Catholic Central’s Mullen named Clark County Miss Basketball

Catholic Central High School senior Mallory Mullen dribbles the ball up the floor during their game against Greenon on Saturday, Jan. 29, at Jason Collier Gymnasium. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER

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Catholic Central High School senior Mallory Mullen dribbles the ball up the floor during their game against Greenon on Saturday, Jan. 29, at Jason Collier Gymnasium. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER

SPRINGFIELD — Catholic Central High School senior Mallory Mullen recently earned a new moniker — Miss Basketball.

The 5-foot-11 post player capped her career by earning Clark County’s top honor, the Pam Evans Smith Miss Basketball award. The All-Clark County Team is selected annually by a vote of coaches in Clark County.

Mullen averaged 14.0 points per game and led the Ohio Heritage Conference in both rebounding (12.8 rpg) and field goal percentage (59.5 percent) this winter.

“I was a little surprised,” Mullen said. “It wasn’t a goal of mine to get this award, but I was very excited when I heard I had gotten it.”

She was joined on the 33rd annual All-Clark County team by Irish senior teammates Serenity Castle and Meghan Foster, Greenon juniors Claire Henry and Abby West, Southeastern senior Lily Hudson and junior Kelsey Vollrath, Tecumseh senior Mae Mastin and junior Gabby Russell and Northwestern sophomore Alainee Risner. Greenon coach Lonnie Robinson was named Coach of the Year.

Mullen becomes the fourth Catholic Central player to win the award, joining Becky Petty, Liz Rigel and Leslie Purnell.

“I’m just honored to be in the same category as all of these people,” Mullen said.

She finished her career as Catholic Central’s all-time leading rebounder with 1,128 rebounds and fifth on the program’s all-time scoring list with 1,170 points. Over the last four years, Mullen’s focus on winning basketball games, not awards, she said.

“It’s been my goal to give 110 percent and not focus on winning awards, but giving it my all every game and practice to be the best for my team,” Mullen said.

The Irish senior class finished their careers as the second all-time winningest class in program history with 67 victories. The seniors also won back-to-back Ohio Heritage Conference South Division titles.

“It was a great accomplishment for our class,” Mullen said.

Mullen is one of the top prep high jumpers in the nation and will continue her track and field career at the University of Kentucky. She cherished every moment of her last basketball season, she said.

“Basketball has been my first love,” Mullen said. “I’ve been playing it as long as I can remember. It’s hard to think about not playing basketball, especially without (Foster). We’ve been playing together for nine years, since I started playing basketball. It’s crazy to think about it. It was a really tough decision to give up basketball for track because I love both of them. It was a really hard decision to make.”

Robinson was named coach of the year for the second time in three seasons. The Knights finished the season 22-4, one win shy of tying the school record of 23 set in 1981.

“We had a really good season and grew up a lot during the year,” Robinson said. “We took a lot of steps forward. Every time we didn’t win, we got in the gym and absolutely got better. The kids responded so well every time something happened. It was a really, really fun year.”

The Knights also advanced to a Division III district final game for the first time since 1984. Greenon lost to eventual state champion Purcell Marian.

The Knights are expected to return their entire roster. They’ll graduate one senior, Morgan Paulus.

“We’ve got to get in the gym and work really hard,” These kids want to do that. They’ve got some passion to get back to where we were at and maybe get a little farther.”

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