Oak Hill’s boys basketball team – the defending Division IV state champions – received a very late Christmas present this week, while South Webster’s Kayla Cook – a Cincinnati recruit – added her name to a list of the state’s top girls basketball scorers ever. There were several other heroes and happenings this past week in Southeast Ohio as well. Here’s who did what…
An amazing milestone for a southeast senior is where this week’s news starts. The story comes from the Southern Ohio Conference where a sharp shooter from South Webster High School put herself in the company of some elite scorers in Ohio history. Her great week didn’t stop there. Later in the week, she received a great honor off the floor and then finished the week with a 38-point performance. Check out this week’s Player of the Week section for all the details.
Speaking of our top honors this week, the story our Team of the Week provided us is quite impressive as well. This Scioto Valley Conference squad was facing a team chasing perfection, but perfection was stopped. Our top team then finished off their conference season with an easy win as they prepare to take their No. 2 sectional seed next week and start a tournament run.
In terms of tournament talk, it’s that time of year for the girls. This week will start sectional play around the southeast as heavyweights like Oak Hill, Unioto, Zane Trace, Adena, Eastern Meigs, Waterford, North Adams, Marietta, and others start their quest for the Final Four. There are too many sites, match-ups, and times to hit on every single game, but this week’s On Tap section does highlight some possibilities to watch.
On the boys’ side, this past weekend was Selection Sunday so to speak. The voting took place giving top seeds to Logan Elm and Washington Court House in Division II, Zane Trace, Oak Hill, and Peebles in Division III, and Eastern Meigs and South Webster in Division IV.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Adena Girls Basketball: As blogged last week, Division III Adena knocked off the tenth-ranked Division II team in Unioto, and in the process ruined their bid for a perfect season. The 67-64 win avenges a 64-40 loss earlier this season, and it snaps Unioto’s 36-game SVC winning streak – a streak just two shy of the all-time conference record.
In the win, freshman Jenny Grigsby scored 20 points and sophomore Autumn Smith added 19 points. Junior guard Brytan Givens was also in double figures with 14 points.
For Unioto, who loses the golden basketball but still wins the outright Scioto Valley Conference title, juniors Janae Driggs and Mackenzie Arledge scored 25 points and 17 points respectively.
Adena finished off the week by blowing out Westfall 53-22 Saturday afternoon. In this win, Smith scored 13 points, Grigsby scored 12 points, and senior Kirsti Yates added 11 points. The win completes the conference season for Adena at 12-2. The Warriors finished in outright second-place – just one game behind conference champion Unioto and one ahead of third-place Zane Trace.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Kayla Cook, South Webster Girls Basketball: Scoring her 2,000th career point and becoming her school’s all-time leading scorer earlier in the week would have probably been enough to earn Kayla Cook this honor, but the South Webster senior went ahead and dropped 38 points on Lucasville Valley in a 67-57 win as an encore. The Cincinnati-bound star was also announced as a nominee for the McDonald’s All-American Team. Cook’s Lady Jeeps finished the season at 15-5 overall and 10-4 in the SOC II – a mark that gives South Webster an outright second-place finish.
NEWS, NOTES, & NUGGETS
Tri Valley Conference Title Takers: The boys and girls from the TVC could have champions in both the Ohio and Hocking Divisions finish with perfect conference records. In boys, Athens, who defeated Meigs Friday night 65-48, is 10-0 in Ohio Division play and is just one win shy of winning an outright title. In the Hocking, Eastern Meigs is now 8-0 and in the same situation as Athens.
On the girls’ side, Alexander has completed their Ohio title in perfect fashion while Waterford has done the same on the Hocking side.
Another key TVC headline this week came from Vinton County where the Vikings defeated Nelsonville York and Piketon to improve to 12-4 overall. In the two wins, Dylan Guthrie recorded two monster nights. Friday, he scored 22 points and grabbed 22 rebounds, and then in Saturday’s win the senior scored 14 points and pulled down 26 rebounds.
Other Southeast Championships: Ironton boys defeated Logan 68-58 Friday night to wrap up the SEOAL champion. Zac Carter scored 27 to lead Ironton. On the girls’ side, Marietta finished off their run with wins over Jackson and Ironton. The Lady Tigers finish the season with a 17-3 overall mark and a 13-1 SEOAL record.
In the Ohio Valley Conference, Chesapeake knocked off Fairland 67-55 behind 23 points from Austin McMaster to stay perfect in the championship run. In SOC I girls, New Boston won the league for the fourth straight season.
Zane Trace Inches Closer to Title: Kirk Maxwell continued his fine play this week as the Zane Trace senior scored 26 points – giving him 1,100 for his career – to lead his Pioneers to a 72-55 win over Westfall. Senior Rick Chamberlin and Gabe Haynes added 17 and 16 points respectively as Zane Trace is now just two wins shy of winning the outright Scioto Valley Conference title. Westfall junior Zak Smith recorded a monster night in the loss scoring 24 points, grabbing 10 rebounds, and blocking six shots.
Piketon, who is the team just one game back of Zane Trace, did keep the pressure on Friday night as Evan Legg scored 21 points to lead the Redstreaks to an easy 72-45 win over Southeastern.
One Loss Oaks Now Perfect: Confused? Here is how it became the case this week. Oak Hill had lost to a team out of West Virginia (St. Joseph CC) back in December; however, they found out this week that St. Joseph had to forfeit some early wins including the one over Oak Hill which turned the defending state champs into one of Ohio’s unbeatens.
In their latest win, their unbeaten status was in jeopardy early. Lucasville Valley stormed out to a double-digit lead, but Oak Hill was able to cut it to seven at the break and then outscored the Indians 34-14 after halftime to win it 57-44.
Leading the way for Oak Hill was Kyle Ondera with 26 points. Jesse Sloan added 14 points. For Valley in the loss, Blake Yates scored a team-high 20 points. Oak Hill is now 17-0 overall and 10-0 in SOC II play. The Oaks face both South Webster and Waverly in the upcoming week in key conference battles.
Speaking of Oak Hill and being perfect, the Lady Oaks of Oak Hill finished off their 20-0 season this week. This is the fourth perfect season for Oak Hill in the last 10 years as they hope to start a return trip to the Final Four.
ECOL Leaders: Cambridge girls completed their championship campaign this week with a 71-19 win over Claymont and a 56-41 win over River View. The Lady Bobcats finished unbeaten in the ECOL and 18-2 overall. Claymont was also involved in another big storyline this week in the ECOL has River View’s Olivia Neace scored 36 points in a 52-42 win.
On the boys’ side, Dover continues to lead the way. Dover defeated Meadowbrook this week to keep their lead in tact.
Buzzer Beater: Tri Valley held off West Muskingum to improve to 14-2 overall and 12-1 in the Muskingum Valley League. The win sets up the showdown Monday night when they travel to John Glenn.
In the win, Clay Cameron scored 23 points, but it was a Cameron pass to Casey Williams that resulted in a game-winning score at the buzzer that helped the Scotties to the win. In the loss, Austin Brock scored 23 points to lead West.
Tri Valley girls have had an easier time capturing the MVL title. The question now is will they complete their season in perfect fashion. Tri Valley is currently 18-0 overall.
OVAC Title Rundown: If you are not familiar with Ohio Valley Athletic Conference then you better pay close attention. The OVAC is a conference divided into four classes. There is a total of nearly 50 schools (only thirty some which are eligible for championship play). Teams are ranked based on a scoring system (similar to computer points in football) and then put into a playoff of sorts to determine the class champion.
On the girls’ side, it is playoff time. Indian Creek captured the 4-A title for the third straight year as they defeated Steubenville. Edison won the 3-A championship by knocking off top-ranked St. Clairsville. Fort Frye defeated top-seeded Shadyside 40-36 to take the 2-A title, and in1-A, Beallsville held off Bridgeport 32-21 to take the championship.
OVAC Wrestling: Cameron captured the 1-A title with 81 points. In 2-A it was Shadyside recording a comfortable win over the likes of Caldwell and Barnesville. In 3-A, Oak Glenn was 38 points better than St. Clairsville to win the title, and Parkersburg South won the 4-A title – a class that includes Steubenville in third place.
Shadyside Boys Still Unbeaten: The Tigers of Shadyside rolled over Barnesville 85-49 to improve their record to a 16-0 overall. Justin Andes scored 16 points to lead the Tigers. Nick Schuetz scored 14 points while Heath Brooks and Patrick O’Donnell each added 12 points. Shadyside has earned the #1 seed in the 2-A bracket of the OVAC playoffs. They will face Barnesville once again in the semifinal match-up next week.
Championship Flight: The Eagles of Eastern held off Sciotoville East 58-56 to claim the outright Southern Ohio Conference I outright title. The Eastern seniors played a huge role in the clinching win as Kole Wheeler scored 13 points as did Kevin Montgomery. Doug McVey recorded 12 points and Derek Lawhorn added 10 points. Jon Garrett of East scored a game-high 22 points in the loss.
The win looked early as if it were going to come rather comfortably as Eastern enjoyed a double-digit lead; however East used a third-quarter spurt to make things tight. Finally, the two teams were tied at 56 when Wheeler delivered the game-winner just before the game’s final seconds ticked away.
Perfect Peebles: The 1,000 point pair of Blake Justice and Andrew Seaman were slow getting started as their Indians found themselves down 10 at halftime, but Justice was able to string together some clutch shots late to draw them close and Seaman delivered the game-winner as the Peebles escaped with a 67-65 win. Justice finished with 24 and Seaman added 23 as both knocked down four triples to help Peebles stay perfect.
The next night the Indians were challenged again, but again were up to the challenge defeating a very good Eastern Brown team. Peebles is now 17-0 and were named the No. 1 seed in the Waverly Division III Sectional.
Tri Valley vs. John Glenn, Monday, February 15th, John Glenn High School: This is the battle for the Muskingum Valley League crown. Both enter with one loss in conference play.
Ohio Valley Conference, Boys Basketball, Championship Semi-Finals, Tuesday, Tuesday, February 16th & Saturday, February 20th, high seed is the home team in first round with OUE hosting the finals: As explained above the girls just finished up their championship weekend and now it is the boys turn. Below is the Final Four for each class.
#4 East Liverpool at #1 Wheeling Park
#3 Steubenville at #2 John Marshall
#4 Harrison Central at #1 Magnolia
#3 Weir at #2 St. Clairsville
#4 Barnesville at #1 Shadyside
#3 Steubenville Central at #2 Shenandoah
#4 Valley at #1 Bridgeport
#3 Hundred at #2 Bishop Donahue
Huntington vs. Zane Trace, Boys Basketball, Friday, February 19th, Zane Trace High School, Freshmen game tips at 4:45 p.m. Barring an upset Wednesday at Paint Valley, Zane Trace will be trying to complete their championship season in the Scioto Valley Conference.
Saturday, February 20th, Girls Basketball, Sectional Championships: After several semifinal battles around the southeast this week, hosting sites will play sectional championships this week. Below are sites and divisions:
Adena High School (Division II): If seeds hold this site could see some great match-ups such as Unioto vs. McClain and Miami Trace vs. Logan Elm.
Alexander High School (Division II): Here you have top seed Marietta trying to get out. There is also potential for a great match-up with Sheridan and South Point.
Division III Sites include Rock Hill High School, Lucasville Valley High School, & Wellston High School: Top seeds Oak Hill (Rock Hill), North Adams (Valley), and Zane Trace (Wellston) all start their tournament trail.
NOTE: A few of the D-IV finals will be played Thursday night.
Northwest High School (Division IV): SOC champion, New Boston is the top seed at this location.
Athens High School (Division IV): Waterford and Eastern Meigs will draw a lot of attention at this site; however, South Webster enters the D-IV tournament having played a D-III heavy schedule. The Jeeps are the No. 4 seed. They are one of the few final games that will be played Thursday night.