AP names Stapleton Co-Player of the Year
Terra Stapleton has made a habit out of Player of the Year awards.
The Fairland Lady Dragons’ 6-foot-4 senior center — a Michigan signee — was named the Associated Press Division III Co-Player of the Year, the second straight season she has won the honor.
After being a tri-player last year, Stapleton and Africentric’s Alexa Hart shared the honor announced Tuesday.
Stapleton has been the AP Southeast District Player of the Year the past three seasons as well as the Southeast Coaches District 13 honoree over the same time span.
Stapleton averaged 17.8 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.7 blocked shots this past season and was the key reason the Lady Dragons are making their first-ever state tournament appearance.
Stapleton is not the first person in her family to play in a state tournament. Her uncle Jeff “Sticks” Collins played in the Class AA state baseball tournament in 1972.
In fact, Collins — who was drafted by the Chicago Cubs — was the winning pitcher in the state championship game as Ironton beat Solon 3-2.
Stapleton will try to bring a second state title to the family when the Lady Dragons play Versailles at 3 p.m. Friday in the state semifinals.
Stapleton wasn’t the only local player honored by the AP.
Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers’ 5-10 sophomore guard Lexie Barrier was a special mention pick after she averaged 17.6 points, 8.0 rebound, 2.0 assists, 2.9 steals and 2.1 blocked shots a game.
Barrier is a two-time first team all-district selection. She has already being recruited by several Division I schools such as Florida, Purdue, Kansas State, Colorado, UNC-Charlotte, Marshall and Belmont.
Named honorable mention were South Point’s 6-2 senior Brett Justice and 5-8 senior Aundrea Bradburn, Fairland’s 5-8 junior Kelsey Riley, and Coal Grove’s 5-6 junior Jacy Jones.
In Division IV, St. Joseph Female Flyers’ 5-9 junior point guard Hannah Miller was special mention All-Ohio. Miller averaged 18.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.0 steals per game.
Named to the honorable mention list was St. Joseph 5-7 junior Amber Neal and Symmes Valley Lady Vikings 5-10 senior Kalli Hunt.
Neal averaged 13.5 points a game and hit 56 3-pointers as the Female Flyers went 16-7 this season.
Hunt averaged 14.4 points and 13.1 rebounds a game for the Lady Vikings.