Top honors go to Falcon, Eagle

Top honors go to Falcon, Eagle

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Top honors go to Falcon, Eagle

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Jill Morrison’s high school basketball career is not over quite yet.

Morrison will represent Indiana as an All-Star this June in its annual series with Kentucky, a fitting finale for Randolph County’s most prolific scorer.

Morrison owns not only the Winchester career scoring record, but also that of Randolph County. A two-time Player of the Year in the Tri-Eastern Conference, Morrison ended her time as a Falcon with nearly 2,000 points.

She’s also the 2012-13 Player of the Year in girls basketball for the Palladium-Item. Eaton’s Gary Peffly is Coach of the Year.

In his first year as head coach, Peffly guided the Eagles to a 20-5 mark, the most victories ever for the program. He also had Eaton one win away from an Ohio Division II sectional championship.
“Anytime you face success as a coach, it’s the players you have,” Peffly said. “We just had a group of girls who had an interest in winning and worked hard every day. They were just a joy to coach.
“The positive attitude was what I was most proud of. Every game, even in the games we lost, they came out and put forth the effort that you need.”
Peffly had tough competition for the top coaching slot, including two exemplary jobs done in Randolph County. Randolph Southern’s Jerimy Stephan’s Rebels won a second straight sectional title, had an undefeated Mid-Eastern Conference season and a perfect mark on the home court, while Winchester’s Ed Geesaman led the Falcons to county, TEC and sectional championships.
At Richmond, Casey Pohlenz continued to guide the Red Devils with a steady hand, leading them to a third consecutive winning season.
A pair of sophomore standouts helped their teams on the court, with Richmond’s Mackenzie Taylor and Autumn Whirley leading Richmond and Eaton, respectively. Senior Shaye Thomas helped Tri-Village maintain its high standard of success from the point guard position, as the Patriots captured their second straight district championship.
Peffly’s Eagles won their first tournament game in more than a decade and contended for the SWBL Southwestern Division title. Eaton handed Bellbrook its first conference defeat in five years during the regular season.
Eaton was 10-2 in conference for second place.
The future is bright, with the roster returning for next season.
“We have everybody back,” Peffly said. “They are going to have to work hard. Our schedule is a lot tougher next year.
“We’re going to show up, every day, one game at a time and just work really hard and hope for the best success.”
Hard work has been a theme for Morrison.
The Ball State-bound senior has played on four sectional champions, two of which advanced to the Class 2A semistate round.
She tossed in 1,982 points with Winchester and was among the state’s leading scorers, regardless of class, her junior and senior campaigns.
“I never would have thought that, my freshman year, I’d be able to achieve the things I have,” Morrison said. “I’m just really blessed I had people around me keeping a good head on my shoulders.
“I’m just really happy with my Winchester career.”
So is Geesaman, who coached Morrison for two years as an assistant and two years as the Falcons’ head coach.
“She is so competitive,” Geesaman said. “When she steps across that line, you are not going to find a more competitive person than her.”
It would be difficult to find a more consistent scorer, too.
Morrison averaged 27.6 points per game this season for the 20-5 Falcons. She’ll take part in the Indiana All-Star Games against Kentucky June 14 in Louisville and June 15 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Geesaman is looking forward to watching Morrison in those All-Star Games, and he’s also eager to see her ply her trade at the Division I level.
He predicts more success.
“She can shoot outside. She can drive. She’ll fit right into that program,” Geesaman said. “She’s going to be fun to watch the next four years.”
Added Morrison: “I really couldn’t have asked for more. … I’m excited to play at the Division I level. I’m excited for what my future holds.”

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