Maxwell, Mitchell Captain 54th Annual All-Valley Men’s Basketball Team | News, Sports, Jobs
There were questions, there were doubts and there were obstacles but most importantly, there was basketball. The 2021 basketball season will be one that no one will forget for all of these reasons, but for some it will be remembered for their hard work, passion for the game and success on hardwood. Two of those stars were named captains of the 54th annual All-Valley basketball team after putting on record-breaking and heart-filled performances. On the left, Wheeling Central’s JC Maxwell just wouldn’t be denied a spot in the state championship this year and it was evident on the pitch. Right, Harrison Central’s Kobe Mitchell finished a sensational high school career this year with not only his skills but also the way he behaved on and off the floor. Photos of Kyle Lutz and Seth Staskey
Kobe! Mitchell became a Harrison Central legend throughout his prep career and finished him with Division III Player of the Year honors, as well as All-Ohio First Team accolades. He will bring his talents to Akron University next year after recording 30 points, seven rebounds and six assists per game as a senior. He had 2,421 points in four years – 15th in Ohio history and fourth in OVAC history.
Derrow put it all on the line every night in his final season in a Monarchs uniform. The result saw him make it to the OVAC All-Star Game, where he ended his high school career with a solid performance for the West Virginia team. During his senior campaign, Derrow recorded 19 points, four rebounds and three assists per game for John Marshall coach Chad Clutter and the Monarchs.
Heller for 3! Snap! That seemed to be the theme inside Palace on the Hill every night this season for the 5-foot-11 senior. Heller drained 52 treys and shot 46.6% over the 3 point line. His 12.8 points per game for coach Michael Jebbia earned him a spot in the OVAC All-Star Game.
Ohio Valley top scorer Isinghood has helped transform Brooke’s basketball schedule this year. The 6-3 big man averaged a double-double for Brooke coach Adam Shinsky with 22 points and 10.9 rebounds per game and will be a key player to watch next season.
Record breaker, leader and just a complete athlete. These are just a few words to describe Avery Lee. It’s another, as the senior has managed 37 consecutive free throws this season to set a new school record. His 16.7 points, 3.1 rebounds, 87% of free throws and eight games of 20 or more points earned him second-team All-State honors and an OVAC All-Star selection, where he scored 14 points.
It was McCort’s home ground this year as the St. Clairsville junior took home All-Ohio second team honors for his brilliant performance. He was also named to the All-Eastern District First Team and the All-District 12 Team. His 18 points and five rebounds per game not only help the Red Devils fill some important voids left by the seniors of the l last year, but it also got him to vote for the All-Buckeye 8 team.
For the second year in a row, Merritt found his name on the All-Ohioans list. His name was also on the All-District 12, All-Buckeye 8 and All-Eastern District lists. Merritt conceded 15 points per game, 51 3 points and shot 75% from the foul line. He tallied 3.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.8 steals per game and ended his brilliant career with 1,001 points. In the OVAC All-Star Game, Merritt amassed 17 points for Ohio.
Sawyer brought his A-game night to Big Red. The Top Guard concluded his standout campaign with an OVAC All-Star appearance. Throughout the season, Sawyer averaged 16.1 points, five rebounds and 3.1 assists per night in a Steubenville uniform.
Brooke’s boys’ basketball team won two games last year. This year the Bruins were one win less than a .500 record and the cap is even higher going forward. One of the main reasons for the turnaround is Sperlazza, a second all-star team who finished second in the Ohio Valley with 20 points per game. He also managed 6.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists per night for Coach Shinsky.
Nothing stood between Maxwell and the State Championship this year. Even when Central’s top scorer Ryan Reasbeck had to miss some games due to injury, Maxwell made sure the team didn’t miss a stage. In the process, he won the First States Team and a place in the OVAC All-Star Team, where he scored 10 points. Maxwell finished his senior season with 19.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game to lead the Maroon Knights to the state title game.
Beckett was lethal from anywhere on the field. After a sophomore breakout campaign, Beckett collected 50 points to 3 points as a junior. He has also scored 15.4 points per game for Shadyside this year and will look to deliver an even stronger senior season next year.
What a year for Cameron’s basketball. Beresford led the Dragons to the state tournament, where he scored 13 points in the quarterfinals. He was also named to the First States Team. Beresford averaged a double-double of 17.5 points and 10.5 rebounds, while recording 3.1 blocks, 2.2 assists and 1.8 steals per game. Beresford shot 59.5 percent from the field.
On his way to receiving All-Ohio, All-Eastern District and All-District 12 honors, Powell was Mr. Reliable for Barnesville this year. The junior recorded 16 points per game and drained 49 3-pointers, collected 97 rebounds, distributed 37 assists and recorded 19 steals from the defensive end of the ball.
As a junior, Reasbeck took home All-State First Team honors after recording 22.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game to help the Maroon Knights carve out a place in the state championship game. Reasbeck scored a team-high 17 points in the national final and will have another year to build on an already successful preparation career.
Smith ended his remarkable career as a Purple Rider as the fifth leading scorer in school history with 1,178 points. As a senior, Smith was named to the All-Eastern District, All-District 12 and All-Buckeye 8 teams. He provided 15.4 points, seven rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.5 steals per game. .
Caleb stepped forward
Strode’s season-high 36 points and 17 rebounds was a game he will never forget. In fact, Strode averaged a 19-point double-double and 11.1 rebounds en route to winning the All-West Virginia first-team accolades. He finished the year with 10 doubles-doubles, while shooting 51% from floor and 44% from 3-point field. He also had 1.9 steals and 1.8 assists per game.
There isn’t a hit on the floor that Williamson is afraid to take – and honestly, there isn’t a hit he can’t do, either. Williamson has drained 37 points to 3 points in the team’s lead this season en route to receiving the All-State Second Team accolades. Williamson scored 16.9 points, collected 5.8 rebounds and distributed 3.9 assists per game for the Blue Eagles.
Linsly entered the last game of the season against Martinsburg with a chance to win the OVAC title. Although the Cadets couldn’t get over the power schedule, Linsly still finished with a solid 8-3 behind the Wykes, snipers and hard workers. The junior compiled a total of 14 points, 5.1 assists and four rebounds per game.
1. Kobe Mitchell, Harrison Central (captain)
2. Derrick Derrow, John Marshall
3. Beau Heller, Wheeling Park
4. Alex Isinghood, Brooke
5. Avery Lee, Wheeling Park
6. Ryan McCort, St. Clairsville
7.Luke Merritt, Union Local
8. Sion Sawyer, Steubenville
9. Cole Sperlazza, Brooke
1. Andrew Coursin, Brooke
2. Anthony Cross, weir
3. Cole Gilbert, John Marshall
4. Avery Henry, St. Clairsville
5. Nathan Meyer, union local
6. Brett Phillips, Wheeling Park
7. DJ Saunders, Wheeling Park
8. Drew Sefsick, St. Clairsville
9. Isaiah Van Dine, Indian Creek
1. Phaeton Hill, Steubenville
2. Shaheed Jackson, Wheeling Park
3. Brenten Jones, Steubenville
4. Tyler Kelly, weir
5. Ryan Knox, Brooke
6. Logan Kuczykowski, Indian Creek
7. Gage Patterson, Oak Glen
8. Braden Sobutka, John Marshall
9. Brennan Sobutka, John Marshall
1. JC Maxwell, Wheeling Central (Captain)
2. Korey Beckett, Shadyside
3. Trevor Beresford, Cameron
4. Kason Powell, Barnesville
5. Ryan Reasbeck, Wheeling Central
6. Logan Smith, Martins Ferry
7. Caleb Strode, Tyler Consolidated
8. Trevor Williamson, Magnolia
9. Raef Wykes, Linsly
1. Adam Baker, Beallsville
2. Cole Burkett, Cameron
3. Ty Cain, town of Paden
4. Dylan Gregorcic, Bridgeport
5. Auston Hogue, Monroe Central
6. Ty Long, River
7. Jake Mayle, local Buckeye
8. Lucky Pulice, Madonna
9. David Zwack, Bellaire
1. Justin Bowman, Tyler Consolidated
2. Elijah Brock, Shadyside
3. Mason Brown, local Buckeye
4. Jaren Cash, Bellaire
5. Brody Lollathin, River
6.Joel Moore, City of Paden
7. Caleb Murray, Linsly
8. Gavin Postlethwait, Magnolia
9. Michael Toepfer, Wheeling Central