ThisWeek's 2018-19 Super 12 Girls Basketball Team

At halftime of the City League boys basketball championship game Feb. 16 in her home gym, Africentric Early College senior Jordan Horston was called to the center court line and handed a box.

In the box was the jersey that she wore in the McDonald's All-American game March 27 in Atlanta. That was just one of numerous memorable moments and accomplishments for the Nubians girls basketball standout in the past year.

Horston earned MVP honors while helping the USA U17 women's team win the FIBA World Cup championship last July in Belarus. Then in October, she committed to play for one of the top college programs in women's basketball in Tennessee.

This season, the 6-foot-1 senior guard led the Nubians to their second consecutive Division III state championship, third title in four years and seventh title overall to tie Pickerington Central and Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame for most state titles in Ohio history.

Africentric beat Berlin Hiland 61-48 in a state semifinal and Waynesville 51-47 in the state final to finish 28-0, marking the first undefeated season in the program's 16-year history.

"It's been a dream come true," Horston said. "Honestly, I wouldn't have thought this would be happening to me, so I've tried to stay humble, stay hungry, stay in the gym and know that my hard work has paid off."

Horston averaged 17.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 3.8 steals this season and was committed on defense, taking "pride in stopping great players." She was named Division III state Player of the Year, the Gatorade Ohio Player of the Year and first-team all-district.

She also is the second player for Africentric to be named ThisWeek Super 12 captain, joining Raven Ferguson (2011).

Last season, Horston averaged 16 points and was state co-Player of the Year.

"(All of Horston's accolades have) been great for the program and great for her," coach Will McKinney said. "It's kind of put the school on a national stage. I always tell these kids that when you play great defense, it creates offense, and what's happened is she's become an elite defender. We've played all the top-notch teams and she's guarded everybody's best player. Once you become a great defender, in most cases, the offense follows."

Other members of the first team are:

Edyn Battle

With Battle serving as a key player the last three seasons, Gahanna earned a Division I district championship and a pair of district runner-up finishes.

The 5-6 junior guard averaged 14.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.5 steals this season and was named first-team all-OCC-Ohio Division and third-team all-district, as the Lions finished 18-8.

Seeded eighth in the district tournament, Gahanna upset third-seeded Dublin Coffman 75-72 in a district semifinal behind a team-high 23 points from Battle.

Battle averaged 13 points as a sophomore.

"(She's) just (been) that consistent scorer for us," coach Ron Bailey said. "Whenever we need a bucket, we depend on her to make a play, whether it's for herself or somebody else. Just to have a player like that in the program is just a blessing."

Uju Ezeudu

A first-team all-district and all-OCC-Ohio honoree each of the last two seasons, this 6-0 senior forward led Reynoldsburg to a 21-7 record and a Division I regional runner-up finish.

Ezeudu averaged 18.4 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals and shot 55 percent from the floor. A University of Denver signee, she scored a personal-best 35 points in a 67-55 loss to Gahanna on Dec. 7 and finished with 1,348 career points.

Ezeudu also finished with nearly 800 career rebounds, according to coach Jack Purtell.

"She came in and learned how to use her power more and her strength more, and she's just a natural athlete," Purtell said. "Her ceiling is still high. She's turned into a really good free-throw shooter. We run our offense through her. And we love those kids that can rebound and score."

Madison Greene

A 5-6 senior for Pickerington Central, Greene finished a four-year run as starting point guard with a Division I state championship and four district titles.

The Ohio State commit averaged 15.7 points, 5.8 assists and 5.6 rebounds this season as the Tigers went 28-2, losing to Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame 52-31 in the state final. Central went 101-13 during her career.

Greene was named OCC-Ohio Player of the Year for the third consecutive season as well as first-team all-district and all-state for the second year in a row.

"Madison affects the game in so many ways with her defense," coach Johnathan Hedgepeth said. "The things she does in having to run the team and not turning the ball over are impressive enough, but the defensive side is why we love her even more."

Anyssa Jones

This 5-10 junior guard for Westerville South averaged a team-high 15.7 points and was named OCC-Buckeye Player of the Year as well as first-team all-district and third-team all-state.

Jones reached 1,000 career points during a 70-58 victory over Gahanna in a Division I district final. The Wildcats, who won their second consecutive district title, lost to Pickerington Central 71-44 in a regional semifinal to finish 19-6.

"Anyssa was a force for us this entire season at both ends of the floor," coach Erick Herzberg said. "Defensively, she was one of our very best, able to defend on the perimeter and in the post. She was one of our best at rebounding and she often played through pain. Anyssa is an elite player who can score from the perimeter and can attack the basket like few other players."

Maliya Perry

The 5-11 senior forward for Pickerington Central averaged 13.9 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists to help lead the Tigers to their fourth consecutive Division I district championship and second regional title in a row.

Perry, an Auburn signee, was Central's leading scorer in each of its first seven postseason games, averaging 16.0 points in those games, and was named first-team all-OCC-Ohio and all-district and second-team all-state. The Tigers won their fourth consecutive league championship but fell one win short of their second state title in a row.

"She works hard, not just in games, but in getting herself focused and ready for big games and big moments," coach Johnathan Hedgepeth said. "Maliya has never stopped growing and testing herself and pushing herself."

Samaria Rodgers-Gossett

This 5-6 senior guard led Eastmoor Academy to the No. 1 seed and a Division II district championship after losing in a Division II district final in 2017 and in a Division I district semifinal in 2018.

This season, Rodgers-Gossett averaged 14 points and five assists and shot 68 percent from the floor and was named district Player of the Year, as the Warriors went 20-6 and beat second-seeded Granville 48-40 in a district final before losing 59-44 to Thornville Sheridan in a regional semifinal.

Rodgers-Gossett had 13 points against Granville and scored a team-high 15 against Sheridan.

"Samaria has stepped up for me," coach Charity Martin-Via said. "What I like about Samaria is what she's done as a point guard. She started as a freshman when we (reached a Division II state semifinal in 2016)."

Jacy Sheldon

The 5-9 senior guard for Dublin Coffman was a finalist for Ohio Ms. Basketball for the second consecutive season and was named Division I district Player of the Year for the third consecutive season.

An Ohio State signee, Sheldon averaged 28.2 points, seven rebounds, 6.5 assists and five steals and shot 59 percent from the floor, as the Shamrocks went 22-3.

The Super 12 captain in both 2017 and '18, she also was first-team all-state and OCC-Central Player of the Year. She finished with a program-record 2,347 career points and also is program's all-time leader in steals and 3-pointers.

"Jacy is just a special talent and a special kid," said Bryan Patton, who resigned as coach after the season. "She will go down as the best basketball player, boy or girl, to go through Dublin and had a great career."

Emily Simon

This 5-10 senior guard led Hilliard Davidson in scoring and rebounding, averaging 15.1 points and 8.6 rebounds.

Simon, who was named first-team all-OCC-Central and third-team all-district, became the program's all-time leading scorer with 1,152 points, surpassing 2008 graduate Carmen Reynolds (1,085).

"Emily's senior season was a great way to end a very special career," coach Joy Taylor said. "It was exciting to see her work her way up through the career records in every category (offensive and defensive). It was her best individual season of her career and the best season our team has had during her career as well."

Simon helped the Wildcats finish 19-6, marking their best record since finishing 20-4 in 2012-13, and reach a Division I district semifinal, where they lost to Olentangy Liberty 53-48.

Alexia Smith

This 5-8 junior guard averaged 13.5 points and five rebounds to help Africentric go 28-0 and win its seventh state championship, including its second Division III title in a row.

A first-team all-district and second-team all-state honoree, Smith had 19 points, six rebounds and three assists in a 61-48 win over Berlin Hiland in a state semifinal, reaching 1,000 career points in the game.

Sheldon, who had a team-high 16 points in a 60-55 win over eventual Division I state champion Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame on Nov. 24, moved into a key role for the Nubians as a freshman when they were a state semifinalist and finished 25-4 and helped Africentric go 28-3 and win the state title in 2018.

"She's really matured from her freshman and sophomore years and has turned into a mentor," coach Will McKinney said.

Lyssi Snouffer

The 5-10 junior forward became Delaware Christian's career leader in points (1,335) and rebounds (1,060) this season.

Snouffer averaged 25.3 points and 20.2 rebounds and was first-team all-state in Division IV and MOCAL Player of the Year. She also shared district Player of the Year honors with Fairfield Christian's Celeste Mershimer, as the Eagles finished 18-6 overall and won their first MOCAL championship since 2003, going 9-1 to share the title with Shekinah Christian.

Last season, Snouffer was honorable mention Super 12.

"Lyssi is a third-year starter who has been a standout since she took the floor for us, but she really stepped up her game this season," coach Jackie Boggs said. "She's a very hard worker who gives 100 percent in everything she does and her competitive spirit is remarkable."

Macy Spielman

The 5-10 senior guard for Upper Arlington finished her prep career as the Golden Bears' all-time leader in points and assists.

Spielman, who had 1,622 career points and 348 total assists, averaged 20.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.1 steals this season as UA went 19-7 overall and 8-2 in the OCC-Central and lost to Reynoldsburg 61-32 in a Division I district final. She was named first-team all-league and all-district and second-team all-state.

The Bowling Green signee was a four-year starter. The Bears won a district title in 2016 and also finished as a district runner-up two years ago.

"Even with all of the impressive stats, Macy's mark on our program cannot be measured," coach Chris Savage said. "She has been a dynamic leader and a positive influence on our entire community."

Honorable mention

Breanne Beatty, Thomas Worthington, Sr., G; Derricka Bramwell, Ready, Sr., F; Morgan Darnell, Gahanna, Jr., G; Lauren Erickson, Dublin Scioto, Jr., G; Saige Glover, Pickerington North, Jr., F; Alexandria Hamilton, Northland, Sr., G; Gabby Hutcherson, Westerville South, Jr., F; Grace Jenkins, Watterson, Sr., F; Hailey Jordan, Eastmoor Academy, Sr., G/F; Teegan Pifher, Olentangy Liberty, Jr., F; Sommer Pitzer, Westerville South, Sr., G; Annie Rauch, Hilliard Darby, Sr., F; Imarianah Russell, Dublin Coffman, Fr., G; Carlisa Strickland, Independence, Sr., G; Maddy Vincent, Bexley, Sr., G; Sakima Walker, Africentric, Jr., C; Katherine Weakley, Worthington Christian, So., G; Paige Woodford, Watterson, Jr., G.

Past captains

Dublin Coffman's Jacy Sheldon (2017, 2018), New Albany's Meche'la Cobb (2016), Newark's Kym Royster (2015), Reynoldsburg's Alyssa Rice (2014), Northland's Alexis Peterson (2012, 2013), Africentric's Raven Ferguson (2011), New Albany's Hannah Robertson (2010), Pickerington Central's Emilee Harmon (2009), Eastmoor's Ayana Dunning (2008), Dublin Scioto's Crystal Murdaugh (2007), Pickerington Central's Stephanie Stevens (2006), Mifflin's Marshae Dotson (2005), Pickerington North's Marscilla Packer (2002, 2004), Brookhaven's Brittany Hunter (2003), Grove City's Charisse Crews (2000, 2001), Pickerington's LaToya Turner (1998, 1999), Pickerington's Tamara Stocks (1997), Brookhaven's Helen Darling (1996) and Pickerington's Beth Ostendorf (1994, 1995).

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek