Page 1

CMYK

CHAMPION

CMYK

Play like a

O D D

HOOPS

P A G E S

2019-2020

MANCHESTER • NORTH ADAMS • PEEBLES • WEST UNION

CMYK

CMYK


CMYK

CMYK

After Elite Eight run, Lady Indians back for encore

ADAMS COUNTY ‘19 - ‘20 BASKETBALL SPECIAL • Page 11

Page 2 • ADAMS COUNTY ‘19 - ‘20 BASKETBALL SPECIAL BY MARK CARPENTER PEOPLE’S DEFENDER

Last season was nothing short of magical for Coach Billie Jo Justice and her Peebles Lady Indians. An improbable and exciting run to the Elite Eight in Division IV has set up the Lady Indians with a big boost of confidence and of course, very high expectations heading into the 2019-20 campaign, where Coach Justice and the loyal Peebles basketball fans chomping at the bit to see what the next few months bring for their varsity girls. “Last year’s Elite Eight run was just so exciting,” said Coach Justice. “All of the success in the tournament provided confidence to our players and that showed during the offseason in our shootouts and camps and now we need it to carry over into this regular season.” “We are excited about this year, but hard work and working together as a team will be the key to us repeating the success of last season.” The Lady Indians will

return the majority of their roster from the Elite Eight squad, minus graduated seniors Kylie Sims and Jerilin Toller, both of who made significant contributions to last year’s tourney run. “Kylie and Jerilin will obviously be difficult to replace,” says Coach Justice. “They provided that necessary senior leadership and always set the tone for playing physical for us.” Coach Justice has what any coach in southeast Ohio would love to have, a returning junior starter who has already scored over 1,000 points in two high school seasons, her daughter Jacey. The youngest Justice sibling was First Team All-District and Second Team All-State, averaging over 26 points a game despite being double teamed at many times, and she also led the team in steals and assists, a very unselfish statistic, and will again have the target on her back this season. “We will count on Jacey for so many things this season,” says her mother and

the head coach. “She will give us leadership and play point guard and wing for us. Her basketball IQ and decision making just help all of our other players get better.” Though Justice will like-

We’re always on your team. With local decision-making, individualized services, and a team of professionals that’s committed to meeting each customer’s own needs, The National Bank of Adams County is more than just another bank. We’re a part of every community we serve. The National Bank of Adams County is proud to support the efforts of local athletic programs and wish all the Adams County basketball teams the best of luck. Go #Dragons #GreenDevils #Greyhounds #Indians #Eagles!

218 N. Market Street • West Union, OH 45693 • 937-544-2361 www.NBAConline.com

CMYK

ly again be the team’s leading scorer, she certainly has a supporting cast with a lot of talent and abilities of their own, starting with senior Tatum Arey, who really came into her own last season, especially in

the tournament run. Arey was an All-Conference and Third Team Al-District performer last season, scoring 10.5 a game. “We expect Tatum to step up and be even more aggressive of both ends of the court,” says Coach Justice. “She played really well for us in the tournament and we expect her to have an outstanding senior year.” The expected starting five for the Lady Indians as the 2019-20 campaign begins will also include ultra-athletic junior Lilly Gray plus two seniors who step into starting rolesHarlee Wilkinson and Hope Brown. Gray is already one of the most decorated multisport athletes in Peebles school history, and was a sparkplug in the Lady Indians’ huge upset win over Portsmouth Notre Dame in last year’s regional semi-finals plus the

team’s leading rebounder last season. “We are hopeful that Lilly really steps it up this year on the offensive end,” said Coach Justice. Wilkinson will return to the team after missing much of last season due to illness and will be counted on to play a lot of point guard this season, while Brown will be the muscle inside. “Harlee has really worked hard to come back and play,” said Coach Justice. “Hope has worked really hard during the offseason to increase her speed and will be a key for us in keeping other team’s bigs off the glass.” Rounding out the main core of the varsity roster will be senior Madison Beekman and junior Taylor Cluxton, both of whom should get ample opportunities as the season pro-

See Lady Indians / 10

E V E N P A G E S

ou li iv ve your When y you live your life all-in, you you need the all-pro team a att Sou Southern thern Ohi Ohio o Medical Cen Center. ter. o surgery, the stellar From total hip, shoulder and knee replacements to hand and foot orthopedic team at SOMC offers comprehensive orthopedic care that will get you back to doing the things you love to do.

SO SOMC MC Or Orthopedic thopedic Associa Associates tes 1711 27th Street | Braunlin Building Suite 102 Portsmouth, OH 45662 740-356-1709 1709

CMYK


CMYK

Page 10 • ADAMS COUNTY ‘19 - ‘20 BASKETBALL SPECIAL

Lady Indians From page 2

O D D P A G E S

gresses. “Taylor gives us another defensive player in the paint and she can step out on the perimeter and knock down some shots,” says Justice. “Madison was a big key on last year’s team and is one of the hardest working players we have plus being one of the best defensive players in the conference.” Sophomores Natalee Workman, Marissa Moore, and Emmi Nichols will split time between the JV and varsity squads. “We will try to mix it up on offense and our goal is to push the ball up the floor and try to get some early looks,” added the Peebles head coach. “Defensively we will mix it up at time, playing a little man and a little zone.

There will be times that we will use our press to try and create turnovers and get some easy transition shots.” The coaches of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference have show their respect for the Lady Indians, picking them to finish first in the conference’s small school division, a feat they accomplished last season with an 8-5 record in the SHAC. There is a lot of balance in the conference this season,” says Coach Justice. “I would pick Eastern Brown and North Adams in the big school division and then Manchester, Fayetteville, and Fairfield in the small school.” “For us, we just have to take one day at a time, work hard every day, and good things will happen. We always have to outwork the other team.”

Good Luck Area Teams!

T I E K TA HE TO T

HOOP

BLAKE PHARMACY West Union, Ohio • 937-544-2451 Peebles, Ohio • 937-587-3100

Lady Dragons From page 8

MacKenzie’s scoring and I don’t think we’ll miss a beat.” Rowe is eager to push back at the idea that the team’s youth will be a problem for them this season but understands that earning a higher spot in the conference standings will be a challenge with more experienced teams in the mix. “We’re a young team and

Hounds From page 5

Spears. Rounding out the varsity roster will be juniors Xander Smith and Cade Colvin. For the 2019-20 Greyhounds, success may not be measured in wins and losses. If the team shows

we’re going to have to fight for a spot up there with some of the older teams this year,” Rowe said. “We’re young but we know that we can play well together and make up for that. Our attitudes have been better and our chemistry is good so I think we’ll be alright.” That team chemistry for West Union will be a key part of combating their inexperience. If the team is able to feed off of each other well it’ll go a long way towards overcoming their youth.

major improvement between now and their regular season finale on Feb.11, then the Manchester faithful can look forward to what promises to be a very exciting next couple of years, but if this year’s Hounds can grab a little of that consistency that Coach Scott speaks of, there may be a few surprises on this year’s slate.

Here’s to a Slam-Dunk Season

CMYK

Lady Devils From page 6 intensity on both ends, with that emphasis on the pressure defense that turns into easy baskets for the offense. On offense, the North Adams girls can adapt to any situation, run the floor in transition or slow down into the halfcourt sets. “Be ready to play every night,” adds Coach Davis. “We’ve always got a target on our backs so we have to step up because everyone

will be coming after us. The SHAC is going to be as competitive as it has been in awhile so we better be prepared.” At press time, the Lady Devils stood 1-1 on the year, losing to Southeastern and knocking off Miami Trace. As always, h has put together a challenging schedule, one that features non-conference games remaining with Oak Hill, Chillicothe, Nelsonville-York, Felicity (a game that will be played in the “Hoosiers” gym on Dec. 21), Huntington, and Williamsburg.

Good Luck Area Teams!

THE PEOPLE’S DEFENDER

Good luck to all of the High School Basketball Team players. We hope this season is a winner, all the way to the finals!

Your #1 Source for Adams County High School Sports Coverage!

217 North West St., West Union, OH 45693

Call 937-544-2391

MOSIER FURNITURE 937-544-2711

Visit us at: mosierfurniture.com

Donʼt miss out!

Subscribe Today! peoplesdefender.com

Indians are loaded with talent and experience

ADAMS COUNTY ‘19 - ‘20 BASKETBALL SPECIAL • Page 3

BY MARK CARPENTER PEOPLE’S DEFENDER

Please forgive Peebles head coach Josh Arey if he and his staff might just be licking their chops as they look forward to the upcoming 2019-20 varsity basketball season. The Indians, who didn’t lose a single senior from last year’s team, are one of the heavy favorites in Division IV in southeast Ohio and with a talented and deep roster loaded now with upperclassmen, it isn’t hard to see why. Last season the Indians captured a Division IV sectional title and then lost a heartbreaking overtime game to Trimble in the district semi-finals at the Convo and the expectations for this season are sky high with a roster boasting five seniors and seven juniors. “We can do 10 deep at time and that will be a big advantage for us if we run into foul trouble,” says Coach Arey.“Our kids work extremely hard in practice and our expectations are high and we just have to play like we have practiced because our practices have been outstanding. And we have some kids that can put the ball in the hole.” “These kids have given us every ounce of their effort in the preseason and when you get that, great things can happen in the regular season.” For Coach Arey and his staff, it certainly helps to have your team led for one more season by who many consider the top point guard in the area, senior Weston Browning. Browning, who at times can just put the Indians on his back and carry the team with no fear, averaged 16 points a game

and was named AllConference, First Team All-District, and Special Mention All-State. The outstanding point guard can score inside and out and also leads the team in assists as he distributes the ball so well to get all his teammates involved in the action. When Browning distributes the ball to those teammates, there are some offensive threats waiting on the receiving end, beginning with a pair of juniors who can be deadly long-range shooters, 6’5” Dawson Mills and 6’3” Oakley Burba. The Indians will also be bolstered by the addition of transfer Hunter Ruckel, who was an AllConference player last season at Whiteoak and who will add yet another dimension to the Peebles offense. Adding even more depth to the guard position will be junior Hunter White, who is a dual threat to shoot the ball from long distance or take it to the rim, and senior Alex Camp, also a dual threat. Besides the wealth of outside shooters, the Indians are also blessed with a lot of talent in the paint, led by 6’2” senior Kyle Lightner, who really came on strong at the end of last season and Coach Arey will be counting on him to use his athleticism around the rim. Also protecting the paint will be 6”4” junior Easton Wesley, and 5”11” seniors Dylan Shulaw and Gage Crothers. If any more depth is needed, Arey will also have at his disposal some players who will split time between the JV and varsity squads- junior Brock Johnson, junior Franklin Myers, junior

Bryce Willoughby, and lanky sophomore Alan McCoy. “We have to keep getting better every day, we have a lot of kids who can play and who have to accept their roles,” said Coach Arey. “There my be a time when a kid plays just five minutes in one game, then plays 25 the next. When kids play

selflessly, you have a chance to be pretty good.” The coaches of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference, in their preseason poll, tabbed the Indians to win the small school division and for the rabid and loyal Peebles faithful, it won’t be a good season without a few trips to Athens in March.

# $%

&

'

!"

See Indians / 10

CMYK

CMYK


CMYK

Uncertainty again facing Lady Hounds

Page 4 • ADAMS COUNTY ‘19 - ‘20 BASKETBALL SPECIAL BY MARK CARPENTER PEOPLE’S DEFENDER

Abbott and Costello did the famous “Who’s on First?� routine and for the Manchester Lady Hounds basketball program, the routine for their past few season might be deemed “Who’s the Coach?’� After riding a coaching carousel the past few season, hardly able to adapt to one system before another one arrives, the Lady Hounds find themselves in the same situation, but this time one game into the season. After a seasonopening loss to Green, newly hired head coach Brad Cannon turned in his resignation and again, the Lady Hounds are looking for leadership on the sidelines until the school administration

finds a permanent replacement for the upcoming campaign. Whoever that new coach might be, he or she will certainly not be at a loss for talent. The Lady Hounds went 13-9 a season ago, winning a Division IV sectional championship under head coach Shawn Palmer, and were eliminated in the district semis in a tough battle with number one seeded Waterford. The 2019-20 Manchester roster could still be considered a young one, with but two seniors listed, and will return their two leading scorers in junior Brooke Kennedy and sophomore McKenzie Morrison. Kennedy averaged a double-double last season (13.3, 11.1) and was named All-Conference,

Second Team AllDistrict, plus All-Ohio Honorable Mention, and will soon be approaching the 1,000 point mark for her outstanding career. Morrison was Third Team All-District last season, putting up 10.5 points game as the team’s point guard. Making up the third of a very athletic Lady Hounds triumvirate is the ultra-athletic sophomore Hannah Hobbs, an outside shooting threat who is also not afraid to take the ball into the paint. Perhaps the biggest outside shooting threat for the Manchester squad is junior Emily Sweeney as well as senior Taylor Morrison, as the Lady Hounds are a team whose outside shooting proficiency will keep opposing defenses honest.

Providing the muscle in the paint will be junior Yasmin Lucas, who is definitely not afraid to mix it up with the big gals, and whose improvement will be a key to the team’s success. The Lady Hounds will also have some important contributors coming off the bench who will see significant minutes, and

those include senior Madison Jones, junior Karigan Turner, sophomores Kileigh Mitchell and Sophia Paul, as well as freshman Ashleigh Dunn. In their preseason poll, the coaches of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference picked the Lady Hounds to finish second in the small

school division behind Peebles, a team they were set to face in their second regular season game on Dec. 2. How it all plays out for the Manchester squad may well be decided at the MLSD Dec. 11 board meeting, when a new head coach will be named.

CMYK

After big losses, Dragons still look to be in the hunt

ADAMS COUNTY ‘19 - ‘20 BASKETBALL SPECIAL • Page 9

BY MARK CARPENTER PEOPLE’S DEFENDER

After a successful debut as the West Union Dragons head coach, Austin Kingsolver returns for year number two of his tenure, looking to compete despite taking some serious hits to graduation after last season. The 2018-19 Dragons finished 13-12 overall and made a nice tournament run, winning a Division III sectional title before dropping a heartbreaking 53-50 contest to Chesapeake in the district semi-finals in Athens. Now, Kingsolver, who will handle both the varsity and JV coaching duties this season, is optimistic about this year’s squad, after losing six seniors (four starters) to graduation. “We’re bringing back just one starter and our sixth man,� says Kingsolver. “We lost a majority of our scoring when we lost Ryan Rothwell, Bowan Tomlin, and Conner Campbell.� Even with those hits, Coach Kingsolver still expects his squad to be competitive, beginning with the return of senior Zane Kingsolver and sophomore Cameron Campbell. Kingsolver, the head coach’s younger brother, provided one of the deadliest inside-outside threats in the area, whole Campbell really amped it up at the end of last season and will step in his brother’s shoes

as the team’s point guard. “Cameron will have the ball in his hands nearly every possession so he controls how fast we go on offense and anyone who watched us last year knows that we don’t like to go slow,� said the WUHS head coach. “Zane is transitioning into like a “Stretch 4� or “Stretch 3� type of player, after playing the 5� spot his entire high school career.� Now we have to get the ball in his hands on offense as much as he will have to handle the ball against pressure and then pull double duty and crash the boards as our best rebounder.� After Campbell and Kingsolver, the head coach explains that he has four more boys that he feels like he can interchange at any time in junior Clayton Jones, senior Brycen Staten, junior Braxton Blanton, and senior Dakota Jarvis. “Dakota is our center, he’ll rebound and be a nice player inside as he can jump really well and is a very smart player,� says Kingsolver. “Brycen is kind of the opposite, more physical and can beat you up that way so we can go a couple of ways there. Brycen can also step out and shoot a little bit too. Clayton has developed into a decent shooter and is getting more physical and needs to work on being a better defender and he will help us a lot.

He and Braxton have bought into their roles really well, with Braxton bringing us some size and athleticism. Braxton plays harder and controls the intensity on the floor more than he even knows.� Also part of the varsity rotation at some point will be junior Phillip Jarvis, whom Kingsolver describes as a “nice shooter off the bench� along with senior Steven Runyan, whose Michael Jordan-esque story had him being cut from the team in the seventh grade before returning to the program. “Steven came back and has played all four years of high school,� said Kingsolver. “We will probably go about seven deep to begin the season and hopefully work in an eighth as the year goes on. We’ll have to be in good shape to go with just seven and with the way we are going to run on offense. That’s what our kids are comfortable with and this is the most coachable group of kids I’ve ever had. We still have to get better defensively, something we haven’t done well in the preseason. We will mix it up on defense, press the entire game hopefully, but we have to be more physical.� In the preseason poll of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference coaches, West Union was picked to finish fourth in the big school division, bulletin board

Thank Thank you you for for stopping ssttopping by this this year. year.

Shupert’s Shu hup upertt’s Ti Tire ire e Serv S Service rv vice 136 136 Lick ick ck Run Ru un Road, ad, ad d, West West Union Unio io on

CMYK

937-544-2031 937-54 44 4-2 2031 HOURS: OURS: RS: Mon.-Wed., on.-Wed., .-Wed., Wed., W ed., ., 8-5 8-5 4HURS  s&RI  s3AT   4HURS

4 R    s & &RI   s 3 3AT

T  

material for Kingsolver and his squad. “A lot of that has to do with the fact that we lost four starters,� says Kingsolver. “I told the kids that it wasn’t a big deal but

the kids use it as motivation when people think they are supposed to lose.� “For us to be successful this year, we have to be more physical and disciplined on defense, every-

thing revolves around our defense. We might score 65 points one night and 35 the next, but if we play defense, we’ll be in every single game.�

Good Luck to all Teams

9668 SR 125, West Union

(937)544-2190 or 800-323-9756 GAS • DIESEL • KEROSENE • OIL • PROPANE

CMYK

E V E N P A G E S


CMYK

Kirker, young Lady Dragons look for rebound year

Youthful Hounds looking for steady improvement

With last year’s 5-16 season behind them, West Union is hoping that things will turn around for them this season. The team finished eighth in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference standings last year with a 3-10 record against their conference opponents. If the Lady Dragons want to improve their SHAC position this year they’ll need to close out their regular season schedule on a high note. Seven of their final eight games will come against conference opponents with their second to last game being played against Eastern Brown, who dominated the conference last season with a flawless 13-0 record. Although he’s expecting some hurdles due to his

After struggling through a tough 2018-19 season, Coach Greg Scott is back for his second go-round as the head boys basketball coach at Manchester, and this time around the Greyhounds will sport another young squad, one that will be looking to surprise some teams and also show progress from November to February. Scott is joined on the sideline by former Manchester head coach Jeff Stricklett and the two are looking to guide their young group through the rigors of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference and the rest of the regular season, with a keen eye on developing a team that can make some big noise in the future.

Page 8 • ADAMS COUNTY ‘19 - ‘20 BASKETBALL SPECIAL BY JAKE GARZA LEDGER INDEPENDENT

O D D P A G E S

CMYK

team’s youth, coach J.R. Kirker is optimistic about what his squad can accomplish in the season to come. “I feel pretty good about things right now. They’re coming in and working hard every day in practice,” Kirker said. “I feel like they’re here to do better and make a change in this program and our spot in the conference. We’re going to be young and we’re going to make some mistakes playing against older groups of kids sometimes, but I feel pretty good about this team and this year overall.” That inexperience will likely be the biggest obstacle the Lady Dragons will have to overcome this season. The team only has a single junior, Kendra Grooms and only one senior, Savannah MacDowell with no previous organized basketball

experience. It’s a big adjustment from last year when the team featured five different players in their senior seasons. MacKenzie Bickett was the leading scorer for West Union last season and with her graduating the team now has a 10.9 points per game sized hole that they need to fill. The team is leaning on a group of sophomores to make up for some of that lost production with the hope that the newcomers from last year’s junior varsity team will be ready for the next level. That sophomore core includes Maddie Taylor, Morley Purcell, Christian Shivener, Kaitlyn Davis, Kaden Francis and Alexa Rowe. Kirker is hoping that Rowe will be a standout from the team’s new generation of players and believes that she’ll step up

to challenge of helping out junior Kendra Grooms when it comes to leading the team. “She’s on the come up and I think she can be one

of the go-to players for us in the role model department this year,” Kirker said. “We’re going to need her and Kendra to set a good example on the court

for everyone since we have so many inexperienced players. They’re going to help us replace

See Lady Dragons / 10

ADAMS COUNTY ‘19 - ‘20 BASKETBALL SPECIAL • Page 5

BY MARK CARPENTER PEOPLE’S DEFENDER

“With a young team will come a lot of moments of inconsistency,” said Coach Scott. “That will be one of our biggest goals this season- to just become more consistent in all phases of the game. We just have to get a little better every day, and we have kids that will work hard.” The 2019-20 Manchester roster features just two seniors in DeClan Huron and Carl Ricketts. Huron has been part of the starting lineup in the preseason and the Hounds’ season opener with Green, handling most of the point guard duties, while Ricketts, a member of the Greyhound football team, provided muscle in the paint. The Greyhounds do return their leading scorer from last season in Isaiah Scott, a member of a her-

Dr. Brandon Privitera

alded sophomore class, most of whom were forced right into varsity fires last season. The Hounds will also be bolstered by the return of sophomore guard Ryland Wikoff, who returns from a knee injury and could very well work his way into the starting lineup as the season progresses. Sophomores Daulton McDonald and Luke Hayslip provide the Hounds with an outside shooting presence, while the tallest member of the squad, sophomore Brayden Young will use his tall and lanky frame to wreak havoc in the lane on both ends of the court. Also part of that talented sophomoree class and providing more depth for the Hounds are Logan Bell and Trey Spears,

See Hounds / 10

Dr. Randy Franklin and Staff would like to introduce you to Dr. Brandon Privitera. Dr. Privitera is very dedicated to providing excellent care to his patients and brings along with him the most up to date dental techniques. He will be providing services such as extractions, fillings, dentures/partials, crowns/bridges, Clear Aligners and so much more! Dr. Privitera is looking forward to serving the Village of Peebles and Adams County. Dr. Privetera and Franklin Dental is now offering Reveal clear aligners. Call 937-587-3903 today to set up a free consultation to see if you are a candidate for clear aligners. As a promotion we are including free whitening with the Reveal until February 1st.

Franklin Dental & Health Care 15 Shaker Run Rd Peebles, Ohio 45660 Phone: (937) 587-3903 info@peeblesfranklindental.com Office Hours Mon: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm • Tue: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm • Wed: Alternating - By appointment Thu: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm • Fri: Alternating - By appointment • Sat - Sun: Closed

CMYK

CMYK


CMYK

As usual, Lady Devils deep and talented

Page 6 • ADAMS COUNTY ‘19 - ‘20 BASKETBALL SPECIAL

BY MARK CARPENTER PEOPLE’S DEFENDER

It seems like the same old story every single season for Coach Rob Davis and his North Adams Lady Devils basketball squad. There is no rebuilding, just year after year a deep and talented roster that will compete in both conference and postseason play. After losing just one senior from last year’s squad, AllConference and All-District performer Grace McDowell, the Lady Devils go into the 2019-20 campaign with just two seniors on the roster- Mary Sonner and Carolyn Shupert- and will showcase again the talents of a loaded junior class. The Lady Devils will go into this season with a bit of a chip on their shoulder, having their stranglehold

on Southern Hills Athletic Conference titles broken last season by Eastern Brown, but were chosen in a preseason poll of the coaches in the SHAC to reclaim that top spot in the upcoming season. North Adams finished 9-4 in the conference last winter, and were upset by Minford in the Division III sectional finals, but as the old saying goes, “the cupboard is not bare” for Coach Davis. The Lady Devils sport a roster of 10 players and Coach Davis will use very one of them, saying after an early season win over Miami Trace that his girls will have to accept their roles, maybe seeing five minutes of action one game and 25 the next. Thus, the flexibility of a roster of interchangeable parts. “It is all about effort with me,” says Coach Davis. “If

you give me all you have when you are on the floor,

then you will see minutes. We work on conditioning a lot with the way we play and with as many players as we can use, a lot of them played fall sports so they should be in shape.” “If we do the little things right consistently, we’ll be okay. We are deep and big and I’m not afraid to put anyone we have in the game which is good if we get in any foul trouble. We just have to continually have that fire in us.” Coming off another AllState soccer season, the senior Sonner will handle point guard duties and is one of the area’s fiercest

on-ball defenders, just as she is on the soccer field. Her classmate Shupert will come off the bench and can be a definite outside shooting threat. The success of the 201920 Lady Devils will revolve around a very talented junior class, with seven juniors on the roster. Leading those returnees is DeLaney Harper, who was an All-SHAC performer last season, averaging 11.6 points and 9.2 rebounds a game. Also part of the junior class and whose play is crucial to the team’s fortunes are Wylie Shipley and Braylie Jones. Shipley is an

inside-outside threat who scored 8.1 points a game last season, while Jones put up 6.5 a game last year and is yet another tenacious defender. Junior Karissa Buttelwerth is yet another versatile player at Coach Davis’ disposal, one who can run the floor, score, and use her length on the defensive end. The Lady Devils are also not lacking anywhere for size, with juniors Marah Call, Brianna Robinson, and Faith Howell joining Harper as power in the paint, with the southpaw Call also being one of the team’s top threepoint shooters. Another topflight defender off the bench for Davis will be the only sophomore on the roster, Sierra Kendall, who will also pick up duties at the point guard position. Those who have seen Coach Davis’ teams play over his two decades at the helm of the Lady Devils know what to expect, high

See Lady Devils / 10

CMYK

CMYK

Big and long, Green Devils need to be imposing

ADAMS COUNTY ‘19 - ‘20 BASKETBALL SPECIAL • Page 7

BY MARK CARPENTER PEOPLE’S DEFENDER

You would be hardpressed to find a team in Adams County basketball history that puts a bigger and longer starting five on the floor than the 2019-20 version of the North Adams Green Devils. With a five that run 5”10”, 6’3”, 6’3”, 6’3”, and 6’5”, Coach Nathan Copas certainly has some large weapons at his disposal, but the key to the team’s success will be if those big bodies play like big bodies, something the Devils have struggled with in the preseason and in a regular season opening loss to Minford. “If we’re not prepared to come out and battle every night, not always the most skilled team wins, it’s the team out their busting their tails on every possession,” said Coach Copas. “I think it will be a pretty fun year for us if we decide to work hard every day in practice and come prepared to play every night.” The strength of the 20920 Green Devils should be their front line, led by 6’5” senior center Austin McCormick. Last season, McCormick averaged 12.1 points and 8.7 rebounds, earning him AllConference honors as well as All-District Honorable Mention recognition. If he

gets enough touches and can continually finish around the rim, he will continue to be a threat that other teams will have to deal with. Joining McCormick across the front are the 6’3” Meade twins, Seth and Cade, who bring a bit of basketball in their DNA, and just like McCormick, will have to finish around the rim on offense and crash the boards on both ends. At the guard position, 6’3” and lengthy Cameron Young can be a serious three-point shooting threat at times but also has the capability of driving the ball to the rim. and at the point guard spot 5”10” junior Jayden Hesler can be the key to the success or failure of this team’s offense. Hesler has to get the team in the offense and play under control, making good decisions along the way, playing the role of point guard. “We have some kids that just have to understand their roles and be coachable,” says Copas. “If they don’t want to play that role, we have players on the bench who can step right in.” The Green Devils do have a deep bench and usually the first two guys off are 6’1” junior Andrew Brand and 5’11” junior Seth Vogel, both of who are expected to see significant minutes and will

have to contribute on both ends. Also available to Coach Copas will be 6”0” Isaac Young, who has improved continually through out his career, along with two players who are nursing injuries as the season begins, but who should be returning soon, 5’11” junior Jentry Crawford and 6’1” junior Hunter Hoop. There are also a number of players who will split time between JV and varsity, including sophomore Lane Wagner, junior Carter Crawford, and Junior Fulton Kennedy. Of

course, the Green Devils also have their real sparkplug at the end of the bench in senior Hunter Rapp. The Green Devils are coming off a 2018-19 season where they were knocked off Piketon to win a Division III sectional title but lost at the Convo in the district semis to Wheelersburg, and were picked by the coaches of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference to win this year’s big school division, but Copas knows that is no easy task. “There are some skilled

teams in this conference this season, but top to bottom it’s a very athletic conference and you know every team is going to come out and give you their best shot,” said the North Adams head coach. County basketball fans might want to circle Friday, Dec. 13 on their calendars for what should be one of the more excit-

ing evenings of December when the Green Devils will host the Peebles Indians in a county rivalry contest that should pack the house, and it is also possible that those two teams could meet again just two weeks later in the annual Holiday Classic Tournament, which will also be at North Adams.

Good Luck All Teams!

• Owensville - 235 W. Main St., Owensville, OH 45160 - 513-732-2600 • Georgetown - 115 N. Main St., Georgetown, OH 45121 - 937-378-4124 • West Union - 213 W. Main St., West Union, OH 45693 - 937-544-5505 • Peebles - 34 Main St., Peebles, OH 45660 - 937-587-2246

John Wood Insurance Agency Inc.

johnwoodinsurance.com

"

#

$ #

%

& ) #

* + , ) , ' -(# # )# # . # ," ,* , // , (& , #'0 )

CMYK

! '(

E V E N P A G E S


CMYK

As usual, Lady Devils deep and talented

Page 6 • ADAMS COUNTY ‘19 - ‘20 BASKETBALL SPECIAL

BY MARK CARPENTER PEOPLE’S DEFENDER

It seems like the same old story every single season for Coach Rob Davis and his North Adams Lady Devils basketball squad. There is no rebuilding, just year after year a deep and talented roster that will compete in both conference and postseason play. After losing just one senior from last year’s squad, AllConference and All-District performer Grace McDowell, the Lady Devils go into the 2019-20 campaign with just two seniors on the roster- Mary Sonner and Carolyn Shupert- and will showcase again the talents of a loaded junior class. The Lady Devils will go into this season with a bit of a chip on their shoulder, having their stranglehold

on Southern Hills Athletic Conference titles broken last season by Eastern Brown, but were chosen in a preseason poll of the coaches in the SHAC to reclaim that top spot in the upcoming season. North Adams finished 9-4 in the conference last winter, and were upset by Minford in the Division III sectional finals, but as the old saying goes, “the cupboard is not bare” for Coach Davis. The Lady Devils sport a roster of 10 players and Coach Davis will use very one of them, saying after an early season win over Miami Trace that his girls will have to accept their roles, maybe seeing five minutes of action one game and 25 the next. Thus, the flexibility of a roster of interchangeable parts. “It is all about effort with me,” says Coach Davis. “If

you give me all you have when you are on the floor,

then you will see minutes. We work on conditioning a lot with the way we play and with as many players as we can use, a lot of them played fall sports so they should be in shape.” “If we do the little things right consistently, we’ll be okay. We are deep and big and I’m not afraid to put anyone we have in the game which is good if we get in any foul trouble. We just have to continually have that fire in us.” Coming off another AllState soccer season, the senior Sonner will handle point guard duties and is one of the area’s fiercest

on-ball defenders, just as she is on the soccer field. Her classmate Shupert will come off the bench and can be a definite outside shooting threat. The success of the 201920 Lady Devils will revolve around a very talented junior class, with seven juniors on the roster. Leading those returnees is DeLaney Harper, who was an All-SHAC performer last season, averaging 11.6 points and 9.2 rebounds a game. Also part of the junior class and whose play is crucial to the team’s fortunes are Wylie Shipley and Braylie Jones. Shipley is an

inside-outside threat who scored 8.1 points a game last season, while Jones put up 6.5 a game last year and is yet another tenacious defender. Junior Karissa Buttelwerth is yet another versatile player at Coach Davis’ disposal, one who can run the floor, score, and use her length on the defensive end. The Lady Devils are also not lacking anywhere for size, with juniors Marah Call, Brianna Robinson, and Faith Howell joining Harper as power in the paint, with the southpaw Call also being one of the team’s top threepoint shooters. Another topflight defender off the bench for Davis will be the only sophomore on the roster, Sierra Kendall, who will also pick up duties at the point guard position. Those who have seen Coach Davis’ teams play over his two decades at the helm of the Lady Devils know what to expect, high

See Lady Devils / 10

CMYK

CMYK

Big and long, Green Devils need to be imposing

ADAMS COUNTY ‘19 - ‘20 BASKETBALL SPECIAL • Page 7

BY MARK CARPENTER PEOPLE’S DEFENDER

You would be hardpressed to find a team in Adams County basketball history that puts a bigger and longer starting five on the floor than the 2019-20 version of the North Adams Green Devils. With a five that run 5”10”, 6’3”, 6’3”, 6’3”, and 6’5”, Coach Nathan Copas certainly has some large weapons at his disposal, but the key to the team’s success will be if those big bodies play like big bodies, something the Devils have struggled with in the preseason and in a regular season opening loss to Minford. “If we’re not prepared to come out and battle every night, not always the most skilled team wins, it’s the team out their busting their tails on every possession,” said Coach Copas. “I think it will be a pretty fun year for us if we decide to work hard every day in practice and come prepared to play every night.” The strength of the 20920 Green Devils should be their front line, led by 6’5” senior center Austin McCormick. Last season, McCormick averaged 12.1 points and 8.7 rebounds, earning him AllConference honors as well as All-District Honorable Mention recognition. If he

gets enough touches and can continually finish around the rim, he will continue to be a threat that other teams will have to deal with. Joining McCormick across the front are the 6’3” Meade twins, Seth and Cade, who bring a bit of basketball in their DNA, and just like McCormick, will have to finish around the rim on offense and crash the boards on both ends. At the guard position, 6’3” and lengthy Cameron Young can be a serious three-point shooting threat at times but also has the capability of driving the ball to the rim. and at the point guard spot 5”10” junior Jayden Hesler can be the key to the success or failure of this team’s offense. Hesler has to get the team in the offense and play under control, making good decisions along the way, playing the role of point guard. “We have some kids that just have to understand their roles and be coachable,” says Copas. “If they don’t want to play that role, we have players on the bench who can step right in.” The Green Devils do have a deep bench and usually the first two guys off are 6’1” junior Andrew Brand and 5’11” junior Seth Vogel, both of who are expected to see significant minutes and will

have to contribute on both ends. Also available to Coach Copas will be 6”0” Isaac Young, who has improved continually through out his career, along with two players who are nursing injuries as the season begins, but who should be returning soon, 5’11” junior Jentry Crawford and 6’1” junior Hunter Hoop. There are also a number of players who will split time between JV and varsity, including sophomore Lane Wagner, junior Carter Crawford, and Junior Fulton Kennedy. Of

course, the Green Devils also have their real sparkplug at the end of the bench in senior Hunter Rapp. The Green Devils are coming off a 2018-19 season where they were knocked off Piketon to win a Division III sectional title but lost at the Convo in the district semis to Wheelersburg, and were picked by the coaches of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference to win this year’s big school division, but Copas knows that is no easy task. “There are some skilled

teams in this conference this season, but top to bottom it’s a very athletic conference and you know every team is going to come out and give you their best shot,” said the North Adams head coach. County basketball fans might want to circle Friday, Dec. 13 on their calendars for what should be one of the more excit-

ing evenings of December when the Green Devils will host the Peebles Indians in a county rivalry contest that should pack the house, and it is also possible that those two teams could meet again just two weeks later in the annual Holiday Classic Tournament, which will also be at North Adams.

Good Luck All Teams!

• Owensville - 235 W. Main St., Owensville, OH 45160 - 513-732-2600 • Georgetown - 115 N. Main St., Georgetown, OH 45121 - 937-378-4124 • West Union - 213 W. Main St., West Union, OH 45693 - 937-544-5505 • Peebles - 34 Main St., Peebles, OH 45660 - 937-587-2246

John Wood Insurance Agency Inc.

johnwoodinsurance.com

"

#

$ #

%

& ) #

* + , ) , ' -(# # )# # . # ," ,* , // , (& , #'0 )

CMYK

! '(

E V E N P A G E S


CMYK

Kirker, young Lady Dragons look for rebound year

Youthful Hounds looking for steady improvement

With last year’s 5-16 season behind them, West Union is hoping that things will turn around for them this season. The team finished eighth in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference standings last year with a 3-10 record against their conference opponents. If the Lady Dragons want to improve their SHAC position this year they’ll need to close out their regular season schedule on a high note. Seven of their final eight games will come against conference opponents with their second to last game being played against Eastern Brown, who dominated the conference last season with a flawless 13-0 record. Although he’s expecting some hurdles due to his

After struggling through a tough 2018-19 season, Coach Greg Scott is back for his second go-round as the head boys basketball coach at Manchester, and this time around the Greyhounds will sport another young squad, one that will be looking to surprise some teams and also show progress from November to February. Scott is joined on the sideline by former Manchester head coach Jeff Stricklett and the two are looking to guide their young group through the rigors of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference and the rest of the regular season, with a keen eye on developing a team that can make some big noise in the future.

Page 8 • ADAMS COUNTY ‘19 - ‘20 BASKETBALL SPECIAL BY JAKE GARZA LEDGER INDEPENDENT

O D D P A G E S

CMYK

team’s youth, coach J.R. Kirker is optimistic about what his squad can accomplish in the season to come. “I feel pretty good about things right now. They’re coming in and working hard every day in practice,” Kirker said. “I feel like they’re here to do better and make a change in this program and our spot in the conference. We’re going to be young and we’re going to make some mistakes playing against older groups of kids sometimes, but I feel pretty good about this team and this year overall.” That inexperience will likely be the biggest obstacle the Lady Dragons will have to overcome this season. The team only has a single junior, Kendra Grooms and only one senior, Savannah MacDowell with no previous organized basketball

experience. It’s a big adjustment from last year when the team featured five different players in their senior seasons. MacKenzie Bickett was the leading scorer for West Union last season and with her graduating the team now has a 10.9 points per game sized hole that they need to fill. The team is leaning on a group of sophomores to make up for some of that lost production with the hope that the newcomers from last year’s junior varsity team will be ready for the next level. That sophomore core includes Maddie Taylor, Morley Purcell, Christian Shivener, Kaitlyn Davis, Kaden Francis and Alexa Rowe. Kirker is hoping that Rowe will be a standout from the team’s new generation of players and believes that she’ll step up

to challenge of helping out junior Kendra Grooms when it comes to leading the team. “She’s on the come up and I think she can be one

of the go-to players for us in the role model department this year,” Kirker said. “We’re going to need her and Kendra to set a good example on the court

for everyone since we have so many inexperienced players. They’re going to help us replace

See Lady Dragons / 10

ADAMS COUNTY ‘19 - ‘20 BASKETBALL SPECIAL • Page 5

BY MARK CARPENTER PEOPLE’S DEFENDER

“With a young team will come a lot of moments of inconsistency,” said Coach Scott. “That will be one of our biggest goals this season- to just become more consistent in all phases of the game. We just have to get a little better every day, and we have kids that will work hard.” The 2019-20 Manchester roster features just two seniors in DeClan Huron and Carl Ricketts. Huron has been part of the starting lineup in the preseason and the Hounds’ season opener with Green, handling most of the point guard duties, while Ricketts, a member of the Greyhound football team, provided muscle in the paint. The Greyhounds do return their leading scorer from last season in Isaiah Scott, a member of a her-

Dr. Brandon Privitera

alded sophomore class, most of whom were forced right into varsity fires last season. The Hounds will also be bolstered by the return of sophomore guard Ryland Wikoff, who returns from a knee injury and could very well work his way into the starting lineup as the season progresses. Sophomores Daulton McDonald and Luke Hayslip provide the Hounds with an outside shooting presence, while the tallest member of the squad, sophomore Brayden Young will use his tall and lanky frame to wreak havoc in the lane on both ends of the court. Also part of that talented sophomoree class and providing more depth for the Hounds are Logan Bell and Trey Spears,

See Hounds / 10

Dr. Randy Franklin and Staff would like to introduce you to Dr. Brandon Privitera. Dr. Privitera is very dedicated to providing excellent care to his patients and brings along with him the most up to date dental techniques. He will be providing services such as extractions, fillings, dentures/partials, crowns/bridges, Clear Aligners and so much more! Dr. Privitera is looking forward to serving the Village of Peebles and Adams County. Dr. Privetera and Franklin Dental is now offering Reveal clear aligners. Call 937-587-3903 today to set up a free consultation to see if you are a candidate for clear aligners. As a promotion we are including free whitening with the Reveal until February 1st.

Franklin Dental & Health Care 15 Shaker Run Rd Peebles, Ohio 45660 Phone: (937) 587-3903 info@peeblesfranklindental.com Office Hours Mon: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm • Tue: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm • Wed: Alternating - By appointment Thu: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm • Fri: Alternating - By appointment • Sat - Sun: Closed

CMYK

CMYK


CMYK

Uncertainty again facing Lady Hounds

Page 4 • ADAMS COUNTY ‘19 - ‘20 BASKETBALL SPECIAL BY MARK CARPENTER PEOPLE’S DEFENDER

Abbott and Costello did the famous “Who’s on First?� routine and for the Manchester Lady Hounds basketball program, the routine for their past few season might be deemed “Who’s the Coach?’� After riding a coaching carousel the past few season, hardly able to adapt to one system before another one arrives, the Lady Hounds find themselves in the same situation, but this time one game into the season. After a seasonopening loss to Green, newly hired head coach Brad Cannon turned in his resignation and again, the Lady Hounds are looking for leadership on the sidelines until the school administration

finds a permanent replacement for the upcoming campaign. Whoever that new coach might be, he or she will certainly not be at a loss for talent. The Lady Hounds went 13-9 a season ago, winning a Division IV sectional championship under head coach Shawn Palmer, and were eliminated in the district semis in a tough battle with number one seeded Waterford. The 2019-20 Manchester roster could still be considered a young one, with but two seniors listed, and will return their two leading scorers in junior Brooke Kennedy and sophomore McKenzie Morrison. Kennedy averaged a double-double last season (13.3, 11.1) and was named All-Conference,

Second Team AllDistrict, plus All-Ohio Honorable Mention, and will soon be approaching the 1,000 point mark for her outstanding career. Morrison was Third Team All-District last season, putting up 10.5 points game as the team’s point guard. Making up the third of a very athletic Lady Hounds triumvirate is the ultra-athletic sophomore Hannah Hobbs, an outside shooting threat who is also not afraid to take the ball into the paint. Perhaps the biggest outside shooting threat for the Manchester squad is junior Emily Sweeney as well as senior Taylor Morrison, as the Lady Hounds are a team whose outside shooting proficiency will keep opposing defenses honest.

Providing the muscle in the paint will be junior Yasmin Lucas, who is definitely not afraid to mix it up with the big gals, and whose improvement will be a key to the team’s success. The Lady Hounds will also have some important contributors coming off the bench who will see significant minutes, and

those include senior Madison Jones, junior Karigan Turner, sophomores Kileigh Mitchell and Sophia Paul, as well as freshman Ashleigh Dunn. In their preseason poll, the coaches of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference picked the Lady Hounds to finish second in the small

school division behind Peebles, a team they were set to face in their second regular season game on Dec. 2. How it all plays out for the Manchester squad may well be decided at the MLSD Dec. 11 board meeting, when a new head coach will be named.

CMYK

After big losses, Dragons still look to be in the hunt

ADAMS COUNTY ‘19 - ‘20 BASKETBALL SPECIAL • Page 9

BY MARK CARPENTER PEOPLE’S DEFENDER

After a successful debut as the West Union Dragons head coach, Austin Kingsolver returns for year number two of his tenure, looking to compete despite taking some serious hits to graduation after last season. The 2018-19 Dragons finished 13-12 overall and made a nice tournament run, winning a Division III sectional title before dropping a heartbreaking 53-50 contest to Chesapeake in the district semi-finals in Athens. Now, Kingsolver, who will handle both the varsity and JV coaching duties this season, is optimistic about this year’s squad, after losing six seniors (four starters) to graduation. “We’re bringing back just one starter and our sixth man,� says Kingsolver. “We lost a majority of our scoring when we lost Ryan Rothwell, Bowan Tomlin, and Conner Campbell.� Even with those hits, Coach Kingsolver still expects his squad to be competitive, beginning with the return of senior Zane Kingsolver and sophomore Cameron Campbell. Kingsolver, the head coach’s younger brother, provided one of the deadliest inside-outside threats in the area, whole Campbell really amped it up at the end of last season and will step in his brother’s shoes

as the team’s point guard. “Cameron will have the ball in his hands nearly every possession so he controls how fast we go on offense and anyone who watched us last year knows that we don’t like to go slow,� said the WUHS head coach. “Zane is transitioning into like a “Stretch 4� or “Stretch 3� type of player, after playing the 5� spot his entire high school career.� Now we have to get the ball in his hands on offense as much as he will have to handle the ball against pressure and then pull double duty and crash the boards as our best rebounder.� After Campbell and Kingsolver, the head coach explains that he has four more boys that he feels like he can interchange at any time in junior Clayton Jones, senior Brycen Staten, junior Braxton Blanton, and senior Dakota Jarvis. “Dakota is our center, he’ll rebound and be a nice player inside as he can jump really well and is a very smart player,� says Kingsolver. “Brycen is kind of the opposite, more physical and can beat you up that way so we can go a couple of ways there. Brycen can also step out and shoot a little bit too. Clayton has developed into a decent shooter and is getting more physical and needs to work on being a better defender and he will help us a lot.

He and Braxton have bought into their roles really well, with Braxton bringing us some size and athleticism. Braxton plays harder and controls the intensity on the floor more than he even knows.� Also part of the varsity rotation at some point will be junior Phillip Jarvis, whom Kingsolver describes as a “nice shooter off the bench� along with senior Steven Runyan, whose Michael Jordan-esque story had him being cut from the team in the seventh grade before returning to the program. “Steven came back and has played all four years of high school,� said Kingsolver. “We will probably go about seven deep to begin the season and hopefully work in an eighth as the year goes on. We’ll have to be in good shape to go with just seven and with the way we are going to run on offense. That’s what our kids are comfortable with and this is the most coachable group of kids I’ve ever had. We still have to get better defensively, something we haven’t done well in the preseason. We will mix it up on defense, press the entire game hopefully, but we have to be more physical.� In the preseason poll of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference coaches, West Union was picked to finish fourth in the big school division, bulletin board

Thank Thank you you for for stopping ssttopping by this this year. year.

Shupert’s Shu hup upertt’s Ti Tire ire e Serv S Service rv vice 136 136 Lick ick ck Run Ru un Road, ad, ad d, West West Union Unio io on

CMYK

937-544-2031 937-54 44 4-2 2031 HOURS: OURS: RS: Mon.-Wed., on.-Wed., .-Wed., Wed., W ed., ., 8-5 8-5 4HURS  s&RI  s3AT   4HURS

4 R    s & &RI   s 3 3AT

T  

material for Kingsolver and his squad. “A lot of that has to do with the fact that we lost four starters,� says Kingsolver. “I told the kids that it wasn’t a big deal but

the kids use it as motivation when people think they are supposed to lose.� “For us to be successful this year, we have to be more physical and disciplined on defense, every-

thing revolves around our defense. We might score 65 points one night and 35 the next, but if we play defense, we’ll be in every single game.�

Good Luck to all Teams

9668 SR 125, West Union

(937)544-2190 or 800-323-9756 GAS • DIESEL • KEROSENE • OIL • PROPANE

CMYK

E V E N P A G E S


CMYK

Page 10 • ADAMS COUNTY ‘19 - ‘20 BASKETBALL SPECIAL

Lady Indians From page 2

O D D P A G E S

gresses. “Taylor gives us another defensive player in the paint and she can step out on the perimeter and knock down some shots,” says Justice. “Madison was a big key on last year’s team and is one of the hardest working players we have plus being one of the best defensive players in the conference.” Sophomores Natalee Workman, Marissa Moore, and Emmi Nichols will split time between the JV and varsity squads. “We will try to mix it up on offense and our goal is to push the ball up the floor and try to get some early looks,” added the Peebles head coach. “Defensively we will mix it up at time, playing a little man and a little zone.

There will be times that we will use our press to try and create turnovers and get some easy transition shots.” The coaches of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference have show their respect for the Lady Indians, picking them to finish first in the conference’s small school division, a feat they accomplished last season with an 8-5 record in the SHAC. There is a lot of balance in the conference this season,” says Coach Justice. “I would pick Eastern Brown and North Adams in the big school division and then Manchester, Fayetteville, and Fairfield in the small school.” “For us, we just have to take one day at a time, work hard every day, and good things will happen. We always have to outwork the other team.”

Good Luck Area Teams!

T I E K TA HE TO T

HOOP

BLAKE PHARMACY West Union, Ohio • 937-544-2451 Peebles, Ohio • 937-587-3100

Lady Dragons From page 8

MacKenzie’s scoring and I don’t think we’ll miss a beat.” Rowe is eager to push back at the idea that the team’s youth will be a problem for them this season but understands that earning a higher spot in the conference standings will be a challenge with more experienced teams in the mix. “We’re a young team and

Hounds From page 5

Spears. Rounding out the varsity roster will be juniors Xander Smith and Cade Colvin. For the 2019-20 Greyhounds, success may not be measured in wins and losses. If the team shows

we’re going to have to fight for a spot up there with some of the older teams this year,” Rowe said. “We’re young but we know that we can play well together and make up for that. Our attitudes have been better and our chemistry is good so I think we’ll be alright.” That team chemistry for West Union will be a key part of combating their inexperience. If the team is able to feed off of each other well it’ll go a long way towards overcoming their youth.

major improvement between now and their regular season finale on Feb.11, then the Manchester faithful can look forward to what promises to be a very exciting next couple of years, but if this year’s Hounds can grab a little of that consistency that Coach Scott speaks of, there may be a few surprises on this year’s slate.

Here’s to a Slam-Dunk Season

CMYK

Lady Devils From page 6 intensity on both ends, with that emphasis on the pressure defense that turns into easy baskets for the offense. On offense, the North Adams girls can adapt to any situation, run the floor in transition or slow down into the halfcourt sets. “Be ready to play every night,” adds Coach Davis. “We’ve always got a target on our backs so we have to step up because everyone

will be coming after us. The SHAC is going to be as competitive as it has been in awhile so we better be prepared.” At press time, the Lady Devils stood 1-1 on the year, losing to Southeastern and knocking off Miami Trace. As always, h has put together a challenging schedule, one that features non-conference games remaining with Oak Hill, Chillicothe, Nelsonville-York, Felicity (a game that will be played in the “Hoosiers” gym on Dec. 21), Huntington, and Williamsburg.

Good Luck Area Teams!

THE PEOPLE’S DEFENDER

Good luck to all of the High School Basketball Team players. We hope this season is a winner, all the way to the finals!

Your #1 Source for Adams County High School Sports Coverage!

217 North West St., West Union, OH 45693

Call 937-544-2391

MOSIER FURNITURE 937-544-2711

Visit us at: mosierfurniture.com

Donʼt miss out!

Subscribe Today! peoplesdefender.com

Indians are loaded with talent and experience

ADAMS COUNTY ‘19 - ‘20 BASKETBALL SPECIAL • Page 3

BY MARK CARPENTER PEOPLE’S DEFENDER

Please forgive Peebles head coach Josh Arey if he and his staff might just be licking their chops as they look forward to the upcoming 2019-20 varsity basketball season. The Indians, who didn’t lose a single senior from last year’s team, are one of the heavy favorites in Division IV in southeast Ohio and with a talented and deep roster loaded now with upperclassmen, it isn’t hard to see why. Last season the Indians captured a Division IV sectional title and then lost a heartbreaking overtime game to Trimble in the district semi-finals at the Convo and the expectations for this season are sky high with a roster boasting five seniors and seven juniors. “We can do 10 deep at time and that will be a big advantage for us if we run into foul trouble,” says Coach Arey.“Our kids work extremely hard in practice and our expectations are high and we just have to play like we have practiced because our practices have been outstanding. And we have some kids that can put the ball in the hole.” “These kids have given us every ounce of their effort in the preseason and when you get that, great things can happen in the regular season.” For Coach Arey and his staff, it certainly helps to have your team led for one more season by who many consider the top point guard in the area, senior Weston Browning. Browning, who at times can just put the Indians on his back and carry the team with no fear, averaged 16 points a game

and was named AllConference, First Team All-District, and Special Mention All-State. The outstanding point guard can score inside and out and also leads the team in assists as he distributes the ball so well to get all his teammates involved in the action. When Browning distributes the ball to those teammates, there are some offensive threats waiting on the receiving end, beginning with a pair of juniors who can be deadly long-range shooters, 6’5” Dawson Mills and 6’3” Oakley Burba. The Indians will also be bolstered by the addition of transfer Hunter Ruckel, who was an AllConference player last season at Whiteoak and who will add yet another dimension to the Peebles offense. Adding even more depth to the guard position will be junior Hunter White, who is a dual threat to shoot the ball from long distance or take it to the rim, and senior Alex Camp, also a dual threat. Besides the wealth of outside shooters, the Indians are also blessed with a lot of talent in the paint, led by 6’2” senior Kyle Lightner, who really came on strong at the end of last season and Coach Arey will be counting on him to use his athleticism around the rim. Also protecting the paint will be 6”4” junior Easton Wesley, and 5”11” seniors Dylan Shulaw and Gage Crothers. If any more depth is needed, Arey will also have at his disposal some players who will split time between the JV and varsity squads- junior Brock Johnson, junior Franklin Myers, junior

Bryce Willoughby, and lanky sophomore Alan McCoy. “We have to keep getting better every day, we have a lot of kids who can play and who have to accept their roles,” said Coach Arey. “There my be a time when a kid plays just five minutes in one game, then plays 25 the next. When kids play

selflessly, you have a chance to be pretty good.” The coaches of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference, in their preseason poll, tabbed the Indians to win the small school division and for the rabid and loyal Peebles faithful, it won’t be a good season without a few trips to Athens in March.

# $%

&

'

!"

See Indians / 10

CMYK

CMYK


CMYK

CMYK

After Elite Eight run, Lady Indians back for encore

ADAMS COUNTY ‘19 - ‘20 BASKETBALL SPECIAL • Page 11

Page 2 • ADAMS COUNTY ‘19 - ‘20 BASKETBALL SPECIAL BY MARK CARPENTER PEOPLE’S DEFENDER

Last season was nothing short of magical for Coach Billie Jo Justice and her Peebles Lady Indians. An improbable and exciting run to the Elite Eight in Division IV has set up the Lady Indians with a big boost of confidence and of course, very high expectations heading into the 2019-20 campaign, where Coach Justice and the loyal Peebles basketball fans chomping at the bit to see what the next few months bring for their varsity girls. “Last year’s Elite Eight run was just so exciting,” said Coach Justice. “All of the success in the tournament provided confidence to our players and that showed during the offseason in our shootouts and camps and now we need it to carry over into this regular season.” “We are excited about this year, but hard work and working together as a team will be the key to us repeating the success of last season.” The Lady Indians will

return the majority of their roster from the Elite Eight squad, minus graduated seniors Kylie Sims and Jerilin Toller, both of who made significant contributions to last year’s tourney run. “Kylie and Jerilin will obviously be difficult to replace,” says Coach Justice. “They provided that necessary senior leadership and always set the tone for playing physical for us.” Coach Justice has what any coach in southeast Ohio would love to have, a returning junior starter who has already scored over 1,000 points in two high school seasons, her daughter Jacey. The youngest Justice sibling was First Team All-District and Second Team All-State, averaging over 26 points a game despite being double teamed at many times, and she also led the team in steals and assists, a very unselfish statistic, and will again have the target on her back this season. “We will count on Jacey for so many things this season,” says her mother and

the head coach. “She will give us leadership and play point guard and wing for us. Her basketball IQ and decision making just help all of our other players get better.” Though Justice will like-

We’re always on your team. With local decision-making, individualized services, and a team of professionals that’s committed to meeting each customer’s own needs, The National Bank of Adams County is more than just another bank. We’re a part of every community we serve. The National Bank of Adams County is proud to support the efforts of local athletic programs and wish all the Adams County basketball teams the best of luck. Go #Dragons #GreenDevils #Greyhounds #Indians #Eagles!

218 N. Market Street • West Union, OH 45693 • 937-544-2361 www.NBAConline.com

CMYK

ly again be the team’s leading scorer, she certainly has a supporting cast with a lot of talent and abilities of their own, starting with senior Tatum Arey, who really came into her own last season, especially in

the tournament run. Arey was an All-Conference and Third Team Al-District performer last season, scoring 10.5 a game. “We expect Tatum to step up and be even more aggressive of both ends of the court,” says Coach Justice. “She played really well for us in the tournament and we expect her to have an outstanding senior year.” The expected starting five for the Lady Indians as the 2019-20 campaign begins will also include ultra-athletic junior Lilly Gray plus two seniors who step into starting rolesHarlee Wilkinson and Hope Brown. Gray is already one of the most decorated multisport athletes in Peebles school history, and was a sparkplug in the Lady Indians’ huge upset win over Portsmouth Notre Dame in last year’s regional semi-finals plus the

team’s leading rebounder last season. “We are hopeful that Lilly really steps it up this year on the offensive end,” said Coach Justice. Wilkinson will return to the team after missing much of last season due to illness and will be counted on to play a lot of point guard this season, while Brown will be the muscle inside. “Harlee has really worked hard to come back and play,” said Coach Justice. “Hope has worked really hard during the offseason to increase her speed and will be a key for us in keeping other team’s bigs off the glass.” Rounding out the main core of the varsity roster will be senior Madison Beekman and junior Taylor Cluxton, both of whom should get ample opportunities as the season pro-

See Lady Indians / 10

E V E N P A G E S

ou li iv ve your When y you live your life all-in, you you need the all-pro team a att Sou Southern thern Ohi Ohio o Medical Cen Center. ter. o surgery, the stellar From total hip, shoulder and knee replacements to hand and foot orthopedic team at SOMC offers comprehensive orthopedic care that will get you back to doing the things you love to do.

SO SOMC MC Or Orthopedic thopedic Associa Associates tes 1711 27th Street | Braunlin Building Suite 102 Portsmouth, OH 45662 740-356-1709 1709

CMYK


CMYK

CHAMPION

CMYK

Play like a

O D D

HOOPS

P A G E S

2019-2020

MANCHESTER • NORTH ADAMS • PEEBLES • WEST UNION

CMYK

CMYK

Profile for Clermont Sun Publishing Company

Adams County Basketball Preview - 2019  

Adams County Basketball Preview - 2019