Reese, Bethea Earn WBCA All-American Recognition

Ariel Bethea (left) and Jeryn Reese (right)
Ariel Bethea (left) and Jeryn Reese (right)

By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Spors Information

Toledo, Ohio---Jeryn Reese (Mansfield/Mansfield, Ohio) and Ariel Bethea (Huron/Ann Arbor, Mich.), who were the top two scorers for the Owens Community College women's basketball team in 2016-17, have both been awarded All-American honors from the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA).

Reese, a sophomore forward, became one of just 10 junior college women's basketball student-athletes, across all three divisions, to be named to the WBCA Junior/Community College Coaches All-American team. Bethea, a sophomore guard, was one of 11 named to the honorable mention team.

In fact, with two of the 21 student-athletes recognized, Owens is one of six schools with multiple selections - joining Trinity Valley Community College, Gulf Coast State College, Tallahassee Community College, Monroe Community College and Northwest Kansas Technical College. 


Reese led Owens in scoring with 13.6 PPG this year, while finishing second on the team in rebounds with 9.3 RPG, while also contributing 2.5 steals, 1.7 assists and 1.3 blocks per game. She shot 181-for-346 (52.3 percent) from the field and went 71-for-90 (78.9 percent) from the foul line.

In her 32 games, Reese compiled nine double-doubles, and she had a season-high 24 points against Hocking College on Jan.7, as well as a season-high 21 rebounds on Dec. 21 against Oakland Community College. She added a season-high seven steals on Jan. 21 against Clark State, a season-high five assists vs Muskegon on Dec. 3 and a season-high four blocks vs Cuyahoga on Dec. 14. 

Reese had 12 games with at least 10 rebounds and had 10 or more points in 24 of 32 games.

In conference play, Reese finished eighth in scoring (14.4 PPG), fifth in FG percentage (51.9), second in FT percentage (84.2), sixth in rebounds (10.2/game), third in steals (3.2/game) and fifth in blocks (1.4/game).

On top of that, Reese finished her two-year career with 920 points, which allowed her to finish fifth on the program's career scoring list, and 679 rebounds, which is the most in a career in program history. She also added 159 steals, 79 blocks and 92 assists in her career.

Reese has signed with NCAA Division I LaSalle University.


Bethea, meanwhile, was one of the nation's top defenders as a sophomore while being a vastly improved offensive threat. She led the nation in steals at 4.7 per game, while also contributing 13.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 2.9 APG and 1.2 BPG.

During the season, Bethea had 17 games with at least five steals while breaking the program's single season and career steal records. She finished her career with 691 points (21st on the career scoring list), 225 rebounds, 178 assists, 247 steals and 54 blocks. As a sophomore, her program record steal total was 150, which broke the previous record by 47.

As a sophomore, Bethea scored in double figures in 26 of 32 games, including a season-high 28 on Jan. 14 against Columbus State. She had a season-high in rebounds (9) on Dec. 20 against Kellogg, in assists (7) vs Hocking on Jan. 7 and in steals (9) on Jan. 7 vs Hocking. She also had a season-high of four blocks twice. And she did all that without playing more than 29 minutes in any game.

In conference play, Bethea finished ninth in scoring (13.6 PPG), 12th in FG percentage (46.2), 12th in assists (2.6/game), first in steals (5.3/game) and fifth in blocks (1.4/game).


Reese and Bethea are the program's first WBCA All-Americans since 2014-15 when Sierra Harley, Ashley Tunstall and Demy Whitaker all earned the honor. In fact, they were the first three WBCA All-Americans in program history.

Both Reese and Bethea led Owens to the first undefeated regular season in college history this past season before finishing with a 31-1 record. Their season ended with a loss to Cincinnati State in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II Region XII District I championship game. Prior to that, though, the team completed its third straight perfect conference regular season and captured its fifth straight Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) championship en route to its undefeated regular season.

Furthermore, the duo of Reese and Bethea led Owens to a single season team record 11 games with at least 100 or more points. They also led the team in breaking six single season team records - fewest losses (1), 2-point FG percentage (50.5 percent), FT percentage (74.8 percent), steals (590), PPG (92.9) and PPG allowed (46.4). They tied the record for longest overall winning streak with 33 and extended the records for consecutive regular season wins to 44 and consecutive regular season conference wins to 51.