MARION – No matter the opponent, Marion Harding senior Olivia Davis was determined to have a outstanding final season for her Lady Presidents basketball squad.
Davis, the Fahey Bank Female Athlete of the Month for January and the daughter of Tecca Thompson of Marion, faced many new opponents this year as Harding went from an independent schedule into the Mid Ohio Athletic Conference.
“It was a little different, not really knowing the teams,” Davis said. “The games also meant a lot more, playing for a place in the conference and for school pride with Pleasant and River Valley on our schedule.
“It was cool to see the gym packed to see us play that type of competition.”
Davis had already established herself as a standout player before the Lady Presidents joined the MOAC. During January, she let the MOAC know about her talents.
Davis produced five double-doubles in points and rebounds, including the last three games of the month.
She averaged 16.6 points a game along with 9.9 rebounds per outing in the month. She shot 52 percent from the field and averaged 2.8 blocked shots a contest.
One of her biggest games of the time period was against one of those new rivalry foes, River Valley. During that game, she scored 26 points and hauled in 16 rebounds.
The RV contest was one of the final three of the month in which she had double-doubles. The others were 20 points and 15 rebounds in a win over Fredericktown, and 26 points and 13 bounds in a victory over Buckeye Valley.
Her other double-doubles were 12 points and 10 rebounds in a win over Pleasant, and 23 points and 10 rebounds in a triumph over Fairbanks.
Davis credited a more aggressive approach for her improved numbers.
“I started taking the ball to the basket more and not shooting as much from the perimeter,” she said.
Rebounding has always been a strong point of her game, and this season was no different.
Davis admitted she had actually gotten better on the boards in the 2014-15 season.
“It was a mental-toughness thing versus a physical-toughness thing,” she said. “We were also new to the Central District this year, and when I saw I was ranked in the top five in rebounding in the district statistics, that got me going.”
Davis shot 46.2 percent from the foul line in January, which was a marked improvement over earlier in the season and in her career.
“I was shooting more free throws in practice, and coach (Harding head coach Evan Geyer) would be there with me, telling me to maintain focus and what I was doing wrong,” she said.
Davis led a resurgence in girls basketball at Harding this season, helping a team which won only eight games a year ago to a 13-10 record this winter.
“What I enjoyed the most this season was the winning part of it and having people from Marion, the boys team, the school and the community supporting us,” Davis said. “People cared more about us than they did in the past.”
Go to www.marionstar.com to see Harding’s Olivia Davis discuss basketball.
Megan Mulvaine, Ridgedale basketball
Alanna Wiseman, Elgin basketball
Morgan Lott, River Valley basketball
Kamryn Kimmel, Pleasant basketball