Boys basketball: Shawnee’s Crowe joins 1,000-point club

Credit: Name Test

Credit: Name Test

SPRINGFIELD — Shawnee High School senior Zion Crowe joined the Braves 1,000-point scorers club earlier this month.

The 6-foot-4 guard scored 21 points in the Braves’ 53-47 loss at Kenton Ridge in a Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail Division game on Dec. 9, becoming the fifth player in school history to eclipse the 1,000 point mark.

“My mom told me before the game I was 18 points away,” he said. “I wasn’t trying to think about it because I knew if I thought about it, I might not get it. I just tried to play my game and thankfully I was able to get it. I was super excited.”

He joins a list that includes Jaden Greenwood (1,271 from 2011-2015), Aaron Smith (1,206 points from 1988-1992), Seth Gray (2012-2016) and Ryan Short (1,146 points from 2001-2004).

Crowe, a senior, scored 18 points as the Braves beat Botkins 56-52 on Sunday at Centerville High School, improving to 2-2 on the season.

“I’m super blessed to be able to accomplish so much throughout my career already,” he said.

Crowe has played a key role in the Braves program over the last four years. Shawnee has advanced to back-to-back district finals each of the past two seasons and played in the regional finals in 2021.

“He’s had a tremendous career so far for us,” said Braves coach Chris McGuire, who coached four of the five players on the 1,000-point scorers list. “He played a ton as a freshman. As our lone senior, he’s been that catalyst for us. I’ve told him a lot of times that I ask a lot of him. I ask him to handle the ball, I ask him to be a scorer, I ask him to be a rebounder, I ask him to defend some of the best players. I’m asking a lot out of him and it’s something he wants being a competitor. Any competitor wants as much on their plate as possible. It hopefully shows him how confident I am in him and his abilities to do it for us.”

The one thing the Braves haven’t won recently is the CBC Kenton Trail title, which Crowe and his teammates hope to make a run for this season before moving to the CBC Mad River Division next season. The Braves last won four straight Kenton Trail division titles from 2012 through 2016, but haven’t claimed one since. Shawnee has finished second to rival Jonathan Alder each of the past two seasons.

Crowe is the Braves lone senior this year after fellow senior R.J. Griffin was ruled out for the season after suffering a knee injury during the football season.

“It was heartbreaking because that’s always been my guy,” Crowe said. “Since 8th grade, we’ve always been teammates. He’s one of my closest friends. We’ve got great chemistry on-and-off the court.”

The Braves expect to see several different defenses as opponents attempt to stop Crowe, but his teammates have stepped up early in the season, McGuire said. Braves junior Darian Dixon, Rickie Powell, Zane Mercer and Cody Siemon have all scored in double figures this season.

“We’ve got other guys that can do things,” McGuire said. “When they try to take away Zion, we’ve got some actions and different things we try to do to put him in places to score. So far, other guys have done a pretty good job of stepping up and doing some things.”

The Braves have used Crowe in a variety of roles over the past four years, McGuire said, because he’s such a versatile player.

“He can do a little bit of everything,” he said. “He can shoot the ball, he can post, he can get to the rim, make free throws. We put him in roles where he can see and make passes. It makes it nice from a coaches standpoint to have a guy who can do a little bit of everything and we put pieces around him that complement some of those things and play to those guys strengths. It’s a work in progress. A lot of these guys are in new roles and seeing varsity minutes for the first time. Hopefully, we’ll see a lot of improvement throughout the year.”

Crowe always works hard to be a great teammate, he said.

“I’m a team guy. I’m close with all my guys,” he said. “We’re basically like family. We hang out all the time. As a player, I can do a lot of things — score, pass, rebound, defend. I like to say I do a lot of everything.”

At the next level, Crowe will likely play guard. He’s got six offers, including Division II Thomas More and Malone College, but doesn’t plan to make his decision until after the season.

Until then, Crowe has his sights on winning a league title.

“That’s our biggest goal this year to try to win the conference,” Crowe said.

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