Jessica Erwin is looking forward to her final month at Southeastern, and though she didn’t expect a basketball game to be a part of that, she will be on the court one last time as a high school player Friday.
Erwin will play in the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association Division III and IV girls all-star game at 8 p.m. at Denison University. The 5-foot-11 forward averaged 18.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game in her senior season for the Trojans.
“I really enjoyed this season and playing with some of my best friends,” Erwin said. “I’m just really honored to be able to play in this game and have had a great senior season after I had to work so hard to get back here.”
Erwin had to work hard after she suffered an ACL injury just before the start of her junior season. She said it was emotionally difficult to have to watch her teammates play without her, and the physical pain during rehabilitation did nothing to cheer her up.
It did serve as motivation to recover and come back strong. She regained leg strength last summer while playing on an AAU team and was in great shape by the time Southeastern started playing in November.
The Trojans finished 18-7 and advanced to the sectional finals before losing by four points to Covington. Erwin was the go-to scorer for Southeastern, which was mostly made up of underclassmen. She was frequently double- and triple-teamed.
“I’m very proud of the 18 wins that we had, and how close we were in most of our losses,” Erwin said. “The defenses this year took away some of my strengths, and I had to try to learn how to score through pressure.”
Erwin said the experience she got in her senior season made her a better player, and she will take that experience to Bethel College (NAIA) in northern Indiana, where she has a full scholarship. She plans to earn a major in elementary education with a minor in special education.
But for now, she’s focused on enjoying one last game as a high school player. She will leave for Denison on Thursday, and her team will have two practices before the game on Friday night. She’s also excited for her family to have another opportunity to see her play.
“I have a really big family and I think a lot of them will be there,” Erwin said. “Basketball is a big game in our family, and everyone plays it. It’s something that we all love. I’m really honored to play in this game with some of the best players in the state.”
• Kenton Ridge’s Jamari McDavid will play in the Division I and II game at 6:30, while Tecumseh coach Danielle Thomas will serve as a coach.
McDavid, who signed with Wofford earlier this month, broke Kenton Ridge’s all-time scoring record late last season and finished with 2,022 career points. Thomas just finished her 10th season at Tecumseh and has guided the team to 18 or more wins each of six seasons.
• Springfield’s Danny Davis was selected to participate in the Division I and II boys all-star game, which is Friday at Otterbein University. He will not be playing in the game, though. Instead, Davis will be attending Wisconsin’s spring football game on Friday night in Madison. He signed with the Badgers in February.