RAVENNA — She has spent many hours hooping it up with her friends on West Pioneer Trail.
But those glorious days are numbered for Shayla Sellers.
That’s because the Aurora senior guard will soon make her home in Indiana.
Sellers recently signed to continue her academic and basketball careers at Purdue University Fort Wayne.
Packing her bags and making the near four-hour trek that features many miles on the turnpike hasn’t exactly preoccupied Sellers’ mind in recent months.
In fact, if she had a choice, the soft-spoken teenager probably would put college on hold for another year.
Or perhaps, a few more years.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” Sellers said. “I’m thinking I have five more years after this. But it will soon. I know it.”
Sellers still has at least one more matter to address before she puts her green and white jersey away for good.
The Aurora girls basketball team is heading to a district final for the first time in school history after topping Canfield 57-39 Monday at Ravenna High School.
Sellers, the undisputed leader of the Greenmen’s intimidating man-to-man defense, played a pivotal role in neutralizing the Cardinals’ prolific duo of point guard Serena Sammarone and forward Grace Mangapora.
Although they combined for 29 points, Canfield’s two standouts were held in check when Aurora settled matters in the middle two quarters.
The Greenmen outscored the Cardinals 30-14 during that 16-minute stretch.
“Our defense did really well,” Sellers said. “We had to key on 54 [Sammarone] and 44 [Mangapora]. We did a really good job of keying on them.”
Sellers knows she can’t spend too much time reflecting on what her team has accomplished thus far. Aurora’s journey continues with a date against a formidable Stow-Munroe Falls squad in Thursday’s district title game.
“We can enjoy the W, but come [Thursday], we have another game to play,” Shayla said. “This game is over.”
Sellers certainly has tunnel vision when it comes to what’s ahead. The Greenmen, who won their 16th consecutive game, have hopes of reaching Columbus to participate in the state tournament.
At the same time, though, the gifted playmaker hasn’t resembled an android when it comes to her team’s final quest toward preeminence.
Sellers is having a blast. And she hopes the party doesn’t end anytime soon.
“It has been really fun this year,” Sellers said. “This year has stuck out for me just because of all the wins and how much fun we had as a team and how well we play together.
“It feels like all the hard work has paid off throughout the ride. Getting to the biggest roads we’ve ever been on … it feels pretty good.”
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.