2019 Top 5 boys and girls profiles
Boys Top 5
Zeb Jackson – Maumee Valley Country Day Junior
Before the season began he verbally committed to play for Coach John Beilein and Michigan. With the season he’s put together Zeb has made Beilein proud. He helped lead the Hawks to the regional tournament while averaging 25.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 3.0 steals a game. He shoots 37% from three-point land and 80% from the free throw line. Maumee Valley coach Rob Conover said, “Zeb’s success is directly linked to his incredible work ethic. He has an unrivaled passion for the game, he has grown into a leader, and has an IQ for the game that is off the charts. He is a great teammate and an even better person and I am proud to have the opportunity to have coached him for the past 5 years.” Jackson can take over a game at a moment’s notice and his list of awards is long: 2019 TAAC Player of the year, District Player of the year, three-time 1st team All-Toledo Area Athletic Conference, three-time First team All-District.
Alek West - Northview Senior
The Wildcats point guard averaged 20.2 points, 9.8 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 2.2 steals a game. He shot 56% from inside the arc and 34% from three-point land. On top of that he was a 86% free throw shooter. In addition to his 13abc recognition, he has other awards too. He is the OPSWA all-District Player of the Year. The District 7 Player of the Year, the Northern Lakes League Player of the Year, and First Team All-Ohio. Collegiately his plans are not set in stone. He has interest from Division II colleges but has not committed anywhere yet. He plans to pick a major in the medical field and eventually go to medical school. Northview coach Jeremy McDonald said, “Alek is an indomitable competitor with a relentless motor. This combined with his coachability, athleticism, high basketball IQ and a diverse skill set have made him one of the premier players in our area. I am going to miss coaching him more than I can convey.”
Jackie Harris – St. Francis Senior
He’ll be playing in the Horizon League for Oakland University next season. This year he was a go-to guy for the Knights averaging 21 points per game to go along with 11 rebounds. He was first Team All-Three Rivers Athletic Conference, First Team All-District, and a 1,000 point career scorer. Coach Travis Lewis said, “Jackie impacts our team with his non-verbal leadership he shows up and works hard every day. He puts in countless hours before, during lunch, and after school in the gym working on his game. He is also a 3.5 GPA student. On the floor he provides stability on the glass and he’s an offensive inside-out presence.”
Eddie Colbert – Whitmer Senior
In 25 games, he scored 498 points, an average of 19.9 a game. He also produced 7.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. He shot 56% from the floor and an impressive 41% from three-point land. He made 73% of his free throws and was named Co-Player of the Year in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference. He was named First Team All-District in both his junior and senior years. As for college, no decisions have been made yet but he does plan to play at the next level. Coach Ryan Brown said Colbert has at least three Division II offers and interest from some smaller Division I schools. Brown added, "Edward has been very consistent on the offensive and defensive end and has brought great leadership and work ethic to our program."
Jacob Plantz – Genoa Senior
Genoa’s undefeated season came to a crushing halt, losing to Cardinal Stritch in the district finals but the Comets wouldn’t have sniffed 20+ wins without Plantz. He was named Northern Buckeye Conference Player of the Year and District 7 Division III Player of the Year. He averaged 20.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 2.0 steals and was a career 1,000 point scorer. Genoa coach Zach Alt said, “Jacob has been a tremendous player, teammate, and leader in the program. His competitive nature and willingness to encourage others to improve their game is so valuable to our program. He was a big part of raising the bar of what “putting the work in” means in Genoa.” Plantz has committed to play basketball at Lake Erie College.
Girls Top 5
Zia Cooke – Rogers Senior
If you name an award, chances are she’s won it. She is the Division II state player of the year, district player of the year, and City League player of the year. She’s earned two goal medals playing for Team USA and she led Rogers to the 2018 state championship. This season she has the Rams back in the state tournament while averaging 21.5 points a game to go along with 6.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 3.7 steals. She shot 39% from three-point land and has made 70% of her free throws. She has signed to play for South Carolina next season and Rogers head coach Lamar Smith said, “Zia brings leadership to the team and she’s a very hard worker and dedicated in the off season to training. Being a leader for us this year has been huge for us, trusting her teammates, seeing growth and believing in her team. She really makes other players better.”
Jala Johnson – Notre Dame Academy Senior
She and Notre Dame Academy made it to state her sophomore year. Johnson made sure the Eagles did it again her senior year. This season she has averaged 15.6 points per game, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.9 assists. She was Player of the Year in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference and the District. She is a 1,000 point scorer and she broke the school’s all-time steals record. She is committed to play for Coach Kate Achter at Loyola Chicago. Coach Travis Galloway said, "Jala has had a remarkable season as a player and as a leader. Her ability to lead by example and vocally is a big reason for our success this season. Our team is very confidant when the ball is in Jala's hands."
Savanah Richards – Liberty-Benton Senior
As an all-around athlete Richards has delivered top notch performances throughout her high school career. This season on the court she averaged 18.7 points a game to go along with 4.8 rebound, 6.5 assists, and 4.3 steals. Her 182 assists this season was a single-season school record. She shot 67.2 % from two-point range, 36.8% from three-point range, and 78.7% from the free throw line. She was named Blanchard Valley Conference Player of the Year for the second year in a row. She was also the District 8 Player of the Year, and named First Team all-state. She will play in the Ohio North/South Game next month and has signed to play at Tiffin University next year. Coach Nate Irwin said, "Savanah is the ultimate competitor that brings a lot of energy to every game and practice. She is a great defender on top of being a very good offensive player. She is a great leader for our team because her teammates know how hard she works and they want to play well and compete for Savanah. She's had one of the best statistical season's we've ever had for one of our players. She was a big part of our success this year, finishing 26-2 and advancing to the regional finals."
Lauren Perry – Southview Junior
Southview head coach Kelly Heil said, “Lauren is an extremely hard working student athlete. We appreciate her leadership skills on the court. She has the ability to do whatever the team needs whether it be find an open teammate, rebound, get a defensive stop or score. We can count on Lauren in crunch time. She is a fierce competitor and talented athlete.” This season Perry averaged 12 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 3.1 steals per game. She was named the Northern Lakes League Player of the Year, First team District 7, First team Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association Division 1 All Northwest District. She plans to play basketball in college but is undecided where that will be since she is still a junior.
Jamie Schmeltz – Eastwood Junior
She helped lead the Eagles to a Northern Buckeye Conference title while averaging 22.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 5.2 steals per game. She made 41% of her three point field goal attempts and has scored 1,200 career points through 60 games. She was named NBC Player of the year, District 7 Division 3 Coaches Player of the year, and 1st team all-district Northwest Ohio. As a junior her goal is to play Division I college basketball. Eastwood’s head coach Nick Schmeltz (her older brother) said, “Jamie really makes our team go. She sets the pace offensively with her ability to bring the ball up the court and has a variety of ways to score within our offense. She also sees the court extremely well and her size and athleticism allows her to have an impact rebounding the ball as well. We knew when Jamie stepped on the court this year we were going to get 20 points from her and she was going to get others good looks.”