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WINTER SPORTS 2013 From TC to BG BY ZACH BAKER Sports Editor The team, the school and the level are all different. But for Jill Stein, it’s still the same as when she was just a kid, and the same as when she was leading Columbian’s girls basketball team to back-toback undefeated seasons and regional appearances. “I get butterflies every time we go out and hear the crowd start to roar,” said Stein, now a senior post for Bowling Green State University. “It’s awesome.” Now, of course, Stein plays in front of bigger crowds than she usually played in front of as a high schooler. And her role is different. Playing under then-Columbian coach Larry Kisabeth, Stein turned in double-doubles like it was nothing. She teamed with two other bigs — Lexi Rohrbach and Megan Miller — to create what became the area’s best girls team, and some of the best teams in the program’s history. Miller and Rohrbach have each found success in the Ohio Athletic Conference. Rohrbach as one of the most fearsome posts in the conference (after watching her team go against her last season, thenHeidelberg women’s coach Marcie Alberts called Rohbach the best defensive player in the league), and Miller as a key contributor on Heidelberg’s team. Stein, meanwhile, was recruited to Bowling Green by then-coach Curt Miller. Going to a Division I school was a tough transition for Stein, who was used to dominating opponents. Her first season at BG was one where she had to learn first, play second. “There’s a huge transition,” Stein said of playing at the D-I college level after being in high school. “The speed of the game, the intensity of the game, the demand, the difference in strength, even.” And there were other variables. When Stein arrived on campus, the Falcons had six senior post players on a team that won the Mid-American Conference tournament and advanced to March Mad- Also Inside : The Advertiser-Tribune Friday, November 29, 2013 “I have never been a huge scoring contributor until the past 10 or so games last season, and even then, I'm not your go-to, All-American type player. I'm more, a glue kid is what we call it. I'm the one that holds everyone else together and does the little things like get rebounds and a few blocked shots here and there and some steals.” ---- Former Columbian Tornado, now Bowling Green Falcon Jill Stein ness. Simply put, Stein had to wait her turn. “I kind of knew coming in that my freshman year was going to be a big learning year for me, and a lot of my learning would come in practice playing against those older players,” she said. “I might not see as much time on the floor, but learning from them and being able to play with them, and all of their experience would teach almost as much as playing time experience.” Stein averaged a little more than a point and a rebound her freshman year. She said her sophomore season also was a learning experience. But Stein did see more time. She played in 30 of BG’s games and averaged more than 11 minutes a game. Her numbers only slightly improved, but Stein was getting more comfortable. “[I] was still kind of feeling it out a little bit, and being more comfortable with myself and finding my own rhythm,” she said. And then, things turned upside down when Miller resigned to take the job at Indiana [where he apparently has retained an affinity for area players. Clyde star Amanda Cahill signed a Letter of Intent a few weeks ago to play for him]. Stein admitted to being concerned after Miller left. “There’s was a definite stage of, like a limbo feeling when the administration was doing all the interviewing,” she said. Stein certainly had a candidate she was comfortable with — Jennifer Roos. Roos was Miller’s top assistant at BG, spending 13 years in the BG program. More than that, she was someone Stein said the players knew and wanted to play for. But Roos getting the job wasn’t a certainty. “We knew that Coach Roos had a good chance to get the position, but the athletic director, who was Greg Christopher at the time, made it very clear that they would go through the natural process and make it very fair interviewing process and give whoever was the appropriate candidate a chance,” Stein said. “There were a few months where we were a little bit nervous, because our whole team ... we loved Coach Roos and we wanted her to get the job. We didn’t necessarily want someone who was gonna come in and possibly bring in a whole new system, and we were going to have to learn a whole new set of plays and a whole new philosophy of things.” Stein didn’t need to worry. Roos got the job. And Stein responded with her best season. The first big moment for Stein came before the 2012-13 season even started. Her teammates named her a captain. It was a role Stein said she was ready for. ■ see STEIN, 4 P reviews an d ros ters fo r 14 lo cal s c h o o l s i n b o y s a n d g i r l s b a s ke t b a l l , b o w l i n g , s w i m m i n g a n d w re s t l i n g

Winter Sports 2013

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