- Features

McConnell, Leonard, Justice, Hassel lead area OPSWA all-district honorees

Derrick Webb, Staff Writer

ATHENS — The Ohio Prep Sports Writers Association released its 2020-21 All-Southeast District girls basketball list Saturday morning and four names in SOSA’s coverage area stood out from the rest.

Circleville’s Kenzie McConnell, Eastern’s Rylee Leonard, Peebles’ Jacey Justice and Notre Dame’s Ava Hassel were all chosen as their respective district’s Player of the Year.

McConnell led the Tigers in scoring 20.1 points per game. She shared the Division II POY honor with Sheridan’s Faith Stinson. Leonard, who shared the Division III honor with Coal Grove’s Addi Dillow, scored 20.4 points per night and led her Warriors to conference, sectional and district championships. 

Justice has her Indians playing in the Elite 8 and leads the entire Southeast District in scoring at 32.1 points per game. She shares the Division IV POY honor with Hassel, who led her Titans to a district championship game and a conference title.

Here’s a full look at the coverage area’s all-district selections:

DIVISION II

While McConnell is the area’s lone first-teamer in Division II, teammate Jaylah Captain, Fairfield Union’s Hannah Rauch, Miami Trace’s Magarah Bloom, Jackson’s T.J. Carpenter, McClain’s Bri Weller, and Waverly’s duo of Zoiee Smith and Paige Carter are all second-team honorees.

Third-team recipients are Chillicothe’s Jacey Harding, Unioto’s Avery Miller, Fairfield Union’s Marisa Malone, Miami Trace’s Gracee Stewart, Logan Elm’s Brynn Griffith and Hillsboro’s Gracie Dean.

The lone area special mention honoree in Division II is Circleville’s Gabby McConnell.

The Division II Coach of the Year honor is split between three parties in Circleville’s Steve Kalinoski, Vinton County’s Rod Bentley and Sheridan’s J.D. Walters.

Wheelersburg’s Kaylee Darnell is a first-team all-district selection.
CREDIT: Derrick Webb/SOSA

DIVISION III

Joining Leonard with first-team honors is Wheelersburg’s Kaylee Darnell, Huntington’s Allison Basye, North Adams’ DeLaney Harper and Fairfield’s Emma Fouch.

Second-team all-district honors were earned by Westfall’s Mahaley Farmer, Southeastern’s Macie Graves, Adena’s Jadyn Smith and Emma Garrison, Oak Hill’s Chloe Chambers, Eastern’s Mackenzie Gloff, Minford’s Livi Shonkwiler, Northwest’s Haidyn Wamsley and Valerie Copas, West’s Eden Cline and Wheelersburg’s Alaina Keeney.

Zane Trace’s Lauren Lane, Piketon’s Bailey Vulgamore, Eastern Brown’s Emma Prine, North Adams’ Wylie Shipley, Lynchburg-Clay’s Sierra Benney, West’s Lexi Deaver and Fairfield’s Ella Newkirk are third-team honorees.

Special mention honorees are Westfall’s Marissa Mullins and Gabby Patete, West’s Emma Sayre, Northwest’s Ava Jenkins, Valley’s Haley Whitt and Wheelrsburg’s Ellie Kallner.

The Division III Coach of the Year is Eastern’s Kevin Pickerill.

Paint Valley’s Olivia Smith is a first-team all-district selection.
CREDIT: Derrick Webb/SOSA

DIVISION IV

Ironton St. Joe’s Bella Whaley, Paint Valley’s Olivia Smith, Eastern’s Abby Cochenour, Green’s Kasey Kimbler and South Webster’s Bri Claxon joined Justice and Hassel with first-team honors.

Second-team honorees are Symmes Valley’s Desiree Simpson, Manchester’s Brooke Kennedy, Peebles’ Lilly Gray, Green’s Kame Sweeney and Notre Dame’s Claire Dettwiller.

Symmes Valley’s Morgan Lyons, Paint Valley’s Abbi Stanforth, Western’s Kenzie Ferneau, Peebles’ Payton Johnson, New Boston’s Shelby Easter and Kenzie Whitley, South Webster’s Faith Maloney and Notre Dame’s Annie Dettwiller are third-team all-district recipients.

Ironton St. Joe’s Emma Whaley was a special mention honoree.

The Division IV Coach of the Year is Waterford’s Jerry Close.

About Derrick Webb

Derrick is SOSA's chief content coordinator and has worked for the Chillicothe Gazette, the Portsmouth Daily Times and Eleven Warriors. He's a 13-time award-winning journalist, a self-proclaimed baseball purist, a suffering Bengals fan and has never met a stranger.
Read All Posts By Derrick Webb

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