Jordan Horston leads the way, but much like some of the superpowers in the NBA, All Ohio’s Girls EYBL team has a Big 3 that can create plenty of headache for opposing teams.
Nia Clark and Valencia Myers round out the core for All Ohio along with Horston, who is fresh off time spent playing for the Team USA 16U team.
The trio has led the Ohio-based team to an 8-2 record and a first-place finish in its pool. Now its on to Chicago for the Nike National Tournament for All Ohio, where it will have high expectations.
“I got my Big 3 and I’d put all them against anybody,” said All Ohio head coach Johnny Bethea.
Playing with Team USA allowed Horston the opportunity to play off the ball, which Bethea said added a new dimension to her game.
“Jordan is just a student of the game. We watch old school games — Magic (Johnson) and things like that. A lot of NBA stuff,” Bethea said of Horston. “I tell her to watch how they do the high screen, how to come up, how to read defenses and she really soaks it in.”
Then there’s Clark and Myers, who provide All Ohio a Big 3 that can rival any trio in the EYBL circuit.
Clark is a defensive specialist but also averages 10.9 points on 42 percent shooting from deep. Myers is the team’s leading scorer at 13.2 a game, shooting 60 percent from the field.
“Nia started guarding (Team Takeover’s Jake Brown Turner), their best perimeter player, and she didn’t score anymore. And with Nia, she gives you so much offensively and defensively,” Bethea said. “Valencia controls the paint. In the last five games, she’s been about a 20 and 10 player each game. I always say, ‘If the inside of the house is clean, the outside of the house will always look good too.’”
Bethea said that he’s had teams that have had more individual talent, but this year’s squad is one of the best he’s ever had because of how they follow the fundamentals and structure.
And when Team Takeover came back in their Saturday afternoon game in Louisville to tie the contest late in the fourth quarter, they fought through the run to finish off their weekend on a high note.
“They are a really tight knit group, so when you have that and you’re tight, you fight through adversity together,” Bethea said. “Everybody says it’s the coach, but I just give them the blueprint. They do the rest.”
It was the first time since 2012 that All Ohio won its pool play at EYBL.
While that leading trio have been major reasons for its success, it’s the supporting cast that has played just a big of a role.
“Most important key for us, we will go as far as our bench goes,” Bethea said. “I got good contributions from my bench today, and the bench wins games. That’s truly how I feel.”
By Mike Stunson