Story and photos by Mark Carpenter –
The long tradition of basketball at Peebles High School is certainly not a secret and on Saturday, jan. 14, the school took time to honor a pair of girls’ basketball teams who etched their names in the hearts of Peebles hoops fans. Inducted into the Peebles Athletic Hall of Fame in ceremonies on Saturday night were the 1987 and 1998 Peebles Lady Indians.
Coming off a 22-2 season and the loss of All-State center Angie Austin, the 1987 Lady Indians and Coach Tom Newman still had high expectations for their squad. Peebles returned seven key players in All-State guard Kim Danner, center Libby Stephenson, Dawn Seipelt, Yvette Fristoe, Tammy Hoop, Patty Wesley, and Kim Newman. The team was further bolstered by the transfers in of All-State guard Angie Haslam, who came to the team from county rival North Adams.
The accomplishments of the 1987 season are impressive, first of which was a 20-0 regular season that earned a Southern Hills League Gold Ball trophy. At one point, the team was ranked number one in the state of Ohio by the UPI and second in the state in the Associated Press polls. On offense, the team averaged an outstanding 76.4 points per game, while allowing just an average of 38.5 on the defensive end, and they topped the 80-point mark 14 times in the season.
The 1987 Lady Indians won the sectional tournament and then the district tournament, before finally falling in the regional tournament and ending their season with a record of 24-1. Seven players on the squad at one time or another earned All-league honors, as well as six All-State selections. Coach Newman, who was ably assisted by his brother Gary, was named the SHL Coach of the Year, the Southeast District Coach Of the Year, and the Class A State Coach of the Year, the only time that has happened in school history.
The full roster for the 1987 team with their numerous honors included: Angie Shiveley (!990 SHL All-League), Patty Wesley (two-time All-League and Special Mention All-State in 1989), Tammy Hoop (1988 All-League and All-State selection), Cynthia Howard (played college basketball at OU-Chillicothe), Kim Newman (1988 All-League selection), Kim Danner (four-time All-League selection and two time All-State, played collegiately at Shawnee State), Angie Haslam (four-time All-League selection and two-time All-State), Libby Stephenson (1987 All-League, played college basketball at Mount St. Joseph), Yvette Fristoe (started on the 1987 squad), and 1987 starting point guard Dawn Seipelt.
In 1998, head coach Dick Reed welcomed back to the fold All-League seniors Jessica Fraley and Amber Ison, plus Jamey Brown, Paula Scott, Amy Myers, Olivia Puckett, and Jessica Shoemaker. After an undefeated regular season the previous year, the 1998 Lady Indians went 19-1 in the regular season and earned the SHL Gold Ball in the midst of a 33-game winning streak. The team set numerous school records with three players being named All-league and two more earning All-State honors, as well as Coach Reed being named SHL Coach of the Year.
The team saved its best for the postseason, amazingly enough going in unranked, and turning that slight into the longest tourney run in school history. Winning the sectional, district, and then regional tournaments, the 1998 Lady Indians became the only boys or girls team in school history to advance to the OHSAA State Final Four. The Peebles girls won their sectional semi-final game and moved on to the Division III state title game, where they fell to Chagrin Falls and finished as state runner-up.
The roster for the record-setting 1998 squad included: Jenny Perdue, Amy Myers, Valerie Newkirk, Lanelle McCoy, Jessica Fraley (three-time All-League selection and All-State), Cortnee Sowards, Erica Puckett, Amber Ison (three-time All-league and two-time All-State), Paula Scott (1999 All-League selection), Jessica Shoemaker, Jami Seaman, and Jamie Brown (1998 All-League selection).
Coach Reed was assisted by Mike Stine and Jessica Kremin.