Greeneview hasn’t seen the likes of a girls high school basketball player like Ashton Lovely since, well, never.
“That brand of basketball, we don’t get that very much here in Jamestown,” reflected Rams head coach Gregg Haines this past week. “She definitely has been nice to have to game-plan around.”
The 5-foot-10 senior guard further separated herself from area players this week when she received a nomination to play in the McDonald’s All American girls basketball game.
Lovely was one of 17 boys and girls throughout the Miami Valley – and 984 nationally - who have been nominated for the girls/boys doubleheader at Chicago’s United Center on April 2.
The 24-player East and West rosters will be revealed live on ESPNU at 6 p.m. on Jan. 29. The games also will be televised live on ESPNU.
An effective inside and outside presence, Lovely is scorching the Ohio Heritage Conference, averaging 23 points, 5.5 assists, 3.5 steals and 3.0 rebounds.
At that pace she’ll surpass 2,000 career points and 450 assists.
Those are just the kinds of numbers that the University of Cincinnati envisioned when the Bearcats landed her during the November signing period.
Evan Bradds, a 2013 Greeneview grad, signed with Belmont (Tenn.), an NCAA Division I men’s program. Haines said that Lovely is the first Rams girl to sign with an NCAA D-I program.
“It’s a huge relief,” said Lovely, who caught UC’s attention while excelling for the AAU team Cincinnati Knights. “It’s what I’ve wanted ever since I was little. Now that it’s here, it feels great.”
Lovely has been at the center of the Rams’ continued success. Two seasons ago – Haines’ first – Greeneview was 18-5. Last season the Rams rolled to a 23-2 record, falling 67-61 to nemesis Fayetteville-Perry in a D-III sectional final.
Facing a schedule upgrade, Greeneview was 1-2 this season following losses to Springboro and again Fayetteville-Perry, the state’s No. 4 team in the first Associated Press poll.
But the Rams haven’t lost since, mounting an eight-game win streak going into Saturday’s game against visiting Triad.
Lovely moved to the point when Natasha Seibenhaler went down with a knee injury. Since Seibenhaler’s return, Greeneview has hiked up its defense and appears to be in good position to defend its OHC title. If that happens and another deep postseason run follows, Lovely will have played a key role.
“We have the potential to go really far in the tournament,” she said. Whatever I need to do for us to win, that’s what I’m going to do.”
BOYS MCDONALD’S NOMINEES
Davion Ashe, Thurgood Marshall
Nathan Boone, Troy Christian
Landon Brazile, Thurgood Marshall
Robert Caldwell, Stivers
Juan Ford, Wayne
William Green, Dunbar
Malik Jacobs, Fairborn
Kendrick Mallory, Trotwood-Madison
RaChaun Martin, Thurgood Marshall
Eric Meininger, Centerville
Zach Rower, Beavercreek
Nate Sheppard, Jefferson
GIRLS MCDONALD’S NOMINEES
Naddiyah Cross, Centerville
Aston Lovely, Greeneview
Anna Richter, Talawanda
Makayla Waterman, Fairmont
Kathryn Westbeld, Fairmont