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ThisWeek Community Newspapers Canal Winchester

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March 24, 2011

Girls Basketball

Africentric’s Ferguson named Super 12 captain By JARROD ULREY ThisWeek Community Newspapers

Raven Ferguson feels like she has been playing on the Africentric Early College girls basketball team “her whole life.” Opponents probably feel the same about the senior standout and captain of the ThisWeek Super 12 girls basketball team. After becoming a starter as a freshman, Ferguson helped the Nubians go 89-15 overall, 56-0 against City LeagueSouth Division opponents and win four district championships. This season, Ferguson was the Division III district Player of the Year while leading Africentric to a regional runner-up finish. “It will be weird to go to the games next year, but it’s just time for me to move on to bigger things,” Ferguson said. Next season, she’ll be a freshman at Ohio State. “Africentric has made me a lot more confident off the court and on the court,” she said. “I’ll be going in to try to play, and I think I’ll have a chance to start. (Africentric) coach (Will) McKinney always says that defense is about pride, about not letting your person score on you. He always tells us that at the next level, that’s how you get on the court. I’m still trying to improve and be better.” With Ferguson joining their lineup in 2007-08, the Nubians went 25-2 and lost in the Division IV state final. In 2008-09, they went 23-4 and won the

For bios and pictures of all Super 12 first-team selections, please visit: state title as Ferguson made Super 12 honorable mention. A year ago, Africentric moved up to Division III and lost in a regional semifinal to finish 19-6. Ferguson made first-team all-district and Super 12 as she averaged 23 points, six rebounds, 3.5 assists and four steals. With Ferguson leading the way this season, the Nubians beat Northland 60-52 on Feb. 12 for their third City title in four years and Columbus School for Girls 74-45 on March 5 for a district title. Africentric’s season ended with a 56-50 loss to Fort Recovery in a regional final March 12. Africentric went 22-3 as Ferguson averaged 19 points, eight rebounds and three assists. She also was selected first-team all-state and was the state’s Co-Player of the Year with Ally Malott of Middletown Madison. She finished with 1,739 career points. “Raven is clearly Miss Basketball for the state of Ohio,” McKinney said. “I think the kid from Twinsburg (Malina Howard) is nice, but Raven Ferguson, when you look at the whole body of work, is deserving.” •OTHER FIRST-TEAMERS — Taylor Agler (Olentangy Orange, So., guard), Destini Cooper (Reynolds-

burg, So., center), Symone Denham (Northland, Jr., guard), Kavunaa Edwards (Pickerington North, Sr., center), Travecia Franklin (Brookhaven, Sr., guard), Caitlin Kusan (Westerville North, Sr., forward), Tiyona Marshall (Gahanna, Sr., guard), Alexis Peterson (Northland, So., guard), Tabatha Piper (Big Walnut, Sr., guard), Meredith Strangers (Dublin Coffman, Sr., guard) and Aliyah Zantt (Reynoldsburg, Jr., guard). •HONORABLE MENTION — Ashley Bassett-Smith (Orange, Jr., center), Paige Cashin (Newark, So., center), Mary Corbett (Upper Arlington, Sr., guard), Frannie Frazier (Thomas Worthington, So., forward), Jasmine Henshaw (Pickerington Central, Jr., forward), Alana Lassiter (Columbus East, Jr., center), Morgan Neighbors (Westerville South, Jr., guard), Bailey Pierron (Hilliard Bradley, Sr., guard), Shelby Olszewski (Pickerington North, Sr., guard), Chelsey Radcliff (Eastmoor Academy, Sr., forward), Kellie Roudabush (Bradley, Sr., guard), Jelicia Shelton (Bexley, Sr., guard), Enri Small (Columbus School for Girls, Sr., forward), Tajanee Wells (Eastmoor Academy, So., center) and Brooke Zwayer (Olentangy, So., forward). •PAST CAPTAINS — New Albany’s Hannah Robertson (2010), Pickerington Central’s Emilee Harmon (2009), Eastmoor’s Ayana Dunning (2008), Dublin Scioto’s Crystal Murdaugh (2007), Pickerington Central’s Stephanie Stevens (2006), Mifflin’s Marshae Dotson (2005), Pickerington North’s Marscilla Packer (2004, 2002),

By Paul Vernon/ThisWeek

Raven Ferguson of Africentric averaged 19 points and eight rebounds in earning Super 12 captain honors.

Brookhaven’s Brittany Hunter (2003), Grove City’s Charisse Crews (200001), Pickerington’s LaToya Turner (1998-99), Pickerington’s Tamara Stocks (1997), Brookhaven’s Helen

Darling (1996) and Pickerington’s Beth Ostendorf (1994-95).



Continued from page B1

Continued from page B1

league a year ago. Rounding out the team and competing for playing time at multiple positions are junior Samantha Knode, sophomores Hannah Barnhart, Maygan Beeler, Alyxis Moore, Evie Wentzel and Kaleigh Whitlatch, and freshman Mariah Rock. “This is the first time I’ve ever had to deal with having only one pitcher,” said 11thyear coach Randy Hinton, whose squad finished 20-8 overall a year ago. “In past years, I like to have our starter pitch four or five innings and then have our second pitcher finish games. Lauren’s a good pitcher and I think she’s ready to take on the responsibility of pitching every game, but we need to be prepared to have a lot more support for our pitcher, both offensively and defensively.” Canal Winchester tied Circleville for third in the MSLBuckeye Division last season at 9-5, behind Teays Valley (131) and Logan Elm (11-3), and ahead of Bloom-Carroll (8-6), Amanda-Clearcreek (3-11), Fairfield Union (3-11) and Hamilton Township (0-14). Seeded third, the Indians opened the Division II district tournament with a 20-0 win over Columbus South in the second round and beat seventhseeded Licking Valley 7-2 in a semifinal before losing to second-seeded Lakewood 8-0 in a final. “We went to the regional final and lost two years ago, and we

Girls basketball in Ohio arrived at the top of the mountain when these two powers met before a sold out St. John Arena. Pickerington won 53-46 in a game in which Smith and Butcher would establish their legacies. 3 — Linden vs. Barberton, 1977 Class AAA boys state final: This game lived up to expectations. Linden had won the state title in 1975, Barberton had won in 1976 and they were 1-2 in the polls in 1977. Barberton led by two entering the final quarter, but Penn and Sterling Williams of Linden led a fourth-quarter charge that gave the Panthers an 80-74 victory. 2 — Centerburg vs. Worthington Christian, 1995 Division IV boys district final: The greatest game I’ve seen at the Fairgrounds. Be- Larry Larson is a former athletics director at fore an overflow crowd, these small schools bat- Grandview High School. He can be heard as tled through four quarters and an overtime be- “Mr. High School Sports” on WTVN 610 AM.


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Sports Shorts Paid Advertising

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Sports Shorts are a one-of-a-kind guide to area sports-related events. Whether it’s a clinic, want to win it this year along in the mix for those champi- camp, league signups or other with our league,” Hinton said. onships if we play to our po- function, Sports Shorts is a great way to get the word out! “Lauren has come a long way tential.” since her freshman year and so have a lot of her teammates, so For more info or to place your ad contact: Paul Krupa I think we can be somewhere phone: 740-888-5000 Fax: 740-548-8197 coverage, updated daily at Email Be sure to include your name, address & phone number where you can be reached.

Top performances BOYS Northland’s Jalen Robinson had 12 points and nine rebounds as the Vikings beat Westerville South 80-62 on March 19 in a Division I regional final. Earlier in the day, Robinson found out his older brother, Tyree, was shot and killed in Dayton. GIRLS Reynoldsburg junior Destinee Gause won the 200 meters (24.78 seconds) and was second in the 60 at the state indoor track and field championships on March 19.

Top stories State Bound: Central Ohio will be represented by Northland, Hartley and Africentric at the state boys basketball tournament and ThisWeek has in-depth previews. Attempting No. 13: Lacrosse previews, including Upper Arlington boys, are fea-

fore Jeremy Hubbard hit a 25-foot shot to give Centerburg the win. It was high school basketball at its greatest. 1 — Columbus North vs. Middletown, 1958 boys Class AA boys state semifinal: The greatest sports event I have attended. Middletown, led by Lucas, had gone 76 games without losing and had won two state titles. But North hung tough, and when Eddie Clark made a running shot with 4 seconds left, the Polar Bears had achieved the biggest upset in Ohio high school basketball history. It still is today. I can even take you to St. John Arena and show you where I sat. Enjoy this state tournament. I hope to say hi to you at Ohio State. I’ll see you at a game.

Trey Kiser of the Indians delivers a pitch last season. Kiser is the returning starter at third base.

tured. The Golden Bears return six of their top seven attackers from last season in which they won their 12th Division I state title. Baseball, Softball Previews: Spring sports are here and ThisWeek has in-depth previews for all area teams. Track & Field: Read a complete recap of the state indoor championships on March 19 in Akron. Pay-to-Participate: Read the latest on the pay-to-participate fees implemented in Gahanna and Pickerington.


Note of the week “Mr. High School Sports” Larry Larson, a columnist at ThisWeek for 16 years, will attend his 60th state boys basketball tournament this weekend at Ohio State. Larson is moving to California this summer, so the sixdecade long streak could end in 2012.

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“The past couple of years, we’ve not lost more than four Friend us or five games a season. What is going to happen if we lose Log onto and three games in a row?” search "ThisWeekSports" to — Ted Williams, Grove City become a fan. softball coach. Last year, the Greyhounds lost in the Division Follow us I state final and graduated five starters, including first-team Follow us on Twitter @TWSall-state pitcher Paige Myers. portsFan today.

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