Vaughn, Troike top area All-Ohio choices
Some award-winning coaches, and even fans of that team, might feel a little let down when it’s announced they have to share an honor.
Sure, having an award all by your lonesome is great for the ego, but Carey’s Phil Vaughn sees such things as the work of a group and not the one.
So when The Associated Press announced Thursday he shared this year’s top Division IV girls basketball coaching honor with Danville’s Matt Proper, Cuyahoga Heights’ Al Martin and Fayetteville-Perry’s Toby Sheets, Vaughn’s reaction was to rejoice for the Blue Devils as a whole.
“It’s a great honor. It’s a program accomplishment,” he said. “My girls, they worked so hard on the floor. They’re the ones out there playing and battling. They’re really why we had a successful year this year.”
The Blue Devils finished 23-3 overall, capturing the final Midland Athletic League title – the MAL disbands after this year – with an unbeaten mark and ending as the regional runners-up. It was Carey’s first trip to the regional since the 2008-09 team advanced to the state semifinals in Vaughn’s first year with the Blue Devils.
“It was a great season. Really proud of the girls winning the last MAL title, going 10-0 in the league and getting down to Elida in the regional finals,” Vaughn said. “I can’t say enough about the season and just coaching them and having the time [with them], and spending four years with those seniors. It’s been a good run for them.”
And he wasn’t the only Blue Devil honored.
Sydney Wentling capped her sophomore season by being named to the honorable mention list after averaging 13.2 points, 4 rebounds and 4.7 assists during the regular season. Her effort helped Carey end second in the MAL in scoring (57.1) and third in points allowed (39).
“Sydney works hard for her team. She’s our point guard and she’ll tell you she’s an equal piece to our team,” Vaughn said. “Even though she’s the point guard, she relies on the other kids.
“Sydney’s a well-rounded player,” he said. “She would tell you she couldn’t do it without them, but she’s certainly deserving of it.”
While Carey had a pair of all-Ohio representatives, three other area players also gained awards.
St. Wendelin’s Kamryn Troike led that latter group by being named a second-team pick in Division IV.
The 6-3 sophomore dominated the paint for the Mohawks, averaging 20.7 points and 14 rebounds per game during the regular season before ending the year at 20.9 points and 14.7 boards per contest.
It was quite a jump from the 8.8 points and 7.7 rebounds she put up as a freshman.
“The surprising thing with Kam is how much she improved from her freshman year to her sophomore year,” St. Wendelin coach Aaron Smith said. “I told her her freshman year she was 6-3 and her sophomore year she was a basketball player.”
And the improvement brought attention.
Along with being double-and-triple-teamed during the year, she earned league and District 6 MVP honors while drawing the interest of Division I college coaches.
“She’s drawing some attention, and she’d be the first one to tell you she wouldn’t be second team all-Ohio if her teammates did throw her the ball,” Smith said.
“Our girls will just keep feeding her. They’re so unselfish. They just want to win,” he said. “That’s why we had such a surprising season.”
New Riegel junior Kara Scherger landed on the honorable mention list in Division IV.
She ran the point for the Blue Jackets, guiding them to the regional semifinals, where they lost to Carey, by turning in 13 points, 3.1 assists and 4.3 steals.
“She did a lot for us,” New Riegel coach Steve Lucius said. “As a point guard, you quarterback the team. She’d get us into our offense and spearhead our defense. A little bit of everything.
“We’re glad she’s back for one more year.”
Upper Sandusky senior Taylor Graboski finished her career as a two-time all-Ohio pick, ending as a Division III special mention player.
She averaged a double-double for the Rams, turning in 17.6 points and 13.7 rebounds per game in her final season.
“She’s one of those kids that’s going to be hard to replace. You don’t replace a kid like that with her drive and her ability,” Upper Sandusky coach Brent Fahle said. “She’s just a great kid with heart and determination. Her passion is going to be greatly missed.
“She’s a great kid and she’s going to do great things at Valpo as a volleyball player,” he said.