HOWLAND — West Branch senior Jaxon Hendershott had a big day on Wednesday.
His day started with signing his National Letter of Intent to pursue his basketball career at Westminster College and ended with an all-star performance at the Frank Bubba Classic at Howland High School.
Hendershott earned Game MVP honors by going 9 of 11 from the field, all of which came from 3-point range. He finished with 27 points.
“I have no idea,” said Hendershott. “I never played in this gym, but it was just comfortable. I just let it fly.
All that in a day of work for West Branch’s all-time best 3-point shooter. After a successful football season, Hendershott ended his final year on the field helping lead the Warriors to a 19-6 season in the Eastern Buckeye Conference gauntlet.
While the playoffs weren’t what they had hoped for, losing to league rivals Canton South in the second round, the Warriors battled through the year and the senior left the program without regret.
“At West Branch, we had a pretty good year,” said Hendershott. “We had another historic season for us, with at least 18 wins for the third straight year, which I think has never happened in West Branch history. Unfortunately we lost in the second round of the playoffs but throughout the year we went through a lot of adversity playing tough games but we held on and it was a fun year.
With these All-Star games, it’s possible to join other players you don’t usually see. Springfield wasn’t on West Branch’s schedule this year, but Hendershott had the chance to play with future teammate Alex Rothwell on Wednesday.
“Oh, that’s probably one of the best parts (of the season),” said Hendershott. “I know the parents probably think it looks a bit boring and all that, but as players there it feels really good to play against some of the best people around and have fun. with them.”
The future Titan joins former West Branch teammate Reese Leone. Hendershott surpassed Leone’s all-time 3-point record last season.
While playing with these guys is a big draw, there’s another reason all-district honorable mention was drawn to Lawrence County, Pennsylvania.
“I am extremely excited to play at Westminster,” said Hendershott. “Some of these guys I’ve played with, like Alex Rothwell, we’re about to become teammates. I’m just excited. They have good food. I am a big foodie. I like this. I am delighted to play for coach (Kevin) Siroki and to play with my former teammate Reese.
Before that next step though, Hendershott is expected to represent West Branch one last time on the track and field team as a sprinter and long jumper.
“West Branch has been very good to me,” he said. “The community, the fans, the coaches, the players, the former players. Coach (Mike) Brown is probably my favorite coach. He has done so much for this program. Coming in as a young man, leading us to our first outright EBC Championship in his freshman year and doing it again in his second year. Unfortunately, we fell short this year, but it was an amazing season. West Branch is just an amazing place to play.