In any sport — or in anything in life, really — it’s good to have individuals on your team who are talented in multiple facets.
And across the Scioto County lines, there are plenty of girls basketball players who represent those qualities in spades.
From McDermott to Franklin Furnace, Minford to the West Side and everywhere in between, there are 20 players who are averaging or averaged at least eight points and either 4.5 rebounds or four assists per game, which is a true testament to the versatile talents that reside inside the Scioto County lines.
Take the SOC II, for example, where two of the most talented individuals not only in the Southeast District, but the entire state, have done more than their fair share of damage. South Webster’s Ellie Jo Johnson leads the Lady Jeeps in points (18.2), rebounds (10.7), assists (4.6), and steals (four) en route to leading South Webster back to the district finals once again. Right across the way, Minford’s Erin Daniels did her own share of damage throughout the 2016-17 season by averaging team-highs in points (17.5), assists (5.4), and steals (four) while grabbing 9.4 boards per bout.
The pair, however, have had plenty of help.
The former has been assisted by Madison Cook, who has recovered from an ACL tear to notch 9.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.2 assists per game in 2016-17, while the latter has received help from Ashley Blankenship, a 6-3 sophomore who averaged 9.5 points and 12 rebounds per contest during the season. Each bring a crafty post presence to the table.
As a unit, you also have to have balance. That’s exactly what the Wheelersburg Lady Pirates sported throughout the year in obtaining a nifty 17-3 overall record. Ellie Ruby (nine points, 4.5 assists), Kalle Coleman (8.5 points, 6.5 rebounds), and Makayla Akers (8.5 points, seven rebounds) were among the main contributors in another strong year for the ‘Burg. Throw in Abbie Kallner, the team’s leading scorer at 14 points per contest, and a formidable quartet is exactly what one has.
Seeing upperclassmen star in featured roles is also nice to see, which is exactly what basketball fans got with the county’s two westernmost schools. The Lady Senators sported two strong junior hands in Makayla White (13 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.8 steals) and Madison Compton (eight points, 5.6 rebounds per game), while the Lady Mohawks had two senior standouts in Shae Patty (9.5 points, six assists, five rebounds per game) and Hannah Breech (10 points, seven rebounds) to help spearhead Northwest’s efforts.
Throw in Valley’s Hannah Conley (8.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, four blocks) and OVC member Portsmouth, who sported Semajah Parker’s 8.6 points and 8.7 rebounds, and the litany of talent in the Division III ranks is evident within the county lines.
However, the Division IV side certainly doesn’t lack whatsoever.
Take Notre Dame, for example. The Lady Titans are back in the Division IV District Finals, and once again, have the talent and depth to make life difficult for the opposition. Hagen Schaefer (16.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, two steals per game), Lexi Smith (13.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.6 steals per game) and Katie Dettwiller (8.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, 3.3 blocks per contest) are all individuals who have proven to be excellent two-way presences throughout their careers.
One of the more heartwarming stories out there has been the performance of New Boston’s unit, who accumulated a 14-6 overall record on the year behind a junior trio that really packs a punch. Ali Hamilton (16.4 points, 9.1 rebounds, four steals, three blocks per game), Mariah Buckley (11 points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals per game), and Kaylee Stone (11.5 points, seven rebounds, three steals) are among the best in the entire county at their respective positions.
Then, there’s Clay and Green. The former provides Jensen Warnock, who accumulated 15.7 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.3 steals and 3.2 blocks to the table, while the latter features Kaylyn Blizzard, a senior who averaged 16 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks per contest for the Lady ‘Cats.
With the evident talent that is in the county, and most of it coming back for 2017-18, the message sent by the Scioto County representatives could be a fierce one this time next year.
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @ColleyKevin7.