers in Akia Brown and Trevon Turner, each made the SOC I First Team, along with the Tartans’ Drew Lowe, a fellow four-year stalwart. Brown scored over 1,900 points for his career, while Turner eclipsed the 1,000-point mark earlier in the year. Fellow East product Kyle Flannery, along with Notre Dame’s Aaron Bazler, Sam Kayser, and Grant Sparks, all made the second team unit.
Green and New Boston, who put together competitive campaigns, put two players apiece on the SOC units, as the Bobcats’ sophomore tandem of Tanner Kimbler and Tayte Carver made the first and second team, respectively, while the Tigers’ Kade Conley, along with Tyler Caldwell, did the same. Eastern’s Ethan Leist and Michael Miller, along with Symmes Valley Jarod Sheppard and Western’s Tanner Perdue, also made the first team. The Eagles’ Evan Leist and Clay Martin, along with the Vikings’ Chayden Renfroe and the Indians’ Bryce Brewster, grabbed second team accolades for their respective schools.
As far as the Scioto County spectrum was concerned, Wheelersburg again led the way as the Pirates put double-digit standouts Kaden Coleman and Tanner Holden on the first team. Glue guys in Cole Lowery and Tanner Bivens were second team honorees for the ‘Burg.
Alek Blevins, who won the SOC II’s Defensive Player of the Year award, and Shane Zimmerman, a wiry scoring threat who led the team in that department on almost a nightly basis, grabbed first team honors for South Webster, who finished with a 9-5 record on the year. The Jeeps also put Shiloah Blevins, who played his best basketball at the end of the year, and Matthew Shonkwiler, a consistent threat on both ends of the floor, on the second team.
Minford, who had to recover from heavy graduation losses at the end of the 2015-16 season, reloaded and posted a modest 7-7 record as a result. Matthew Gullett, the team’s leading scorer at 14 points per affair, made first team honors and was joined by gritty post player Dillon Shepherd, who earned second team accolades.
As with the girls side, Northwest, West, and Valley put up two honorees apiece for the SOC units, with Brandon Noel, Tre Patrick, and Kyle Leslie representing each of their respective schools on the first team. The Indians’ Andrew Shope, the Senators’ LT Maynard, and the Mohawks’ Kaleb Smith added second team honors for each school.
In all, Oak Hill led the charge by putting up an SOC II-title winning 13-1 record, with Landon Carroll, Nolan Carroll, and Mitchell Hale obtaining first team honors. Brett Long obtained second team honors for the Division III District Finalists, who will return all of their SOC honorees to next year’s unit. Talented football hands in Waverly’s Cade Marquez and Clayton Howell made the first team, while fellow teammate Easton Wolf earned second team billing for the Tigers, who finished at 9-5 in the conference.
2016-2017 SOC Girls Basketball All-Stars
First Team: Hagen Schaefer (Notre Dame), Lexi Smith (Notre Dame), Molly Hoover (Notre Dame), Ali Hamilton (Glenwood), Kaylee Stone (Glenwood), Jensen Warnock (Clay), Skylar Artis (Clay), Jensyn Shepherd (Symmes Valley), Payton Walsh (Symmes Valley), CC Shanks (Western), Kaylynn Blizzard (Green), Cassidy Fremont (Eastern), Shay Brown (East).
Second Team: Katie Dettwiller (Notre Dame), Taylor Schmidt (Notre Dame), Mariah Buckley (Glenwood), Lexus Oiler (Glenwood), Regan Osborn (Clay), Kaitlyn Crabtree (Symmes Valley), Haley Whitt (Western), Kylie Tong (Western), Olivia Hatfield (Eastern), Peyton Helphinstine (East).
League Records: Notre Dame 14-0, Glenwood 12-2, Clay 9-5, Symmes Valley 9-5, Western 6-8, East 4-10, Eastern 2-12, Green 0-14.
League Champion: Notre Dame
Offensive Player of the Year: Hagen Schaefer (Notre Dame)
Defensive Player of the Year: CC Shanks (Western)
Coach of the Year: J.D. McKenzie (Notre Dame)
First Team: Makayla Akers (Wheelersburg), Abbie Kallner (Wheelersburg), Ellie Ruby (Wheelersburg), Erin Daniels (Minford), Ashley Blankenship (Minford), Bethany Blanton (Oak Hill), Caitlyn Brisker (Oak Hill), Laken Smith (Waverly), Ellie Jo Johnson (South Webster), Hannah Conley (Valley), Makayla White (West), Hannah Breech (Northwest).
Second Team: Kalle Coleman (Wheelersburg), Brittany Swim (Wheelersburg), Marissa Risner (Minford), Abby Grasso (Minford), Carlee Dempsey (Oak Hill), Morgan Wiseman (Waverly), Avery Zempter (South Webster), Bre Call (Valley), Madison Compton (West), Shae Patty (Northwest).
League Records: Wheelersburg 13-1, Minford 12-2, Oak Hill 11-3, Waverly 7-7, South Webster 7-7, Valley 4-10, West 2-12, Northwest 0-14.
League Champion: Wheelersburg
Offensive Player of the Year: Ellie Jo Johnson (South Webster)
Defensive Player of the Year: Ellie Ruby (Wheelersburg)
Coach of the Year: Dusty Spradlin (Wheelersburg)
2016-2017 SOC Boys Basketball All-Stars
First Team: Cameron King (Clay), Cole Gilliland (Clay), Nate Hinze (Clay), Brody Riffe (Clay), Ethan Leist (Eastern), Michael Miller (Eastern), Trevon Turner (Notre Dame), Akia Brown (East), Drew Lowe (East), Kade Conley (Glenwood), Jarod Sheppard (Symmes Valley), Tanner Perdue (Western), Tanner Kimbler (Green).
Second Team: Clay Martin (Eastern), Evan Leist (Eastern), Grant Sparks (Notre Dame), Sam Kayser (Notre Dame), Aaron Bazler (Notre Dame), Kyle Flannery (East), Tyler Caldwell (Glenwood), Chayden Renfroe (Symmes Valley), Bryce Brewster (Western), Tayte Carver (Green).
League Records: Clay 12-2, Eastern 10-4, Notre Dame 9-5, East 9-5, Western 7-7, Symmes Valley 4-10, Glenwood 2-12, Green 2-12
League Champion: Clay
Offensive Player of the Year: Cameron King (Clay)
Defensive Player of the Year: Brody Riffe (Clay)
Coach of the Year: Adam Betten (Clay)
First Team: Landon Carroll (Oak Hill), Mitchell Hale (Oak Hill), Nolan Carroll (Oak Hill), Kaden Coleman (Wheelersburg), Tanner Holden (Wheelersburg), Shane Zimmerman (South Webster), Alek Blevins (South Webster), Cade Marquez (Waverly), Clayton Howell (Waverly), Matthew Gullett (Minford), Brandon Noel (Valley), Tre Patrick (West), Kyle Leslie (Northwest)
Second Team: Brett Long (Oak Hill), Cole Lowery (Wheelersburg), Tanner Bivens (Wheelersburg), Shiloah Blevins (South Webster), Matt Shonkwiler (South Webster), Easton Wolf (Waverly), Dillon Shepherd (Minford), Andrew Shope (Valley), LT Maynard (West), Kaleb Smith (Northwest)
League Records: Oak Hill 13-1, Wheelersburg 12-2, South Webster 9-5, Waverly 9-5, Minford 7-7, Valley 3-11, West 2-12, Northwest 1-13
League Champion: Oak Hill
Offensive Player of the Year: Landon Carroll (Oak Hill)
Defensive Player of the Year: Alek Blevins (South Webster)
Coach of the Year: Norm Persin (Oak Hill)