Westlake’s Gavin Skelly and Vermilion’s Cameron Kuhn may play different positions but they have a lot in common.
Skelly, a 6-foot-9 senior center, and Kuhn, a 6-0 senior guard, have been among the top players in their respective conferences all season, play on teams that are still harboring district title hopes and lead a contingent of eight area players who were named first-team, All-Northeast Lakes district selections Monday.
Kuhn, who broke the Sailors’ all-time scoring record, has scored 1,475 points in a high school career that includes back-to-back Division II Lorain County Player of the Year awards.
“My individual goals this season were to break the all-time scoring record, surpass 1,000 points, become a better rebounder and get my assists up,” Kuhn said.
Obviously he’s a man of his word. Kuhn ended the regular season averaging 22.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and almost three assists per game. He also shot 81 percent from the free throw line.
The number that mean’s the most to Kuhn though is 17-7, Vermilion’s record as it heads into the district semifinals Wednesday against Buckeye at Westlake High School.
“This season has been so much fun because we’re actually winning games and we also have a great group of guys on the team,” Kuhn said. “Scoring 20 points a game doesn’t mean anything to me if we don’t have success as a team. Seeing how close we’ve become as a team and the success we’ve had together is what is really important to me.”
Skelly, too, has seen his individual numbers — 18.4 points, 13 rebounds and 4.5 blocked shots a game — translate into wins for his team. The 17-5 Demons play Brunswick on Wednesday in a Division I district semifinal at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School.
“This is a great time of year, to have the chance to play in the district semifinals for the third time,” said Skelly, who will continue his basketball career at Northwestern. “At the beginning of the year I thought this could be a tough year, but our team has really become close on and off the court and that helps us win games. Now we have a chance to do something great.”
Skully said he worked on his post game, especially facing the basket, in the offseason not only to help him in his senior year but also because he expects to make the transition to power forward in college.
“Success comes with hard work,” he said. “I think a lot of people don’t realize that. I’ve been working hard since fifth grade and there’s nothing better than looking back at what I’ve accomplished and believing that I still have the potential to succeed at a higher level.”
Junior K.J. Miller helped lead Christian Community School to its best season to earn a spot on the Division IV first team. Miller, a 5-10 guard, averaged 23.4 points, 4.7 assists and 4.4 steals on a Warriors team that advanced to the Ohio Christian School Athletic Association state finals before losing to Miami Valley Christian.
Elyria Catholic’s Jeremy Holley missed his entire junior year after breaking his leg playing football but rebounded to have a monster senior season and earn Division III first-team honors.
Holley, a 6-6 center, scored 21 points per game while grabbing 17 rebounds. A pillar of consistency for the Panthers, Holley had 21 double-doubles in 23 games. He is also the Lorain County Division III co-player of the year.
Holley isn’t the only Panther to find their name among the Division III elite. On the girls side, sophomore Riley Schill earned first-team honors after leading a young Elyria Catholic team to the district semifinals.
Schill, a 5-6 guard, averaged 14 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.8 assists and almost four steals a game on a team that had just one senior on its roster. Schill, the Division III Lorain County player of the year, scored in double-figures 20 times this season, including a career-high 26 points in an overtime win against crosstown rival Elyria in the Lorain County Holiday Classic.
“It’s such a huge honor. I didn’t think I was good enough to win something like this yet,” Schill said. “I just worked hard all season and tried to play my best each game.”
Schill is already looking forward to what Elyria Catholic can do with another year of experience under its belt.
“I look at how much potential we have on our team,” she said. “We have so many freshmen and sophomores who are so talented that it just makes me want to work even harder in the off season. I’m already looking forward to playing summer basketball.”
Schill is just one of a talented class of sophomores across Lorain County. Another is Columbia’s Alison Schafer, who made first team in Division IV.
Schafer led the Raiders to a 17-7 season, which ended in a sectional final loss to Lake Ridge Academy.
A 5-8 point guard, Schafer averaged 14 points, 5.8 rebounds, three steals and 2.4 assists a game.
“We had a really good season this year,” Schafer said. “I think we surprised some people with our record. I think we’ll be even better next year.”
Schafer, the Division IV Lorain County player of the year, said the lofty numbers she has put up are a result of her hard work.
“I work at my game a lot,” she said. “I stay after practice to work on the areas where my game isn’t as strong. I play AAU basketball in the spring and summer and go right into fall league. It feels good to know that what I’ve worked for is starting to pay off. I have two more years to continue to keep working and hopefully it will pay off even more for me and my team.”
Firelands senior Casey Morrissette’s season ended prematurely when the Falcons were upset by Keystone in the Division II sectional finals. Morrissette, a 5-9 wing, scored 12.3 points a game, while shooting 85 percent from the line and hitting 50 3-pointers for the 21-2 Falcons.
The Mount Union recruit and Division II county player of the year, added five rebounds, 3.7 assists and 3.2 steals a game.
Lake Ridge senior Selena Benz, a 5-6 senior guard, was a Division IV first-team selection after averaging 12.5 points, six steals and 7.2 two assists.
Ten area players were second-team picks. On the girls side: Brook Wallace, Amherst; Kerri Gasper, Olmsted Falls; Hannah Bartlome, Vermilion; Pella Baker, Lake Ridge, and Becca Willis, Christian Community.
On the boys side, Isaiah Walton, Elyria; Gerrell Williams, Clearview; Jay Banyasz, Columbia; Andrew Patterson, Open Door, and Sam Waldock, Lake Ridge.
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Esa Ahmad, Shaker Hts., 6-foot-7, jr., 25.7 points per game; Kipper Nichols, Cleve. St. Edward,
6-7, jr., 18.4; Omari Spellman, North Royalton, 6-9, soph., 22.4; Alex Brown, Berea-Midpark, 6-1, sr., 19.8; Caleb Potter, Mentor, 6-4, sr., 19.4; Gavin Skelly, Westlake, 6-9, sr., 18.4; Marcelus Hamilton, Cleve. St. Edward. 6-4, sr., 16.6.
Player of the year: Esa Ahmad, Shaker Hts.
Coach of the year: Leo Barther, Berea-Midpark.
Kyauta Taylor, Cleve. East Tech, 6-2, sr., 25.2; Isaiah Walton, Elyria, 6-4, sr., 22.5; Margus Bagley, Cleve. Hts., 6-1, sr., 19.5; Jimond Ivey, Cleve. Glenville, 6-3, sr., 24.6; Conner Krizancic, Mentor, 6-3, sr., 16.1; Chelvonte Montgomery, Garfield Hts., 6-0, sr., 19.1.
Chris Oakley, Lyndhurst Brush, 6-3, jr., 17.1; Willie Jackson, Garfield Hts., 6-3, soph., 16.0; Eric Black, Cleve. St. Ignatius, 6-7, sr., 14.0; Alex Mitchell, Olmsted Falls, 6-6, sr., 14.5; Shawn McDonald, Lakewood, 5-11, sr., 18.9; Chavez Harper, Euclid, 6-5, sr., 16.0.
Area special mention: Garret Klekota, Amherst; Brian Kelly, Avon; Devon Andrews, Lorain; Adam Asadorian, Olmsted Falls; Makis Beach, Westlake; Rashod Berry, Lorain; Brad Hamilton, Avon Lake; Seth Muck, Avon Lake; Andy Lucien, North Olmsted.
Tervell Beck, Cleve. Central Cath., 6-7, soph., 18.5; Zavier Powers, Mentor Lake Cath., 6-2, sr., 20.5; Brad Karn, Parma Hts. Holy Name, 6-4, sr., 19.4; Justin Robinson, Mentor Lake Cath., 6-1, jr., 18.7; Connor McLaughlin, Ashtabula Edgewood, 6-1,sr., 17.7; Cameron Kuhn, Vermilion, 6-0, sr., 22.4; John Cirillo, Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin, 6-5, sr., 24.5.
Player of the year: Tervell Beck, Cleve. Central Cath.
Coach of the year: Dave Bargar, Chagrin Falls.
Cristen Wilson, Cleve. John Hay, 6-7, sr., 19.0; Antwon Lillard, Cleve. Central Cath., 6-2, jr., 15.0; David Chase, Jefferson Area, 6-7, sr., 17.0; Eli Kalil, Ashtabula Edgewood, 6-3, jr., 22.5; Lawrynce Johnson, Parma Hts. Holy Name, 5-11, jr., 18.8; Gerrell Williams, Clearview, 6-3, sr., 20.1.
Sawyer McGuire, Chagrin Falls, 6-2, jr., 14.9; Spencer Williams, Pepper Pike Orange, 6-1, sr., 19.0; Kyle Scadlock, Hunting Valley University School, 6-5, jr., 15.0; Kelvin Jones, Brookside, 6-5, sr., 13.6; Matt Bastock, Keystone, 6-3, sr., 16.0; Nelson Maxwell, Pepper Pike Orange, 6-3, sr., 17.0.
Area special mention: Cameron Drew, Brookside; Damion Knowles, Clearview; Kyle Nader, Vermilion; C.J. Conrad, Keystone.
Brian Parker, Cleve. Villa Angela-St. Joseph, 6-3, jr., 18.4; Carlton Bragg, Cleve. Villa Angela-St. Joseph, 6-9, jr., 18.3; John Davis III, Beachwood, 5-11, sr., 22.5; Jalen Jackson, Warrensville Hts., 6-0, sr., 12.9; Colin Zucker, Gates Mills Gilmour Acad., 6-0, sr., 18.0; Jeremy Holley, Elyria Cath., 6-6, sr., 21.0; Dererk Pardon, Cleve. Villa Angela-St. Joseph, 6-8, jr., 12.3.
Player of the year: Brian Parker, Cleve. Villa Angela-St. Joseph.
Coach of the year: David Pfundstein, Gates Mills Gilmour Acad.
Charles Franklin, Warrensville Hts., 6-5, sr., 13.2; Yavari Hall, Warrensville Hts., 6-4, soph., 12.7; Jake Vormelker, Orwell Grand Valley, 6-0, sr., 23.9; Jay Banyasz, Columbia, 6-4, sr., 10.8; Jake DiBlasio, Middlefield Cardinal, 6-7, sr., 17.1; Quinton Ratliffe, Andover Pymatuning Valley, 6-3, sr., 21.4.
Donte Wallette, Gates Mills Gilmour Acad., 6-3, sr., 13.6; Simon Texidor, Cleve. Villa Angela-St. Joseph, 6-2, jr., 12.4; David Delahunty, Columbia, 6-4, soph., 18.2; Ronald Jones, Beachwood, 6-4, soph., 13.0; Patrick Wisnieski, Independence, 6-3, sr., 13.5; Alex Doody, Gates Mills Hawken, 6-2, jr., 17.9.
Area special mention: Greg Kunze, Lutheran West; Andrew O’Hara, Lutheran West; Chris Scott, Lutheran West; Dylan Kidd, Wellington; Jacob Kuchta, Elyria Cath.
Bryan Gee, Willoughby Cornerstone Christian Acad., 6-2, sr., 18.8; Mike Parks, Richmond Hts., 6-8, jr., 18.0; Jordan Martin, Cuyahoga Hts., 6-1, sr., 20.0; K.J. Miller, Christian Community School, 5-10, jr., 23.4; Nick Detlev, Andrews-Osborne Acad., 7-2, sr., 17.9; R.J. Spaller, Willoughby Cornerstone Christian Acad., 5-11, sr., 14.7; Joe Moore, Fairport Harbor Fairport Harding, 6-1, sr., 19.4.
Player of the year: Bryan Gee, Willoughby Cornerstone Christian Acad.
Coach of the year: Dan Selle, Willoughby Cornerstone Christian Acad.
Dontez Lockett, Richmond Hts., 6-3, sr., 12.0; Andrew Patterson, Open Doors, 6-4, jr., 14.0; David Porter, Cuyahoga Hts., 6-1, jr., 10.1; Sam Waldock, Lake Ridge Acad., 6-1, soph., 10.0; Tyrez Shephard, Willoughby Cornerstone Christian Acad., 6-5, sr., 9.1; Isaiah McQueen, Willoughby Cornerstone Christian Acad., 6-4, sr., 9.1.
Area special mention: Josh Scofield, Lake Ridge Acad.; Chris Miller, Lake Ridge Acad.; Danny Stinson, Elyria Open Door.
Kayla Gabor, Mentor, 5-10, sr., 20.0; Lynsey Englebrecht, Eastlake North, 5-6, sr., 14.6; Kristen Confroy, Solon, 5-9, sr., 19.8; Alison Smolinski, North Royalton, 5-8, jr., 15.0; Lilli Piper, Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit, 5-10, jr., 13.0; Stasha Carey, Berea-Midpark, 5-11, sr., 19.0.
Player of the year: Kristen Confroy, Solon.
Coach of the year: Kevin Braaten, Berea-Midpark.
Shannon Zajec, Mayfield Village Mayfield, 5-7, sr., 18.5; Christine Dawson, Mentor, 6-1, sr., 13.0; Jordan Bekelja, Solon, 5-5, jr., 11.0; Dee Bekelja, Solon, 5-9, fresh., 13.0; Brooke Wallace, Amherst, 6-1, jr., 11.0; Kerri Gasper, Olmsted Falls, 5-10, jr., 15.0.
Taylor Bland, Madison, 5-8, sr., 15.5; Lindsey Lyons, Chardon, 5-8, sr., 16.2; Jess Barnes, Berea-Midpark, 5-7, sr., 10.0; Mackenzie Meckes, Avon, 5-7, jr., 12.0; Isabella Pecchia, North Ridgeville, 5-11, sr., 14.0.
AREA Special Mention: Destiny Wilson, Lorain; Corrine Furci, Westlake; Sierra Davidson, Avon; Alyssa Riley, North Ridgeville.
Hannah Thome, Chagrin Falls,
6-1, jr., 12.0; Shantell Bostick, Cleve. East Tech, 5-8, soph., 23.0; Lindsey Mayle, Geneva, 5-5, soph., 21.3; Kim Cook, Parma Holy Name, 5-10, sr., 16.0; Casey Morrissette, Firelands, 5-9, sr., 12.3; Latrice Legion, Cleve. Glenville, 5-10, jr., 17.0; Lexi Zappitelli, Conneaut, 5-11, jr., 16.2.
Player of the year: Shantell Bostick, Cleve. East Tech.
Coach of the year: Brittany Anderson, Chagrin Falls.
Jill Gibson, Mentor Lake Cath., 5-9, sr., 11.4; Jackie Corrigan, Parma Holy Name, 5-7, sr., 13.0; Hannah Bartlome, Vermilion, 5-6, sr., 17.0; Brittany Levkulich, Perry, 5-9, jr., 16.4; Corrione Cardwell, Cleve. East Tech, 5-7, soph., 13.0; Emily Smock, Jefferson Area, 5-7, soph., 14.5.
Nicole Popovich, Rocky River, 5-8, sr., 13.0; Jordan Joseph, Mentor Lake Cath., 5-8, soph., 13.1; McKenah Peters, LaGrange Keystone, 5-8, fresh., 16.2; Sarah Juncker, Geneva, 5-11, jr., 8.1; Beth Brzozowski, Shaker Hts. Hathaway Brown, 5-7, sr., 13.0; Erika Elias, Brookside, 5-6, sr., 17.3.
Jess Janota, Gates Mills Gilmour Acad., 6-3, sr., 15.7; Geena Gabriel, Andover Pymatuning Valley, 5-9, sr., 18.2; Kelsea Brown, Andover Pymatuning Valley, 5-8, jr., 17.5; Riley Schill, Elyria Cath., 5-6, soph., 14.0; Mikah Aldridge Beachwood, 5-6, sr., 14.2; Deja Winters, Richmond Hts., 5-11, soph., 19.0.
Player of the year: Jess Janota, Gates Mills Gilmour Acad.
Coach of the year: Jeff Compan, Andover Pymatuning Valley.
Jessica Vormelker, Orwell Grand Valley, 5-7, jr., 18.7; Mariah Porter, Wickliffe, 6-3, jr., 18.7; Alexa Knezevic, Kirtland, 5-5, sr., 11.0; Megan Stech, Andover Pymatuning Valley, 6-1, jr., 14.1; Aneisha Hardin, Beachwood, 5-8, sr., 11.9; Monique Evans, Richmond Hts., 5-5, jr., 14.0.
Marisa Finazzo, Gates Mills Gilmour Acad., 5-3, soph., 8.3; Emily Kelley, Gates Mills Gilmour Acad., 5-8, fresh., 11.9; Aryana Jackson, Beachwood, 5-9, jr., 14.6; Judith Lesesne, Oberlin, 5-6, jr., 15.0; Karen Somes, Kirtland, 6-0, sr., 9.0; Kyleth Spencer, Richmond Hts., 5-10, sr., 11.0.
Area Special Mention: Josie Caradang, Elyria Cath.; Jessie Lee, Elyria Cath.
Maria McGhee, Villa Angela-St. Joseph, 5-8, jr., 18.2; Jenna Stegmaier, Cuyahoga Hts., 5-10, jr., 14.5; Alison Schafer, Columbia, 5-8, soph., 14.0; Liz Spenze, Cuyahoga Hts., 5-9, sr., 10.0; Payton Buell, Cornerstone Christian, 5-8, soph., 21.0; Selena Benz, Lake Ridge Acad., 5-5, sr., 12.5.
Player of the year: Jenna Stegmaier, Cuyahoga Hts.
Coach of the year: Al Martin, Cuyahoga Hts.
Toni Beuck, Villa Angela-St. Joseph, 5-6, jr., 8.7; Pella Baker, Lake Ridge Acad., 6-3, fresh., 11.0; Becca Willis, Christian Community, 5-9, sr., 18.0; Shannon Harless, Fairport, 5-8, sr., 11.0; Alivia Sidley, Ledgemont, 5-6, jr., 11.2.