Jeremiah Keene always has been a scoring threat for the Westerville North High School boys basketball team, but he's added another dimension since starting the opening game of his freshman season.
The 6-foot-1 senior guard now has an additional leadership role, which coach Shan Trusley said has made Keene an even more complete player.
"When Jeremiah was younger, we gave him advice, now he has taken on that role," said Trusley, whose team was 7-7 overall and 1-5 in the OCC-Buckeye Division after losing to Westerville Central 62-58 on Jan. 18. "He leads more and is less of a follower. Now he's the leader and telling the younger players to do more listening than talking."
Keene said leadership is just part of his evolution on the floor and part of being the Warriors' point guard.
"I think I have been a better leader," he said. "I think that I need to be coach Trusley on the floor. I have learned that I have to bring it every possession and coach has taught me to be a floor general as a point guard."
Keene began his varsity career by scoring 17 points in a 111-60 win over visiting Westland on Dec. 1, 2015, but that was the tip of the iceberg. He reached the 1,000-point milestone Dec. 11 by scoring 31 points with seven 3-pointers in a 79-68 win over host Wellington.
"My first game was against Westland and we set the (program) record for the most points (in a game)," he said. "It was a good warm-up game.
"When I hit 1,000 points (against Wellington), I knew I needed 31 to reach it, but when I hit that free throw (with 19 seconds left) I thought I only had 30 and would get it the next game. Coach subbed me out and told me I had 1,000 points, so it was a happy moment."
Keene, who has been an impact player since his freshman season, was leading the Warriors in scoring (19.1 points per game), assists (4.8) and steals (1.1) through 13 games. He also had made 23 of 71 3-point attempts (32.4 percent) and averaged 3.5 rebounds.
"Jeremiah has always been one of the fastest kids with the basketball from end to end," Trusley said. "He is hard to stay in front of and he's hard to guard.
"He also has learned the ability to play at two speeds. When he was younger his game was always fast, and now he can control the tempo of the game and does a good job with that. He has the ability to make his teammates better. To be our leader in both scoring and assists says a lot about him."
Previously, Keene shared point-guard duties with 2018 graduate Julius Brown. The two were a strong tandem last season when the Warriors finished 21-5 overall, reached their first district final since 1998 and went 8-2 in the OCC-Buckeye to win their first league title since 2013.
"We played really well together because (Brown) would take it up one possession and I would take it up the next," said Keene, who was third-team all-district and first-team all-league after averaging 15.7 points last winter. "He was good at finding me and we played really fast and got each other shots.
"Last year, I would kick it out to Julius for a 3 or he would kick it out to me for a 3. It's different this year. Now, I'm the one driving and dumping the ball down in the paint to Charles (Perkins) and Philip (Alston) for a layup."
Keene wants to play in college but is still weighing his options.
"He's a kid who has lived in the gym since he was a middle-school student," Trusley said. "He's a first one in and last one out kind of kid. He wants to be the best basketball player he can be.
"He is a mature, sophisticated young man whose best days are ahead of him at the collegiate level. He is really starting to figure it out now as he gets older."
Davidson returns to coach boys soccer
Noah Davidson will lead the boys soccer program, pending school board approval.
He replaces Drew Buttermore, who resigned Dec. 19 after three seasons.
"Noah is going to be a perfect fit in resurrecting our program," athletics director Wes Elifritz said. "He helped do that at New Albany over the past few years and was a great player for us at North and when he played in college at Cincinnati.
"He will bring the type of culture we need on day one. He not only has great experience but he also has great character. ... He has a student-first, athlete-second philosophy, and that's always good to have."
Davidson is a 2004 graduate who played on North's last Division I state championship team in 2003. For the last four seasons, he has been an assistant with the New Albany boys program.
"It feels like I'm coming home," Davidson said. "I currently live in Westerville, I graduated from North, I got my master's at Otterbein and my church is in Westerville. Westerville North was the only (boys soccer coaching) job I would have considered other than the one I have (at New Albany).
"I think coach (Johnny) Ulry has built New Albany into an elite program, and I learned what I know from him. I can see the building blocks of the last four seasons (at New Albany) will be the foundation for success at Westerville North. The same blueprint we used there will be used here."
The Warriors finished 1-12-4 overall and 0-2-3 in the OCC-Buckeye last fall.
Sturgell, Soisson lead bowling teams
Jason Sturgell and Sophia Soisson lead the boys and girls bowling teams in average through eight matches.
Sturgell has a 170.8 average for the boys team, which is 2-6 overall and in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-A Division and 2-4 in the OCC-Buckeye. Jonathan Pratt (166.9) is next, followed by Will Mueller (153.9), Alex Sarakinakis (130.7) and Ethan Moore (112.0).
Soisson (170.6) tops the girls team, which is 5-3 overall and in the COHSBC-A and 4-2 in the OCC-Buckeye. Kaitlyn Sturgell has a 155.4, followed by Danielle Pratt (145.9), Lexi Hagemann (141.9) and Megan Holmes (130.1).
Below are the coming schedules for the North boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Jan. 25 -- At Olentangy. The Warriors lost to the Braves 65-63 on Nov. 30.
Jan. 26 -- Hartley in Jared Sullinger Play-By-Play Classic at Pickerington Central
*Jan. 25 -- Home vs. Olentangy. The Warriors lost to the Braves 31-30 on Dec. 14.
Jan. 29 -- At Mount Vernon
*Jan. 25 -- Olentangy at Columbus Square Bowling Palace
*Jan. 29 -- Marysville at Columbus Square Bowling Palace
SWIMMING & DIVING
Jan. 25-26 -- OCC-Buckeye meet at Thomas Worthington
*Jan. 24 -- Home vs. Westerville South