Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
After another full week of high school basketball season, here’s this week’s Shootaround:
A. Notre Dame’s girls are right on schedule. After a 46-44 win to begin the season over South Webster, the Titans haven’t left any doubts since. Take this past week for instance, where they handed 54-23, 51-28 and 65-38 losses to Ironton St. Joe, Symmes Valley and Huntington. Junior guard Ava Hassel is embracing her role as the team’s go-to scorer at 16.3 points per game, senior Taylor Schmidt is her partner in crime at 11.3, and freshman Annie Dettwiller has provided another viable scoring option. Claire Dettwiller and Lauren Campbell have been active on th glass, Olivia Smith always provides important minutes, and Isabel Cassidy can connect with nylon from anywhere. This week, Notre Dame will meet with East and then host New Boston in a battle at the top of the SOC I standings.
B. I don’t think you’ll find a team that plays harder than Adena’s girls. While the Warriors aren’t the best shooting team in the world, they hustle after every loose ball, box out well in the paint and give it their all on a nightly basis. Seniors Hannah Stark and Abby French lead the way but Adena has plenty of athleticism in Jadyn Smith, Makaela Lovely and Makenna Lovely, and plenty of size in Jenna Martin and Sydney Foglesong. One year after finishing 6-16, the team has matched their win total at 6-1. They face a tough week against the likes of Unioto and Piketon, but you can bet your bottom dollar they’ll go in with a never-say-die attitude.
C. If you’ve seen the final scores, you know that Chillicothe’s boys continue to just light up their opponents. The Cavaliers have cruised, and I mean that word literally, to a 6-0 start. This past week, they beat Adena, Miami Trace and Washington by an average margin of 42.3 points … yes, that’s an actual statistic. Brandon Noel has been magnificent under the bucket, Jayvon Maughmer has been consistent in everything he does, and Tre Beard has provided stability at the one. Noel is shooting 59.4 percent from the field, Maughmer has 90 points, 30 rebounds and 25 assists, and Beard has hit on 18-of-31 3-point attempts, or 58 percent. The offensem led by those three, is the most dangerous in the area while the defense has impressed as well.
Adena girls coach Andrew Day on defending Huntington’s Allison Basye and his team’s defense as a whole after Tuesday’s overtime win:
“Allison is an incredible player and she does things on the court that most players can’t do. We knew defending her was going to be a tall task. She’s an incredible talent and we just wanted to contain her. Everything we do starts with the defensive end of the floor. We know we’re going to have nights where we struggle to shoot it so we have to play really, really hard. To these girls’ credit, they’ve bought into that and they play so, so hard.”
Wheelersburg girls coach Dusty Spradlin on the play of Kaylee Darnell after Thursday’s SOC II win over Northwest:
“Kaylee has played a ton of ball at all kinds of different levels. Her instincts are what’s so good about her. She makes a lot of good decisions and she’s in the right spots for us, helping us. Defensively, she had to work, but she does a lot of good things. If we get a little bit more used to playing with each other, I think we’re going to find opportunities that maybe you and I see that are open … they’re going to see those. But Kaylee is a catalyst with the ball and she makes people around her a lot better. We try to play off of her.”
WORTH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION
Chillicothe’s Shawnice Smith was magnificent this past week, leading the Cavaliers to two pivotal wins in conference play. On Wednesday, Smith scored 21 points and brought down seven rebounds in a 54-47 win over Washington and followed that up by scoring 16 points in Saturday’s 41-33 victory over McClain. If she’s playing well, Chillicothe is tough to beat.
Jackson’s Caleb Wallis continues to scorch opponents with his hot shooting. The senior guard has led the Ironmen to a 5-0 start and has enjoyed 25, 29 and 19-point outings in his last three contests. The Ironmen have a big week ahead of them, one that ends with a home date against Chillicothe. Wallis is the engine that keeps Jackson running.
If you haven’t watched Adena’s Logan Bennett play yet, he hasn’t taken small steps to get better, he’s taken huge leaps. The junior leads the Warriors in scoring and, most recently, is coming off a 25-point, 12-rebounds performance in a 63-48 win over Westfall. Before the season, he was touted as Adena’s best player. He’s proving that on a nightly basis.
SHOT OF THE WEEK
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Oak Hill’s Chase Hammond often gets overlooked but that’s a crime in my opinion. Hammond consistently leads the Oaks in scoring and did so this past week with 21 in a win over Point Pleasant (W. Va.), 29 in a win over Eastern and 15 in an overtime win over Minford.
With so many players around her, Unioto’s Cree Stulley often takes a backseat in the headlines as well. But when she plays aggressive, she’s as good as anyone on the court. In Saturday’s win over Huntington, Stulley had 13 points and eight rebounds. She’s averaging 12 and seven per game.
Northwest’s Ava Jenkins really left an impression after Thursday’s loss to Wheelersburg. Jenkins played a complete game, totaling eight points, six rebounds and three assists. Those numbers would’ve been higher had the Mohawks been able to take care of the basketball. On an uber-talented roster, she may be an X-factor for Northwest going forward.
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 West at Valley’s girls while Adena is Tuesday’s site as the Warriors’ girls host Unioto. Wednesday and Thursday, we’ll have updates from McClain and Notre Dame as the Tigers host Clinton-Massie and the Titans welcome in New Boston in SOC I action.
We’ll kick off the weekend with coverage from Chillicothe as the Cavaliers host Cincinnati Moeller in a marquee non-conference bout and, on Saturday, we’re bringing a double scoop of coverage starting with Coal Grove at Oak Hill’s girls and ending with Zane Trace at Unioto’s boys.
AREA TOP FIVE
1. Chillicothe (6-0), 2. Zane Trace (6-0), 3. Jackson (5-0), 4. New Boston (5-0), 5. Oak Hill (6-0)
1. Wheelersburg (6-0), 2. Unioto (5-0), 3. Notre Dame (6-0), 4. Northwest (5-1), 5. Southeastern (6-2)