Debacle in D-5 all-star game should have been avoided

There are times when all-star games at the high school level are total mismatches.

Such was the case in the District 5 Girls All-Star Basketball Game held some 10 days ago at Indian Valley High School.

The district games are set up by the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association and each district has an all-star game. The majority of area schools are in District 12, which held its games on Friday at Buckeye Trail.

District 5’s eastern side includes the likes of Buckeye Local, Harrison Central, Steubenville, Steubenville Central, Edison, Indian Creek, etc.

In the west, however, are the likes of West Holmes (won the Division II state championship), Hiland, Garaway, Ridgewood, Dover, New Philadelphia, etc.

Obviously, the advantage clearly lied with the West squads on paper.

On paper carried over to the court, too.

The West squad defeated the East … brace yourself … 121-37. Yes, an 84-point differential in an all-star game.

Something needs to be done to figure out a better way to evenly match these teams for so many reasons. Obviously, first and foremost, many of the players are playing high school basketball for the last time in what is supposed to be a fun experience.

What is fun about losing by 84? All that does is leave a totally sour taste in everyone’s mouth.

I read an article on the game and talked to an area coach, who was in attendance, about the game. It seems that the West squad was seeking to break a scoring record.

Can we get serious, please?

Who in the world cares about a record in a high school all-star game? Do the coaches get some kind of bonus for that? It’s just totally ridiculous to keep pressuring a team just to set a record.

Aside from the players, you’d like to draw some attendance at these games to showcase the players. No one is going to come out to watch an 84-point debacle just to see some coaches get their grins by setting a record at the expense of 17 and 18 year old girls.

I don’t dispute that the West simply had far superior players and a blowout was probably unavoidable. But, winning a game by 84 points is avoidable and it should have been.

Hopefully, these districts come up with a better way to choose the teams to make sure this kind of outcome is avoided in the future.


I must say I am very impressed with the commitment shown to getting the boys’ sports at St. John Central turned around.

The Irish made waves in the past few weeks with the hiring of Jose Davis as football coach and then last week when they named Dave Reasbeck as their head boys basketball coach.

Both have proven themselves to be more than capable of being successful as head coaches. Davis took Bellaire to two playoff berths and an OVAC title in his stint, while Reasbeck returns to the sidelines after taking two seasons off. He led the Martins Ferry girls’ program to its most recent OVAC title.

Davis and Reasbeck are both intense competitors, so the approach at St. John may be a bit different than what some are accustomed, but they’ll put their total effort into doing their best to turn the ship around.

In talking to both and covering their hirings, both realize the challenges that lie ahead. They know plenty of work is on the horizon, but they’ll be committed.

I applaud the Irish administration for having the desire to getting their sports turned around to the point where they made advances for arguably the two best available coaches on the market.

As they’ve received plenty of congratulations and well wishes, something tells me both Davis and Reasbeck are eager to roll up their sleeves and get to work.


Union Local’s Colton McKivitz is becoming one of the more sought after offensive lineman from the Ohio Valley in quite some time.

The Jets’ junior now has five Division I colleg scholarship offers. His latest came from West Virginia University. He had previous offers from Toledo, Kent, Akron and Marshall.

Shadyside junior Austin Dorris has continued to pick up offers and recently picked up his first offer from a FBS school outside of the Mid-American Conference. During a visit at Marshall, the Thundering Herd extended a scholarship offer to the Tigers’ quarterback, who is being recruited as a tight end.

Dorris now holds offers from Ohio, Toledo, Western Michigan and Kent.

The recruiting steam has picked up for St. Clairsville sophomore Brendan Ferns.

Just last week, Ferns received scholarship offers from Minnesota, Kentucky, Cincinnati and West Virginia. He had previously received an offer from Virginia.


Former Bellaire High head basketball coach Gene Ammirante will be inducted to the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame on April 26 in Columbus at the Airport Mariott Inn. The event begins with a social hour at 5:30 p.m. and the banquet at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are still available at a cost of $35. For more information, contact Ammirante’s daughter, Lindsay, at or by phone at 304-281-4145.


  • ST. CLAIRSVILLE senior Michael Eaton took part in the YMCA National Short Course meet in Greensboro this week. The Ohio State commit finished 15th in the finals of the 100 breaststroke, which is his specialty. He posted a time of 56.63. He also swam the 200 breast, 50 free and 100 freestyle.