Take one look at Ringgold senior Josie Schmidt, and it’s easy to see where Schmidt does most of her damage on the basketball court.
At 6-3, Schmidt doesn’t think much about knocking down three-pointers or leading a fast break. She’s a post player, plain and simple. And a very good one at that.
In what will be her next-to-last high school basketball game – she’s also playing in the Roundball Classic April 20 – Schmidt put on a show, scoring 23 points and grabbing 19 rebounds to lead the White Team to a 54-42 victory over the Red Team in the Rotary Club Washington-Greene All-Star Girls Basketball Game at Washington High School Friday night.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Schmidt, who earned Most Valuable Player honors for her team. “There was no stress, no pressure. Everything was very light. It was really fun to play against everyone who was your enemy during the season; now you can play against them as friends.”
Inside lobs, creative post moves and putbacks may be a funny way of making friends, but that’s exactly what Schmidt did.
“She’s so good, plus her height helps us out so much,” said Bentworth’s Taylor Pompei, a guard who finished with 13 points.
With only 11 players in the game, the White Team was forced to play without any subs, though Pompei didn’t mind. “We all could play,” she said.
Besides Schmidt and Pompei, Trinity’s Jessica Lovell finished with six points and seven rebounds; Hillers teammate Kylie Victoria added five points; and Erica Brown, a third Trinity player, contributed seven points.
Avella’s Olivia English, who was playing her first basketball game since she was injured in a car crash in early February, led the Red Team with 16 points and also won the three-point shooting competition at halftime.
As impressive as English was, however, Chartiers-Houston’s Amanda Balzer – more of a hurdler than hooper – finished with 14 points, three steals and two blocks to pick up MVP honors for her team.
“I normally get my points on fast breaks,” Balzer said. “I think it’s where they came from tonight, too.”
Amanda’s sister Ashley pulled down 17 rebounds and added four points, but the White Team, guided by McGuffey head coach Amanda Burchett, pulled away early in the second quarter and never looked back.
“It’s just fun,” Schmidt said. “It’s not like a section game or a playoff game. It’s just nice and light.”
Much of that was a credit to Schmidt, who’s actually the shortest among her two sisters; her younger sister, Marlena, is closer to 6-6, Josie said.
Pompei knocked down three three-pointers to give the White Team a 16-12 lead after the first quarter.
“I was kind of nervous to begin with, but when those went in, that kind of boosted my confidence a little bit,” Pompei said.
Schmidt owned the second, scoring six points and grabbing seven rebounds, as the White Team used a 9-0 run at the beginning of the quarter to take a 25-12 lead halfway through.
Chartiers-Houston’s Tori Foster (five points) snapped the stretch by driving to the basket for a three-point play with 3 minutes, 12, seconds left in the second period, though the Red Team still trailed, 27-18, at the break.
Schmidt led the White Team with nine points in the first half, and English had a team-high six for the Red Team.
The White Team extended its lead to 43-26 after three following a pair of layups from Pompei and a three-pointer from Victoria.
“We passed the ball, got in a rhythm, and I think we made some shots,” Pompei said. “Pulled it out.”