By Josh Brown
MIAMI COUNTY — No one was better in their conferences than Bethel’s Caleb South and Troy Christian’s James Anderson.
South was named the Cross County Conference Player of the Year, while Anderson won the Metro Buckeye Conference’s Athlete of the Year award, with Bethel coach Brett Kopp adding a CCC Coach of the Year award to the local haul as the CCC, MBC and Southwestern Buckeye League all handed out their postseason honors following the 2016-17 winter season.
After winning its first outright Cross County Conference championship since the 1980s with an undefeated run through league play, the Bethel boys basketball team rightfully took home all of the top postseason honors.
Bethel junior point guard Caleb South was named the CCC Player of the Year after averaging 24.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 3.0 steals per game during the season. he reached the 1,000-point mark in his career in the season opener and is well on his way to 2,000 by his career’s end. He also scored a career-high 46 points in the Bees’ sectional final victory over Anna in the postseason.
Bethel coach Brett Kopp, meanwhile, won the Coach of the Year award in only his second season as a head coach. The Bees went 12-0 through CCC play and won the league title outright, finishing the regular season 19-3 — a single-season school record for regular season victories — and eventually finished 21-4, falling to Roger Bacon in the district final.
Joining South on the All-CCC first team was teammate Ryan Rose, with Tyler Terry earning a second team nod and Ian Anderson earning special mention.
Miami East’s Logan West was named All-CCC first team, with Cam Coomes earning special mention.
Covington’s Nathan Blei also earned a spot on the All-CCC first team, Trevor Miller was named to the second team and Jayce Poind earned special mention.
Newton’s Ryan Mollette was named to the All-CCC second team and Jackson Riffle earned special mention. Bradford’s Andy Branson also earned special mention.
In a loaded girls basketball field, four Miami County athletes earned spots on the All-CCC first team: Covington’s Sammi Whiteman, Miami East’s Haley Howard, Newton’s Tatum McBride and Bradford’s Mandi Bates.
Joining them on the All-CCC second team were Bethel’s Alaina Hawthorn, Covington’s Jordan Crowell, Miami East’s Bailey Miller and Newton’s Elizabeth Carroll. Earning special mention were Bethel’s Becky Schwieterman, Bradford’s Olivia Hart, Covington’s Lexie Long, Miami East’s Amber Kinnison and Newton’s Aliya Stine.
Troy Christian’s boys basketball team turned a nine-win season the previous year into a runner-up finish in the Metro Buckeye Conference — led mainly by the efforts of MBC Athlete of the Year James Anderson.
The Eagle junior post led the MBC in points per game (19.6), rebounds per game (11.8) and blocks per game (1.8) this season and posted 18 double-doubles throughout the year, helping Troy Christian finish 17-8 overall and 10-2 in the MBC, one game behind champion Dayton Christian.
Ben Schenk also earned an All-MBC second team selection and Cameron Strine won the sportsmanship award.
In boys and girls swimming, Troy Christian coach Jim Fulton won the Coach of the Year award. Boys first team selections included Ezekiel Fulton in the 200 IM, Sam LaVielle in the 50 free, the 200 medley relay team of Fulton, LaVielle, Matthew Newcomer and Matthew Moebius, the 200 free relay team of LaVielle, Moebius, Alexander Klint and Jacob Voisinet, and the 400 free relay team of Klint, Newcomer, Fulton and Grant Doucette. And for the girls, Gracie Glaser earned first team honors in the 100 fly and 100 breast.
In girls basketball, Hailey Peters earned a spot on the All-MBC first team, Kathryn Lee was named to the second team and Lauryn Lavy won the sportsmanship award.
Three Milton-Union girls and two Milton-Union boys earned All-Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division honors following the close of the 2016-17 season.
Bulldog girls sophomore Kristen Dickison earned the highest honor, being named to the All-SWBL Buckeye first team, while Maddie Brown and Taylor Jacobs both earned honorable mention. And on the boys side, Daniel Albaugh and William Morris both earned honorable mention.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.