Central’s Smoot wins Clark County Miss Basketball

SPRINGFIELD — The Catholic Central High School girls basketball program never had a player win both the conference player of the year and Clark County Miss Basketball awards — until this winter.

Irish senior Jordyn Smoot won the Pam Evans Smith Miss Basketball award at the Clark County Coaches All-County Girls Basketball Banquet last month at Tecumseh High School.

The do-it-all Catholic Central senior averaged 18.3 points, 8.9 rebounds, 3.9 steals and 2.8 assists this season.

As a freshman, Smoot watched as teammate Abby Peterson won the Ohio Heritage Conference South Division Player of the Year award. The next season, teammate Mallory Mullen was named Clark County Miss Basketball.

Smoot set a goal to win both awards.

“I wanted both, but I knew I had to work extremely hard because I saw how hard they worked,” Smoot said. “I knew I had to push myself two times as hard.”

She joins a strong list of Catholic Central players to win the award: Becky Petty, Liz Rigel, Leslie Purnell and Mullen.

While basketball skills are important, the Miss Basketball award winner must also display several strong skills off the court, including leadership, citizenship and classroom achievement. The award is named after former Wittenberg University women’s basketball coach Pam Evans Smith.

“I was just so thrilled because I finally reached that goal that I’ve been wanting to get and I knew I had made my Dad proud because he is a huge reason I am the player that I am today,” Smoot said.

The season got off to a rocky start as the Irish were without a head coach for most of last fall. At the last moment, Jordyn’s dad Randy Smoot was hired to take over the program. She knows having her dad on the floor with her played a key role in her success.

“It was super unexpected, but I think it was the best outcome,” Smoot said. “He knows my potential and when I’m not working as hard as I should be. He pushed me harder than any other coach could’ve coming in because he’s known me and he’s known the girls the longest. I thought it was extra special because he was my first coach, so ending with him was just amazing.”

Smoot will play collegiately at Ohio Christian University. She’s working out with the team several days a week to prepare for next season.

She’s also taking on a new challenge this spring — track and field. She’s running the 400, 800 and 1,600 relay, as well as discus. Her dad is also serving as the Irish track and field coach.

“We’ve been dropping time every week,” she said.

She hopes winning the award will also help younger athletes at Catholic Central, she said.

“I want to be the person to show the girls at Catholic Central that you don’t have to be from a humongous school like Springfield or KR to win awards,” As long as you put the work in, you can get whatever awards you want because you earned it, not because you deserve it.”

Springfield coach Terry Toliver was named All-County Coach of the Year.

Southeastern senior Kristian Shediack won the Southwestern Ohio Officials Association Student Athlete Sportsmanship Award, while Greenon coach Nick Minnich won the Coaches Sportsmanship award.

2023-24 Clark County Coaches

All-County Girls Basketball Team

Day’veonna Boynton, Springfield, Soph.

Lauren Byrd, Northwestern, Sr.

Allie Hundley, Greenon, Sr.

Mya Lawrence, Emmanuel Christian, Fr.

Brooke Nelson, Southeastern, Jr.

Milly Portis, Springfield, Soph.

Chloe Reese, Shawnee, Jr.

Sarah Riley, Greenon, Jr.

Sammy Russell, Tecumseh, Soph.

Jordyn Smoot, Catholic Central, Sr.

Summer Swords, Kenton Ridge, Soph.

Player of the Year: Jordyn Smoot, Catholic Central

Coach of the Year: Terry Toliver, Springfield

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