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MVCA's Melody Arnett breaks an OHSAA single-season rebounding record

Arnett is second nationally in rebounds per game
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Posted at 9:15 PM, Feb 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-24 15:11:42-05

NEWTOWN, Ohio — Miami Valley Christian Academy High School girls basketball player Melody Arnett set a new single-season state rebounding record Wednesday night.

The senior 6-foot-5 center grabbed her 527th rebound of the season with five seconds left in the third quarter against visiting Immaculate Conception Academy.

"It's definitely really special," Arnett said. "Especially being my last game here in that gym. And just having the student section as loud as they were tonight. It was really cool."

Arnett finished with 29 rebounds and 17 points in a 40-37 regular-season loss. However, Arnett's 539 rebounds this season is a new Ohio High School Athletic Association record.

Ironically, the milestone occurred on Arnettt's 18th birthday.

"It really proves that hard work pays off," Arnett said. "That even if you come from a small program like MVCA - you can accomplish big things. It's pretty great. Probably a day I will never forget."

Entering Wednesday, Arnett needed 17 rebounds in order to break the Ohio High School Athletic Association mark that was set by Hamler Patrick Henry's Peggy Hoops (526 rebounds) in the 1987-88 season.

MVCA coach Kristin Moser said the team didn't inform Arnett of the possible state record until last week. She didn't want Arnett to feel an undue burden entering her final high school game.

"It's hard to play under that pressure which is why we intentionally didn't do it," Moser said. "But, she stepped up, she continued. She had some jitters as she said but the whole team had some jitters."

Arnett, who has 1,025 career points, entered is ranked second nationally with an average of 23.2 rebounds, according to MaxPreps.

She admits she checks the MaxPreps website at least daily to see if there are any changes to the statistical rankings. But, ultimately, Arnett is proud of being a part of a school and a team that has meant so much to her life.

"It's just been a blast getting these final memories with my teammates," Arnett said.

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Miami Valley Christian Academy senior center Melody Arnett averages 19.9 points and 23.2 rebounds this season. MVCA plays its final game of the season Wednesday night.

Last week, Arnett grabbed a career-high 35 rebounds in a Division IV sectional tournament loss to Middletown Christian Feb. 15.

Arnett, who has had 12 games with at least 20 rebounds, has a scholarship offer from Central State University and would like to play in college. She averaged 19.9 points and 2.7 blocks along with 23.2 rebounds entering Wednesday.

She said she has put a great deal of effort into her rebounding and conditioning this past summer and fall. Arnett ran 32 minutes on a NordicTrack and increased her time with a jump rope to improve timing for rebounds.

Moser is strongly convinced Arnett can play at the next level, saying Arnett is always concerned about her team first and foremost instead of personal statistics.

"If she had nothing other than her size and her work ethic that would be enough because she is willing and coachability," Moser said. "She's willing to work hard. She's tall. Right there I think is any coach's dream."

Arnett has also succeeded academically and has an interest in studying to become a biology teacher one day. She is involved in pep band, theatre and volunteers at her church.

"She's well-rounded," Moser said. "She's a good student. She's a good friend. She's a good teammate."

Basketball is a game that Arnett has grown to love over the years. Her dedication to the game has also taught life lessons beyond any stats.

"It kind of proved that I'm not just good at basketball because I'm tall but because I actually have talent in the game," said Arnett. "I've put in hard work to improve myself and to try to boost my team up."

WCPO's Kobe Gaines contributed to this report.