Over the entire Scioto County area, the combination of standout upperclassmen, as well as the young and talented underclassmen coming up, and most importantly, the overall team success that all 12 Scioto County units shared made the 2017-18 campaign one of the more frutiful ones to date for basketball lovers around the area.
On Friday afternoon, that was represented in the latest version of the All-Southeast District lists for the 2017-18 season, as 23 county athletes obtained honors, with Minford’s Erin Daniels sharing District 14, Division III Player of the Year accolades with Ella Skeens and the Lady Falcons’ Scott Caudill adding Coach of the Year honors in the district. Notre Dame’s Katie Dettwiller and South Webster’s Ellie Jo Johnson, who shared the District 14, Division IV Player of the Year award, along with the Lady Titans’ J.D. McKenzie, who earned District 14, Division IV Coach of the Year accolades, made the postseason listing as fruitful as could possibly be hoped for as far as Scioto County is concerned.
Daniels, who put together monstrous averages of 21 points, 8.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 4.2 steals per contest, shared POY honors with Skeens, a standout combo guard at Chillicothe Southeastern. Both players will be playing at women’s college basketball powerhouses next year as the former has signed to play at Ashland University while the latter will suit up for the Dayton Flyers.
Joining Daniels on the Division III, District 14 First-Team list was Ellie Ruby, who arguably had the highest motor running of anyone in the region. Wheelersburg’s point guard ultimately obtained 9.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 4.9 steals to attain a ridiciously impressive statline.
On the second team, Ashley Blankenship was Scioto County’s lone representative on that list as the junior obtained second team honors behind her 16 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 3.8 blocks per affair — despite facing consistent double-teams in the post. Abbie Kallner, a Shawnee State University commit who is one of the more proficient scorers in the Tri-State Area, obtained 15.4 points on 42 percent shooting — including a 34.4 percent mark from three-point range — and collected 2.7 steals to obtain Third Team honors, while West’s Makayla White — who averaged 12.5 points, seven rebounds, 3.8 assists, and three steals per contest, also stood out as a third-team honoree.
An additional five Scioto County players — one from each of the five Division III girls basketball programs in the county — obtained honorable mention, with Minford and Wheelersburg leading the charge by getting their third player on the All-District 14 lists in Caitlyn Puckett (nine points, 8.9 rebounds, four steals) and Kaylee Darnell (11.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.1 steals, 3.1 assists on 43.8 percent shooting), respectively. West’s Morgan Rigsby (10 points, 13 rebounds, 2.7 steals, 1.3 blocks), Northwest’s Valerie Eury (10 points, eight rebounds), and Portsmouth’s Jasmine Eley (15 points per game) rounded out the Division III honorees.
Caudill, who is in his third year of coaching at Minford, has led the Lady Falcons to a 56-14 overall mark since taking over the helm at the beginning of the 2015-16 season. Minford improved from eight wins to 13 in his first season, from 13 to 19 in his second season, and finally, from 19 to 24 wins (and still playing) in his third.
In the Division IV realm, Dettwiller, who is averaging 14.9 points, 9.7 rebounds, and five blocks on 77 percent shooting, and Johnson, who obtained — like Dettwiller has — another outstanding statline with 18.7 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.5 steals per game on 42 percent shooting, shared Player of the Year honors in the District 14, Division IV ranks. Johnson, a Morehead State University signee, can play all five positions on the floor, while Dettwiller, at 6-4, has not disappointed as a dominating, gamechanging low-post presence.
Joining the pair on the first team — and not to be forgotten about in any way — were Notre Dame’s Lexi Smith and New Boston’s Mariah Buckley. Smith and Buckley, who are two of the more steady and dependable players that a program could ever hope to have, averaged 14.2 points, nine rebounds, and two steals on 56 percent shooting and 19 points, four rebounds, 3.5 assists, and three steals in 2017-18, respectively.’
On the second unit, Ali Hamilton followed up Buckley, her teammate, by averaging 16 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and 2.5 steals in 2017-18 to make the second unit, while South Webster’s Madison Cook added 8.4 points and 11.7 rebounds for the Lady Jeeps to become the second South Webster player to make the list. Clay’s Jensen Warnock rounded out the second team with her 15.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 4.3 blocks per contest.
The Division IV realm, who doesn’t have a Third-Team list in District 14, was rounded out by Clay’s Regan Osborn, Green’s Kame Sweeney, New Boston’s Kaylee Stone, Notre Dame’s Ava Hassel, South Webster’s Avery Zempter, and Valley’s Bre Call rounded out the Honorable Mention nominations for Scioto County in the District 14, Division IV realm.
Osborn, a gritty guard, averaged nine points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.2 steals as a defensive-minded point guard. Sweeney (12 points, 10 rebounds) and Hassel (10.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.4 steals) are two of the more promising freshmen that one will find in the area. Stone (11 points, six rebounds, five steals) and Zempter, who had a 20-point outing against Minford late in the year, are knock-down shooters, while Call (12 points, four rebounds, two steals) is a standout sophomore who does it all from the point guard position.
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @KColleyPDT