Central Ohio athletes excelled outside (spring sports) and inside (Ohio North-South All-Star Basketball games) last week. More opportunities present themselves this week with the Lancaster Fulton Relays headlining the area’s track schedule and the Centennial Stellar Softball Classic at Ohio State grabbing diamond attention.
Area basketball players had one last chance to show off their skills in the Ohio North-South All-Star game at Capital University. Several central Ohio athletes shined, including Bishop Hartley’s Ben Siefert, who took MVP honors for the North’s 116-98 win in the Division III-IV boys game. The 6-2 senior drained four three-pointers and finished with a game-high 16 points and four assists.
In the girls Division I-II game, three central Ohio players pitched in for a 90-70 win over the North. Ohio State recruit Emilee Harmon of Pickerington Central tallied 13 points and seven rebounds. Dublin Coffman’s Becca Bornhorst, bound for Butler, accounted for 12 points and five rebounds and Coffman teammate Sam MacKay had 10 points and six rebounds.
Grove City’s Jon Smith, a St. Louis recruit, had maybe the best performance from any player, hitting 10 of 11 shots, for 21 points for the South in the boys Division I and II game.
With basketball now in the rearview mirror, several teams in the district have received notice in the state baseball and softball polls. Division I had five baseball schools ranked (Gahanna fifth, Dublin Jerome sixth, Hilliard Davidson 13th, Pickerington Central 14th and Grove City 17th). Bishop Watterson led in Division II in seventh, followed by Hebron Lakewood in 16th, last year’s Division II state runner-up Canal Winchester in 17th and DeSales at 19.
Marion Pleasant was 15th in Division III, while Division IV was led by Newark Catholic in eighth and Berne Union holding No. 16.
In the first softball poll, Grove City was ranked second, followed by Teays Valley in eighth and No. 10 Pickerington Central in Division I. Hebron Lakewood was No. 3 in Division III, while Bishop Ready tied for fourth and Wellington came in at No. 10. Danville was seventh in Division IV.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Valerie Conn, Madison-Plains, softball: In the last four games, Conn has thrown three one-hitters, and, in her latest outing, pitched a no-hitter against Hillsboro last week in a South Central Ohio League game. Conn fanned 11 batters and also homered in her second consecutive game. Madison-Plains is 10-0 on the season.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Mount Vernon baseball: The Mount Vernon baseball team swept a doubleheader from traditional small-school power Newark Catholic 15-5 and 9-5 to improve its mark to 8-2 on the season.
The Yellow Jackets took the lead in the first game on back-to-back two-RBI singles off the bats of Brian Hoar and Kolton Wilson to take a 6-4 lead. Mount Vernon played add-on from there, giving a win to starter Luke Wilson.
In the second game, designated hitter Derek Baker had the big blow with his first high school grand slam, putting the Jackets in front 7-4.
“It was like euphoria to me,” Baker told the Mount Vernon News. “I haven’t really been driving the ball as much but, now I’m feeling more confident and I’m getting back into the swing of things and keep it going, hopefully.”
NEWS, NOTES & NUGGETS
Defending home: The Washington Court House girls track team captured the title at its Blue Lion Relays for the third consecutive season, posting 86 points. Washington finished first in the discus, shuttle hurdle relay (Taylor Alsop, Anna Frazier, Maggie McDonald and Alyssa Daugherty); sprint medley relay (Daugherty, Alsop, Cortney Merritt and Erin Ross) and shot put.
Campbell honored: Circleville tennis coach Dan Campbell was honored before the Circleville Invitational last Saturday as a monument was unveiled in front of the tennis courts. Campbell was the first tennis coach in school history when the boys program started in 1975. Campbell has coached the boys program since inception and the girls program during different times, including presently – combining for 54 seasons in total.
“As with any sport, you value the association with quality people,” Campbell said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to coach some quality players and people.”
Nice debut: After being called up from the junior varsity team, Amanda-Clearcreek catcher Audrey Chattos was 3-for-4 and a RBI in a 5-2 softball win over Whitehall at the Lancaster softball classic. Chattos began the day with three hits in a 6-3 loss to Licking Valley.
Feeling hitterish: The Marion Pleasant baseball team had the bats working against Sparta Highland, pounding 20 hits in a 18-1 win in five innings.
Four Spartans (Taylor Braun, Cory Snyder, Elijah Sparling and Andy Kundrat) had three hits apiece and four others contributed two knocks (Brad Potts, Corey Kubbs, Corey Nielsen and Jeff Phillips) each as Pleasant improved to 9-2 on the season.
Splitting two: North Union and Triad baseball split a twin bill, with North Union winning the first game 4-1 and Triad coming back to double up the Wildcats 4-2 in the second game.
North Union, now 7-4 on the season, was led by Ben Nauman going a perfect 4-for-4 with three RBIs in the first game. The Wildcats collected 10 hits.
In the second game, it was about piecing together a few hits for Triad, as T.J. Teets, Austin Dixon, Quinton Yocum, Ethan James, Kaleb Deam and Zach Ford each had a hit for the Cardinals, which improved to 10-4.
Getting one in: After getting hit hard by rain, the Teays Valley softball team decided to hit its next opponent hard, which turned out to be the Circleville Lady Tigers. In its only game of the week, Teays Valley collected a dozen hits and beat Circleville 10-0 in a Mid-State League Buckeye game. Keelia Nester led the Lady Vikings, now 10-0 on the season, with three hits. Kelsey Price, Courtney Branson and Megan Heslop chipped in four hits.
Handing out losses: The Licking Valley baseball team handed Zanesville its first losses of the season 12-6 and 6-5 in a doubleheader. Cory Cooperrider had a sparkling doubleheader for Valley, going 6-for-6. He also chipped in three RBIs in the first game.
Nathan Hopkins, Chase Houston, Drew Ryan and Jason Holman had two hits apiece in the first game
In the second game, Houston, Cole Blake and Keith Keyes all had two hits each for 9-1 Valley.
Gahanna baseball at Newark, today
Hebron Lakewood baseball at Newark Catholic, today
Canal Winchester softball at Teays Valley, Thursday
Logan Elm Invitational track and field, Friday
Lancaster Fulton Relays, Friday
Dublin Jerome baseball at Olentangy Liberty, Friday
Centennial Stellar Softball Classic at Ohio State, Friday and Saturday
Licking Valley baseball doubleheader at Grove City, Saturday