Not losing a single game, against good, hard-nosed competition, always serves as a great reason to rank a team.
On Monday evening, the Minford Falcons’ and Notre Dame Titans’ girls basketball programs were rewarded for such play as the duo, who sit at 14-0 and 13-0, respectively, received votes in the latest edition of the Ohio Associated Press Division III and Division IV Girls Basketball Polls based on their play over the course of the year.
Minford — 14-0, 10-0 SOC II, receiving votes in Division III
Scott Caudill’s Lady Falcons, who are the first team receiving votes in the Division III poll, stayed undefeated by defeating rival Oak Hill by a sizeable margin, 68-26, on Thursday evening in Minford to increase its scoring average to a 65.8 clip and decrease its defensive points per game average to 33.8 as the Falcons moved its scoring differential from 28 points per contest to 32 points per bout in one fell swoop. Marissa Risner led the Minford output with 13 points, while Ashland University signee Erin Daniels and junior post player Ashley Blankenship added 12 and 10, respectively, for the Lady Falcons.
Daniels, an all-around talent, Risner, a three-point sniper, and Blankenship, a low-post technician, lead a group of junkyard dogs that also includes Caitlyn Puckett, Livi Shonkwiler, Zoe Doll, Marissa Watters, Hannah Tolle, Mackenzie Watters, Hannah Thacker, and Maddie Slusher.
Notre Dame — 13-0, 11-0 SOC I, receiving votes in Division IV
After being strangely omitted from the initial poll, Notre Dame was rightfully included in the second version of the Division IV poll as the Lady Titans entered the poll as the second team outside of the top 10 with 28 points on Tuesday evening.
Notre Dame, who added a resounding 72-30 victory over Symmes Valley last Thursday after notching another impressive victory over Clay (69-36) to begin last week’s action, has scored an average of 68.1 points per contest while holding its opponents to just 30.8 per affair on the defensive end of the floor en route to obtaining an impressive 37.3 point differential average on the season.
Individually, Lexi Smith’s 15.2 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 2.2 steals per contest on 60 percent shooting leads the Lady Titans’ output, while Katie Dettwiller (14.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, 5.1 blocks on 77 percent shooting) doesn’t sit too far behind. Ava Hassel (9.8 points, 4.2 assists, 3.2 steals), Taylor Schmidt (8.8 points, 4.2 steals), and Molly Hoover (6.5 assists, 2.9 steals) have all been critical for Notre Dame. Ali Smith’s 4.7 points per affair and Clara Hash’s 3.4 points per bout heads up a strong bench.
Despite defeating Clay by a 23-point margin on Thursday evening, Kayla Wiley’s New Boston Lady Tigers (12-2) were left off of the back half of the receiving votes poll even with All-Ohio caliber talents in Mariah Buckley, Ali Hamilton, and Peyton Helphenstine on the roster. South Webster was also omitted with a 10-4 overall mark despite having All-Ohio caliber talents in Ellie Jo Johnson and Madison Cook on the roster. Three of the Lady Jeeps’ four losses (two to Minford, one to Vinton County) are to teams ranked inside an Associated Press Girls Basketball Poll.
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @KColleyPDT