PARKERSBURG -When the 2012-13 season opened there were as many as six players around the Mountain State mentioned as possible recepients of this year's Mary Ostrowski Award - given each year for the Player of the Year in girls basketball by the W.Va. Sports Writers Association.
Two names in particular, Huntington St. Joseph's Mychal Johnson and Bridgeport's Miki Glenn were considered the early frontrunners to replace Scott's MacKenzie White on the plaque's name plate.
The other three drawing some form of support included Wheeling Park's Emily Puskarich, Greenbrier East's Bianca Andre, Westside's Hope Lester and Princeton's McKenzie Akers.
As the season dragged on, however, two other names - Parkersburg South's Taryn McCutcheon and Logan's Shayna Gore - entered the discussion if only for a brief moment.
Then, as the regular season moved into the postseason, two names emerged as the front runners for the prestigious honor and they were the two most observers felt would be the ones in contention when the season began - Johnson and Glenn.
Johnson, a verbal commitment to the University of Notre Dame, came into the state tournament with all of the glitz and national attention. The Irish junior hadn't only added her name to ND's future roster, but was ranked among the top players in the country at her position.
Both led their respective programs to state titles on the final day of the season. Johnson and Huntington St. Joseph took home their fifth consecutive Class A title, becoming only the second team to accomplish the feat, with a dominating performance over St. Marys while Glenn and the Indians, which lost in the Class AAA finals the year before, unseated defending state champion Westside in the Class AA finals.
When all was said and done, it was Glenn, who impressed the 11-member all state committee with her leadership and play in leading the Indians to their first state title in the sport
"It (winning a state title and the award) was hard to process at first," explained Glenn. "Then, once I realized what all my team had accomplished, it (the Ostrowski Award) made me feel really good."
It also made long time head coach Dave Marshall feel good.
"Any thing that comes Miki's way is well deserved," said Marshall. "She is one very special, special young lady who has earned everything she's gotten and leads other around her and makes them better."
Words that could just as easily described the Irish's Johnson.
"Maybe, just maybe, if you put her (Johnson) and Miki in the gym she'd beat her one-on-one," continued the coach. "But, when you put them on a basketball court and put them when zero experience and ask them to lead you to a state title, Miki is the one I'd place all my faith in."
The fact that the two players may never face one another on the hardwood will cause the debate to go on and on. But, nothing can take away the fact that Glenn, who was faced with leading a team that had lost its only other returning players from the year before, took her team to the top of the Class AA division despite the return of a Renegade program that was expected to launch a dynasty of its own by claiming a second straight crown at the Charleston Civic Center.
"Don't get me wrong, it's an accomplishment," said the player. "Not one that I considered winning at the beginning of the season and one that I could not have won without the help of my teammates and coach Marshall."