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Tackett’s Body Shop Shootout has impressive teams, talent

Jim Walker

It’ll be here versus there.
The annual Tackett’s Body Shop Shootout at Ironton High School has been a great showcase for girls’ basketball and this year might be the best yet in terms of team quality.
While part of the field features top local teams, the opponents are from other areas of the Tri-State and have some talented teams.
The six-game schedule at a cost of just $7 for the entire day begins at 11 a.m. as the Ashland Kittens play the unbeaten and fifth-ranked Division II Vinton County Lady Vikings (15-0).
Ashland has 5-foot-8 junior Julia Parker who had more than 1,000 career points and has already given a verbal commitment to Pikeville. Also, 5-10 freshman Mikayla Martin averages 10.4 points and 9.1 rebounds.
Vinton County is led by 5-10 sophomore Morgan Bentley who averages 16.4 points, 9.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game. Two other players averaging double figures are 5-8 freshman Tegan Bartoe (13.3 ppg) and 5-1 sophomore Josie Ousley (10.4 ppg).
The Lady Vikings set a school single-game record with 14 3-point goals.
The second game at 12:45 p.m. has the Wheelersburg Lady Pirates (13-4) going against the talented West Carter Lady Comets (25-9), a 16th Region semifinalist last season.
The Lady Pirates 5-6 senior Abbie Kallner has 1,000 career points and is headed to Shawnee State next fall. The other top scorer is 5-5 sophomore Kaylee Darnell who averages double figures.
The Lady Comets are led by 5-3 senior guard Hannah Bear who has more than 1,000 career points and will play at Kentucky Christian and 5-5 freshman guard Allie Stone who is being recruited by Marshall and already has 1,000 career points. She averages 21.7 points a game.
West Carter also has 5-10 senior Morgan Berry who scores at a 10.6 clip.
At 2:30 p.m., The Russell Lady Red Devils (15-3) will go against the Minford Lady Falcons (11-4).
Russell went 23-10 last year for the third straight 20-win season and reached the regional semifinals. The Lady Devils are led by 6-foot Lakie Sanders who averages 12.4 points and 7.0 rebounds and is headed for Kentucky Christian next fall.
On the outside, Russell has 5-9 sophomore guard Kaeli Ross who averages 15.4 points a game and has drawn interest from Eastern Kentucky, Southern Illinois and Murray State.
Minford was 24-2 last season and reached the Sweet 16. The Lady Falcons have the size with 6-4 senor Ashley Blankenship and 5-10 senior Caitlyn Puckett.
A couple of highly-ranked teams will meet in the 4:15 p.m. game.
The Portsmouth Notre Dame Lady Titans (15-0) are seventh in the Division IV AP poll and will play the Waynesville Lady Spartans (15-0) who are fourth in the Division III poll.
The Lady Titans are led by 6-4 senior center Katie Dettwiller who has signed with St. Francis. She was second team All-Ohio last season and the Southern Ohio Conference and Southeast District Player of the Year.
But Dettwiller isn’t a one-player show. The Lady Titans have a 5-5 sophomore guard Ava Hassel who is already drawing college recruiters.
Waynesville was 24-2 last season and reached the Elite Eight.
The Lady Spartans are led by 5-6 senior guard Rachel Murray who averages 21 points and 5.0 rebounds a game.
Joining her in the lineup is 6-foot senior forward Marcella Sizer — a Youngstown State soccer recruit — is averaging 13.2 points and 9.4 rebounds.
The host Lady Fighting Tigers (9-9) take on their toughest challenge of the season as they play the Division II Franklin Lady Wildcats (12-3) at 6 p.m.
Ironton has 5-7 senior guard Haylee Stevens — a Glenville State softball recruit — leading the offense with her deadly 3-point shooting.
Her top running mate is 5-9 junior guard Riley Schreck who can also hit from behind the arc. Inside the Lady Tigers have 5-11 sophomore center Samantha LaFon.
Franklin was 19-7 last season and reached the Sweet 16.
Leading the Lady Wildcats is 6-1 senior Layne Ferrell with 20.9 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.1 blocks per game. She has signed to play at Akron.
The other top starter is 5-8 sophomore Jordan Rogers who averages 9.4 points and 3.1 assists.
The 7:45 p.m. game has the Tecumseh Lady Arrows (11-3) going against the Parkersburg Lady Big Reds (15-1).
Tecumseh was 19-6 last season and features 5-9 senior guard Corinne Thomas who is going to West Liberty and 5-11 guard Presley Griffitts who has signed with Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis.
Thomas holds the school’s single-game record with 13 3-pointers and was third team All-Ohio in Division I last year after being named the District 9 Player of the Year.
Tecumseh made 24 3-pointers in a single game this season.
The Lady Big Reds are currently ranked No. 1 in Class 3-A in West Virginia and own seven state titles including last season.
Two players are committed to play at the next level as 5-10 senior Shay Lee Kirby signed with Austin Peay and 5-10 junior Maddi Mace gave a verbal to Ohio University.

Tackett’s Body Shop Shootout
11 a.m. – Vinton County vs. Ashland, Ky.
12:45 p.m. – Wheelersburg vs. West Carter, Ky.
2:30 p.m. – Minford vs. Russell, Ky.
4:15 p.m. – Portsmouth Notre Dame vs. Waynesville
6 p.m. – Ironton vs. Franklin
7:45 p.m. – Tecumseh vs. Parkersburg, W.Va.
Admission: $7
Doors open 10:15 a.m.