Jonathan Alder’s Jackson Izzard buries a three-pointer against Bishop Hartley during Tuesday’s tournament game. Both the Alder boys’ and girls’ squads advanced to the district tournament this year, with the girls earning a district runner-up finish.
Within the past six days, the 2018-19 basketball season came to an end for the girls and boys teams from Jonathan Alder.
Friday’s 69-57 loss for the Lady Pioneers in the Division II district championship game and the boys’ 36-35 verdict on Tuesday in the district semi’s against Bishop Hartley were disappointing.
Neither setback, however, should define the tremendous season that both Alder squads completed.
Both teams were the only local ones to advance beyond the sectional and combined for four of the area’s five post-season varsity victories.
The Alder squads achieved their success with basically few seniors on either roster.
Jacob Koenig was the lone fourth-year player for the boys, while Corinne Parker, Maggie Ridder and Sandy Moser were the girls’ seniors.
Both teams should be loaded for the 2019-20 campaign.
The boys will return double-figure scorers in Jackson Izzard (12.6), Jackie Santa-Emma (11.0) and Henry Walker (10.0).
Santa-Emma and Walker will be seniors, while Izzard will only be a junior.
Izzard earned third-team Central District accolades, while Santa-Emma and Walker were named honorable mention.
Alder’s prospects during the game against Hartley suffered when Walker had to sit out with a concussion that was sustained the previous tourney game against Buckeye Valley.
Still, the Pioneers almost pulled off the victory and would have without the Hawks hitting clutch free throws with less than one second to play.
Junior Daniel Heinig gained valuable experience this winter as a post player, while junior Logan Stevens should be able to contribute to the team’s effort next season.
The Lady Pioneers will return their top seven players a year from now.
Sydney Bourquin (first-team all-district) and Abby Jones (second-team) will return for their senior campaigns.
Bourquin averaged 12.5 points per game and Jones scored nearly 15 per outing.
Melissa Walbom, who will also be a senior next season, averaged 10 per game and earned honorable mention accolades in the district
Mary Ferrito had a standout freshman season as she finished with numerous double-figure scoring games.
Sophomore Emma Shepherd is also a capable shooter.
Lady Pioneer coach Steve Cawley told me after last week’s loss to Bloom-Carroll that he is already anticipating next season and has high hopes for that campaign.
Boys boss Brent Cahill, despite his disappointment over Tuesday’s one-point loss to Hartley, knows he has a wealth of talent returning next year.
I’m sure fans in Pioneer Nation are going to be ready.
I think they’re going to be in for a lengthy post-season run by both teams.
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