Quality guard play has been one of the clear-cut positives coming out of the girls basketball scene in Greene County this season.
The nature of guards lead it to being the position with some of the most ambiguous skill sets on a court. There are pass-first generals, three-point specialists, fleet footed drivers, and so on.
One thing is clear in this area: The list has to start with senior Angie Smith at Yellow Springs.
Smith showed through her four years an ability to not waver despite the focus of almost all opposing defenses putting its focus onto stopping her. Setting the school record for career points is no easy task, but when you finish as your league’s leading scorer every season you set yourself on the right path and Smith accomplished the task near the end of the regular season.
Smith has also been the type of player who could average a triple-double if she also wasn’t as selfless on the court.
“When it comes down to playing basketball she goes hard while always smiling,” said her head coach Nick Minnich after she broke the school scoring record. “She does want to score and I want her to score basketball but she’s also a gift giver. That’s why she leads the league in assists because she can pass the ball. Her getting to do that means the most to her.”
Meanwhile at Bellbrook, Kelley Griffin and Alayna Meyer are two of the key cogs which make one of the state’s top teams a formidable force.
Griffin’s superior court vision over her opponents helps find open teammates as the Golden Eagles move the ball through the fast-paced offense. Frequently one of those open players is Meyer, who is knocking down three-pointers at an astounding 50 percent clip and is averaging 2.5 makes per game.
Greeneview senior Ellie Snyder is an example of why competitiveness is difficult to stop. The fortitude she played with on every possession demonstrated she was willing to play a physical brand of basketball if needed. She could be knocked down, but it only meant she would get back up and beat you on the next play.
The future of the local scene is already bright as well as was displayed when a pair of freshman squared off on Thursday. Ayden Rodgers of Cedarville and Legacy Christian’s Alli Graves both conducted their offenses in tremendous fashion during a sectional game at Monroe.
Rodgers helped calm her team after a shaky start to stop turning the ball over and was dynamite at the free throw line throughout the game.
“Halfway through the year I had to say to her you’ve been playing and you have experience,” Cedarville head coach Molly Cary said after the game. “And that she needs to be more confident in herself. Sure at the end she threw it away a couple times, but I want the ball in her hands because she’s such a great free-throw shooter.”
Graves meanwhile also stood out to Cary with her play in the same game. She put the Knights on her shoulders and nearly led her group to a 15-point comeback win before simply running short on time.
“She knows what she needs to work on and how to improve because she can be a special basketball player,” said Mark Combs, LCA’s head coach. “I’m super happy with Alli and how she played and I can tell you one thing about her, when the lights go on the moment doesn’t get too big for her. She’s comfortable with it.”
Guards are always needed on a basketball court and the county has plenty of options you would want on your team.
Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.