Wheeling Park’s Alex Vargo, Barnesville’s Luke Powell Captain 52nd All-Valley Boys’ Basketball Team

BIG SCHOOL

Alex Vargo

Junior, Wheeling Park

To keep things simple for Wheeling Park’s Alex Vargo, the kid can flat out play basketball. And not only was he one of the best players in the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference, he was one of the best players in West Virginia.

During his junior campaign, Vargo scored an average of 19.2 points per game, shot 47 percent from the floor while also grabbing 9.2 rebounds.

To make his stats even more impressive, the 6-foot-5 guard scored 20 or more points in 11 games. With one more year left in a Patriots uniform, he is closing in on the 1,000-point milestone as he currently stands at 967. A first team All-Valley selection last year, Vargo was also named first team all-state in West Virginia Class AAA and first team-All-OVAC.

Craig Bober, St. Clairsville

Key players step up in big games. That is exactly what St. Clairsville senior Craig Bober did. Standing at 6-4, Bober scored an eye-popping 27 points in the Buckeye 8 Championship game and bucketed 19 in an OVAC final against Meadowbrook. To make matters even more impressive, he accomplished all of this while recovering from tearing his ACL twice in two years. In his final high school campaign, Bober compiled a double-double each night as he scored 19 points and had 10 points. He was also selected as first team All-East District, first team District 12, first team All-OVAC and was selected to play in both the OVAC and District 12 All-Star games.

Matt Busby, St. Clairsville

The second player on St. Clairsville to make the All-Valley team is senior Matt Busby. Busby, who scored more than 900 career points as a Red Devil, was a three-year starter where he averaged 19 points per game. He also was assigned to lock down their opponent’s best defender each night. Like Bober, he was selected to play in both the OVAC and District 12 All-Star games. The senior was second team All-East District, first team All-OVAC and first team All-District 12.

Cal Kildow, Union Local

Returning to the All-Valley team is Union Local’s Cal Kildow. In his swan song, the senior guard led the way for the Jets with 20.3 points and grabbed 6.1 steals per contest. Kildow was also a threat from behind the perimeter as he tickled the twine 66 times and was an impressive free-throw shooter (117 of 149 for 79 percent). He also tallied 57 steals. His accolades don’t stop there as he is Union Local’s leader in career 3-point goals with 192 and sixth on the all-time scoring list with 1,254. He was named first team District 12, first team All-Eastern District and first team All-OVAC.

Keondre’ King, Wheeling Park

It was almost pick your poison when playing Wheeling Park as senior Keondre’ King was just as vital to the Patriots. Averaging 17.7 points and grabbing 5.2 boards per game, King was named second team all-state and first team All-OVAC. He became the 16th player in Wheeling Park history to surpass 1,000 points, doing so on a night where he scored 35 including going 8 of 10 from behind the arc. His career-high was 36 points at Parkersburg South and drained 59 3-point goals on the season. A two-time memeber of the All-Valley team, King ended his Wheeling Park career with 1,069 points. He will continue his athletic and academic careers at WVU Tech.

Kobe Mitchell

Harrison Central

If you don’t know his name by now, you haven’t been paying attention. Only a sophomore, Harrison Central’s Kobe Mitchell has already proven himself as one of the premier players in the OVAC. He led the Huskies scoring at about 27 points per contest. To make heads turn even more, he has already surpassed 1,000 points in just two years in a Huskies uniform. One of his biggest accomplishments was being named Division II Eastern District Player of the Year. He was also named second team All-Ohio. He ended his sophomore campaign with an impressive 32-point performance in a District semifinal against Steubenville.

Ethan Travis, Oak Glen

It was an impressive year for the Oak Glen boys’ basketball team and Ethan Travis was a huge factor for that. The 6-5 senior was a walking double-double as he bucketed 18.3 points while grabbing 12.7 rebounds per contest. Leading the Goden Bears to an 4A OVAC semifinal appearance, Travis shot an impressive 56.2 percent overall from the field. From inside the arc, he tallied a 63.1 percent and also made 22 3-pointers on the season. He also led the Golden Bears to the OVAC Class 4A semifinals and was named second team all-state in West Virginia Class AA. Travis was also chosen to play in the OVAC All-Star Game.

Josh Zimmerman, Steubenville

Josh Zimmerman concluded his high school campaign in impressive fashion. The two-time All-OVAC selection, Zimmerman scored 16.1 points per game. The point guard also grabbed 6.3 rebounds, dished out 5.9 assists and tallied 2.4 steals per game. Boasting a 13-3 regular season regular, Zimmerman led Big Red to the Class 5A semifinals. Big Red also secured a spot in the OHSAA regional semifinal after a 54-51 victory over John Glenn. Zimmerman, who was one of nine seniors on the team, is a two-time first team District 5 selection and played in the OVAC All-Star Game and District 5 All-Star Game.

SMALL SCHOOL

Luke Powell

Junior, Barnesville

What a season Barnesville had! The Shamrocks claimed their first OVAC title in school history and Luke Powell was a big part of their success. The junior guard scored a staggering 29.6 points per game to go along with 10.2 rebounds.

Powell surpassed 1,000 points for his career as well. It happened during a memorable night where he poured in 45 points while also grabbing 16 rebounds in a victory over Monroe Central. During the OVAC championship game, the junior netted 32 points and tallied 11 boards.

He was also named first team All-Eastern District, District 12 and All-OVAC. More impressively, he was honored with second team All-Ohio in Division III.

Kelly Hendershot, Shadyside

When you look at Kelly Hendershot’s stats, it is hard to believe that he was battling through a shoulder injury. The junior led the way for the Tigers with an impressive 19.9 points per game to go along with 9.3 assists. The Tigers also qualified to a 2A OVAC semifinal. He was able to share the wealth as well, as he compiled three assists per game. For his efforts, he was awarded with many accolades including third team All-Ohio, first team All-Eastern District and All-OVAC.

Nate Karaffa, Toronto

What a final season for Toronto’s Nate Karaffa. The senior led the Red Knights to the OVAC Class 2A championship game where he scored 22 points in a losing effort against Wheeling Central, almost single-handedly bringing the team back from an early deficit. There isn’t a single coach in the valley that wouldn’t love to have Karaffa on their team. The senior led the way for his team with 19.6 points per game along with 7.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and had 5.1 steals. He shot 52 percent from the floor and 39 percent from behind the arc. He received third team All-Ohio honors.

J.C. Maxwell, Wheeling Central

You could say Wheeling Central did not have that ‘star player’ during the 2018-19 season. Instead, Wheeling Central had a handful of players that could put up double figures on any given night.

Sophomore J.C. Maxwell certainly was one of the key elements to the Wheeling Central offense. Scoring 12.5 points per game, Maxwell was deadly from the floor shooting an impressive 52.6 percent. He also grabbed 5.3 rebounds and dished out 2.4 assists per game. With his efforts, the guard/forward was honored with a second team all-state selection in Class A.

Dillon Meintel Cameron

Cameron had another successful season and senior Dillon Meintel may have saved his best basketball campaign for last. Helping the Dragons to a 17-7 record and second straight OVAC championship game, Meintel, a 6-5 senior center, compiled 15.4 points per game while grabbing 8.8 boards for Coach Tom Hart’s squad. He used his height to his advantage as he tallied 2.1 blocked shots per game. He was named first team All-OVAC and played in the Samuel A. Mumley OVAC All-Star game.

Griffin Phillips

Tyler Consolidated

It was another memorable season for Griffin Phillips. Last season as a junior, Phillips helped the Silver Knights reach Charleston for the first time since 2002 and was named second team all-state.

This season, his numbers improved as he scored 23.1 points per game while also averaging six rebounds, 5.9 assists and 4.1 steals per game. Returning to the All-Valley team, Phillips also shot 51 percent from the floor and had a 3.5 assist to turnover ratio. After another great season, Phillips was named first team all-state. Phillips also recorded his 1,000th career point on Jan. 18 in a victory over Magnolia.

Anthony Robbins, Wheeling Central

Senior forward Anthony Robbins was another Maroon Knight that could put double figures up on any given night. Earning second team all-state in West Virginia Class A, Robbins averaged 12.3 points per game. He was also a lot to handle on the boards as the senior grabbed 8.8 rebounds per contest. He tied for the team lead in blocks with 24 and had 45 steals to help Wheeling Central earn its seventh consecutive OVAC championship where he was earned the John Howell Most Valuable Player Award, as well as a trip to Charleston.

Trillion West, Toronto

Karaffa was not alone during Toronto’s 2018-19 campaign. Classmate Trillion West made just as much an impact as he shot 58 percent from the field and cashed in on 42 percent of his shots from behind the perimeter. Compiling 14.7 points, 4.9 assists and 3.2 steals per game, the Red Knights finished their season with an impressive 21-3. West was also named first team All-OVAC and was chosen to participate in the all-star game.

All-Valley

Honor Roll

Big School

First Team

Craig Bober, St. Clairsville

Matt Busby, St. Clairsville

Cal Kildow, Union Local

Keondre King, Wheeling Park

Kobe Mitchell, Harrison Central

Ethan Travis, Oak Glen

Alex Vargo, Wheeling Park (captain)

Josh Zimmerman, Steubenville

Second Team

Luka Haught, Weir

Austin Judson, Indian Creek

Devaughn McWhorter,

Wheeling Park

Deandre Pugh, Martins Ferry

Reed Reitter, Weir

James Roundtree, Steubenville

Sean Smith, Oak Glen

Bryce Yoho, John Marshall

Third Team

Michael Allen, Indian Creek

Elijah Baker, Union Local

Derrick Derrow, John Marshall

Jorian Jones, Steubenville

Logan Smith, Martins Ferry

Jack Stakem, Wheeling Park

Evan Stine, Harrison Central

Brett Vike, St. Clairsville

Small School

First Team

Kelly Hendershot, Shadyside

Nate Karaffa, Toronto

J.C. Maxwell, Wheeling Central

Dillon Meintel, Cameron

Griffin Phillips, Tyler

Consolidated

Luke Powell, Barnesville

(captain)

Anthony Robbins, Wheeling

Central

Trillion West, Toronto

Second Team

Tate Dowler, Barnesville

Zac Jones, Monroe Central

Travis McCoy, Hundred

Travis Mickey, Cameron

Dakota Phillips, Beallsville

Ryan Reasbeck, Wheeling

Central

Marshall Taylor, Linsly

Trevin Tush, Linsly

Third Team

Evan Boniti, Madonna

Gavin Dietrich, Madonna

Luca Connor, Steubenville

Catholic

John Murphy, River

Bray Price, Wheeling Central

Matt Saxon, Paden City

Tyler West, Tyler Consolidated

David Zwak, Bellaire

Honorable Mention

Barnesville: Ayden Hannahs,

Aaron Marovich

Beallsville: Spencer Jarrett

Bellaire: A.J. McCarthy

Bridgeport: Trevonn Ray

Brooke: Logan Williams

Buckeye Local: Luke Darrah

Buckeye Trail: Zach Grafton

Cameron: Aidan

Lucey, Noah Neely

Edison: Isaac Schmitz

Harrison Central: Gavin

Muckle

Hundred: Cody Soles

Indian Creek: Austin Judson

John Marshall: Mickey Reilly

Linsly: Wyatt Hirt, Jon Milton

Madonna: Brennan Secrist

Magnolia: Jake Gamble

Martins Ferry: Dasyn Hores

Monroe Central: Malachi

Rose-Burton

Oak Glen: Jarrett Gittings

Paden City: Ty Cain, Trey

Slider

River: Stone Thompson

Shadyside: Korey Beckett

St. Clairsville: Brett Vike

Steubenville: Clavin Bickerstaff

Steubenville Catholic: Dom

Argentine

Toronto: Lucas Gulczynski

Tyler Consolidated: Mark Rucker

Union Local: Hunter McCort

Valley: Avery Kinkade, Levi

Anderson

Weir: Elijah Gillette,

Wheeling Central: Clayton

Abate

Wheeling Park: Donovan

Goddard

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