By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter
Brie Crittendon, a starting guard on Ryle girls basketball teams that won 9th Region championships the last three seasons and a state title in 2019, has accepted a scholarship offer from Eastern Kentucky University.
Crittendon, who has started 108 consecutive games for the Raiders, was the team’s leading scorer last season with a 15.5 average and snagged 5.7 rebounds per game. The junior was named most valuable player in the regional tournament after scoring 45 points in her team’s three victories.
This is the third consecutive year that a Ryle player has been recruited by an NCAA Division I women’s basketball team. Lauren Schwartz was a freshman at Rice University last season and recent graduate Maddie Scherr will be going to the University of Oregon.
Ryle played the regional championship game against Notre Dame without Scherr, who had a sprained right ankle. Crittendon got off to a slow start that night, but she scored 11 of her game-high 20 points during a fourth-quarter run that secured her team’s 47-43 victory.
Crittendon has been on the varsity roster since eighth grade. She’ll enter her senior season ranked among the team’s all-time leaders in points (1,440), rebounds (502), assists (257) and steals (254).
Crittendon’s older sister, Jenna, played for Xavier University from 2012 to 2016. Last season, she was an assistant coach at the University of Charleston in West Virginia.
The Eastern Kentucky women’s basketball team finished 11-18 overall and 5-13 in the Ohio Valley Conference last season.
Highlands basketball player attracting college scholarship offers
Highlands junior guard Sam Vinson, the leading scorer in Northern Kentucky boys high school basketball last season, has gotten scholarship offers from three college programs, according to coach Kevin Listerman.
“Recruiting is very different right now, lots of zoom calls,” Listerman said, referring to coronavirus pandemic restrictions. “I know NKU, Bellarmine, Saginaw Valley State have offered. Belmont, Miami (Ohio), Ball State, Toledo, Duquesne, Lehigh have talked to him.”
All of those college teams compete on the NCAA Division I level except Saginaw Valley State, which is a Division II member.
Last season, Vinson averaged 24.7 points per game, which ranked ninth in the final statewide statistics. The versatile guard also pulled down 8.7 rebounds per game for his Highlands team that made it to the 9th Region final and finished with a 28-4 record.
Vinson was named 9th Region Player of the Year by local coaches following his impressive performance in the regional tournament.
In three games, he had 80 points and 30 rebounds. He made all 12 of his free throw attempts in the championship game and ended up shooting 80.2 percent (206 of 257) from line on the season. His final field goal percentage was 52.9 (270 of 510).
“Sam is obviously a talented young man, but he is an even better person,” Listerman said. “The pandemic has thrown a wrench into the (recruiting) process, but he continues to work on his game and is relentless in the process of getting better.”
Football coaches nearing 100 wins don’t need season shortened
The first week of high school football games in Tennessee will be moved back due to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in that state. If the same thing happens in Kentucky, three local coaches might not be able to reach 100 career victories this year.
Eddie Eviston of Covington Catholic has compiled a 93-21 record in eight seasons as a head coach. The Colonels have the same schedule as last year when they went 15-0, but reducing regular-season games could hamper the coach’s chances of reaching triple figures.
Steve Lickert of Newport Central Catholic needs 11 wins and Jeff Barth need 12 to reach the 100 mark. Both of their teams would need highly successful seasons to attain that plateau even if their current schedules remain intact.
In Tennessee and Kentucky, the first Friday night of football was originally set for Aug. 21. Under three alternate plans proposed by the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, football practice with contact would return on Aug. 30 with the first games on Sept. 18 in that state.
Kentucky also had a slight spike in COVID-19 cases, but what effect that might have on the upcoming high school football season remains to be seen.