Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
After another full week of high school basketball season, here’s this week’s Shootaround:
A. How about Southeastern and Adena’s hot starts on the girls side? Both teams finished near the bottom of the conference race last season but have begun this year with some success. The Panthers, behind strong play from Skylar Hice and Macie Graves, are out to a 3-2 start, while the Warriors are 4-1 thanks to a platoon of players including Hannah Stark, Makaela Lovely, Sydney Foglesong and Jaydn Smith. Southeastern began its SVC slate with a win over Piketon this past week while Adena beat Westfall. If they play to their potential, each team has a real opportunity to flip their league finish from last season. So far, they’ve been fun to watch.
B. Unioto’s boys have started the year with two statement wins, one a blowout of Miami Trace and the other a nine-point win over Logan. In both of those wins, Isaac Little has led the way. Conference play hasn’t started yet, but he certainly looks able to build a strong POY resume while playing with a chip on his shoulder. Meanwhile, he’s getting help from multiple teammates around him including Josh Lambert, Carson and Cameron DeBord, Reece Wheeler, Evan Park and Nate Keiser. The Shermans entered the season as an afterthought to compete for a conference title. They’ll continue to play with that thought in the back of their minds.
C. After a shaky start to the season in a win over South Webster, Notre Dame’s girls have left no doubt who the better team was in each of their last three games. With Ava Hassel and Taylor Schimdt leading the way, the Titans have beaten Western, Clay and Huntington by an average margin of 29.7 points in 52-22, 63-31 and 65-38 victories. Hassel and Schmidt are two of the best guards in the entire region while Claire and Annie Dettwiller, Olivia Smith, Isabel Cassidy, etc. provide a great supporting cast to work with. Notre Dame is, and should be, heavily favored to win the SOC I title with talent that boasts the potential to win a district crown.
McClain girls coach Jarrod Haines on Tigers’ leading scorer Kyla Burchett:
“Kyla can flat out score. She can score from the perimeter and she can get to the basket. She does a great job establishing that. She’s smart, she reads her defender really well and she knows when she needs to get to the basket and when she needs to pull up and hit. She’s always got the green light.”
Minford coach Shane Davis on what his team needs to do to get out of an early season slump:
“We’ve always got a chance to win. We’ve got all kinds of talent, in the starting lineup and on the bench. We just have to shoot the ball better. Once we put it together, we’ll be pretty good. I tell the girls all the time that the potential is there. It’s taken a little bit to get going. But we’ll find it.”
WORTH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION
If you haven’t watched Washington’s Shawna Conger play yet, make sure and do so before her senior year ends. The senior guard has shown the ability to take over a game when needed while leading the Blue Lions to a 3-1 start. In a 39-36 win over Minford Saturday, Conger had 19 points alongside three rebounds and four assists. She’s the team’s engine.
Wheelersburg’s Alaina Keeney has been straight money so far. The Pirates’ talented sophomore has led her team to two season-opening wins with game-highs of 20 and 15 points. Keeney was effective last season but it looks as if she’s taken her game to the next level. If you get the chance to catch her play, take it.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Green’s Anna Knapp is a name you need to jot down. The Bobcats’ freshman has played like a veteran while her team has enjoyed a 3-0 start. So far, Knapp has accounted for 25 points and 27 rebounds, including 15 in this past week’s 55-38 win over Ironton St. Joe. She’s 4-of-7 from 3-point land and adds another scoring option for the Bobcats.
Chillicothe continues its onslaught against opposing teams behind its leader Jayvon Maughmer. The senior and Cedarville-bound forward scored 19 points alongside three rebounds and four assists in a 64-43 win over Hillsboro Friday night. He was 8-of-13 from the field and 2-of-3 from deep while the Cavaliers, as a team, shot 25-of-52 from the floor.
WHAT’S ON TAP
As usual, our team will be out and about this week with many interesting games on the schedule. Here’s where you can for sure find us this week.
Monday, it’s Wheelersburg at Oak Hill’s girls while Huntington is Tuesday’s site as the Huntsmen’ girls host Adena. Wednesday and Thursday, we’ll have updates from McClain, Waverly and Northwest.
We’ll kick off the weekend with coverage from Huntington as the Huntsmen host Unioto in boys and girls action and, on Saturday, we’re bringing a double scoop of coverage starting with Piketon at Eastern’s girls and ending with Paint Valley at Southeastern’s boys.
AREA TOP FIVE
1. Chillicothe (3-0), 2. Zane Trace (3-0), 3. Jackson (2-0), 4. New Boston (2-0), 5. Adena (1-0)
1. Unioto (2-0), 2. Wheelersburg (2-0), 3. Notre Dame (4-0), 4. Northwest (4-0), 5. Waverly (3-0)