Prep girls basketball: Marietta’s Erica Dawson 1st-team All-Ohio again

Marietta High girls’ basketball head coach Scott Cozzens remembers when Erica Dawson first left her mark on opponents around the Mid-Ohio Valley.

“It was her sophomore year in a sectional championship game against Sheridan,” Cozzens recalled. “She just tore up those Sheridan guards. We already knew she was going to be special, but I think she kind of proved to the district how good she was going to be. That was kind of her ‘coming out’ party.”

Two years later, the 5-foot-9 Dawson was named first team All-Ohio in Division II for the second year in a row by the Associated Press.

Dawson averaged 28 points per game this season to go along with eight rebounds, four steals and three assists per contest. She did all this while missing almost one-third of the season with a wrist injury.

“It’s just incredible,” Cozzens said. “She had several games where she had a triple-double in points, rebounds and steals.”

Dawson, Xavier-bound in the fall, helped lead the Lady Tigers to their fourth consecutive sectional championship this season. Some of her highlights from this winter include a 41-point performance in a victory over Warren, a 31-point showing, including a game-winning 3-pointer, against ECOL-foe New Philadelphia in the season-opener and a 37-point night against Waterford en route to a triumph on “Senior Night.”

As a sophomore, Dawson earned third team All-Ohio honors and last season was named Division II Ohio Co-Player of the Year.

“It just has a lot to do with the media and coaches respecting her and what she’s done,” Cozzens said.

Dawson has certainly made an impact on the program.

“She’s been a good role model for girls’ basketball here at Marietta,” Cozzens said.

The Warren Lady Warriors, who earned a share of the SEOAL championship this season, were represented by seniors Jordanna Rauch and Emma Ryan on the honorable mention All-Ohio list.

Rauch and Ryan were the top two scorers on the Amy Colgrove-coached squad, which upset undefeated Jackson and also defeated Marietta for the first time in four years.

Also being honored from Division II was senior Darian Apperson (Special mention) and junior Vada Clemens (Honorable mention) from Morgan.

Apperson and Clemens led the Tim Bowman-coached Lady Raiders to 15 wins this season, second most in school history. Apperson broke the school record by tallying 36 points in a 57-52 win over Tri-Valley earlier in the year, while Clemens finished the 2012-13 campaign with 59 3-pointers, also a school record.

In Division III, the regional champion Fort Frye squad saw senior Deidra Combs make the third team All-Ohio list.

The 5-11 Combs has averaged 11 points per game this season in the well-balanced Lady Cadet attack while also being one of the team’s top rebounders and defenders. Combs was an honorable mention selection last season.

Also from the Dan Liedtke-coached Cadets, seniors Taylor Buchanan and Morgan Liedtke earned special mention and honorable mention honors, respectively.

Buchanan, the team’s leading scorer with 12 points per game, was a first team selection in 2011-12 and is heading to Palm Beach Atlantic University (Fla.) this fall.

The sharp-shooting Morgan Liedtke has averaged around 10 points per game this season for the Cadets, but has upped it to 15 per game in six postseason contests.

Also from Division III, Monroe Central senior Chelsie Roberts was an honorable mention pick. The 5-7 Roberts led the Lady Seminoles in scoring this winter and was a four-year letter-winner.

Waterford senior Brooke Drayer made second team All-Ohio in Division IV. Averaging 14.7 points per game this season, Drayer, who was Division IV Southeast Co-District Player of the Year, helped lead the Lady Wildcats to a sectional and district championship this season. Waterford also claimed a share of the TVC-Hocking Division championship with Reedsville Eastern.

The 5-8 Drayer, a four-year starter at the point guard position, was a first team honoree a year ago.

Fellow Waterford senior Chelsey Paxton was an honorable mention pick for the second year in a row. Belpre freshman Katelyn Hughes rounded out the area selections on the honorable mention list.