Lawrence County team comes together for united goal

Published 10:42 pm Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Lawrence County All-Stars assistant coach Josh Ward (far left) offers instructions to the players (left to right) Hannah Taylor, Abbey Isaacs, Blayr Knipp, Erin Hicks, Chasity Cecil, Emily Stoneroad, Emma Scott, Hope Easterling, Cassity Lyons, Myles Bailey and head coach Eric Bailey. (Tim Gearhart sports photo for The Ironton Tribune)


Abbey Isaacs (left) and Hope Easterling battle for possession of the basketball. (Tim Gearhart sports photo for The Ironton Tribune)

By Jim Walker

Email newsletter signup

PEDRO — Now this is what you call a basketball potpourri.

While potpourri is a mixture of a wide variety of ingredients to create a natural scent, this basketball potpourri will be a mixture of a variety of players from several schools looking to blend together and create a natural team.

This basketball team is comprised of girls from several Lawrence County schools coming together to playing in the annual Buckeye Battleground  Shootout at Wooster College.

The tournament features a collection of Ohio county all-star teams and has been witnessed by as many as 50 college basketball coaches.

Chasity Cecil listens intently to instruction from the coaches. (Tim Gearhart sports photo for The Ironton Tribune)

There are 7 public schools in Lawrence County — Ironton, Coal Grove, Chesapeake, Fairland, South Point, Symmes Valley at Rock Hill —and 2 private schools — St. Joseph Central Catholic and Sugar Creek Christian Academy.

Team team is comprised of 10 girls who are all from Lawrence County Schools. Head coach Eric Bailey is in his first season with the all-stars after Fairland’s Jon Buchanan handled the duties in the past 3 seasons.

The tournament begins Saturday with Lawrence County playing Erie County and then Portage County to start the tournament.

Bailey sent out invitations to the head coaches or athletic directors at all the schools inviting any girls who were interested in playing to contact him.

“There was not one girl turned down who’s name was sent back to me,” said Bailey. “When all the girls who were interested replied, we just had seven players so I added some girls from Rock Hill to fill out the roster to give us 10 players in order for us to practice.”

Ironton’s Chasity Cecil is looking forward to the opportunity to get some exposure with the college coaches who will be in attendance.

“It would be helpful if I got a scholarship which is what I’m really wanting. I want one from someone like Marshall or Ohio , something not too big,” said Cecil who does mostly work at the school and summer tournaments with her Ironton teammates.

Fairland advanced to the Division 2 state tournament Final Four last season and Hannah Taylor is hoping to improve and earn more playing time this coming season.

“I can get more experience and then I can try to do more because with our team they’re all so good and maybe I can do something new,” said Taylor.

“I think it’s really going to help me to do better and I want to do better. I’m glad I’m doing it.”

Erin Hicks of Chesapeake said this is an opportunity to fill a void in her summer schedule that includes numerous tournaments and shootouts.

“I do AAU and we go to tournaments. We did every weekend in May and we’re doing some in July. We’re doing ‘Run for The Roses’ and it’s a really big (tournament) and then I do workouts with (coach) Josh (Ward),” said Hicks who was referring to a Lady Panthers’ assistant coach.

“It’ll help in getting notice with college coaches being there and seeing you play really hard.”

Rock Hill teammates Hope Easterling and Emma Scott are looking to improve their play and gain some attention from college coaches.

“It’s going to benefit us all because we all get to play against each other and we get to learn each other and support each other,” said Easterling.

“It’s going to help because there’s going to be a lot of college coaches so we’ll be able to get to the next level.”

Scott echoed her teammate’s sentiments.

“I think it will really help me and my teammates,” said Scott. “It’ll be good to play against really skilled other players. This will help prepare me.

“These are like the best players from each county and we’re not going to see that (amount of talent together on a team) in our conference, so I think it will really help me prepare for that.”

Another Rock Hill player is Myles Bailey who is just an eighth grader.

“We’ve had girls on the team before who were in the eighth grade. Bailey Russell of Fairland was the most recent to do it,” said coach Bailey.

Other team members are Chloe Long of Sugar Creek Christian Academy, Abbey Isaacs of Chesapeake, and Emily Stoneroad and Abby Schug of Rock Hill.

All-Lawrence County Team

Player, School Gr.

Chloe Long, Sugar Creek Acad. Sr.

Hope Easterling, Rock Hill Sr.

Hannah Taylor, Fairland Sr.

Emma Scott, Rock Hill Sr.

Chasity Cecil, Ironton Sr.

Erin Hicks, Chesapeake Jr.

Abbey Isaacs, Chesapeake So

Emily Stoneroad, Rock Hill So.

Abby Schug, Rock Hill Fr.

Myles Bailey, Rock Hill 8th

Head Coach: Eric Bailey

Assistant coaches: Josh Ward, Josh Bryant, Dave Schug, Andy Long