MVCA female basketball player has a chance to make history
NEWTOWN, Ohio — Miami Valley Christian Academy High School women’s basketball player Melody Arnett has an opportunity to set a single-season state rebound record on Wednesday night.
The 6-foot-5 senior center needs 17 rebounds to break the Ohio High School Athletic Association mark set by Hamler Patrick Henry’s Peggy Hoops (526 rebounds) in the 1987-88 season.
The MVCA hosts the Immaculate Conception Academy at 5 p.m. Wednesday in what is expected to be the team’s final game this season.
“It would mean a lot because coming from a small school that not many people have heard of, it would kind of help us, the program, grow,” Arnett said. “It also proves that at least for me personally, hard work pays off and is worth it.”
Arnett, who has 1,008 career points, enters Wednesday’s game ranked second nationally with an average of 23.2 rebounds, according to MaxPreps.
She admits that she checks the MaxPreps website at least daily to see if there are any changes in the statistical rankings. But, at the end of the day, Arnett wants to end his high school career with a win.
“It’s been great to have those last memories with my teammates,” Arnett said.
Although the MVCA was credited for Arnett’s rebound, coach Kristin Moser said the team won’t change its strategy on Wednesday night.
“We’re not going to play differently; we’re not going to position her differently,” Moser said. “And she’s just going to go out and do what she’s doing. If it’s enough for the record, that’s great and if it’s not enough for the record, then that’s fine. It’s been a hell of a season. “
Last week, Arnett grabbed a career-high 35 rebounds in a Division IV tournament loss to Middletown Christian on Feb. 15.
“Some of the lads on the lad team were like, ‘We’ve never had so many,'” Arnett said. “It’s pretty cool to be recognized by your classmates and peers.”
Arnett, who played in 11 games with at least 20 rebounds, received a scholarship offer from Central State University and would like to play in college. She is averaging 19.9 points and 2.7 blocks with 23.2 rebounds.
She said she put in a lot of effort to rebound and condition herself last summer and fall. Arnett ran 32 minutes on a NordicTrack and increased his time with a jump rope to improve rebound timing.
Moser is a firm believer that Arnett can play at the next level, saying Arnett is always concerned with his team first rather than personal stats.
“If she had nothing but her size and her work ethic, that would be enough because she’s strong-willed and coachable,” Moser said. “She’s ready to work hard. She’s big. Right there, I think that’s every coach’s dream.”
Arnett has also been successful academically and wants to study to become a biology teacher one day. She is involved in a cheering band, theater and volunteers at her church.
“She’s well balanced,” Moser said. “She’s a good student. She’s a good friend. She’s a good teammate.”
Basketball is a game that Arnett has come to love over the years. His dedication to the game has also taught him life lessons beyond all statistics.
“It kind of proved that I’m not just good at basketball because I’m tall, but because I have talent in the game,” Arnett said. “I worked hard to improve myself and try to strengthen my team.”
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