Full confession, I’m not always that excited to see basketball in the Ohio River region. Teams in that region rarely venture out to other regions of Ohio that are tougher in the girls basketball realm, leaving these really good W-L records of teams down there somewhat of a mystery. Another full confession, I went down last year but only for a few games, so this isn’t exactly my first experience down there. However, I still have no idea how the OVAC is organized, how teams get in and how rankings are established. So please don’t look to me for any explanation. For my final confession, I am very happy that I went. The matchups were very good, 4 of the 5 games went down to the last few minutes, a couple went down to a final possession! I seen some very talented players that I wouldn’t have otherwise seen.
The environment was awesome, all games had great crowds. At one point in the final game, which there was hardly a seat open, the River and Shadyside fans were basically challenging each other. The River fans got hyped after a run that resulted in a timeout and the Pilot fans when bonkers! The Shadyside faithful rose to the challenge and got their side amped up. It was incredible! In this article I’ll be pinpointing some kids that stood out to me.
Bellaire 38 – Fort Frye 36 • MVP: Katrina Davis (Bellaire, 2020)
Beaver Local 52 – St. Clairsville 51 • MVP: Jenna Riccardo (Beaver Local, 2020)
University (WV) 71 – John Marshall (WV) 51 • MVP: Ashten Boggs (University, 2020)
Beallsville 38 – Madonna (WV) 33 • MVP: Ashlie Louden (Beallsville, 2020)
River 55 – Shadyside 49 • MVP: Lauren Flannery (River, 2019)
Most Impressive Team: University (WV)
The U has quite a bit of talent! Two solid bigs, a very good PG and a long athletic playmaker. John Marshall wasn’t a bad team at all and they trumped them by 20. The Hawks have a great pace and are hard to run with. There size and length makes it very tough to be that effective in the paint. Very good team!
Most Valuable Player(s)
Jenna Riccardo (Beaver Local, 2020) – Jenna flat out went off! She brought her team back from a sizeable deficit, dang near single-handedly. It was one of the most impressive individual performances I’ve ever seen. Jenna is 6 foot and has solid guard skills. I didn’t see her shoot many, if any long jump shots but she was dominant in the paint. She has really good post moves and is very willing to go down to the block when she has a mismatch. She did very well catching on the foul line, making the right passes and also scoring off the dribble. She can get up and down the floor well in transition, with or without the ball, she is a great asset as a big when other teams are pressuring.
Lauren Flannery (River, 2019 Lake Erie Commit) – Lauren really kicked it into gear when her team needed her the most! Down 11 going into the 4th quarter the Lake Erie commit took over. She didn’t just score all the points, she created for her teammates as well. She did was great teammates do, using her hot streak to allow the defense to over play her then dish for a few great feeds. Several times in transition she knew what had to be done and attacked strong, resulting in buckets and free throws. The outside shot wasn’t there so she made great use of the hole in the defense and hit several midrange jumpers. Perfect example of stepping up in the clutch, taking what the defense gives you and not trying to do too much.
G Macy Malin (sophomore) St. Clairsville
I was amazed at Macy’s toughness. She got after every loose ball, she put her body on the line every chance she got. She is very fundamental, she passes well with both hands and had a very nice shot. Not overly athletic, and that will be her knock for the next couple years, but I’d put my reputation on this kid.
G Shay Straughn (senior) John Marshall (WV)
This kid is very talented. She has a very advanced shooters arsenal. She can catch and shoot, she can freeze defenders, she can pull up, and she can step back. She attacks the basket very well as well and finds ways to finish, she’s very crafty. I love her energy on the floor and how she carries herself.
G Zoe Murphy (senior) University (WV)
Zoe is always on attack. She gets the ball up the floor in full attack mode. She has a really good shot, and can pull up in transition, making her harder to defend. She has a hard-nosed approach to the game and she’s ready to go through whoever she has to to get the job done. Very solid defender.
F Ashten Boggs (junior) University (WV)
Ashten is a very gifted athlete. She is very long and her high energy level gives her a distinct advantage over most. Definitely an able ball handler in transition and on straight line drives. Didn’t see many jump shots so I’m not sure how that fits into her game. Without a doubt an intriguing prospect with huge athletic upside.
F Andrea Alimario (senior) Madonna (WV)
Very hard worker, she really looked like she hated losing and was willing to do whatever she had to win. She is bigger and stronger than most and outworks just about anyone. Though I wouldn’t consider her a sharpshooter, she shows the ability to hit shots from mid to deep range. Plays with a lot of emotion and is a big time court presence.
Hannah Archer (fr) Fort Frye: Great shooter for her age, lots of confidence.
Abby Blake (jr) John Marshall (WV): Excellent shooter, defends well, can be a big time scorer.
Morgan Borich (sr) Fort Frye: Very long and tough. Scores well around the rim, love her effort.
Abby Coen (jr) University (WV): Great size and athleticism, moves well and has great hands, finishes well.
Katrina Davis (jr) Bellaire: Very tough off the dribble, active defender great leader at PG.
Jadyn Gabel (jr) Beallsville: good size wing, can hit the outside shot and rebounds well. Tough & physical.
Tori Hendershot (so) Shadyside: Scores off the bounce with both hands, smooth scorer. Nice shooter.
Chansyn Hoppel (fr) Beaver Local: Nice intangibles, can handle the ball and be a solid defender. Lots of time to grow.
Ashley Howell (jr) Beallsville: Has great length and runs well. Finishes at the basket both hands.
Keri Klinkoski (jr) St. Clairsville: Nice size, moves well, passes well and has a great midrange shot.
Elizabeth Kolkowski (fr) Beaver Local: 6’+, very intriguing prospect, nice left hand in post. Runs great, good hands.
Ashlie Louden (jr) Beallsville: Nice smooth lefty, great communicator and leader. Feisty, decent shooter.
Kennedy Martin (jr) Madonna (WV): 6’1″ post that runs the floor great. Plays string and with passion
Mallory Napolillo (jr) Madonna (WV): Very strong post, works well on the high post and block.
Baylee Wach (so) Shadyside: Nice on the catch & shoot. Longer defender that creates turnovers.