Waterford’s Alli Kern named Division IV Player of the Year

Waterford’s Alli Kern, right, goes up for a basket during an Ohio high school girls basketball state tournament game at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of Ohio State University in Columbus. Kern was named the Ohio Division IV Player of the Year Monday. Photo by Patti Miller

WATERFORD — In 2016, Waterford High had the best girls basketball team in all of Division IV.

Two years later, the Wildcats now have the best player in all of Division IV — and possibly still the best team.

Senior Alli Kern not only repeated as a first team All-Ohio honoree Monday, but was named the 2017-18 Division IV Player of the Year by a statewide media panel. She is averaging 15 points, 7.5 rebounds, four steals and two assists per game this season.

“She was very, very surprised,” said Waterford head coach Jerry Close. “But she’s very deserving.”

Kern is one of the most decorated players ever to come out of Washington County. An Ohio Dominican signee, Kern is a 1,000-point scorer, two-time All-Ohioan and four-time district and regional champion. She also was a sophomore starter on the 2015-16 state champion team. Now, she can add “Player of the Year” to her resume.

“It means a lot to me,” said Kern, who was named the D-IV Southeast District Player of the Year a week ago. “I couldn’t have done it without my teammates and coaches. I know without them I would not have been able to reach this milestone goal. They’re so good to play with.”

A four-year starter, Kern has started 114 games in her high school career and won 106 of them. She’s hoping to play two more, but the Wildcats need to defeat Minster in Thursday’s state semifinal game in order to play for the championship Saturday.

“She’s started every game since she was freshman,” Close said. “With the career Alli has had, going to state four years in a row, I’m sure that had something to do with (being Player of the Year).”

But Kern is just one reason why Waterford is so good. Fellow senior Megan Ball made her second appearance on the first team All-Ohio list after posting 14.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.9 steals per game this season. Junior Rachael Adams also was recognized with honorable mention status.

“Alli would be the first to tell you she couldn’t do it without her teammates,” Close said. “And Megan getting her second year on first team all-state — I’m just proud of these kids and their accomplishments. They’ve definitely earned everything they’re getting. You like to see your kids rewarded. It’s a great honor.”

Also in D-IV, Shenandoah’s Taylor Franklin got second team, Frontier’s Kylie Daugherty got third team while Fort Frye’s Morgan Borich was special mention. Belpre’s Sydney Spencer, Shenandoah’s Jacie Clifton, Caldwell’s Cayton Secrest and Federal Hocking’s Paige Tolson were honorable mention picks.

Franklin, a senior for the Zeps, averaged 19 points per game en route to leading the team to a district title. Shenandoah lost to Fairfield Christian in a regional semifinal.

Daugherty was Washington County’s leading scorer this year, averaging 20.2 points per game for the Cougars as a senior.

In Division III, Morgan High’s Kaylie Apperson earned honorable mention honors.