SCIOTO COUNTY — While this basketball season was unlike any other in history, it was actually much more like it for Scioto County being represented on the all-Southeast District teams.
With rightful representation for the county on the 2020-21 lists, including two players and one coach earning top district honors, the all-Southeast District teams — as officially announced by the Ohio Prep Sports Writers Association on Saturday morning — were released.
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.
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.
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.
For first-team all-Ohio, two first-team players —seniors Kyle Sexton of the New Boston boys and Ava Hassel of the Notre Dame girls — were named Southeast District Division IV Players of the Year.
The six-foot five-inch Sexton actually repeated as the Division IV POY — leading the talented and highly-touted Tigers to a 19-2 regular-season campaign, and a second consecutive Southern Ohio Conference Division I championship.
For the second straight season, he averaged at least 19 points per game —posting a 19.2 points per game average over the opening 21 games of this year.
The 5-5 Hassel, now a three-time district first-teamer, shared the girls POY award with Peebles senior Jacey Justice.
Hassel hit for 20.8 points per game in her senior season, leading the Lady Titans to a 20-1 regular-season mark — part of 22-2 overall.
Both the New Boston boys and Notre Dame girls garnered at least 19 regular-season victories, as both cruised to SOC I championships in going a perfect 13-0 in the league.
By landing the district POY honors, Sexton and Hassel are automatically nominated for state Player of the Year accolades.
So too will West’s Caleb McClanahan be for the Division III boys —as the Senators’ first-year bench boss shared the Coach of the Year honors with Eastern Brown’s Rob Beucler.
McClanahan oversaw the senior-laden Senators’ true turnaround —from 7-16 a year ago to an 18-5 final record this year.
That included a 16-4 regular-season showing, including a January win at Division II stronghold Waverly in the closing seconds.
West also captured its first sectional championship since 1998 —as the 18 total wins mark the most for the program since the 22 in 1985.
For a complete list of the 2019-20 OPSWA all-Southeast District girls and boys basketball teams, please also see Saturday’s edition of The Portsmouth Daily Times.
A complete report on Scioto County’s OPSWA selections will appear online later at www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com.
Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @BoggsSports © 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved