Touted freshman makes instant impact for Springfield girls


Mickayla Perdue’s ultimate wish was finally granted and Springfield High School girls basketball hasn’t been the same since.

Perdue is the Wildcats’ most anticipated incoming athlete since two-sport standout Danny Davis was a middle school phenom. Here’s why:

• A highly touted, 5-foot-8 freshman guard, she put a school-record 40 points on Yellow Springs in the season opener, her first high school game.

• Through three weeks she was the Greater Western Ohio Conference’s leading scorer (25.6).

• She already has an offer from the University of Detroit Mercy and that was before the season. Many more are sure to follow.

• At 4-2, Springfield already has surpassed last season’s win total (3-23).

• The Wildcats snapped a 79-game GWOC divisional losing streak by defeating Miamisburg 60-56 last Saturday. Springfield’s previous divisional win was a 36-34 defeat of Wayne way back on Dec. 16, 2009.

Miamisburg is in the GWOC National West and Springfield in the National East, but crossover games in the same conference count toward divisional standings.

That’s heady stuff for a program that hasn’t had a winning team since North and South merged in 2008.

»POWER SHIFT: Lineup changes impact GWOC girls basketball

“I’ve been dreaming about being on varsity since I was a little kid,” said Perdue. “It’s been a really good experience. My team helps me out a lot. We just have a good team chemistry.”

That’s been three seasons in the making for Wildcats coach Darris Gattis. He had extensive girls AAU basketball experience and was a longtime coach at Brookhaven until that Columbus school closed.

Gattis knew all about the Wildcats’ girls basketball woes, but also of a great middle school class, led by Perdue. Considered one of the state’s top freshman, his initial goal was to make certain Perdue didn’t transfer to a more successful program. Once that was settled, upping the Wildcats’ game to a competitive level was paramount.

“There’s a buzz,” Grattis said. “We still have a ways to go but the word is out. We’re playing hard and that’s the thing. We’re a different kind of team. We have athletes out there. They’re disciplined. Now, we have somebody who can put that ball in the basket.”

»HOW THEY’RE RATED: Girls weekly power rankings

Springfield has yet to push National East powers Beavercreek, Centerville, Fairmont and Wayne. Springfield could have made a major statement Wednesday night at Centerville. Instead, the Elks collapsed defensively on Perdue and posted a 71-35 blowout win. Perdue was held to seven points on 2-of-13 shooting. Her previous scoring low was 18 points.

Springfield returned most of its team from last season: seniors Naomi Hookfin, Caralyssa Byrd, Makayla DeArmond and Jasmine Williams, and junior Takoya Massey.

“We have a great boys program,” Gattis said. “You want to try and duplicate what they do and represent the city the right way and make the city of Springfield proud of what we’re doing here. We’re still a work in progress but we’re on the right track to put Springfield on the map.”

Springfield is at Fairborn (2-4) at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

»RELATED: Centerville gets defensive, stalls Springfield revival

»RELATED: Springfield at Centerville girls photo gallery

• Tecumseh junior Corinne Thomas set a single-game school scoring record with 48 points in Saturday’s 82-46 defeat of visiting Jonathan Alder. The daughter of Arrows coach Danielle Thomas, Corinne leads the Central Buckeye Conference in scoring (26.7), just ahead of Kenton Ridge’s Mikala Morris (24.5), another freshman standout. Morris tallied a season-high 32 points in her debut against Southeastern.

Tecumseh (5-2) has mounted a four-game win streak and hosts Bellefontaine at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

»HOW THEY’RE RATED: Boys power rankings

• The Kenton Ridge boys basketball team has reason to celebrate. The Cougars (2-0) snapped a 22-game, regular-season losing streak (over two seasons) by beating Catholic Central in the season opener and followed up with a 60-56 defeat of Graham. Kenton Ridge was 0-21, but stunned Indian Lake 64-56 in a D-II sectional opener last season and finished 1-22.

Kenton Ridge is led by leading scorer Nasiim McKay (19.0 points), Jameel Cosby (16.5) and Tyler Eberhart (15.0). The Cougars host Tecumseh (1-3) at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

»CAN’T BEAT THAT: Last of five brothers leaving legacy

• Springfield (3-0) joins Butler (4-0), Wayne (3-0) and Lebanon (4-0) as the only remaining unbeaten GWOC boys teams. The Wildcats host Centerville (2-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

JaJuan Rodgers (17.0) is the Wildcats’ leading scorer, followed by Leonard Taylor (16.0) and RaHeim Moss (11.0).

»FACEBOOK: For more high school sports you should like Marc Pendleton



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Future Buckeye Justin Ahrens shows off bigger body, expanded game at Flyin’ at the Hoop 
Future Buckeye Justin Ahrens shows off bigger body, expanded game at Flyin’ at the Hoop 

There was more to see of Justin Ahrens at the 2018 Flyin’ to the Hoop than last year’s version — in more ways than one.  The Versailles senior, who signed with Ohio State in November, said he is an inch taller and about 10 pounds heavier than he was last season.  The reigning Midwest Athletics Conference Player of the Year...
Dayton Dragons announce 2018 coaching staff
Dayton Dragons announce 2018 coaching staff

Luis Bolivar will return as Dayton Dragons manager after guiding the team to the postseason in his first season at the helm.  The Cincinnati Reds low Single-A affiliate made that announcement and unveiled its 2018 coaching staff Tuesday.  Seth Etherton will serve as pitching coach while Daryle Ward returns as hitting coach and Kevin Mahar...
Sports Today: Does Jags postseason success mean Bengals have a fighting chance?
Sports Today: Does Jags postseason success mean Bengals have a fighting chance?

After a three-day weekend there’s one obvious question to ask this morning: Was the NFL divisional round good or bad for the Cincinnati Bengals?  Well, it probably won’t affect the team.  They are going to be the same either way. That’s kind of their thing.  Even when there are changes, I have succumbed to the feeling...
Dayton at St. Joe’s: Everything you need to know about Wednesday’s game
Dayton at St. Joe’s: Everything you need to know about Wednesday’s game

Who: Dayton (9-8, 3-2) at St. Joseph’s (7-9, 2-3) When: 6:30 p.m., Wednesday Where: Hagan Arena, Philadelphia TV/Radio: CBS Sports Network; AM 1290, News 95.7 WHIO Darrell Davis, 6-5, Sr., G, 17.6 Josh Cunningham, 6-7, R-Jr., F, 15.6 Trey Landers, 6-5, So., G, 9.0 Jordan Davis, 6-2, Fr., G, 7.8 Jalen Crutcher, 6-1, Fr., G, 6.5 Shavar...
Texas among biggest ‘losers’ from NFL Draft early entries
Texas among biggest ‘losers’ from NFL Draft early entries

The NFL Draft can rob college teams of significant talent should large amounts of players declare early for the pros. Unfortunately, Texas is one of those teams this upcoming spring. Todd Orlando’s defense was one of the biggest strengths for the Longhorns in 2017. But multiple play-makers from the unit are now on their way out of...
More Stories