Perhaps not as decorated as previous seasons, but Scioto County still had its rightful representation on the 2019-20 all-Southeast District girls and boys basketball teams —as officially announced by the Ohio Prep Sports Writers Association on Friday morning.
There were two award winners within Division IV — and representing the Southern Ohio Conference Division I — as New Boston junior Kyle Sexton captured the boys Player of the Year, while Notre Dame girls mentor J.D. McKenzie claimed Co-Coach of the Year.
Both the New Boston boys and Notre Dame girls garnered at least 20 regular-season victories, as both cruised to SOC I championships in going a perfect 14-0 in the league.
There are a dozen Scioto County programs for both boys and girls basketball — and all but one had at least one representative on either the first team, second team, third team or Special Mention unit.
The entire list is selected by an OPSWA panel representing the Southeast District, as the Associated Press is no longer affiliated with ANY all-district and/or all-Ohio teams.
Scioto County’s selections are all within either Division III or Division IV, as OPSWA all-district basketball clubs cover those which are part of the District 14 AND District 13 coaches associations.
All of Perry County’s school districts, and Fairfield Union in Fairfield County, are included as well.
Sexton, in winning the Division IV Boys POY, averaged exactly 19 points per game and grabbed 13.8 rebounds —while dishing out almost six assists (5.7), blocking almost two shots (1.7) and making off with just over two steals (2.3).
Sexton — standing six-foot five-inches tall — scored his 1,000th career point as a junior, and led the 21-1 regular-season Tigers to new heights on many levels.
New Boston won 20 regular-season games for the first time since the legendary 1960 squad reached the state tournament —and earned its first SOC championship since its last share in 1997 and its last outright in 1971.
By landing the district POY honor, Sexton is automatically nominated for state Player of the Year accolades.
McKenzie, in his 10th season as the Lady Titans’ head coach, guided Notre Dame to 20-2 regular-season record — part of a third consecutive 23-or-more win campaign combined with a third straight Division IV district championship.
McKenzie shared the COY award with Trimble’s Joe Richards — after splitting the honor with Waterford’s Jerry Close last season and taking it solo two years ago.
The Lady Titans, which played Peebles on Thursday night in the Division IV regional semifinals, totaled four players on the list —spearheaded by first-teamer Ava Hassel (5-5, Jr., 16.3 ppg).
Hassel was joined on the first team by Bri Claxon of South Webster (5-3, So., 18.5 ppg), Lexus Oiler of New Boston (5-9, Sr., 14.8 ppg) and Kasey Kimbler of Green (5-7, So., 19.5 ppg) — and is actually a repeat first-team selection.
Kimbler and Oiler were third-teamers last year.
Notre Dame’s Taylor Schmidt (5-6, Sr., 10.7 ppg) — for the second straight season — was a second-teamer, and was joined on this season’s list by Jaelyn Warnock of Clay (5-9, Sr., 10.2 ppg), Sammy Oiler of New Boston (5-6, Sr., 10.8 ppg) and Kame Sweeney of Green (5-10, Jr., 12.0 ppg).
Sweeney repeated to the list from her Special Mention selection last season.
Claire Detwiller (6-0, Jr., 6.8 ppg) was Notre Dame’s third-team pick, and is joined on the unit by South Webster’s Baylee Cox (6-0, Sr., 9.5 ppg).
Shaley Munion of Clay, Faith Maloney of South Webster, Kenzie Whitley of New Boston, Anna Knapp of Green, Olivia Smith of Notre Dame and Grace Smith of East all earned Special Mention —as both Smiths repeated to the Special Mention group.
In Division III, Wheelersburg’s Kaylee Darnell (5-6, Jr., 15.0 ppg) repeated to the first team —and was joined there by fellow junior Haidyn Wamsley (5-10, Jr., 12.0 ppg) of Northwest.
Wamsley repeated to the team after making third team last year.
Scioto County’s second-team choices included Hannah Hughes of Portsmouth (5-7, Sr., 17.7 ppg), Morgan Rigsby of Portsmouth West (5-8, Sr., 11.3 ppg), Keirah Potts of Northwest (6-1, Sr., 12.0 ppg) and Alaina Keeney of Wheelersburg (5-9, So., 10.0 ppg).
The third-team selections included Bre Call of Valley (5-6, Sr., 11.9 ppg), Maddie Slusher of Minford (5-2, Sr., 12.0 ppg), Valerie Copas of Northwest (5-9, Jr., 12.0 ppg) and Ellie Kallner of Wheelersburg (5-6, Jr., 10.1 ppg).
Call was a second-teamer last year, while Potts and Kallner both made Special Mention.
Speaking of which, those picks this time are Karsyn Conaway of Valley, Livi Shonkwiler and Hannah Tolle of Minford, and Charlie Jo Howard of Portsmouth West.
Tolle is a repeat Special Mention choice.
Besides Sexton, the Division IV boys first-team selections include his Tiger teammate Tanner Voiers (6-1, Jr., 14.5 ppg) and Gage Sampson of Green (6-1, Sr., 21.0 ppg).
Sexton and Sampson are repeaters to the first team, while Voiers was named to the Special Mention list as a member of South Webster.
Speaking of the Jeeps, Brayden Bockway (6-5, Sr., 16.0 ppg) moved up from third team last season to second team this year, as Scioto County’s only other second-teamer was Clay’s Shaden Malone (6-4, Jr., 14.3 ppg).
Third-team selections featured a first-time fivesome — Jerome McKinley of New Boston (5-11, So., 7.5 ppg), Ethan Huffman of Green (5-10, Jr., 11.0 ppg), Trae Zimmerman of South Webster (6-1, So., 11.3 ppg), Kayden Mollette of Valley (5-8, Sr., 12.9 ppg) and Jermaine Powell of Notre Dame (5-11, So., 11.7 ppg).
There were also five from the county Special Mention performers — South Webster’s Gabe Ruth, Valley’s Mason Zaler, Notre Dame’s Jarren Edgington and New Boston’s Grady Jackson and Chase Clark, with Jackson as a repeater.
In Division III, Portsmouth’s Matthew Fraulini (6-2, Sr., 17.1 ppg) and Wheelersburg’s J.J. Truitt (6-3, Jr., 15.3 ppg) touted 2020 first-team honors, and moved up a group from last season’s second team.
As for this season’s second team, the only individual named was Minford’s Elijah Vogelsong-Lewis (5-10, Jr., 13.0 ppg).
His Falcon teammate Trenton Zimmerman (6-3, So., 12.0 ppg), along with Wheelersburg’s Matthew Miller (6-0, Jr., 12.0 ppg) and Portsmouth West’s Nick Davis (6-3, Sr., 12.4 ppg), were third-team picks —as Special Mention selections included Carter McCorkle of Wheelersburg, Nathan McCormick of Minford, Miles Shipp of Portsmouth, Billy Crabtree of Northwest and Luke Howard of Portsmouth West.
Other Players of the Year included Brandon Noel of Chillicothe (Division I boys), Caleb Wallis of Jackson (Division II boys), Cam Evans of Zane Trace (Division III boys), Kenzie McConnell of Circleville (Division II girls), Lexie Arden of Ironton (Division III girls) and Jacey Justice of Peebles (Division IV girls).
Two divisions — both Division II — had Tri-Coaches of the Year chosen, while the Division III boys Co-Coaches of the Year were Nathan Speed of Fairland and Rob Beucler of Eastern Brown.
Kevin Pickerill of Eastern Brown was the girls Division III COY, while Eric Huffer of Chillicothe in Division I and Jonathan Thompson of Federal Hocking in Division IV were the same award winners for the boys.
All players which make first-team all-district automatically earn — AT LEAST — Special Mention all-Ohio, while all second-team all-district selections automatically make Honorable Mention all-state.
The all-Ohio teams are announced during the week of the respective gender’s state tournament.
For a complete list of the 2019-20 OPSWA all-Southeast District girls and boys basketball teams, please see Friday’s edition of The Portsmouth Daily Times.
Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @BoggsSports © 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved