In any sport, being named as an All-State competitor speaks volumes to the kind of individual talent that one is.
There were quite a few such talents on both the boys and girls basketball sides of the coin in Scioto County this past season, and that was proven again when seven student-athletes from the county were named as Ohio Prep Sports Writers Association (OPSWA) All-Ohio caliber talents on Monday evening by a state panel.
Behind his double-double averages of 17.6 points and 10.8 rebounds, along with his 3.1 assists, 2.2 steals and a block on 57 percent shooting, Wheelersburg’s Tanner Holden became one of only three players from the Southeast District – the others being Paint Valley’s Dylan Swingle and Trimble’s Randy Hixson – to obtain First-Team All-State accolades in either Division III or Division IV.
Holden, who put together a monster performance in the Division III, Region 11 Semifinals against Harvest Prep by accumulating 35 points, 13 rebounds, four blocks, and three steals during the affair on 70 percent shooting from the field, holds offers from Cleveland State, Marshall, Ohio, and Toledo with a full Elite Youth Basketball League campaign and an entire high school season still to play.
On the Honorable Mention All-State list, Holden’s fellow teammate, Cole Lowery, along with Portsmouth’s Daniel Jordan, each made the squad in their final seasons of high school play.
Lowery averaged 13.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and two steals per game on 37 percent shooting from three-point range, while Jordan, a springy and active forward, obtained 11.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, and 1.4 steals per game on 56 percent shooting.
The Division IV All-State honorees were led by three high-scoring, do-it-all athletes and a fourth individual who serves as one of the most promising freshmen around.
Kade Conley, who collected 21 points, eight rebounds, and six assists for New Boston, along with Tanner Kimbler, who averaged 22.1 points, 2.6 rebounds, two assists, and two steals on 44 percent from the field and the three-point line while shooting 87 percent from the free throw stripe, earned All-Ohio Honorable Mention accolades. The pair were two of the best point guards in the SOC and in the Southeast District – and Kimbler still has one more year to play to improve on his totals.
The pair were joined by another 20-point-plus per game scorer in South Webster’s Shiloah Blevins, who averaged an incredible 22 points and 14 rebounds per game. Like Kimbler, the 6-5 forward also has one year to play, and could very well be vying with Kimbler for All-Southeast District Player of the Year honors in 2019.
On the All-Ohio Special Mention list, New Boston put two players on the unit as the Tigers’ Kyle Sexton, with his 14 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocks per bout, made the team. Sexton’s court vision and ability to finish from in close to out around the 15 to 18 foot marker makes the freshman one of the more lethal talents coming up in all of Scioto County.
2018 DIVISION III OPSWA ALL-OHIO BOYS BASKETBALL
Tanner Holden, Wheelersburg, 6-6, jr., 17.6
Daniel Jordan, Portsmouth, 6-2, sr., 11.7, Cole Lowery, Wheelersburg, 6-1, sr., 13.7
2018 DIVISION IV OPSWA ALL-OHIO BOYS BASKETBALL
Tanner Kimber, Franklin Furnace Green, 5-10, jr., 22.1; Kade Conley, New Boston Glenwood, 6-0, sr., 21.0; Shiloah Blevins, South Webster, 6-5, jr., 22.0
Kyle Sexton, New Boston Glenwood, 6-5, fr., 14.0
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @KColleyPDT