McARTHUR — Vinton County’s Dustin Guthrie is headed to the Northwest territory.
At least in the northwestern part of Ohio anyway, as Guthrie has announced his intention to play college basketball at the University of Northwestern Ohio.
According to University of Northwestern Ohio men’s basketball coach Chris Adams, Guthrie officially signed with the Racers last week.
Northwestern Ohio, a member of the American Mideast Conference, is located in Lima.
Guthrie, a third-team Division II all-Ohioan this past season, is the second member of the Racers’ recruiting class this spring.
“Dustin Guthrie’s presence on our front line will allow us to be more adept and consistent when attempting to score in the paint,” said Adams in a press release. “Dustin has a nice shooting touch from the perimeter along with the ability to be an effective back-to-the basket post player.”
Guthrie is a three-time all-Ohio honoree, including being named Division II Special Mention as a junior. He is a two-time all-Southeast District first-teamer as awarded by the Associated Press.
He was a second-team all-district performer as a sophomore.
This past season, however, was Guthrie’s best with the Vikings, having landed third-team all-Ohio honors as well as the Division I-II Player of the Year from the District 13 Coaches Association.
He is also the two-time Player of the Year in the Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division, twice leading the Vikings to the league championship with a perfect 10-0 division record.
In Guthrie’s final two seasons, the Vikings amassed an impressive record of 44-3, with 22 wins, a Division II sectional championship and a perfect regular season in 2006-07.
The Vikings repeated the 22 triumphs — and as sectional champions — this past season, and took the next step as the program captured its first ever boys basketball district crown.
For those into numbers, Vinton County has won 50 of its last 54 games overall. Included in that stretch is 33-game regular season win streak, which Huntington snapped on Dec. 28.
For the 79 games in which Guthrie played, the Vikings were 65-14.
Individually, Guthrie averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds per game this past season, shot an impressive 67-percent from the field, and made 7-of-18 three-point shots.
He blocked 23 shots, made off with 23 steals, and averaged exactly three assists per contest.
He also eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau this season, surpassing the mark on Jan. 25 against Belpre.
Guthrie graduates as the school’s second all-time leading scorer and rebounder, with 1,152 points and 726 rebounds.
As for his college choice, Vinton County coach Matt Combs said Guthrie has made a good decision.
“I’m really excited about the choice Dustin has made to go to UNOH,” said Combs. “I have really had the pleasure of getting to know Coach Adams over the last few months, and I really think he is a coach that cares about his kids and will really help to improve Dustin as a player, and help him continue to grow as a young man. From everything Coach Adams has told me, it seems that Dustin will fit in nicely to their system and style of play.”
Combs concurred with Adams’ assessment of Guthrie’s ability.
“I think Dustin will be a very good college player. Much of what Dustin does well fits in better to the college game than the high school game,” he said. “A lot of the time in high school, he saw zones that surrounded him, or double teams nearly every time he caught the ball. He will probably see more one-on-one situations where he can show his offensive skills. Dustin is a great passer also. Obviously, at the college level, he is going to be surrounded by a lot of other really good players, so his passing skills should show up even more. The bottom line is that Dustin is a talented player who is also really coachable. I think he will do well at UNOH.”
But before that, Guthrie — who played in the Ohio-West Virginia Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis all-star game in March — has one more high school game to play.
That being this Sunday’s Ohio North-South All-Star Classic.
Guthrie is the District 13 North-South representative, and thus a member of the Division I-II South squad.
The North-South all-star games are set for Sunday at Capital University’s Capital Center in Bexley.
The Division III and IV teams will play at 3:30 p.m. followed by the boys teams at 5:15 p.m.
The two girls games will be played at 12 p.m. (Division III-IV) and 1:30 p.m. (Division I-II).
Tickets cost $8 per person and admission is good for all four games.