4 Standout Prospects: Central OH D1 Regional Final

When Pickerington Central matched up against Newark High on March 6 at Otterbein’s Rike Center, things got a bit rambunctious. The atmosphere of the building was elite and set the stage for many top performers to showcase their abilities. These two closely matched opponents battled tooth and nail until the final whistle was blown. Here are some of the shining individuals from the star-studded event.

#20 Pickerington Central Nicole Stephens – This slender and athletic Guard was around the ball for the entire evening. Diving on the floor for loose balls, making saves and giving her team additional opportunities to score were some of the key attributes that this player provided for her team. Down the stretch, her defense proved to be pivotal for closing the gap and her clutch shot-making kept the Tigers within contention throughout the night. Nicole is Columbia-bound and put forth 26 points in the game.

#3 Pickerington Central Nadia McDowell – For the majority of the first half, Pickerington Central controlled the ebb and flow of this basketball game. A significant reason for their quick start and subsequent success came in the form of early access to quality rhythm jumpshots. Nadia McDowell did not hesitate to capitalize on open looks as she knocked down multiple triples with regularity throughout this contest. She remains an intriguing three point sharpshooting specialist that can catch heat and change the complexion of any game.

#22 Newark Gabriella Stare – The entire outlook of this game changed once this hooper began to find her groove. The left-handed knockdown artist accounted for fourteen points in the second quarter alone on four made three pointers. She was putting the ball in the basket at will, whether it be off screens, dribble drives, contested jumpers you name it – Stare was wreaking havoc on the defense. She quickly extinguished any flame from the opponent with an onslaught of her own that left spectators in awe. Certainly, Stare is someone you want to keep your glance on as she heads to ODU to continue putting the ball into the bucket.

#5 Newark Emma Shumate – Easily the most gifted player within the entire contest is Emma Shumate. The Coach’s daughter is very long, athletic, lanky and swift within her movements. Her strength lies within the low block as she rebounds and defends extremely well there by deterring shots from her opponent and garnering rebounds to grant her team possession or opportunities to score once more. Shumate single-handedly dominated the opponent and is a reliable force to be reckoned with on the low post. She is verbally committed to continue playing basketball at West Virginia. 

Clearly, a game surrounded with superstar caliber players this matchup did not disappoint. Ultimately, Newark prevailed by a score of 70-56 as Stare contributed 26 points and Shumate poured in 19 points.

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