NORTH CANTON When the Hoover girls basketball team strung together a solid late-season run, winning two tournament games and pushing arch rival Jackson in a Canton Division I district final, junior forward Annie Roshak was at its core.
Roshak, an Ashland University commit, capped a season in which she scored 21.0 points per game, by serving as an offense focal point for a squad that won a sectional title and was one game away from a district final berth despite a 10-13 record.
For her efforts, Roshak was named First Team All-Federal League and Third Team All-Ohio by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association (OPSWA).
"It was really nice but all of the credit goes to my teammates because wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without them and without my coaches," Roshak said.
The solid performance the Vikings put together in the postseason was encouraging, Roshak said, because it came largely from the team getting healthy and coming together as a group after spending most of the year battling injuries and without its intended starting lineup on the court.
Individually, she’s hyped up about the chance to build on both her success and her team’s strong finish to the season as she points toward her senior season.
"It’s really exciting. This season was so much fun and just knowing I have another season to build on is cool … the Federal League is always tough, so we have to go in working hard," Roshak said. "That (the tournament run) was really nice, finally getting everybody healthy toward the end of year and seeing what we can accomplish was good for team. We know we can trust each other."
Entering her junior season, Roshak worked more on her shooting and being able to score further from the basket. Knowing that she will be playing in college - for a team that reached the NCAA Division II national championship game this season no less - she wants to expand her game to be able to compete on the next level.
Being able to play both inside and outside was a goal for both her final two seasons of high school basketball and college and she credited head coach Abbey Allerding with always being available to work with her on that side of her game entering this past season.
"I worked a lot on my shot this year big part of it, to be able to go inside and out, and coach did an awesome job with me on that," Roshak said. "It was super fun to be able to work with her and focus more on the mental side of the game too."
During the season, Roshak noted, Allerding game-planned well to get her advantageous matchups and take advantage of her expanded skill set by putting her in the post if she had a smaller defender on her and letting her go out on the perimeter if she had a bigger, slower defender on her.
The goal moving into the upcoming offseason is better ball handling, a skill that would further enhance Roshak's ability to play away from the basket. Knowing that her college choice is made, she has one less task on her to-do list for her senior season and that should allow her to relax more and channel all of her energy into following in the footsteps of this year’s senior class as one of the leaders for a team working to push its way back into the Federal League race.
Reach Andy at 33--580-8936
On Twitter: @aharrisBURB