Dailey, Bertovich headline All-Area boys | News, Sports, Jobs


Seniors Cole Dailey of East Liverpool and Jonathan Bertovich of Heartland Christian are two different players on the court, but get the same results.

Dailey and Bertovich are the Morning Journal’s 2021-22 All-Area boys basketball players of the year after outstanding seasons and careers.

East Liverpool’s Nate Conley is the All-Area coach of the year.

Conley, in his 12th season as head coach, guided the Potters to a 19-5 record, the Buckeye 8 championship and the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference 4A title, their first OVAC championship since 1999.

“We had a special group of seniors,” Conley said. “They won a lot of games and we accomplished a lot.”

Dailey and fellow East Liverpool senior Zavea Green are All-Area first-teamers.

The 6-foot-6 Dailey was a two-year starter for the Potters and also was a standout soccer player and tennis player.

“He does it all,” Conley said. “He’s taken advantage of his high school career. He’s great in all of them.”

A two-year starter, Dailey was one of the top players around as he led the Potters in scoring (16.3), rebounds (11.1), blocks (3.2) and two-point field goal percentage (70.7). He also had 2.8 assists a game.

“Cole had a fantastic year,” Conley said. “He’s one my all-time favorite players — because of his character and the way he impacted the game. He was the most dominant player in the area.”

Dailey could have posted bigger numbers if the Potters needed it, but he was one of four players who averaged more than 12 points a game.

“Cole was dominant in every single game,” Conley said. “Every game he faced double teams and triple teams. His game against Salem was one of the best I’ve ever seen (22 points, 20 rebounds, seven blocks and five assists).

“He’s fun to coach. He’s an all-around great kid who is fun to root for.”

The Potters are going to have a hard time replacing Dailey next season.

“He’s going to be missed,” Conley said. “Everyone loves him. He doesn’t run his mouth or act cocky.”

While Dailey is the third Potter in four years to claim All-Area player of the year honors, Bertovich is the first Heartland Christian product to do so. Bertovich beat out Dailey for Columbiana County player of the year honors.

“It upset me a little bit, but Cole said he didn’t care,” Conley said. “He was still mad we lost in the district game. Bertovich is a great player and deserved it.”

Bertovich is on the All-Area first team for a third straight year and finished as Columbiana County’s all-time leading OHSAA boys scorer with 1,810 career points.

He topped the area in scoring this season –for the third time in four years — by averaging 24.1 points a game.

“He’s had one of the most successful careers in our area in a long time,” Heartland coach Josh Scott said. “Winning 36 games over the last two years and being the best player on a team that had a lot of firsts, he had a really special career.”

After opening the season with a career-high 59 points in the Lisbon Tip-Off Classic, Bertovich led the Lions to a school-best 19-6 record and their first two OHSAA sectional tournament wins ever along with their first district appearance. That came a year after a 17-5 season.

“JB definitely played a huge factor in growing our program to a place where we were respected the last couple of years and taken a lot more seriously,” Scott said. “The kids all bought into what he was doing. He’s left that legacy of putting us on the map.”

Bertovich also led the Lions in assists (4.8), steals (3.7) and blocks (1.2) and was second in rebounds (4.6). He shot 54 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point range and 85 percent from the foul line.

“The special part for me is seeing him grow as a person,” Scott said. “From shy and reserved into a fun and more exciting kid.”

Salem senior Drew Weir also returns to the All-Area first team and is joined by Bertovich, Dailey, Green, Columbiana senior Nick Million, Beaver Local senior Skylar Pappas, West Branch junior Dru DeShields, Wellsville junior Jaxon Brewer, United senior Steffen Jarrett and Lisbon sophomore Trevor Siefke.

Here is a look at the All-Area honorees:

NICK MILLION (Columbiana) — When Million got on a hot streak, so did the Clippers. He set school records for points in a game (41) and most three-pointers in a game (9) and season (83) in guiding Columbiana to 11 wins and a second-place finish in the Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference. “Nick had an outstanding year for us,” Columbiana coach Todd Johnson said. “He put in a lot of hard work in the offseason and it paid off.” Million led the Clippers in scoring (18.9), rebounds (5.7), steals (2.0), field goal percentage (47 percent), three-point percentage (38 percent) and blocks (0.7) and was second in assists (1.7).

DREW WEIR (Salem) — Weir had another solid season for Salem, leading the Quakers in scoring (12.3), rebounds (4.6), blocks (2.0) and three-point percentage (31.3). He also averaged 1.1 steals. “Drew is a very dynamic player that can do it all — shoot, drive, rebound, and defend the rim,” Salem coach Jeff Andres said. “He has led us in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots for the past few years. One of the few in the area that can play above the rim.”

ZAVEA GREEN (East Liverpool) — Green teamed with Cole Dailey for the best one-two punch in the area this season. Green averaged 12.7 points a game and was second on the team in rebounds (7.2) assists (3.0), blocks (1.3) and two-point field goal percentage (61.1). “Zavea’s done some things this year we might never see again,” East Liverpool coach Nate Conley said. “He’s extremely athletic. He had a great year and was one of our top defenders. He had an all-around great season. He’s a great kid and valedictorian of our school.”

SKYLAR PAPPAS (Beaver Local) –Pappas was Beaver Local’s scoring leader, averaging 15.8 points during a 13-10 season. He also averaged 4.9 assists, 3.2 rebounds, 2.3 steals and shot 52 percent from the field. “Skylar led our team in scoring but was much more than that,” Beaver Local coach Nick Miller said. “His passion, determination and resiliency was contagious. Skylar might not have been the tallest but you can guarantee he played with the biggest heart. As his coach, it has been a pleasure to be a part of his success and I can speak for all my coaches when I say, we will miss seeing Skylar Pappas in a Beaver Local uniform.”

DRU DESHIELDS (West Branch) — DeShields was one of the leaders on a West Branch basketball team that went 19-6. He led the Warriors in scoring (16.0), rebounds (9.1), assists (3.0) and field goal percentage (48.1). “Dru has started in our basketball program since 2019, with each year comes greater expectations,” West Branch coach Michael Brown said. “His length and athleticism give us a different dynamic on the defensive end as we rely on him to guard anyone from point guard to post.” The Warriors are 53-17 with DeShields as a starting forward. He also was a first-team All-Ohio quarterback last fall.

JAXON BREWER (Wellsville) — Brewer played much bigger inside than his size. He led the Tigers in scoring (17.6) and rebounds (8.1) to go along with 4.1 assists and 3.1 steals a game for the Tigers, who finished 17-8 and won the Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference title. “Jaxon is a steady player for us and one of the hardest workers on the team,” Wellsville coach David “Bug” Thompson said. “You can always count on him being there. Rebounding, scoring, playing defense — that is always what he does.” Brewer shot 52 percent from the field and 71 percent from the foul line.

STEFFEN JARRETT (United) — Jarrett emerged as one of the area’s top players in the paint. He led the Eagles in scoring (14.5), rebounds (9.95) and field goal percentage (55.6). “Steffen is a great competitor. Not only did he want the best for himself but also for his teammates,” United coach Jason Thompson said. “He was an extension of the coaching staff and someone that you could rely on when you needed something. Steffen will be missed not only by the coaching staff but by the younger kids in the program. Steffen showed everyday how you need to approach life — with everything that you have.”

TREVOR SIEFKE (Lisbon) — Siefke had a lot to handle as Lisbon’s only pure guard. He averaged a team-high 18.6 points along with 4.7 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 2.0 steals a game. He also shot 42.2 percent from three-point range and 72.2 percent from the foul line. “For Trevor, this year was a growing year,” Lisbon coach Chris Huckshold said. “From last year having two senior leaders around him took a lot of heat off of him and he had to step into those shoes this year. It was a learning year and a productive year. I couldn’t ask for any more from him.”

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