Wapakoneta's Warner plays in all-star game

ELIDA — One task which had always come relatively easy to Sara Warner that she found to be challenging Monday was scoring points.

The Wapakoneta High School senior was a dependable points scorer on a team full of many of them.
Warner averaged 15 points per game during her senior season for the Redskins but went scoreless Monday.

Although she wanted to score at least once in Monday’s game, she realized why it was tough to do so.

“It was kind of nice not having the pressure on me to score points,” Warner said. “It was challenging at times because I’ve never played with any of them.”

Warner played on the West roster in one of two Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association girls all-star games Monday at the Elida High School fieldhouse.

Warner competed in the first game of a doubleheader featuring seniors from schools in Divisions I, II and III from within the state coaches association’s District 8.

The East squad accomplished a strong start in the game and rolled to a 79-56 victory.

The teams played two 20-minute halves with a running clock and substitutions of the entire lineup in five-minute intervals.

The West roster was coached by Van Wert’s Lance Moonshower, while the East team was guided by Liberty-Benton’s Nate Irwin.

Warner, a first-team All-Western Buckeye League performer this past season, was unfamiliar entirely with her set of teammates, having never played with them at all prior to Monday.

“It was awesome getting to play with people from other towns and other leagues who you normally don’t get to play with,” Warner said. “It was nice to play against some good competition. There were some pretty good players.”

Warner’s teammates on the West squad included Kourtney Fark (Celina), Joelle Hemmelgarn (Coldwater), Sammi Stechschulte (Columbus Grove), Kristin Miller (Ottawa-Glandorf), Sierra Fent (Parkway), Cami Hellwarth (Parkway), Claire Dahlke (Shawnee), Cheyenne Handy (Van Wert) and Michelle Maag (Ottawa-Glandorf).

Warner, a first-team All-District 8 selection for the Division I, II and III roster, saw nice support at Monday’s game.

Warner’s mother and father, Dawn and Kevin, sister, Kala, and grandparents, Don and Cadene, were in attendance Monday.

Redskins varsity coach Rusty Allen watched one of his four seniors play the exhibition.

Her varsity teammates from this past season — senior Erin Schnell, senior Hilary Bourne, junior Carly Buzzard, junior Morgan Miller and sophomore Maddi Stiles — sat courtside in the front row sporting homemade signs to cheer Warner on.

“It was awesome having people I knew here cheering me on,” Warner said.

Although the game Monday was more than three weeks since the Redskins’ season-ending game in the district finals, Warner said she was still in good condition, with her participation in track and field helping to keep her in shape.

“I’m in pretty good shape,” she said.

Warner and the Redskins had a 14-11 record for the 2013-14 season.

They won a sectional championship and finished as a district runner-up.

In addition to her 15 points per game scoring average, Warner had six rebounds per contest and tallied just less than three assists per game.

This past season Warner was a third-team All-Northwest District choice, named by the Associated Press.

She will attend The Ohio State University and will major in engineering.