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Honors keep coming

McDonald’s Rasile earns Division IV POY award

Staff file photo — McDonald’s Zach Rasile, left, shown here in a game earlier this season, was named the Division IV Player of the Year on Tuesday. The senior averaged 38.3 points per game this past season.

The honors continue to mount for McDonald High School senior Zach Rasile.

He was named the state’s Division IV Player of the Year on Monday by members of the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association and is expected to be in the mix for Ohio’s Mr. Basketball, which is awarded to the state’s top player, regardless of division. That award will be announced Wednesday.

“Every award I get is special and can be attributed to the number of good players I had around me this season and in the past four seasons at McDonald,” Rasile said. “I honestly can’t thank my teammates enough. They bought into the system, set screens for me and got me the ball.

“I always told them I’m willing to get it to them when they’re open, too. When I have two or three guys hanging on me and they have a better look, that’s the way we can win. I averaged over four assists.”

Rasile, who also averaged 38.3 points per game this season, finished with 3,013 career points, which is second all-time in Ohio high school history behind Jon Diebler, who amassed 3,208 before graduating from Upper Sandusky in 2007.

“Winning Mr. Basketball would be very special,” said Rasile, who will attend West Liberty University next year.

“There are a lot of great players in Division IV across the state, so this one’s big, too. I don’t know if I’m a frontrunner for Mr. Basketball because we are in Division IV, but it would be the biggest award I could get.”

Being the Division IV Player of the Year put Rasile on a closer level to his mother, and dad is again quite proud.

“His mom, my wife, is Jackie Hannon, who was the Player of the Year with McDonald in 1990 and in 1991,” said Jeff Rasile, Zach’s father and coach at McDonald. “McDonald never had a boys basketball player who earned Player of the Year, so this is a big honor for Zach. He deserves it. He’s in the gym every single day — no days off. It served him well. All that hard work really paid off for him.

“Like Zach said, it is truly a team accomplishment. Those aren’t just words or him trying to be humble. His teammates weren’t jealous and they did what was best for the team. They know Zach’s strength is scoring. Heck, most of the guys this year played with him in middle school, and he scored over 1,000 points in middle school. They realized they could rebound, set screens and that Zach also had the ability to get the ball to them if they were open in the key or whatever.”

McDonald junior Jake Portolese averaged 18 points per game and was special mention all-state for the Blue Devils, who went 22-4 this season and won a district banner. They went 81-20 in the past four years combined.

Also making special team all-state in Division IV were Bristol senior Matt Church (18.5 points per game) and Windham sophomore Bert Jones (19.6).

The Division III all-state honors also were released Monday.

Springfield senior Drew Clark was named to the first team after averaging 19.4 points, while South Range senior Chris Brooks (21.0) and Garfield senior Austin Peterson (17.1) were named to the third team.

Earning special mention status were three area juniors in Newton Falls’ Joey Kline (15.7), LaBrae’s Connor Meyer (15) and Pymatuning Valley’s Jonah Wilkerson (12).

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