By Jake Dowling, Sports Editor of St. Marys Evening Leader
Shania Taylor loves the game of basketball, so why not continue doing what you love?
The Roughriders' senior signed her national letter of intent on Wednesday to continue that passion for basketball at the next level at Edison Community College next season.
"It is really close to home so that makes it easier to go back and forth," said the Roughriders' eighth-highest scorer in school history.
Taylor plans to attend Edison for two years and then transfer to a four-year college to finish her degree.
Edison was also a good pick because of the number of local players who are on the team that she knows.
"They have a good program and I like how the coaches work with you," said Taylorsaid.
Taylor will study either accounting or nursing.
Taylor — a 2016-17 Division II All-Ohio selection — completed her senior season in which she scored a career-high 391 points for the Roughriders (14-10), averaging 14.3 ppg on 141-of-341 shooting from the field — 41.3 percent.
She posted her best free throw percentage at 67.4 percent, as well as collecting a team-high 230 rebounds to go along with 39 assists and 31 steals — all while playing with a torn meniscus.
Taylor had surgery on the tear last month and said the recovery is going well.
In her senior season that also saw her eclipse the 1,000-point barrier — becoming the eighth player in St. Marys' girls basketball history to do so — Taylor was named First-Team All-Western Buckeye League and First-Team All-Northwest Ohio to go along with her all-state honors and District 8 All-Star honoree.
For her career, Taylor finished with 1,012 points in 71 games played —14.3 ppg. From the field, Taylor shot 364-of-881 from the field (41.3 percent) and 262-408 from the free throw line, 64.2 percent). She recorded a career 693 rebounds, 111 assists, and 93 steals.
The 5-foot-9 forward is joining a Chargers program that has seen a steady growth of success since Tim McMahon joined the program three seasons ago when he inherited a three-win team in his first season.
Since then, the Chargers are 32-29, including a 20-11 season this past year in his third season.
"Now, my expectation is to win at least 20 games every season," said McMahon.
A number of local players are already on the Chargers' roster or will soon join the Chargers next season.
Former Wapakoneta players and athletes that Taylor played against while at St. Marys in Riley Culver and Carly Buzzard are on the roster as well as former Fort Loramie player Holly Frey. Former Versailles player Claire Schmitmeyer also committed to Edison last month.
More locally, fellow All-Ohio selection in Minster's Rosie Westerbeck will also join Taylor at Edison. According to McMahon, Westerbeck is expected to sign with the program next week. Taylor, who is friends with Westerbeck and has played against her, said that was another reason she chose Edison — it serves as an opportunity to be able to continue to play basketball with friends and girls she knows.