KETTERING — She can run the point, defend the post and play the wing.
Versatility makes Madeline “Maddy” Westbeld elite.
“It’s not every day you get a 6-foot-3 player that can do everything,” Kettering Fairmont girls basketball coach Jeremey Finn said. “There are times she’ll bring the ball up and run the offense. There were times we’d set her on top of our defense.
“That’s what’s going to make a difference for her at the next level. She can do so many things, and do them well.”
Westbeld, a senior, was named Ohio’s 33rd annual Ms. Basketball winner on Thursday. The award is presented and voted upon by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association.
Eastlake North senior Destiny Leo was runner-up. The other finalists were senior Edyn Battle from Gahanna, senior Katrina Davis from Bellaire, sophomore Grace VanSlooten from Toledo Notre Dame and junior Shyanne Sellers from Aurora.
Westbeld led the Firebirds (25-3) in scoring (18.0 per game) rebounds (11.2), assists (3.6), steals (2.8) and blocked shots (2.3). She will play in the upcoming McDonald’s All-American game — Ohio’s lone representative — and was recently tabbed the Ohio Gatorade Player of the Year. Her college destination is Notre Dame.
Westbeld’s run ended last Saturday with a 47-41 loss to undefeated Mount Notre Dame in a Division I regional final.
“My main focus was a state championship,” Westbeld said. “Team goals are what mattered to me. The fact that I got (Ms. Basketball), though, is awesome. It was kind of unexpected, and I was still upset after the loss, so that text from my coach was a little bit of a silver-lining — if there was one.”
Westbeld finishes her career with 1,362 points, 968 rebounds, 269 assists, 218 blocks and 199 steals. A defining moment came early this season when she scored a career-high 36 points and added 12 rebounds, eight steals and four assists in a 53-46 win over then nationally No. 2-ranked Hamilton Heights (Tenn.). Westbeld owns 48 career double-doubles.
“She’s so efficient in what she does and how she prepares,” Finn said. “She works so hard. The teammate and program part — she includes everyone in everything she does. And her basketball IQ is so high. She gets it and understands it.”