Sowards, Gordley, Cox represent Adams County –
Story and photos by Mark Carpenter –
Eastern Pike High School was once again the site for the 2017 versions of the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association District 14 All-Star Games, featuring seniors from all four divisions showcasing their talents for fans and a number of college scouts.
The evening began with the North-South Girls All-Star Game, which featured one young lady from Adams County, Peebles’ Jessica Sowards. The format for the All-Star games was two 20-minute halves with a running clock, and the first half of the girls’ game was a low-scoring affair, punctuated by the teams combining for five three-point goals and ending in a 19-19 tie.
The game remained tight in the second 20 minutes, with Sowards hitting a three-pointer for the South, coached by Eastern Brown’s Kevin Pickerill and Notre Dame’s J.D. McKenzie. The North squad hit five free throws down the stretch to hang on for a 38-33 win.
The winners were led by 8 points from Southeastern’s Audrie Wheeler and 7 from McClain’s Malea Montavon. Chillicothe’s Osh Brown, the District’s Division I and II Player of the Year, scored 6 for the North as did Hanna Reisinger from Miami Trace.
For the South, Waverly’s Laken Smith scored 10, with Notre Dame’s Hagen Schaefer adding 8.
Between games, all of the All-District Teams, girls and boys, from Divisions I-IV were introduced and the Southern Hills Athletic Conference was represented well and also had Eastern’s Pickerill named the Division III Coach of the Year and Allison Day of the Lady Warriors named Division III Player of the Year. Peebles’ Richard Smalley was recognized as the Boys Assistant Coach of the Year.
The boys’ game was a bit more high-scoring, resembling at times an NBA All-Star Game, with lots of run and gun action and very little emphasis on defense. Two Adams Countians played for the South squad, Peebles’ Camron Gordley and Manchester’s Kaulen Cox.
In the first half, a combined 20 different players dented the scoring column on both sides, with Miami Trace’s DeAndre Pettiford leading the North and Sciotoville East’s Akia Brown pacing the South. Cox fired in a pair of three-pointers in the first half, which closed with the North holding a 38-35 advantage.
The second half belonged to Portsmouth’s Kendal Reynolds, who nailed five three-pointers after going scoreless in the first half for the South squad. Cox added two more treys for the South, but they could not keep up with the high-flying antics of the North team, who got four more baskets from Pettiford, including a pair of dunks, and three baskets from Lynchburg’s Joe Giordano that included one breakaway slam, as they pulled away for an 83-72 win.
The North had a very balanced scoring attack, led by Trace’s DeAndre Pettiford’s 12 points and Giordano with 11. Tyrae Pettiford from Miami Trace added 10, with Fairfield’s Jesse Current and Adena’s Trey Postage each scoring 8.
For the South, Reynolds led the way with his 17 second-half points, with Manchester’s Cox getting 12, all from beyond the three-point arc.