High School Basketball: Senior standouts score 50-plus to join area’s all-time scoring leaders

Ethan Conley of Franklin Monroe High School and Corinne Thomas of Tecumseh pulled off a rare basketball double this past weekend. Both of the seniors shot among the area’s all-time, single-game scoring leaders at approximately the same time on Saturday night.

Conley scored 54 points in a 92-80 non-league shootout defeat of visiting Houston at the Darke County school in Pitsburg. That tied him for 13th with Derek Sizemore of Dixie (1990).

Over in Clark County, Thomas likewise roasted visiting London for 51 points in a 104-42 win. That tied her for the fourth most all-time points among area girls with former Kenton Ridge standouts Allison Bennett (2001) and Jasmine House (’03) and Brittany Smart of Springfield Shawnee (’03).

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At 6-feet-4 and a burly 205 pounds, Conley is a lethal inside presence for the Jets, but that’s not all. He hit seven 3-pointers and set the program’s single-game record for most free throws (19), many of those in the second half when Houston regularly pounded him.

“From the start, shots were falling,” said Conley, who signed with Ashland University last month. “I just knew it was going to be one of those nights.”

Conley had 30 points at halftime and surpassed Todd Robbins’ school record of 44 he put on Brookville in 1988.

“I just have the ability to create my own shot, which is a good gift to have,” Conley said. “My mindset was keep taking the ball to the hole and if they give me an open shot, I was going to take it.”

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Thomas surpassed her own school record of 48 points she initially set last season. She hit a record 11 three-pointers - also surpassing her previous mark of nine - and as usual teamed with Presley Griffitts (29 points) to provide the Arrows’ 1-2 offensive punch.

“We came out like gangbusters,” said Thomas, who had 25 points at the break. “I don’t even remember scoring that many. It was a blur.”

Tecumseh (2-2) dropped two games to begin the season at a Dixie Heights (Ky.) showcase to powers Lakota West and Highland (Ky.). Since then Tecumseh also rocked Ben Logan 102-32.

“We spent the last two games trying to get back in the groove,” said Thomas, who signed with West Liberty (W.Va.). “We’re a senior-led team and starting off with two losses, we took it personal. We did have something to prove.”

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• Beavercreek junior Taylor Ewert capped an outstanding cross country season by placing fourth (17:20.1) in the Foot Locker National Finals at Balboa Park in San Diego last Saturday. The junior was part of the winning Midwest team that swept places 2-6 over the 5K (3.1-miles) course.

Ewert previously was third in the Nike national championships at Oregon the weekend before and third in the Nike regional at Terre Haute, Ind. During the high school season, she had eight wins by 20 or more seconds, swept the Greater Western Ohio Conference, Division I district, regional and state individual titles and led Beavercreek to a girls state team title.

Her 16:57.0 in winning the GWOC at Northmont is the third fastest in state history.

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• Fairmont’s Nevan Snodgrass became the first Firebirds wrestler to place in the prestigious Walsh Jesuit Ironman tournament, placing third at 170 pounds at the Cuyahoga Falls event this past weekend.

The junior went 5-1 and decisioned Ashton Habeil (Lake Gibson, Fla.) for the second time, 7-2, in his final match.

Graham, the defending Ironman runner-up, was paced by Johnny Shafer’s fifth place at 285. Graham was 26th as a team. The national event drew teams and reps from 21 states.

The Tipp City Red Devil and Xenia invitational wrestling tournaments are Saturday. The Greater Miami Valley Wrestling Association holiday tournament is Dec. 27-28 at the Butler Student Activity Center in Vandalia.

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• West Carrollton’s Tristan Dillon and Jestin Jacobs of Northmont are gearing up for all-star football games.

Dillon, a 6-7 senior quarterback, is up first. He’ll play in one of four Blue-Grey All-American Bowls at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium on Monday (7 p.m. EST, Impact Football Network).

Besides being the area’s tallest QB, Dillon was No. 2 in GWOC passing (1,973 yards and 18 touchdowns) last season. He remains uncommitted.

Jacobs was awarded a U.S. Army All-American Bowl jersey at the school last week. Committed to Iowa, the linebacker/defensive end will play in the game at San Antonio, Texas, on Jan. 5 (1 p.m., NBC).

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• The early signing period for NCAA Division I football is Dec. 19-21. Most area schools will have a signing ceremony for seniors on Wednesday, Dec. 19. This is the second year for an early signing period for football in December.

The D-I football regular signing period is Feb. 6 through April 1, 2019. The D-II regular football signing period is Feb. 6 through Aug. 1.

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