With the first contests unfolding next year in South Carolina, Iowa and New Hampshire, small-town voters will play a critical role in choosing the next Democratic nominee.,Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders lamented rural decline during an Iowa swing this weekend.,Several candidates plan to attend a March 30 rural issues forum at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa — population 10,600.,AP VoteCast, a national survey of more than 115,000 voters, found rural and small-town residents cast 35 percent of midterm ballots; 56 percent of those voted for Republican House candidates, compared to 41 percent for Democrats.,Sanders noted that many Vermonters, as in the rest of rural America, view guns differently than most big-city residents, but Clinton successfully used the issue against Sanders, particularly with black women.

More about the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association can be found at: DIVISION I GIRLS BASKETBALL ALL-OHIO  PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Kierstan Bell, Canton McKinley COACH OF THE YEAR: Dave Zvara, Avon Lake FIRST TEAM Jacy Sheldon, Dublin Coffman, 5-foot-11, sr., 28.3 points per game; Madison Greene, Pickerington Central, 5-7, sr., 16.0; Constance Chaplin, Euclid, 5-9, sr., 29.0; Kierstan Bell, Canton McKinley, 6-1, sr., 28.8; Sammie Puisis, Mason, sr., 6-1, 17.5; Shyanne Sellers, Aurora, 6-1, soph., 21.0; Jala Johnson, Toledo Notre Dame, 5-8, sr., 16.2; Destiny Leo, Eastlake North, 5-10, jr., 29.4; Destiny Bohanon, Huber Heights Wayne, 5-9, sr., 15.1; Gabbie Marshall, Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame, 5-9, sr., 13.7.,THIRD TEAM Hailey Weaver, Solon, 5-11, soph., 15.0; Anyssa Jones, Westerville South, 5-11, jr., 15.8; Annie Rauch, Hilliard Darby, 6-3, sr., 17.0; Chance Gray, Lakota West, 5-9, fr., 14.8; Hayley Sims, Cleveland Heights, 5-7, jr., 17.0; Hayley Smith, Canton GlenOak, 6-1, jr., 12.0; Corinne Thomas, New Carlisle Tecumseh, 5-9, sr., 22.0; Emily Andrassy, Stow-Munroe Falls, 5-7, sr., 14.1; Audrey Spiker, Dresden Tri-Valley, 5-8, jr., 14.0; Sommer Pitzer, Westerville South, 5-3, sr., 12.3; Destiny McDonald, Lima Senior, 5-5, sr., 15.7.,HONORABLE MENTION Alexis Reese, Euclid; Kaitlyn Kinczel, Mayfield Village Mayfield; Reagan Bass, Strongsville; Alexandria Hunter, Bedford; Amaya Staton, Amherst Steele; Laurene Tere, Cleveland John Hay; Abby Carter, Eastlake North; Kamarah Bender, Warren Harding; Alana Ellis, Twinsburg; Lizzy Stefanov, Stow-Munroe Falls; Chelsea Huffman, Cuyahoga Falls; Nakyah Terrell, Canton McKinley; Jade Abdulla, Canton GlenOak; Emma Dretke, Massillon Jackson; Peyton Davis, North Canton Hoover; Serena Sammarone, Canfield; Raegan Burkey, Youngstown Boardman; Hannah Kroft, Marietta; Kyndal Howe, Dresden Tri-Valley; Lauren King, Dresden Tri-Valley; Breanne Beatty, Worthington Thomas Worthington; Annie Rauch, Hilliard Darby; Imarinah Russell, Dublin Coffman; Reagan Willingham, Ashville Teays Valley; KK Bransford, Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame; Sean Kelly Darks, Cincinnati Walnut Hills; Lexi Fleming, Cincinnati Mercy McAuley; Jillian Hayes, Loveland; Mickayla Perdue, Springfield; CiCi Riggins, Hamilton; Madeline Westbeld, Kettering Fairmont; Katie Thomas, Findlay; Abby Hickey, Toledo Whitmer; Kacee Baumhower, Sylvania Northview; Kylie Griggs, Perrysburg; Halle Barnett, Sylvania Southview; Keyaira Burroughs, Toledo Start.,COACH OF THE YEAR: Kevin Cornell, New Philadelphia FIRST TEAM Annika Corcoran, Gates Mills Gilmour Academy, 5-foot-8, sr., 17.9 points per game; Dayshanette Harris, Youngstown Ursuline, 5-7, sr., 28.3; Mikala Morris, Springfield Kenton Ridge, 6-2, sr., 27.0; Zia Cooke, Toledo Rogers, 5-9, sr., 22.5; Hannah Haithcock, Washington Court House Washington, 6-0, sr., 17.0; Layne Ferrell, Franklin, 6-1, sr., 20.8; Casey Santoro, Bellevue, 5-4, jr., 21.9; Madison Royal-Davis, Toledo Rogers, 5-10, 17.9; Samaria Rodgers-Gossett, Columbus Eastmoor, 5-6, sr., 14.0; Maddie Antenucci, Cincinnati Indian Hill, 5-10, jr., 19.3.,C.H. Washington; Hannah Burnside, Lancaster Fairfield Union; Abby Hatter, Circleville Logan Elm; Laura Manderick, Athens; Zoiee Smith, Waverly; Kayla Burchett, Greenfield McClain; Rachel Cooke, Thornville Sheridan; Josie Ousley, McArthur Vinton County; Kylie Kiger, Wintersville Indian Creek; Josie Pry, New Philadelphia; Addie Rhodes, Minerva; Katie Strama, St. Clairsville; Madison Fields, Steubenville; Macie Jarrett, Zanesville Maysville; Bethany Colling, Duncan Falls Philo; Erin Boehm, Sunbury Big Walnut; Hannah Cowan, Delaware Buckeye Valley; Madison Linn, Hebron Lakewood; Malorie Colwell, London; Kadai Green-Tucker, Columbus South; Abby Jones, Plain City Jonathan Alder; Hailey Jordan, Columbus Eastmoor Academy; Jessica Nation, Olentangy Berlin; Cate Schieber, Granville; Maddy Vincent, Columbus Bexley; Emily Byrne, Cincinnati McNicholas; Clarissa Craig, St Bernard Roger Bacon; Paige Garr, Goshen; Sha’mya Leigh, Trotwood-Madison; Ashleigh Mader, Tipp City Tippecanoe; Chloe Smith, Germantown Valley View; Sky Thomas, Cin.

James and his closest friends idolized Michael Jordan while they grew up together on Akron’s competitive playgrounds and tough streets.,As James grew into a tantalizing basketball prospect capable of jumping from high school to the NBA as the No. 1 draft pick, he studied, imitated and drew profound inspiration from Jordan’s tongue-wagging dunks, that fadeaway jumper, his competitive fire — even the little details of the way Jordan wore his sneakers and shorts.,Jordan has also admired James’ game for years.,When James surpassed Jordan’s career points total Wednesday night, he did it in a pair of Nikes with “Thank You M.J.” written neatly on the side.,James moved past Jordan into fourth place on the NBA’s career scoring list with a driving three-point play in the second quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 115-99 loss to the Denver Nuggets.

PITTSBURG, Kansas — Ashland University redshirt freshman shot putter Lindsay Baker was the runner-up at the 2019 NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field National Championships on Saturday afternoon.,Greene won her second straight NCAA Division II indoor national title in the shot put and has won four straight Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championships.,The Ashland men won its first Division II national indoor title with 38 points, one more than Adams State (Colo.)

BOSTON, Mass. — The University of Mount Union men’s track team finished second at the NCAA Division III Indoor Championships on Saturday.,North Central (Ill.), which Mount Union edged out by a point last season, won its sixth indoor team championship with 55 points.,James had 30 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in his seventh triple-double for the Lakers, who have lost five straight in a playoff chase that looks futile at this point. read more

Waterford High had its four-year Final Four streak snapped with a loss to Peebles in the Division IV district finals this year, but it was still an incredible season for the Wildcats, who finished 20-5 overall and 16-0 in the Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division.,Waterford was rewarded with a pair of players on the first team All-Southeast District list, one the second team and one in special mention.,In Division II, Warren saw junior Molly Grayson and sophomore Olivia Alloway both earn third team all-district honors.,On the boys side, Warren’s Seth Dennis and Waterford’s Russ Young each earned first team all-district honors.,Marietta High saw senior Austin Witucky take third team honors in Division II.

The Washington County Board of Developmental Disabilities will be hold its regular meeting at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday.,The Fairfield Township Board of Trustees monthly meeting will be held Tuesday at the township hall.,The First Unitarian Universalist Society of Marietta, 212 Third St., will host an African drum workshop from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday in the social hall.,The regular meeting of the Washington County Behavioral Health Board will be at 7 p.m. March 28.,The Program Planning and Oversight Committee will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Schwendeman Agency, 109 Putnam St.

The Washington County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society will meet at 1 p.m. Saturday in the lower level meeting room of the Washington County Public Library, 615 Fifth St. in Marietta. read more

And at this stage in James' career, with three championships, eight consecutive NBA Finals appearances to his name and an equally burgeoning business and political profile off the court, James is a transcendent star.,Johnson said the Lakers didn't want to make the team like the Cleveland Cavaliers all over again for James.,James was just starting to find his footing with this new cast in Los Angeles.,Since his return from injury, the Lakers have a defensive rating of 109.6 when James is on the floor in four wins; the Lakers have a defensive rating of 113.1 when James is on the floor in the eight losses.,Most of the roster wasn't going to be back next year anyway, given the team's insistence on signing players to only one-year contracts to preserve salary-cap space for a second star this summer.

YOUNGSTOWN — Senior guard Melinda Trimmer scored in double figures for a seventh straight game in leading Youngstown State past Milwaukee, 64-58, in a Horizon League quarterfinal Wednesday night in front of 1,382 fans at the Beeghly Center.,LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James moved past Michael Jordan into fourth place on the NBA’s career scoring list Wednesday night.,James, who entered the NBA at 18 years old compared to 21 for Jordan, began the night averaging 27.1 points per game in 1,189 games over 16 seasons with Cleveland, Miami and the Lakers.,Just eight days ago, James moved into 10th place on the assists list, becoming the first player in league history to make the top 10 in points and assists.,James began the night averaging 27.0 points, 8.7 rebounds and 8.0 assists while hitting 51 percent of his shots and playing 35.7 minutes per game for the Lakers.

They cheered him, but only after booing him.They stood, but not all of them, and not immediately, and not for long.He surely heard them, but never acknowledged them.LeBron James passed Michael Jordan to move into fourth place on the NBAs all-time scoring list Wednesday night, leaping over the legend in a monumental accomplishment that felt like an enormous dud.Epitomizing this embarrassment of a season, the history-rich Lakers couldnt even enjoy making history.It wasnt the franchises fault.,The NBA wouldnt let them stop the game immediately, so at the first stoppage of play after James layup against the Denver Nuggets with 5 minutes 38 seconds to play in the second quarter gave him 32,294 points two more than Jordan an attempted celebration ensued.The scoreboard displayed a video.,The fans stood and cheered, but it was mostly politely, and somewhat uncertainly, as if they were applauding an impromptu speech given by a distant uncle at an acquaintances wedding.Lakers' LeBron James, left, is congratulated by Rajon Rondo after his basket against the Denver Nuggets passing Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list on Wednesday at Staples Center.James was never given the game ball.,From his initial decision to forgo an introductory news conference last summer to his Culver City prank pizza tweet to his pregame announcements of movie releases in the middle of playoff pushes, he has never really reached out to the fans, and now they are holding him accountable for the Lakers failure.On probably the most unusual milestone night in Lakers history, so much felt different, so much was lost.This passing of Jordan should have been another brick in the foundation of a local debate that James is the greatest player ever.,But even with this monumental history looming, Lakers fans are focused on a different, more uncomfortable milestone.At his current rate, James will easily pass Bryant next season for third place on the all-time list with 32,311 points, hes 1,332 points behind, and he has averaged 2,042 points in the previous three seasons.On the night he passes Bryant, if the Lakers are still struggling, can you imagine how conflicted fans will be?

CANTON — Cincinnati Sycamore junior Carson Foster set a national record in the OHSAA’s 93rd annual state swimming meet at C.T. Branin Natatorium on Saturday.,HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) — Christopher Bell led all but 20 laps while routing the field Saturday to win the Xfinity Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.,Bell, who won a series-high seven races last season, gave up the lead during scheduled pit stops but cycled back to the front with 30 laps remaining.,Cole Custer made a late final charge, but Bell worked Atlanta’s abrasive racing lines over a three-lap sprint to the finish to win his first race of the season.,A clean pit stop put Bell back out front for the start of the second stage and he led all but one lap as his Toyota commanded the early part of the race.