Wheeling Park’s Alex Vargo, Barnesville’s Luke Powell Captain 53rd All-Valley Boys’ Basketball Team
Alex Vargo, Wheeling Park
Already being one of the best players in the state of West Virginia going into his senior year, Wheeling Park’s Alex Vargo, once again elevated his game. A two-time West Virginia Class AAA first team all-stater, Vargo had his finest season in a Patriots uniform as he returns as captain of the All-Valley team.
Vargo, who has verbally committed to Youngstown State University, averaged 27.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game to help lead Wheeling Park to its first regional title and state tournament appearance since 2012.
He also had a handful of individual accomplishments, including breaking the school’s single-game record of 53 points. He is also No. 2 on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,634 points.
“Alex Vargo will leave Wheeling Park High School as one of the best basketball players in school history,” Wheeling Park coach Michael Jebbia said. “He has invested more time than any player we have coached in 14 years. His future is bright and he has been a great example to our upcoming basketball players.”
Calvin Bickerstaff, Steubenville
While Calvin Bickerstaff will be taking his talents to a Division I program in baseball, he is just as much as an athlete on the hardwood.
Bickerstaff, who will be playing for Kent State University, had a fine senior season for Big Red. He led the team with 14.7 points per game along with grabbing 8.7 rebounds and dishing out 2.1 assists. He was named All-Ohio Honorable Mention.
“Calvin was a leader for our team and was a force inside for us,” Steubenville coach Michael Haney said.
Elijah Gillette, Weir
When it comes to sports, Weir’s Elijah Gillette is simply just an athlete. Also, a standout in football and baseball, the senior/guard capped off a nice career on the hardwood. Gillette paced the Red Riders with 12.6 points per game and also led the team with 124 rebounds. He also totaled 45 assists, 46 steals and 14 blocked shots.
“Elijah is a tremendous athlete who gave his all on a daily basis whether it was practice or a game,” Weir coach Michael Granato said. “He is a throwback in a time of selfishness and specialization playing three sports.
Nate Harris, St. Clairsville
Looks can definitely be deceiving sometimes. Hence was the case for St. Clairsville’s Nate Harris. Standing only 5-foot-7, Harris was the epitome of senior leadership for the team. He led the Red Devils scoring 17 points per game.
“Nate was our team leader and MVP this season. While he was our leading scorer, his contribution to the team went well beyond scoring. He was the heart and soul of our team and will be extremely missed in our program”
Kobe Mitchell, Harrison Central
Already putting his name in the record books as a sophomore when he scored his 1,000th point last year, Harrison Central’s Kobe Mitchell was back for more during the 2019-20 campaign.
Averaging 31.3 points per night, the junior became the Harrison Central’s boys’ all-time leading scorer .
Mitchell was named Second-Team All-Ohio, was the Eastern District’s Co-Player of the Year and District 5 Player of the Year.
“Kobe is the best player in Harrison Central history and is on his way to being one of the best players in Ohio Valley history and in the state of Ohio,” Huskies coach Justin Clifford said.
Logan Smith, Martins Ferry
Helping Martins Ferry reach the OVAC Class 4A semifinals, junior Logan Smith had a fine season. With one more year to play in a Purple Riders uniform, Smith netted 16.6 points per game to go along with 7.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per outing. He also shot 55 percent from the field.
“Logan Smith became one of the premier players in our area this year,” Martins Ferry coach Derek Edwards said. “He plays both ends of the floor. He can play both inside and out offensively and can defend any position on the floor defensively. Logan was a great leader for our team this season and we are excited to see him perform in his senior season.”
Zach Taylor, Oak Glen
After being part of Oak Glen’s best football team in school history, senior Zach Taylor put together an exceptional final season on the basketball court. Taylor paced the Golden Bears with 18.1 points per game along with grabbing seven rebounds. He also turned in three 30-point performances.
” Zach went from our defensive shut down guy his junior year to our best offensive weapon his senior year,” Oak Glen coach Jerry Everly said.
Taylor was also named third team all-state in West Virginia Class AA.
Travis Zimmerman, Wheeling Park
Another senior component on this year’s Patriots squad was Travis Zimmerman. Zimmerman was huge for the Patriots and a force on the defensive end. Turning in 36 blocks for the season, one also had to keep an eye out for him on the offensive side.
The 6-6 Zimmerman scored 12.1 points and brought down 5.8 points per game.
“Travis had a really good senior season. He is a tremendous defender and he stepped up in the regional final victory,” Jebbia said.
Luke Powell, Barnesville (Captain)
There would rarely be a time where you would see Luke Powell without a basketball in his hands. The senior Barnesville standout, who recently signed his letter of intent to play at West Liberty, capped his illustrious prep career in historic fashion.
Powell averaged 33 points and 10.5 rebounds per game and en route to cracking the 2,000-point milestone and defending his Small School All-Valley captain position. He finished his career with 2,374 points, a Barnesville record. He also hit an eye-popping 105 3-pointers.
“Luke was First Team All-Ohio and is the type of player that a coach is lucky to have come through his program,” Barnesville coach Matt Johnson said. “He has tremendous work ethic in and out of season and has tremendous knowledge of the game. He made a great impact on our program and has set a goal for the younger generation of Shamrocks to strive for.”
The postseason accolades kept coming his way as he was named the co-Eastern District Player of the Year, District 12 Player of the year for the second straight season and First Team All-Ohio.
Jake Gamble, Magnolia
For the first time since 2016, the Magnolia boys’ basketball team earned a trip to the West Virginia Class A state tournament. Senior Jake Gamble was a huge factor in making that happen. Gamble paced the team with 15.6 points per game as well as grabbing six rebounds and dishing out four assists.
He was also named second team all-state in West Virginia Class A.
“Jake was the captain of our team,” Magnolia coach Dave Tallman said. “We had a great turnaround from last year. He deserves a lot of credit.”
Kelly Hendershot, Shadyside
Senior Kelly Hendershot put the final touches on an impressive basketball career. A four-year starter, Hendershot paced the Tigers with 19.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.9 steals per contest.
Hendershot was named Co-Eastern District Player of the Year, Second Team All-Ohio and District 12 Player of the Year. He became the Shadyside boys’ all-time leading scorer this year and finished with 1,469 points.
“Kelly’s accomplishments speak for themselves,” Shadyside coach Ed Andes said. “He kept getting better every year he played and he was more and more team oriented, which helped us to have a very good season.”
J.C. Maxwell, Wheeling Central
While Wheeling Central has a plethora of playmakers on the court, J.C. Maxwell could also be considered a difference maker. A junior, Maxwell averaged 14 points per game along with six rebounds and three assists even in missing a few games due to injury.
He also helped the Maroon Knights punch their ticket to the state tournament.
“We counted on him to guard one of the opponents best players and he was able to play any position one through five,” Wheeling Central coach Mel Stephens said.
Luke Merritt, Union Local
Union Local is going to be a problem for teams next year as many key components will be returning to the hardwood for the 2020-21 slate. Junior Luke Merritt will be one of those players. Merritt averaged 18.8 points per game and made 93 3-points shooting 41 percent in the process.
Luke is a model student athlete. He’s near the top of his class academically and always putting in extra shots on the shooting machine or lifting weights to gain an edge on his opponent. He had a really big season for us,” Union Local coach Zach Delman said “He’s a quiet leader who leads by example and we’re fortunate to have him back for another season.”
Ryan Reasbeck, Wheeling Central
After a solid freshman campaign at Wheeling Central, Ryan Reasbeck will have all his eyes on him for the next two years as he turned up his game during his sophomore campaign. Reasbeck averaged a team-high 19 points per game for the Maroon Knights while also grabbing six boards and tallying three assists.
He was named second team all-state in West Virginia Class A.
“Ryan was our leading scoring and made a lot of big plays on the defensive end to win us games,” Stephens said.
Marshall Taylor, Linsly
Linsly’s Marshall Taylor had a senior season to remember. He also ended his prep career with a bang. On senior night, Taylor scored a game-high 42 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
He averaged 19.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.3 steals per game to help Linsly secure a 17-8 record, its most wins since the 2002-03 season.
“Marshall had a terrific season in which he led us in scoring rebounding and capped off his career with a 42 point outing on his last game of his career,” Linsly coach Dave Wojcik said. “He has put in the time to be the player he has become and it was a joy to coach him every day.”
Cody Soles, Hundred
The 2019-20 campaign will certainly be one the Hundred boys’ basketball team will reflect on for seasons to come. The Hornets secured a spot in the OVAC Class 1A semifinal game which they host along with compiling a 15-9 record. Senior Cody Soles was a huge part of that success.
Soles averaged a double-double each night (21.5 points, 11 rebounds). He also had five assists and four steals per game. He eclipsed the 1,000-point mark as well.
“Cody is a great leader and a hard worker,” Hornets coach Virgil Wilkins said. “He was definitely a team leader and inspired other players.”
Trenton Wilson, Bellaire
When it came to senior leadership, it was Trenton Wilson who Bellaire turned to. And why wouldn’t they? Wilson, finished he prep basketball career in impressive fashion as he averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds per game for the Big Reds.
“Trenton is a good kid and a great student athlete,” Bellaire coach J.R. Battista said. He had a very productive senior year for us. He will be a success in his future endeavors.”
D.J. Saunders, Wheeling Park
Brett Vike , St. Clairsville
Jacob Clark, Oak Glen
Justin Frohnapfel, John Marshall
Will Balgo, St. Clairsville
Jaizen Miles, Martins Ferry
Alec McBane, Edison
Jacob Mayle, Buckeye Local
Xavier Morris, Wheeling Park
Gage Patterson, Oak Glen
Derrick Derrow, John Marshall
Izac Babiczuk, John Marshall
Avery Henry, St. Clairsville
Cameron Grabits, Buckeye Local
Tanner Mikula, Weir
Sebastian Spencer, Weir
Clayton Abate, Wheeling Central
Korey Beckett, Shadyside
Stone Thompson, River
Dakota Phillips, Beallsville
Brennan Secrest, Madonna
Luca Connor, Steub. Central
Hunter Kelley, Linlsy
Jessop Broughton, Cameron
Avery Lee, Wheeling Central
Talin Babcock, Monroe Central
Logan Norris, Hundred
Brendan Matyas, Toronto
Lucky Pulice, Madonna
Trevor Williamson, Magnolia
Nathan Meyer, Union Local
Noah Neely, Cameron
Mark Rucker, Tyler Consolidated
Abe Satterfield, Valley