Sports Talk: MHS hoops standout to play in 2 all-star games

Erica Dawson is one busy lady these days.

The Marietta High senior student-athlete is kind of juggling two sports this spring.

On the one hand, Dawson is a 300m hurdler on the MHS track and field team. At last Saturday’s Joe Kasper Memorial Invitational at Meadowbrook in Byesville, she was runner-up in the event in a time of 53.07 seconds.

Then, on the other hand, Dawson will be competing in a couple of prestigious all-star basketball games in the next two weeks. Hoops, of course, is her first love as she will be attending Xavier University to continue her education and play on the hardwood after high school graduation.

At 5:30 p.m. Saturday, the 5-foot-9 Dawson will be playing in the annual Ohio-Kentucky All-Star Basketball Game at Thomas More College’s Oonnor Convocation Center in Crestview Hills, Ky., which is about 10 minutes away from downtown Cincinnati.

Also known as “The Battle at the Border,” Dawson is one of 14 players on the Ohio roster, which will be coached by Anna High’s Jack Billing and assistant Bill Moss of Urbana High.

One of Dawson’s teammates will be New Albany guard Hannah Scipio, who will become a teammate of Waterford’s Sina King at Akron next season.

Interestingly, Dawson will be facing future Xavier teammate Leah Schaefer of Ft. Thomas (Ky.) Highlands. The 6-1 Schaefer is a member of the Kentucky all-star squad.

Needless to say, Dawson will be unavailable for Marietta High’s scheduled track meet at the Russ Parsons Invitational in Parkersburg on Saturday and the Warren Warriors Invitational on April 20.

She should be back in time, though, for a quad at Nelsonville-York at Nelsonville on Tuesday, April 16.

But then five days later at noon Sunday, April 21, Dawson will be competing in the annual Ohio North-South senior all-star game at the Capital Center on the campus of Capital University in Columbus.

One of Dawson’s Division 1-2 South teammates will be Morgan’s Darian Apperson.

The South team will be coached by Fairmont’s Tim Cogan and Sycamore’s Paula Hayden.

After the D1-2 contest, the Division 3-4 contest is scheduled to tip off at 1:30 p.m.

On the D3-4 South roster are Fort Frye’s Deidra Combs, Waterford’s Brooke Drayer, and Columbus Africentri’s Marley Hill. They will be coached by Frankfort Adena’s Jeran Cox and Miami Valley’s Randy Duff.

In late March, Combs and Hill faced each other in a state semifinal game at the Value City Arena in Columbus.

After the all-star basketball games, Dawson is expected to devote her time and energy to track.

If you’re wondering why Dawson didn’t compete at last Friday’s 12th annual Battle Against Cystics Fibrosis Basketball Classic at Parkersburg South’s Rod Oldham Athletic Center, there apparently is a rule saying a student-athlete can only compete in two all-star games. Silly rule.

Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor, and can be reached at 376-5441 or at