Dedicating your time and your energy to a sport, or a set of sports, takes countless hours of hard work and dedication that, at times, can be very difficult to maintain.
However, for 35 boys and girls in Scioto County, their efforts in maintaining a consistent work ethic, along with their natural athletic abilities, officially paid off on Friday morning as those individuals were named to the 2018 All-Southeast District boys and girls units that were released to the general public.
Division III Girls
The Lady Falcons, who finished their outstanding campaign with a mark of 24-2 overall, put three players on the All-Southeast District unit, with Ashland University signee Erin Daniels leading the charge. Daniels obtained 21 points, 8.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 4.2 steals per contest for Minford and simply did it all on the way to leading Minford to one of its best seasons in school history. Ashley Blankenship, a 6-3 junior with an excellent shooting touch, added 16 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 3.8 blocks en route to the second team list, while Caitlyn Puckett, an energy bug who averaged nine points, eight rebounds, and four steals per contest, obtained third team accolades.
Dusty Spradlin’s unit, like Minford before it, also placed three individuals on the All-Southeast District list as Abbie Kallner used her strong overall scoring game to obtain 15.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.9 steals, and 2.7 assists en route to second team honors, while Ellie Ruby, a sparkplug with as high of a motor as one could hope to find, collected third team accolades behind her 9.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 4.9 steals per contest. Kaylee Darnell, a freshman who obtained 11.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 3.1 steals per contest, made the special mention list and has a very promising future ahead of her.
Behind the initial pair, the Lady Mohawks, Lady Trojans, and Lady Senators each put one player apiece on the unit. Northwest’s Haidyn Wamsley, another promising freshman who added seven points, seven rebounds, five assists, and three steals per game, obtained special mention marks, while Portsmouth’s Jasmine Eley, a junior who supplied 15 points per contest, joined her in the mix. West’s MaKayla White rounded out the list by earning Third-Team All-Southeast District honors for the second year in a row behind her 12 points per bout.
Division III Boys
On the Division III boys unit, Wheelersburg got the ball rolling early as Tanner Holden obtained First-Team All-Southeast District honors with his 17.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.2 steals, and a block per contest on 58 percent shooting. The do-it-all junior already holds offers from Cleveland State, Marshall, Ohio, and Toledo.
The Pirates’ efforts were rounded out by Cole Lowery, who averaged 13.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and two steals as of the voting en route to second team honors, while JJ Truitt added third team accolades behind his 10.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Both have proven to be proficient marksmen (each shooting 37 percent from deep) and rock-solid defenders, with Truitt’s 18 charges taken being a perfect example of that effort.
Portsmouth, who finished 16-8 in 2017-18, put two players on the list as Daniel Jordan and Matthew Fraulini obtained honors on Friday. Jordan, an energy bug who was always active around the rim for the Trojans, averaged 11.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, and 1.4 steals on 56 percent shooting, obtained Second-Team All-Southeast District honors, while Fraulini, a sophomore shooter who is sensational from beyond the arc, tallied a team-high 14.1 points per game on 41 percent shooting — including a 40 percent mark from three-point range.
The Falcons, who also put two players on the All-Southeast District list, put Cameron Dalton, a stretch four who has a proficient low-post game and a strong shooting touch from deep, on the Third-Team All-Southeast District list, while Kelton Kelley added special mention accolades. Dalton’s 11 points, eight rebounds, and four blocks, along with Kelley’s 14 points per contest, led Minford in 2017-18.
Like Portsmouth and Minford before it, the West Senators’ boys basketball program also placed two individuals on the All-Southeast District list. L.T. Maynard obtained Third-Team All-Southeast District honors behind his 13.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 2.2 steals, while Jordan Frasure collected 12.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, and a steal per game en route to special mention accolades. Both players were huge with their poise and their ability to knock down shots.
Northwest and Valley, who rounded out the Division III units with their play, each put one player on the list as the Mohawks put standout senior Kyle Leslie on the third team with his 17.1 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks, while the Indians put sharpshooter Brady Lykins, with 14.5 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 2.2 steals per contest on his resume, on the special mention list.
Division IV Girls
The Lady Titans, who finished the season with a 25-1 overall mark, put a team-high two players on the first team, and four players overall, on the All-Southeast District list as Katie Dettwiller (14.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, 5.2 blocks on 76 percent shooting) and Lexi Smith (14 points, nine rebounds, two steals on 55 percent shooting) dominated throughout the year en route to First-Team All-Southeast District honors behind their length and physicality on both ends of the floor.
Ava Hassel, who used her quickness and her brilliance at the head of most of Notre Dame’s defensive pressure sets, averaged 10.2 points, four assists, and 3.5 steals in 2017-18 en route to third team honors, while Taylor Schmidt followed her teammate’s efforts up with averages of 8.8 points and 3.8 steals per contest over the course of the year en route to special mention honors. Both of the latter pair are only of freshman and sophomore eligibility, respectively, and figure to play in the Lady Titans’ backcourt equation for a long time to come.
Kayla Wiley’s program, who finished second in the SOC I standings in 2017-18, was led by Mariah Buckley, who obtained 19 points, four rebounds, 3.5 assists, and three steals in 2017-18 to join Dettwiller and Smith on the first team as a pick-and-roll technician and an offensive mastermind overall. Ali Hamilton’s 16 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and 2.5 steals — coming off of her own crafty work in the low post, along with Peyton Helphinstine’s 10 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and two steals per game, allowed the Lady Tigers to place the latter pair on the second team and special mention lists.
As with New Boston, South Webster also placed a total of three players on the All-Southeast District team as Ellie Jo Johnson, Madison Cook, and Avery Zempter all made the list together for the second year in a row. Johnson, a 6-1 do-it-all point forward that has signed with Morehead State, averaged 18.7 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per contest to become the fourth and final D-IV girls player from Scioto County to make the first team list, while Cook — who averaged 11.7 points and 8.4 rebounds — collected third team honors. Zempter rounded out the list with a special mention honor for the Lady Jeeps.
The Lady Panthers, who put two players on the list, put Jensen Warnock, a do-it-all forward who averaged 15.8 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.4 blocks, and 2.7 assists per game this past season, on the second unit, while Sophia Balestra, who notched 8.9 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 3.1 steals per contest, earned special mention accolades.
The Lady ‘Cats and the Lady Indians, who put one player each on the All-Southeast District list, were represented by Kame Sweeney (12 points, 10 rebounds) and Bre Call (12.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, two steals) on the unit. Sweeney is one of the more promising freshmen posts in the Tri-State Area and leads a slew of young hopefuls for Green while Call, who obtained Third-Team All-Southeast District honors as a sophomore, is a solid scorer from the point guard position for Valley.
Division IV Boys
The Bobcats, who have already clinched a Division IV District Final appearance for the first time in 19 years, were led by Tanner Kimbler, who averaged a ridiculous 22.1 points, 2.6 rebounds, two assists, and two steals on 44 percent shooting from the field and three-point range in addition to his 87 percent mark from the free throw line during the regular season, obtained First-Team All-Southeast District honors. Gage Sampson, who averaged 15 points, 7.7 rebounds, and a steal per game on 59 percent shooting from the floor and 48 percent from the three-point line, added Third-Team All-Southeast District honors behind his inside-outside play, while Tayte Carver notched 11.4 points, six rebounds, and two steals per affair to notch special mention accolades.
New Boston, who finished second in the SOC I race under first-year head coach Adam Cox, placed three individuals on the First-Team All-District list. Kade Conley, a steady, do-it-all senior guard, led New Boston’s resurgent year by averaging 21 points, eight rebounds, and six assists in 2017-18 en route to First-Team All-Southeast District honors, while Kyle Sexton, a freshman with limitless potential, obtained 14 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocks to place on the Second-Team All-Southeast District unit. Tyler Caldwell, a 6-7 forward with a sweet shooting stroke, rounded out his junior season by averaging 16 points, six rebounds, and three assists to make the third team list.
Behind a player that has a case as possibly the best Division IV player in the Southeast District, Shiloah Blevins was the lone representative for the Jeeps as the junior notched First-Team All-Southeast District accolades behind his double-double average of 22 points and 14 rebounds per contest. Blevins is an inside-outside combo forward who is just scratching the surface of his potential.
In addition to South Webster, the Panthers, the Tartans, and the Titans each put one player on the All-Southeast District unit. Clay’s Caleb Cline obtained special mention honors behind his 9.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, and two steals, while Notre Dame’s Ben Mader joined Cline on the special mention list with his 12.5 points per contest. East, meanwhile, was led by Will Shope, whose 16 points per affair allowed the junior to obtain Third-Team All-Southeast District honors.
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @KColleyPDT