Prep girls basketball: Hornets seeking more success despite key injury

Monroe’s Sophie Sloneker puts up a shot over a group of Bellbrook defenders during their game Jan. 26, 2017, at Monroe. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Combined ShapeCaption
Monroe’s Sophie Sloneker puts up a shot over a group of Bellbrook defenders during their game Jan. 26, 2017, at Monroe. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

The slow build continued an uphill trend within Monroe High School’s girls basketball program in 2016-17, and coach Chad Allen is hoping it is one that continues.

After being 1-21 in 2013-14, the Hornets won seven games and then just missed finishing .500 in 2015-16, going 11-12.

Then came the last season.

The Hornets finished 20-5, advancing to the Division II sectional finals and finishing second behind Bellbrook in the Southwestern Buckeye League Southwestern Division with a 10-2 mark.


Explore• Badin Rams
Explore• Carlisle Indians
Explore• Cincinnati Christian Cougars
Explore• Edgewood Cougars
Explore• Fairfield Indians
Explore• Fenwick Falcons
Explore• Franklin Wildcats

“Last year’s success has raised expectations for everyone on team,” said Allen, who was rewarded for the breakout season with SWBL Southwestern Coach of the Year honors.

While the Hornets lost just Karley Gescuk to graduation, a bigger blow was suffered in the preseason.

Junior Katie Sloneker — part of the Hornets’ twin towers — suffered a torn ACL and is likely out for the season.

Sloneker, a versatile 5-foot-10 player, was a first-team All-SWBL selection after leading the Hornets in scoring (12.6) while adding 5.7 rebounds per game last year.

The other half of the towers returns in Sloneker’s sister Sophie, also a first-team All-SWBL player last season. She averaged 9.7 points and 3.9 rebounds per game as a sophomore.

Senior Jahsalyn Robinson returns after averaging a steady 6.5 points and 5.8 rebounds a season ago.

Seniors Erica Thompson and Maddy Wehry also return, along with sophomores Kylee Slone and Samantha Schwab.

Monroe got a huge boost with the transfer of Olivia Wells-Daniels.

Wells-Daniels, a sophomore transfer from Middletown, was second for the Middies in scoring (13.0) and rebounding (8.0) last year.

The transfer should help boost an already board-hungry group that grabbed an average of 28 rebounds per game in the breakthrough season.


Explore• Hamilton Big Blue
Explore• Lakota East Thunderhawks
Explore• Lakota West Firebirds
Explore• Lebanon Warriors
Explore• Middletown Middies
Explore• Middletown Christian Eagles
Explore• Ross Rams

Allen is also counting on a plethora of freshmen to come off the bench and spell players throughout the season.

“We are making progress,” Allen said. “We are still adjusting to losing Katie and getting rotations down and getting used to not having her there for us.”

The Hornets will be tested right out of the gate, traveling to Oakwood on Nov. 28 before opening up the home portion of their schedule on Nov. 30 against Brookville.

Allen said the bar has been raised for the program after recording tournament wins over Dunbar and Valley View before falling to Alter in 2016-17.

“Our expectations are to get better throughout the year,” Allen said. “Our expectations and goals are to win the league and to win a district title this year.”

About the Author