Baylee Bennett scores 13 points for South squad in Div. III-IV girls game.
COLUMBUS — With little playing time on the court in the last month since the season ended, Baylee Bennett still looked in midseason form in the Ohio North-South Div. III-IV All-Star game on Sunday. Bennett scored 13 points in the game, including 10 in the first half. She also led the team with two assists.
“I didn’t even know I scored that many, but it was a lot of fun,” Bennett said.
The North squad won the game 82-68, but the result is of secondary importance to most players. The game provides a chance to be honored for career achievements and lace up one last time.
Bennett, who averaged 19 points per game for Cougars this season, was selected as an alternate to the Div. I-II game. Kenton Ridge head coach Ed Foulk helped arrange with the game’s directors to have Bennett play in the small division game.
She was the starting point guard for South and was a welcomed addition to the team. The squad was shorthanded for its lone practice on Saturday, as other players had conflicts with ACT testing or prom.
“It’s a real honor and it was a lot of fun this weekend,” Bennett said. “They put on a really good weekend for everybody.”
Bennett’s 10 points helped the South squad stay close in the first half. She hit a key three midway through the first that narrowed the North’s lead to two points. It was as close as South came the rest of the game.
“They (the North squad) were pretty tall and our team was small, so we tried to get use our quickness and the shooting in,” Bennett said. “But they were really good.”
Bennett leaves Kenton Ridge after she was a part of the school’s deepest tournament runs in the last two decades. The Cougars advanced to the regional finals in 2014 and the regional semifinals this season. Kenton Ridge also won the CBC Kenton Trail title in 2014 for the first time in three seasons.
She scored 1,065 points in her career at Kenton Ridge and averaged five assists per game.
“I’m just so grateful for my teammates and my coaches for pushing me through (my career),” Bennett said. “I’ll always remember that.”
Bennett is going to attend Cincinnati Christian University next year and will play basketball for the Eagles.
“I’m looking forward to being on my own,” Bennett said. “I really like the coach and the team, so I’m excited. I’ll need to improve a lot and get quicker and keep improving on my game.”
The all-star games are organized by the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association.
Greenwood plays for South in Div. I-II boys game
Shawnee’s Jaden Greenwood played for the South team in the Div. I-II boys game on Sunday at Capital.
Greenwood played about half the game and scored three points. His points came on a key shot midway through the second half that tied the score at 82-82. He had three rebounds and two steals in the game.
Greenwood scored 1,197 career points for the Braves and played all four years on varsity. Shawnee made the districts twice (2013 and this season) during Greenwood’s career.
Blake Blair hit a free throw at the end of a one-minute overtime to give the North a 111-110 win. The game was tied 108-108 at the end of regulation.
The senior will play at either Greenville College (IL) or Grove City College (PA) next year and will major in elementary education.
Div. I-II Girls Game: The South squad won the Div. I-II game 116-88. Centerville’s Shannon Coffee led the team with 29 points. The Stanford commit was selected as the game’s MVP and also named the OHSBCA Girls’ Miss Basketball after the game.
Div. III-IV Boys Game: The Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph combo of Brian Parker and Derek Pardon helped lead the North to a 101-93 comeback win over the South. Parker led South with 25 points and Pardon added 23. Pardon, a Northwestern commit, also had 10 rebounds.