During her sophomore season with the Dublin Coffman High School girls basketball team last winter, Jacy Sheldon nearly doubled her scoring average and became the Central District’s best player.
Considering the young talent in the area, it’s anyone’s guess as to who might follow Sheldon’s lead and significantly elevate her game.
The same might not be true, though, from a team perspective.
Sheldon has two full seasons ahead of her but already has committed to Ohio State after averaging 23.1 points a year ago, and her Shamrocks seem poised to again be among the area’s top teams coming off a Division I regional runner-up finish.
Two of the area’s other Division I district champions, Newark and Pickerington Central, also are looking like heavy favorites.
Newark lost four key seniors but features the junior duo of Morgan Sharps and Katie Shumate as well as sophomore Gabby Stare after reaching a state semifinal. Sharps has committed to Miami University and Shumate will play for Kent State.
Central, meanwhile, might have more depth than any team in the area with juniors Madison Greene and Maliya Perry and senior Bexley Wallace leading the way. Perry has committed to Auburn and Wallace will play for Penn State.
As for who might be the area’s fourth-best team in Division I, the candidates start with two-time defending district champion Reynoldsburg but also include Westerville South, Gahanna, Olentangy Liberty, Hilliard Bradley, Thomas Worthington and Upper Arlington. Eastmoor Academy and Hartley also are in the mix in the big-school division after previously being perennial favorites in Division II.
Westerville South has a plethora of returning talent, including junior guard Sommer Pitzer, and has added sophomore forward Gabby Hutcherson, a transfer from Westerville North.
Gahanna returns an emerging sophomore guard in Edyn Battle and has added a North transfer as well in senior guard/forward Anisja Harris, a Wright State signee.
Thomas forward Jazzlyn Gaiters and Bradley guard Teneea Heston, who has committed to Oakland, are among the area’s best seniors.
Central Ohio’s top small-school team on an annual basis is Africentric, and the Nubians join Eastmoor as having the top pools of talent in the City League.
Africentric junior Jordan Horston, who has numerous Division I college offers, including from Ohio State, Duke and Kentucky, could be the area’s best guard behind Sheldon.
Here is the ThisWeek Super 12 preseason team:
Uju Ezeudu, Reynoldsburg, Jr., F
Jazzlyn Gaiters, Thomas Worthington, Sr., F
Madison Greene, Pickerington Central, Jr., G
Anisja Harris, Gahanna, Sr., G/F
Teneea Heston, Hilliard Bradley, Sr., G
Jordan Horston, Africentric, Jr., G
Sommer Pitzer, Westerville South, Jr., G
Annie Rauch, Hilliard Darby, Jr., F
Morgan Sharps, Newark, Jr., G
Jacy Sheldon, Dublin Coffman, Jr., G
Katie Shumate, Newark, Jr., G
Macy Spielman, Upper Arlington, Jr., G
Edyn Battle, Gahanna, So. G
Erin Boehm, Big Walnut, Jr., G
Emma Burns, DeSales, Sr., G
Shalea Byrd, Canal Winchester, So., F
Maggie Crozier, Worthington Kilbourne, Sr., G
Cailin Duffey, Westerville South, Sr., G
Lilly Edwards, Dublin Coffman, Sr., F
Mchale Grant, Eastmoor Academy, Jr., G/F
Sarah O'Neil, Marysville, Sr., G/F
Maliya Perry, Pickerington Central, Jr., F
Teegan Pifher, Olentangy Liberty, So., F
Samaria Rodgers-Gossett, Eastmoor Academy, Jr., G
Emily Simon, Hilliard Davidson, Jr., F
Alexia Smith, Africentric, So., G
Josie Smith, New Albany, Jr., F
Kennedy Taylor, Hartley, Sr., G
Bexley Wallace, Pickerington Central, Jr., C
Jeana Weatherspoon, Northland, Sr., F