A pair of Clinton countians earned top honors Wednesday on the Associated Press Southwest District basketball teams.
Wilmington High School senior Jarron Cumberland was named the Div. I boys basketball player of the year while Blanchester girls head coach Bennie Carroll earned Div. II girls coach of the year honors.
Cumberland, a 6-5 forward, will be the Southwest District’s nominee for Ohio’s Mr. Basketball Award.
“Some people just look at his scoring average, and he is averaging over 30 points a game now,” said WHS head coach Michael Noszka. “But go look at his other stats, his assists, look at his blocks and his steals.
“Jarron would rather score 0 points the rest of the season and win the state championship, than score 50 points and lose the state championship. That’s the type of kid he is. He’s an unselfish kid. He wants desperately to win.”
Clinton-Massie senior Miquela Santoro was named to the girls Div. II first team while Wilmington freshman Mya Jackson earned third team honors in Div. II.
On the boys side, Wilmington’s Cameron Stewart and Dylan Beaugard were given honorable mention on the Div. I All-Southwest District team.
In Div. II, Clinton-Massie’s Trey Uetrecht was given honorable mention.
In Div. III, East Clinton’s Wyatt Floyd and Blanchester’s Alec Richardson and Dylan Miller were all given honorable mention.
For the girls, in Div. II, Sarah Burton and Rachael Doyle of Blanchester were given honorable mention as was Clinton-Massie senior Madison Purkey.
In Div. III girls, Lacey Peterman of East Clinton was given honorable mention.
Carroll, a long-time boys basketball coach, was in his first year as the BHS varsity girls coach. He had been the reserve girls coach for two seasons.
Carroll and the Ladycats went from four wins in 2014-15 to 18 wins in 2015-16. Blanchester won its first varsity girls basketball league championship since 1989 by topping the field in the Southern Buckeye Athletic and Academic Conference National Division.
“A lot of factors came together in a good way,” Carroll said. “It was a fun year for all of us.”
Carroll has coached basketball 25 years, 18 of those as a varsity coach. This season was his only season as a girls varsity basketball coach. He did coach two years of reserve girls basketball at BHS before taking over the varsity position.
“I was afraid I would be too hard on them because I come at it pretty good,” Carroll said. “So the biggest apprehension was I didn’t know how girls would respond.
“In the final analysis, they accepted it better than some of the boys teams, at least this group did. They responded well to being pushed hard.”
Cumberland averaged 29.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 4 steals and 1.4 blocks this season for WHS. He made 57.8 percent of his field goal attempts, including 38.5 percent behind the arc. The University of Cincinnati bound Hurricane senior was a McDonald’s All-American Game nominee and has been selected to play in both the Ohio North-South All Star game as well as the Ohio vs Kentucky All Star game.
Santoro, a 5-7 senior, averaged 21 points, 5 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 5.4 steals per game for the Lady Falcons. She made 49 percent of her field goal attempts, including 53 percent of her three-pointers. She has signed to play Winthrop University.
Beaugard, a 5-9 sophomore, averaged 8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.6 steals per game. Stewart, a 5-10 senior, average 10 points, 3.3 rebounds, 5 assists and 2.1 steals per game. He made 40 percent of his three-point attempts this season.
Jackson, a 5-7 freshman, average 17 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 3.3 steals per game for the Lady Hurricane.
Uetrecht, a 6-1, sophomore, average 15.5 points and 8 rebounds for Massie. Floyd, a 6-1 sophomore, averaged 16 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.6 steals per game for EC.
Richardson, a 5-9 senior, average 14.8 points and 8.2 rebounds for the Wildcats. Miller, a 6-0 junior, averaged 12.8 points, 7.5 assists and 6.4 rebounds per game for BHS.
Burton, a 5-10 senior, averaged 13.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 1.3 blocks per game for Blanchester. Doyle, a 5-9 senior, averaged 8.8 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.7 steals per game.
Peterman, a 5-4 freshman, average 8.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals per game for the Lady Astros.
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports.