Big-time players have a way of making big-time shots in the big games.
Even when they've been struggling all game long, somehow, some way those are the type of player that step up when they're needed to get their team back into the game.
Sometimes, those shots translate to wins on the basketball court. Sometimes, they just equal heartbreak.
Warren senior Austin Cunningham certainly made big-time shots over the course of his high school career, and even though his efforts down the stretch didn't translate into a win in the district title game his prowess for success in the big games earned him District 13 Coach's Associated Player of the Year honors.
Cunningham, who averaged 19.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists a game this season, earned the honor in a vote of district coaches and he will represent the district in the North vs. South all-star game this year.
The Player of the Year award is another in a long list of recognitions for Cunningham this season, as he has also earned first team all-district from The Associated Press, first team All-SEOAL and will take part in the annual BACF all-star game.
Along with Cunningham's selection as the district Player of the Year, Warren boys' basketball coach Blane Maddox was named the district Coach of the Year.
Warren senior Grant Venham was also a first team all-district selection along with Cunningham after he averaged 11.9 points and 8.4 rebounds a game.
The two were the only Warren boys honored by the district despite the fact that Warren posted the best record of teams in District 13 as the Warriors went 20-4, losing to Chillicothe in the district final on a last second shot. The Cavaliers are not a member of District 13.
While Warren had two players honored by the district, the Marietta Tigers, who lost to the Warriors three times, had four as junior Tim Grosel was a first team all-district selection and senior Wes Riley was a second team all-district choice.
Seniors Jon Sewell and Cody Kriechbaum were special mention selections.
Grosel averaged 10 points and six rebounds a game for Marietta while Riley was the team's leading scorer as he averaged 13 points a game.
Sewell, with his 6-foot-11 frame, altered a lot of shots defensively as he contributed seven points and seven rebounds a game to go with four blocks a contest.
In Division III, Erik Waderker was the only Belpre Golden Eagle honored by the district as he was accorded special mention.
Waterford senior Levi Porter was named a first team all-district selection by district coaches in Div. IV as he averaged 10.3 points and 10.4 rebounds a contest.
The Wildcats endured a tough stretch of adversity this season as they lost leading scorers to injury and eligibility as they finished the season 11-10.
Along with Porter, Waterford seniors Travis Ball and Aaron Miller were accorded special mention by District 13 coaches.
On the girls' side, Marietta had a trio of girls earn recognition from District 13 coaches as sophomore Erica Dawson was a first team all-district choice and Maegan Grosel was second team all-district.
Junior Amanda Brown was a special mention choice.
Dawson led Marietta by scoring 16.8 points a game and also dished out 2.9 assists and gathered 4.4 rebounds a contest.
Grosel, a senior, averaged 10.6 points as well as 2.0 assists and 2.3 steals a contest for the Lady Tigers, who were eliminated from the tournament in the regional semifinal by the Cambridge Lady Bobcats. Cambridge advanced to the state tournament.
Brown averaged 7.9 points and 3.0 assists a contest for Marietta.
Warren's Lady Warriors had a second team all-district selection in sophomore Jordanna Rauch while Allie Grace Proctor was a special mention choice.
Rauch averaged 9.7 points and 2.8 assists a contest for the Lady Warriors while Proctor contributed 7.9 points and 6.8 rebounds a game.
In Division IV, the cream of the crop of local teams, Waterford's Lady Wildcats had four girls honored by District 13 coaches. Eastern's Lady Eagles, who eliminated Waterford in the tournament, also had four girls honored but both schools, which were still alive in the regional tournament, had fewer girls honored by the district coaches than Symmes Valley, which was eliminated in the sectional.
Waterford senior Kim Barker and sophomore Brooke Drayer were both first team all-district choices while junior Emily Brown was a second team all-district selection.
Barker contributed 11.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.5 steals a contest for Waterford as the only senior on the Lady Wildcats roster.
Drayer averaged 14.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 4.5 assists a contest as the second leading scorer for Waterford.
Brown, who was Waterford's leading scorer, contributed 14.4 points and 5.1 rebounds a contest for the Lady 'Cats.
Junior Kaitlin Pottmeyer, who scored 6.7 points and grabbed 4.6 rebounds a game, was a special mention selection.
Belpre junior Allison Flowers was the only Lady Eagle honored by District 13 coaches as she averaged 16.2 points as well as 6.8 rebounds a game. She hit 57 three-pointers over the course of the season.