Redskins do it again
The post season All-SCAL awards were released on Wednesday and once again the Ft. Loramie Redskins were honored with the girls Player of the Year. Junior Jessica Boerger was the top vote-getter among county coaches, following in the footsteps of her cousin Darian Rose who was the co-player of the year in 2014 and outright player of the year in 2013. While past performance doesn't guarantee future results, it would appear Jessica is the logical front-runner for next year's top award. Just don't tell that to Fairlawn super sophomore Audrey Francis, the only other underclassman on the 1st-team roster. I thought every girl on the all-county list was deserving of recognition, but the one omission that stuck out for me was Russia senior Claudia Monnin. Claudia missed most of her junior year due to ACL surgery and bounced back this season in a big way. Her best game may have been the 18 points she scored at Fairlawn to lead the Lady Raiders in a key league win back in early January. The good news for Russia fans is Claudia is still playing tournament ball...and maybe her best is yet to come!
Claudia draining a 3-pointer against Ft. Loramie early this season
All-MAC is almost right
The All-MAC girls awards were announced the same day as the All-SCAL and Marion Local super senior Allie Thobe was honored with Player of the Year. The MAC got it right it my opinion. Allie was the best player in that tough conference and very deserving of the award from everything I heard. I'm not sure who came in second, but I thought if anyone might challenge Allie it could be another senior, Meg Reineke of New Knoxville. When the Lady Rangers hosted Russia earlier this season I listened to the game on radio as Meg carried the Lady Rangers to an overtime victory over my Raiders almost single-handedly. Speaking of seniors stars, the only injustice I saw in the voting was Coldwater senior Sarah Kanney slipping to 2nd-team. How can a 1000 point scorer not be one of the top 12 girls in the conference? Sarah responded on Wednesday night like she always does...she lead her team to a tournament victory with 20 points!
Sarah is just one of two MAC girls to reach 1000 points so
far this year. The other is Player of the Year, Allie Thobe.
Meg Reineke is currently at 970 heading into tournament.
Newton girls easy to root for
Do you know who this year's Newton girls basketball team reminds me of? It's their Cross County Conference foe from last year, the Bradford Lady Railroaders. Newton extended their school record win total to 22 on Wednesday night with a tournament victory over Dayton Christian. The Lady Indians will now play for their first sectional title in school history this Saturday against Southeastern. Last year Bradford also set a school record for total victories with 20 and went on to win their first sectional title in school history before losing to Ft. Loramie in the district tournament. Both seasons seem kind of magical considering their programs overall history and it makes them easy to root for. I jumped on the Bradford bandwagon last year and I'm on the Newton bandwagon this year...for now at least!
300 wins for Coach Lee
Minster boys basketball coach Mike Lee racked up his 300th career victory on Thursday night with a 71-39 win over Bradford. He's coached the Wildcats for 22 seasons now and always ran a first-class program in my opinion. Before this week I had never met Coach Lee, but always respected him from afar. I had the pleasure of interviewing Mike on Fish Report LIVE! this week and my opinion of him was confirmed. While the interview only lasted five minutes, I could have easily talked to him for 30 minutes. When asked to name a couple memorable games over the last 22 years, Coach Lee eluded to his first game against former Marion Local coach Jack Albers, a big regional tournament victory over Jackson Center, and his 2005 state team. Minster, like many MAC schools, has a lot of things to be proud of...and a boys basketball coach with 300 victories is one of them!
Another 1000 point club inductee
It was just a couple weeks ago when Russia added a new 1000 point scorer to their record books with senior Kylie Wilson. Kylie became the 7th girl in school history and the first since Anita Bulcher in 2005 to join the 1000 point club for the Raiders. This Friday Russia should have another inductee. Kylie's classmate Nolan Francis is 14 points from the milestone and should no doubt hit the mark as his #1-seed Raiders open tournament play. When Nolan scores his 1000th he will become the 6th boy at Russia to do it and the first since Brent Pleiman in 2006. Quite an accomplishment considering all the factors that go into scoring 1000 points. Raider fans will want to savor this rare moment in boys basketball history...with the log jam of talent they currently have, it may be a while before it happens again!
Nolan driving in for two of his 20 points against St. Henry