Originally posted on 3/1/13
Today will be the 3rd straight year the Orrville Lady Red Riders will be competing for a district championship, it will be both business as usual and business not so usual. For seniors Hannah Plybon and Maggie Davault this isn’t their first rodeo, however; it is the last. These two ladies look to lead their team to Columbus and finish what they started working towards a decade ago when they teamed up for the first time together in the 2nd grade. The Lady Riders won the Wooster District in 2011, were the runner-up to eventual state qualifier Smithville last year. In the brief 12 minute convo I had with these two it was blatantly obvious there isn’t a selfish bone in their body. The character and integrity that was obvious to me in just moments clearly molds their lives and outstanding basketball careers.
“We haven’t reached our main goal, which has always been state. We aren’t going to settle for anything less.” That’s how Maggie is approaching what’s left of her high school experience. Hannah mentions the incredible support that they have received, along with the amount of confidence people have in them as a team as driving forces to make it to Columbus. They both talk about working hard all the time and even as successful as they have been there are still things they can get better at to help them reach their goals.
Both ladies will be continuing their basketball careers at the college level, Hannah at Akron and Maggie with Ashland. The impressive thing about both of their games is it’s always improving! You can look at Hannah on any given day and you think ‘she has the total package’, then the next day she brings something to the table you’ve never seen before and you quite frankly never seen a girl do period! Maggie has been following down the same path. The progress she has made on the court over the last few years is tremendous! Maggie said they work out all the time together and with others to make each other better, bringing up a certain time when she was struggling finishing at the rim and Hannah worked with her for a half hour giving her tips and things she uses to be a more proficient finisher.
“She’s always there to help me improve. Hannah and I have known each other since we were born so anything she does I’ll also do.” Maggie
Make no mistake Maggie Davault is one heck of a player, this isn’t a case of a player riding the coat tails of a superstar and getting undeserved recognition. Maggie is for real! She works hard and plays with a lot of intensity, often times getting overlooked due to her less than desirable size. I’d even be willing to bet Hannah would say that Maggie has played an important role in making her the player she is today because she’s always been there to push her and make her work. Pippen was second fiddle to Jordan, but Pippen was still a Hall of Famer and Jordan needed him! That kind of puts their basketball lives into perspective, but don’t think Maggie is Hannah’s Robin.
“I’d say more of a wing man. We’ve always had each others back.” Maggie
Right now they have to focus on Central, a team they beat 59-51 on February 4th in Canton. Oh and when I asked the girls how that game went never did I hear about the season high 35 points Hannah dropped that night. I had to find that little tidbit out on my own. Instead I was simply told “It was a really close game, it’ll be a good game Saturday.” She also gave another teammate (who will remained unnamed for strategic reasons) credit for working so hard in practice in anticipation of guarding Dotson while meeting Central again in the district final, an outcome to them that wasn’t too far-fetched. On paper most everyone were shocked, 24-0 #1 in the state Smithville was supposed to be in the finals, that’s why they play the games! “I knew it was going to be a good game,” Hannah states, “I wouldn’t have been surprised at the outcome either way.” After getting a taste of Central and the athleticism they have it was a good idea to start preparing.
“We faced Central in the regular season and we know they’re really good. Dotson is really hard to stop. Their game is a lot different than Smithville’s, they’re uptempo and have more height. I wasn’t really surprised.” Maggie
As far as athletic ability goes Orrville has a plethora of that, it will be Central’s toughest match-up yet. Without taking anything away from Chippewa and Smithville, they just didn’t have the speed and quickness to contain Aaliyah Dotson, a Canton McKinley transfer, Orrville does! Dotson, a Florida Atlantic commit, has seemed to kick it up a notch in the postseason and seems to be virtually uncontainable. These are games where the wing man comes up big, you game plan against Hannah and Maggie puts up 20 points because with her awareness and intelligence she’s always in the right spot and knocking down shots. Whether the outcome of the game is in their favor or not there’s no doubt these ladies will be leaving Orrville with their heads high and successful. There is also no doubt they will have several more successful years at the next level!
Hannah took another opportunity in choosing a college to be selfless. She was offered by Akron early on but also given some push to make a decision. Instead of going LeBron on us and dragging it out she committed early to allow the Zips some flexibility on further recruitment. She didn’t wait to see if she was going to get any better offers (which she did), or to see if someone could free her up any more money then the next school. Hannah showed the rock solid character she possesses and made it about the team and not herself.
“Akron is a comfort thing for me, it’s close to home, they offered me early, my college credits transfer over and I’m already familiar with some of the players. Getting at me young definitely helped.” Hannah
Both ladies will be taking their positive qualities from the floor into the rest of their lives with them. Hannah wants to major in the health and/or medical field while Maggie wants to be an Intervention Specialist helping youngsters with autism. There’s no doubt they will be successful in whatever path they choose, they aren’t made for anything besides success, and they surely won’t let each other fail…
Update: Orrville did earn their spot in the state finals, losing in the semis to eventual D3 Champion Anna. Hannah and Maggie both have moved on to college. Hannah has started every game for Akron and is playing very well. Maggie began as a walk-on at Ashland and has shown an incredible amount of competitiveness, working very hard to earn every minute of playing time she can.