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Prep Sports Notebook: Coaches name Meyer, Ipsaro co-winners of 9th Region Player of the Year Award

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Senior guards Jacob Meyer of Holy Cross and Evan Ipsaro of Covington Catholic were named co-winners of the 9th Region Player of the Year Award by the Northern Kentucky Boys Basketball Coaches Association at its post-season banquet last Sunday.

Last month, they were also named the top two seniors in the region by the state coaches association to make them eligible for Mr. Kentucky Basketball that will be announced during a ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Evan Ipsaro

Jacob Meyer

Meyer finished the season with the state’s highest scoring average (38.6) for the second straight year and became the 9th Region’s all-time leading scorer with 3,280 points.

Ipsaro had team-high averages of 25.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.1 assists for CovCath, one of the top 10 teams in the state media poll all season. He was one of the state’s best free throw shooters, hitting 163 of 187 for 87.2 percent.

Ipsaro will continue his career at Miami of Ohio University. Meyer has offers from several NCAA Division I college teams, but he has not yet announced his college choice.

Matt Otte of Conner was named 9th Region Coach of the Year. The Cougars ended the season with a 19-9 record and finished first in the Division I conference standings with a 7-0 record.

The local coaches association also recognized St. Henry coach Dave Faust for setting a new 9th Region record in career wins (465) this season and Meyer for breaking the region’s career scoring record. The other player honored at the banquet was Highlands senior guard Will Herald, who set a 9th Region record in 3-point goals (343) during his four-year varsity career.

Russell retires as head basketball coach with 495 career wins

Aric Russell ended his 25-year head coaching career last week when he announced his retirement after spending the last 13 seasons in charge of the Campbell County boys program.

Aric Russell

Russell compiled a 284-134 record at Campbell County and retires with a 459-286 overall record for a 61.6 winning percentage. He started his head coaching career at Newport, where he was 124-120 as boys coach and 51-32 as girls coach.

He won a 9th Region championship in his final season as Newport boys basketball coach in 2009-10. At Campbell County, his teams won four 10th Region titles and made it to the semifinals of the 2019 state tournament.

This season, the Camels posted a 22-12 record that made Russell the most successful coach in the history of the program with 284 wins. His teams finished with a winning record in 12 of 13 seasons and seven of them won 20 games or more.

Campbell County qualified for the 10th Region tournament 12 times and compiled a 20-8 record in tournament games under Russell. During an impressive three-year run from 2016-17 to 2018-19, the Camels had a 90-16 record and won two region titles.  

Ball State enters WNIT with two local players in starting lineup

Two former Northern Kentucky high school players are starters on the Ball State University women’s basketball team that will host a first-round game in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament.

Scott graduate Anna Clephane and Brossart graduate Marie Kiefer have started every game for the 25-8 Ball State team that will host Belmont (25-11) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Muncie, Ind.

Clephane is a redshirt senior averaging a team-high 15.4 points and 3.6 rebounds per game for the Cardinals. She was a first-team selection in the Mid-America All-Conference voting and has scored 1,244 points in her college career despite two season-ending knee injuries.

Kiefer is a 6-foot-2 sophomore averaging 7.8 points and 5.8 rebounds with a team-high 55 blocks. She is shooting 53.1 percent from the field and went 9-for-9 from the field in a game on March 1.       


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