Miller, Matisi named girls coaches of the year in Inland District

COLUMBUS – One of the top scorers in Columbiana County history and two incoming coaches who led their teams to Inter-Tri County League titles headline the 2013-14 Associated Press Northeast Inland District basketball teams released Wednesday.

South Range’s Tony Matisi and Western Reserve’s Steve Miller were named girls coaches of the year in Division III and IV, respectively.

Matisi led the Raiders to a school-best 23-4 season, a share of the ITCL upper tier title and their first district championship since 1998. It was a sixth straight district title for Matisi, who led Lowellville to five in a row before going to South Range.

Miller, in his first season as girls coach after being Western Reserve’s boys coach from 2000-09, led the Blue Devils to their first district title. Western Reserve shared the ITCL lower tier crown and is 20-6 overall heading into tonight’s regional semifinal. The Blue Devils will play third-ranked Zanesville Rosecrans at 8 p.m. today at Massillon Perry High School.

First-team honorees are West Branch junior Melinda Trimmer in Division II; United senior Mackenzie Gatchel and South Range senior Starla Sharp in Division III; and Columbiana junior Baylie Mook; Western Reserve senior Aleah Hughes in Division IV; Wellsville senior Nate Scott is the Division IV player of the year and teammate Camden Douglas joins him on the first team as they guided the Tigers to a 22-3 season and second straight ITCL lower tier title.

Scott averaged 22.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists a game, while totaling more than 1,600 career points.

Douglas averaged 14.7 points, 9.4 assists and 4.9 rebounds a game.

Scott and Trimmer also were first-team selections last season.

Trimmer, a Youngstown State University recruit, has sparked West Branch to a 23-4 season and their first Division II district title since 2004. Trimmer is averaging 18.0 points and seven assists a game heading into the regional championship game against Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary at 2 p.m. Saturday at Barberton High School.

Gatchel averaged 14.0 points, eight rebounds and five assists a game, while Sharp was one of South Range’s leading scorers at 14.2 points per game.

Mook led Columbiana to a school-record 23 wins and a share of the ITCL lower tier title. She averaged 19.0 points, 5.1 steals and 5.0 assists a game.

Hughes is Western Reserve’s top scorer, averaging 16.5 points a game.

Getting second-team honors were West Branch junior Pavin Heath and Heartland Christian junior Glen Hoffman in Division II; South Range sophomore Morgan Czopur in Division III; and Sebring senior Kelsi Settle in Division IV.

Named to the third team were Salem senior Max Wolfgang in Division II; and Lisbon sophomore Austin Rutecki, Springfield junior Mark Schuler, Springfield sophomore Graham Mincher, Springfield junior Callie Ford and Springfield senior Baylee Felger in Division III.

Receiving special mention were Salem’s D.J. Pullie and West Branch’s Amanda Linhart in Division II; Columbiana’s Devin Rice, Crestview’s Eric Lloyd, East Palestine’s Nick Monteleone and Courtney Weber, Lisbon’s Josh Liberati and Avery Andric, Southern Local’s Troy Holden and Jared Shilot, and South Range’s Garrett Anderson in Division III; Columbiana’s Emily Witmer, Aleah Whitacre and Bri Gingher, Crestview’s Anna Hardenbrook and Alexis Gates, Leetonia’s Trent Ferry and Emily Schneider, Lisbon’s Tiffany Ketchum, Southern Local’s Brittany Webber, Wellsville’s Seth Bradford, Jordan Sloan, Brittany Clendenning and Shartece Taylor, and Western Reserve’s Nolan Snyder, Joe Falasca, Rachel Maslach and Tory White in Division IV.

Teams were selected by a media panel from the district.