10 Players to Watch: Power, Finesse, Touch, Personality…They’ve got it all


The 35th annual Ohio State Girls Basketball Tournament

It’s a crazy collection of
talent and it will be on hand this weekend at the girls basketball state
tournament. The following are 10 players you want to make sure to
your headed to the Schott. Most of these girls will be headed to the
hoop this weekend.


It’s a crazy collection of
talent and it will be on hand this weekend at the girls basketball state tournament. The following are 10 players you want to make sure to see if
your headed to the Schott. Most of these girls will be headed to the hoop this weekend.

1. Ally Mallot, Middletown Madison:  The 6-3 junior is the No. 1 recruit in the state in her class and averages 18 points, seven rebounds, five assists and 2.8 blocks. Mallot is being courted by every major college basketball program in the country, including UConn (head coach Geno Auriemma has watched her play this season). Mallot is also among the Top 3 students in her class academically and both her parents are teachers at Madison.

“She’s very humble, very grounded and only concerned about her basketball team,” Madison head coach John Rossi said. “She’s playing for the front of her uniform and not the back. She really epitomizes that.”

2. Natasha Howard, Toledo Waite:
The potential Ms. Basketball winner was the AP’s D-I player of the year and is headed to Florida State. She’s also a McDonald’s All-American and will return to the Schottenstein Center in a couple weeks for the nationally televised all-star game. Howard averages 24.5 points per game.

“Natasha Howard is Natasha Howard” Waite head coach Manny May said. “She can do everything but doesn’t need to because she has teammates she can rely on.”

3. Cassie Sant, Kettering Fairmont:
The Dayton recruit is one of the state’s top post players and is a four-time All-Greater Western Ohio Conference selection (Player of the Year this year). Sant averages 13 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.6 blocks and 1.3 steals per game.

“Cassie does a great job of seeing the floor,” Fairmont head coach Tim Cogan said. “She can get the ball to other people when she’s double-teamed. She also simply does a very good job of scoring and defending for us as well.”

4. Ashley Christie, Kettering Alter:
A three-time Girls Greater Cincinnati League selection (two-time first team), Christie is the Knights leading scorer (10.9 points). She broke onto the scene as a sophomore in the 2008 D-II final when she was named the Tournament MVP after scoring a game-high 20 points in the Knights win over Hathaway Brown. Last year against the Blazers in the semifinals, Christie dialed up just three points. Christie had a game-high 13 points in the Knights 36-34 win over rival Chaminade Julienne in last week’s regional final. Christie is headed to Mount St. Mary’s University (Md.).

5. Mylan Woods, Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown:
The senior and Northwestern recruit will be playing in her seventh state tournament game. A starter as a freshman, Woods has scored 75 points at the state tournament and is averaging 14.5 points per game this year.

“She’s a great athlete and scorer,” Walsh Jesuit head coach Peter Zaccari said. “She’s just a terrific all-around player.”

6. Jenna Pew, Smithville:
The senior is a two-time district player of the year and is averaging 21.2 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. Pew is the school’s all-time leading scorer (over 1,600 points) and has averaged a double-double the last two years. Pew shoots over 60-percent from the field and 80-percent from the foul line.

“She stepped in as a freshman and has never looked back,” Smithville head coach Mike Miller said. “Not only is she the leading scorer in school history, she’s the second leading rebounder and third in assists. There are people in the state that are taller than her, but I don’t know if I’ve seen a post player with quite the footwork she has.”

Pew, who was also first team All-Ohio in volleyball, will play that sport in college (Wheeling Jesuit, WV).

7. Hilary Weaver, Berlin Hiland:
The reigning AP D-IV POY, Weaver, a senior point guard and Lehigh recruit, recently surpassed 1,000 career points in the Hawks 56-36 district semifinal win over Beallsville. No surprise, she’s Hiland’s leading scorer (14.5 points per game).

Look for Weaver to have a better performance at this year’s state tournament than she did at last year’s where she combined for 11 points and nine fouls in two games.

“Our personality comes from our point guard Hillary Weaver,” Berlin Hiland head coach Dave Schlabach said. “She’s been running the show for four years. She’s a tough kid, she’s valedictorian and she’s motivated. Her mentality kind of filters down to the rest of our kids.”

8. Janel Olberding, Fort Loramie:
The junior has had great success on various state levels including cross country and track where she’s a regular on the awards podium.

She’d also like to have some basketball hardware.

Olberding leads Loramie in scoring (13.5 points), assists and steals.
“Janel is a great athletic player,” Fort Loramie head coach Carla Siegel said.

9. Ameryst Alston, Canton McKinley:
The sophomore guard is averaging 18.5 points per game and quickly establishing herself as a player of note for years to come. Last year as a freshman, Alston had 16 points, six rebounds, four assists and four TOs in a state semifinal loss to Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame.

10. Amanda Hyde, Findlay Liberty-Benton:
The senior stalwart is a four-year starter and the only girl in Blanchard Valley Conference history to win the Player of the Year award three times. Hyde averages 21 points and six rebounds a game. She’s headed to Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.

“She’s a very balanced scorer,” Liberty-Benton head coach Nate Irwin said. “She can shoot from 3, she can score inside and she’s a great free throw shooter (91-percent).

“She’s definitely our go-to girl.”

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