Kern, Maddox reach milestones
Monday and Tuesday were significant days for local high school basketball.
In a girls game against Federal Hocking Monday, Waterford senior Alli Kern scored her 1,000th career point. A day later, veteran Warren boys coach Blane Maddox notched his 300th career coaching victory at Athens.
The 1,000-point mark is a highly regarded figure for high school basketball players, as is the 300-win mark for coaches. In the cases of Kern and Maddox, the accomplishments are hard-earned and well-deserved.
Kern’s feat came on a basket-and-1 play during the first half against the Lancers. She entered the game needing 21 points, which she hit in the first half alone. She finished with 26 on front of the home crowd.
“I was hoping she would get it at home,” said Waterford head coach Jerry Close.
“She’s a special player.”
For Kern, getting her 1,000th point isn’t the first time she has done something special on the basketball court. In her fourth season as a starter for the Wildcats, Kern has helped lead her team to three straight state finals appearances. In 2015-16, she was a major contributor on the Wildcats’ state championship team that defeated St. Wendelin in the title game.
In the six state tournament games she’s played over the past three seasons, Kern has averaged 11.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per contest.
She scored 17 points apiece in both state tourney games last year and was named first team All-Ohio in Division IV.
Kern became the eighth player during Close’s tenure at Waterford to reach 1,000 points, along with Haley Drayer, Jessi Drayer, Sina King, Emily Brown, Brooke Drayer, Dani Drayer and Regan Porter.
A lot of players who’ve scored 1,000 points would point to that as the biggest accomplishment of their playing days. Kern is a rare player who has scored 1,000 points, been all-state and won a state championship. She’s had quite a distinguished career in the green and white.
While the Waterford girls are a perennial contender in the state, the Warren boys have been one of the top programs in Southeast Ohio throughout Maddox’s tenure.
Maddox has coached the Warriors for 19 seasons beginning in 1999. Through Tuesday’s 61-38 victory against the Bulldogs, the Warriors have 300 wins to just 118 losses under Maddox’s guidance.
The win versus Athens, in which senior Josh Huffman scored a game-high 25 points, was the Warriors’ first win this season and evened their record at 1-1.
“This is this team’s first win and that’s what I want to focus on,” Maddox told The Athens Messenger after the game. “(Win No. 300) just shows that I’m old and I’ve had great players.”
That last part is true, as Maddox has coached several All-Ohioans and eventual college basketball players. But he’s also earned the respect of his peers, receiving Coach of the Year recognition at the district and state level and being selected to coach several all-star games in his career.
Maddox oversaw a great five-year run for the program from 2010 to 2015. The team won five straight sectional titles during that span, and most memorably, won district and regional championships en route to a “Final Four” appearance in 2012-13.
Jordan Holland is an associate sports editor for The Marietta Times. He can be reached at 304-485-1891 ext. 256 or at firstname.lastname@example.org