Girls Basketball: Casey Humphrey delivers strong senior season for Groveport Madison Cruisers

Dave Purpura
ThisWeek group
Senior Casey Humphrey averages 15.3 points for Groveport Madison, which is 3-11 overall and 2-6 in the OCC-Buckeye Division. The Cruisers went into a quarantine Feb. 6, costing them their Division I district tournament opener.

Coming off a junior season in which she averaged a team-leading 14 points and ran the Groveport Madison girls basketball squad’s offense almost every second she was on the floor, Casey Humphrey quickly sensed a few differences this year.

Those changes went beyond the career-high 26 points the 5-foot-2 point guard scored against Lancaster in the fifth game of the season, or her eclipsing that mark by two points 13 days later against Watkins Memorial, then ranked ninth in the state in Division I.

“My scoring has gotten much better and so has communicating. I think I’ve been more of a leader,” said Humphrey, a three-year starter. “I think it took me speaking up more. Last year, I was quieter. Now, I’m more vocal. (Offensively) I’m more comfortable shooting the ball now. I worked more over the summer and got used to shooting from different spots.”

Humphrey averaged 15.3 points and had four outings of 20 or more points through 14 games for the Cruisers, who are 3-11 overall and 2-6 in the OCC-Buckeye Division.

Groveport’s season did not begin until Jan. 2 because of a district edict that coincided with Franklin County’s COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic-related stay-at-home advisory, but Humphrey started fast with 19 points in a 58-47 loss at Logan. 

Her big game at Lancaster came 10 days later, and attention from college coaches soon followed. Humphrey had one offer entering the week, from Penn State Greater Allegheny.

“I ask her what’s a bad shot and she has to respond to me, ‘There’s no such thing,’ ” coach Zach Cowan said. “She’ll take over the practice for me every once in a while and say ‘you need to be here, you need to be here.’ She helps the (junior varsity) players, too. She loves everything about this program.”

Humphrey’s success has drawn different challenges, such as regularly being double- or triple-teamed. Cowan said Humphrey has contained any frustration, knowing she sets an example for teammates.

“She knew her teammates were going to follow her lead. She had to stay upbeat,” Cowan said. “When she gets really intense, the team gets intense. When she’s nice and calm, so is the team.”

Humphrey hoped to reach 1,000 career points as the regular season wound down, but that goal was hampered when the team entered quarantine Feb. 6 and lost at least four games, including their scheduled second-round game at fourth-seeded Westerville North on Feb. 19 in the Division I district tournament. Humphrey had 817 points dating to her freshman season at Westerville South.

The Cruisers, who were seeded 35th of 41 teams, hoped to schedule extra regular-season games. Ohio High School Athletic Association rules this season allow teams to add games until March 13.

“I want to go out (having left) a legacy,” Humphrey said. “I also just want to go out and have fun.”

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave