It’s only fitting that the county’s top scorers have been named the 2021-22 Columbiana County Players of the Year.
Heartland Christian senior Jonathan Bertovich and Southern sophomore Ashley Shroades took top honors in the coaches’ vote on Sunday.
Bertovich guided the Lions to a best school season of 19-5 and their first-ever wins in the OHSAA Tournament.
He is the county’s all-time leading men’s scorer with 1,781 career points. He’s one of the best players in the state this season, averaging 25.4 points with 4.7 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 4.1 steals per game.
Bertovich and Columbiana senior Nick Million were the only two unanimous selections.
Shroades edged out Salem junior Abbie Davidson by one vote for the girls’ first honor.
Shroades guided the Indians to a 17-6 season and a second-place finish in the Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference.
She averaged 22.6 points per game and has 1,012 career points over two seasons. She also averaged 10.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game.
Heartland Christian boys’ coach Josh Scott and Salem girls’ coach Sarah Hamilton repeat as coaches of the year.
Third-seeded Heartland will face second-seeded Lowellville (19-4) in a Division IV district semifinal at 7 p.m. today at Struthers Fieldhouse. Heartland defeated Lowellville, 75-68, in regular season action on Dec. 10.
Hamilton led Salem to its first district title in 18 years. The Quakers are 19-4 and were runners-up in the Eastern Buckeye Conference.
Salem will face Canal Fulton Northwest (23-2) in a Division II regional semifinal at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Barberton High School.
Bertovich are first-team winners for the third season, while East Liverpool senior Cole Dailey and Salem senior Drew Weir are part of the men’s first-team for a second consecutive year.
Joining Bertovich, Dailey, Weir and Millioin in the men’s first team are Wellsville junior Jaxon Brewer, Beaver Local senior Skylar Pappas, Lisbon sophomore Trevor Siefke and United senior Steffen Jarrett.
The men’s second team includes Crestview junior Kirkland Miller, Southern junior Brady Ketchum, Wellsville junior Isaiah Greathouse, East Liverpool senior Zavea Green, Leetonia junior Joe Guido, Lisbon sophomore Hunter Dailey, Beaver Local senior Ethan Agnew and United senior Ward Kiko.
Joining Shroades, who was a first team last season, and Davidson in the women’s first team are Columbiana senior Tori Long, Leetonia junior Ella Gregorino, Lisbon senior Parker Henthorne, United junior Madison Kibler, Crestview rookie Luvrain Gaskins and Salem sophomore Rylee Hutton.
The women’s second team includes East Liverpool senior Shayla Foster, Beaver Local senior Halle Jordan, Heartland Christian senior Madison Matthews, Palestine East senior Patience Champney, Crestview junior Olivia Kerns, Emily Hill, United’s junior, Taylor Cope and United’s second-year Grace Knight.