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Preview 2012

November 21, 2012

A Special Publication Of The Piqua Daily Call



Wednesday, November 21, 2012




Piqua seniors Josh Holfinger (left photo) and Ryan Hughes (right photo) right return for their senior seasons. Both were starters last season

Piqua boys doing right things Butler hopes off-season work will lead to wins

DAN’S Shell

Butler said Piqua will be a little different style this year. “We will be more uptempo,” he said. “One of the reasons for that is we matchup better and we are pretty athletic and quick.” Butler said the GWOC North could be wide open. “Trotwood-Madison is always going to be there,” he said. “Troy graduated a lot of guys, but Tim (Miller) does a nice job with them. “Sidney beat us twice last year and there coach is doing a nice job up

there. Vandalia-Butler graduated a lot, but they are always going to be good. Greenville has a freshman that is going to be really good. He started at quarterback for them in football. So, I expect them to be better.” Butler hopes Piqua can be right in there. “Right now, we are focused on the first game with Wapakoneta,” he said. “Then, we have Tipp, Centerville and then jump right into North play with Butler. “We hope to be right in there (in the North). I re-

ABOUT THE COVER Photographer: Mike Ullery Designer: Darla Allen Subject: Piqua’s Luke Karn and Christy Graves are driving for big senior seasons.

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ally think the team that improves the most as the season going on is the team that is going to win the North.” One thing Butler is sure

of — Piqua is already doing the right things to turn things around — and he expects much improvement on last year’s 4-17 record.

2012-2013 PIQUA BOYS BASKETBALL SCHEDULE Date H/A Opponent Time Nov. 30 A Wapakoneta 7:30 A Tippecanoe 7:30 Dec. 4 H Centerville 7:30 Dec. 7 Springfield 7:30 Dec. 11 A Dec. 14 A Vandalia-Butler* 7:30 Dec. 18 H Stebbins 7:30 Dec. 21 H Sidney* 7:30 Dec. 27 H WPTW Holiday Classic TBA Dec. 28 H WPTW Holiday Classic TBA Jan. 4 A Greenville* 7:30 Jan. 8 A Trotwood-Madison* 7:30 Jan. 11 H Troy* 7:30 Jan. 15 A Bethel 7:30 Jan. 18 H Vandalia-Butler* 7:30 Jan. 25 A Sidney* 7:30 Jan. 26 A Greeneview 7:30 Jan. 29 H Fairborn 7:30 Feb. 1 H Greenville* 7:30 Feb. 2 H Belmont 7:30 Feb. 8 H Trotwood-Madison* 7:30 Feb. 9 A Lebanon 7:30 Feb. 15 A Troy* 7:30 * denotes GWOC North game


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Second-year boys basketball coach Heath Butler knew turning the program around would not happen over night. And he also knows there are specific things that have to happen for that improvement to come. And Butler is already seeing a lot of those signs with this year’s team. “We have a lot of guys playing a lot of basketball in the off-season,” Butler said. “We have guys playing AAU basketball. I think it helps with me being a football coach and being around some of those guys. You can just see that we are ahead of things and get right into what we need to work on.” It is not the only reason Butler is optimistic about this year’s teams. “I think we can matchup a lot better with other teams,” he said. “We can put different lineups out there. I feel like we are in a lot better position to do that this year.” The seniors on the team include three returning letterwinners and one newcomer. Ryan Hughes, a 6-2 wing and 6-4 post Josh Holfinger were both starters last year, while 61 guard Luke Karn saw a lot of playing time after coming back from an injury. Joining the team this year is 6-foot guard Dorian Ashe. Holfinger averaged 6.8 points and 4.1 rebounds, while Hughes scored 6 points and pulled down 4.9 rebounds per game. “I expect Josh (Hughes) to give us presence in the

post,” Butler said. “We have some more size this year, which will allow us to move Ryan (Hughes) out to his natural position. Luke (Karn) has a lot of experience at the guard position and came back and played well after the injury. Dorian is new to the team this year.” The juniors include two of the best players off the JV team in 5-foot-9 point guard Xavier Harrison and leading scorer Daniel Monnin, a 6-1 forward. Also moving up are 6-1 guard Jacob Sowry and 511 guard Bailey Lyons. “Dan (Monnin) has been a very good player on the JV team,” Butler said. “Xavier (Harrison) can handle the ball and is a very athletic player. His quickness is going to help us. Bailey Lyons is also moving up from the JV team. Jacob (Sowry) has an ACL injury, but we are hoping he is going to be able to play some.” Butler feels very good about the three youngest players on the squad. The sophomores are 6-7 post Erik Vondenhuevel and 5-10 guard Tate Honeycutt. “Erik gives us another big body inside,” Butler said. “With him and Josh (Holfinger), that is going to allow us to match up with teams better. Tate (Honeycutt) is the leading scorer off the freshman team. So, we have the JV (Daniel Monnin) and freshman leading scorers.” The lone freshman is 63 wing Colton Bachman. “You can see he is advanced (as a freshman),” Butler said. “He has played a lot of basketball and he has good size. Those things are why he is able to be on varsity.”


BY ROB KISER Sports Editor




Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Looking for improvement Consistency key for Lady Indians BY ROB KISER Sports Editor


Tasha Potts is shooting for a big sophomore season this year.


Macy Yount returns for the Piqua girls.



Janise Hummel drives to the basket against Trotwood-Madison last year.

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real good shooter and ballhandler. Hannah (Went) is a girl who is extremely quick and plays aggressive.” Piqua will be part of the first Buckeye Insurance Group Girls Holiday Tournament this year, played at the same time as the boys in Garbry Gymnasium. “It is great to have that opportunity,” Hoke said. “We are looking forward to that. We just have to survive the early schedule and not get our heads down.” Piqua opens with road games against Graham, Thurgood Marshall and Fairborn. “Then we come home and play and Urbana team that can really shoot the ball,” Hoke said. “It is

a brutal start to the season. We just have to keep our heads up.” Hoke expects the GWOC North to be as competitive as ever. “Sidney has their three big girls back,” he said. “Troy is probably the most confident and they have the Player of the Year back in Kristen Wood. That is always a plus to have a good point guard. Greenville has the Gallaway girl. “Vandalia lost a lot of people, but they are always strong. “Troy is probably the team everyone looks at. But, I think Vandalia and Sidney can be right in there and hopefully, we can too. We need to be able to play for four quarters.” With consistency.

Date H/A Opponent Nov. 23 A Graham Nov. 24 A Thurgood Marshall Nov. 28 A Fairborn Dec. 1 H Urbana Dec. 3 A Bethel Dec. 5 H Lebanon Dec. 8 H St. Marys Dec. 12 A Centerville Dec. 17 A Stebbins Dec. 19 H Springfield Dec. 22 H Vandalia-Butler* Dec. 27 H WPTW Holiday Classic Dec. 28 H WPTW Holiday Classic Jan. 5 A Sidney* Jan. 9 A Greenville* Jan. 16 H Trotwood-Madison* Jan. 19 A Troy* Jan. 23 A Vandalia-Butler* Jan. 30 H Sidney* Feb. 2 H Greenville* Feb. 6 A Trotwood-Madison* Feb. 9 H Troy* * denotes GWOC North game

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Time 7:30 1:00 7:30 7:30 7:00 7:00 7:30 7:30 7:30 7:30 12:30 TBA TBA 12:30 7:30 7:30 7:30 7:30 7:30 12:30 7:30 7:30

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gives us a lot of hustle and spark. “Chelsea is a strong post player. They all will contribute.” The sophomores include 5-9 Tasha Potts, coming off a strong freshman season and three key players off the JV team that won the GWOC North last year. “Tasha (Potts) really did a lot for us last year,” Hoke said. “She is a strong player inside and is going to do a lot for us.” The other sophomores are 5-9 post Morgan Grunkemeyer, 5-5 guard Hannah Went and 5-5 guard Frannie Haney. “Morgan (Grunkemeyer) will play mainly in the post,” Hoke said. “She is a good shooter and has good quickness. “Frannie (Haney) is a


As Piqua varsity basketball coach Rory Hoke looks to improve on last year’s 6-15 record, he uses the “C” word a lot. Consistency. “If we can be consistent shooting the ball,” Hoke said. “If we can be consistent handling pressure. If we can consistently play good defense. Those things are all going to be key for us.” The Lady Indians suffered a blow before the season even started when Hannah Mowery — one of just two seniors on the roster — tore her ACL in soccer and will miss the season. The 5-4 point guard saw action in 19 games a year ago. “That was a big loss for us,” Hoke said. “Especially, where are ball handling is concerned.” The Indians feature a good mix of veteran players and newcomers off a very good JV team from a year ago. “Christy (Graves) has played four years,” Hoke said. “Macy (Yount) and Katie (Allen) are playing for the third year. Janise Hummel would be a threeyear lettermen if it hadn’t been for a knee injury as a freshman. “Tasha (Potts) is playing her second and did a lot for us last year (as a freshman). “The thing we will miss with Maddie (Hilleary), Kelsey (Deal) and Imari (Witten) is the intensity they brought on defense.” Graves, a four-year starter, is 6-foot and has the versatility to play almost anywhere on the court. She was second on the team in scoring (6.8) and rebounding (4.6) last year and led the team in blocked shots. “Christy (Graves) can do a lot of different things for us,” Hoke said. The Lady Indians have a huge junior class. Three that figure to play prominent roles include 5-5 guard Macy Yount, 5-5 guard Janise Hummel and 5-7 guard Katie Allen. Yount can be a weapon with her 3- point shooting ability. “She definitely gives us the ability to score from the perimeter,” Hoke said. “We are expecting a lot from her.” Hummel looks to have regained the quickness from a knee injury two years ago, while Allen is another player versatile enough to play inside or out at the point. “If we can keep Janise (Hummel) healthy, she can be a great defensive player,” Hoke said. “She can really created problems and force turnovers. Katie (Allen) is going to help us at the point. She can do a lot of different things for us.” Rounding out the juniors are 5-3 Teija Davis, 510 Chelsea Hill, 5-7 Heidi Strevell, 5-4 Danajha Clemons, 5-5 Conner Brown and 5-5 Ale Painter. “Danajha (Clemons) is coming off a knee injury,” Hoke said. “Teija (Davis)





Wednesday, November 21, 2012



Charger team has plenty of new faces Edison off to 3-1 start


BY ROB KISER Sports Editor Edison Community College men’s basketball coach John Ralph is excited about the new talent he has recruited. Ralph’s biggest concern — the new talent he has recruited. “We have eight newbies (freshman),” Ralph said about his Chargers team. “So, I think the biggest thing is them adjusting to the college game and college life. I am excited about the players we have added.” There has already been some excitement created. Edison opened the season with three straight wins, before losing to Miami-Middletown. And after cruising to two wins in the Charger Classic to kick off the season one of those freshman, Kelly Kirtz (Troy) made a half-court bomb at the buzzer to give them and 80-77 win over Ivy Tech. “That was really something,” Ralph said with a smile. And Ralph saw the Charger Classic as a great way to open the season with a young team. “Definitely,” he said. “We came out the first game and won pretty big.


The Edison Community College men’s basketball team includes front row (left to right) Kelly Kirtz, Eric Beckstedt, Nick Tingle, Jacob Benanzer, Jessie Davis, Corey Decker. Back row: Coach John Ralph, Jaron Isaac, Cody Gunckel, Evan Barger, Brandon Ervin, Mike Howard, Jordan Taylor, William Plummer, assistant coach Marcos White. Then we came back and won the championship game.” Brandon Ervin (Tippecanoe) is a 6-7 freshman who had 26 points and 12 rebounds in the championship game and was named to the alltournament team, while sophomore guard Eric Beckstedt (Covington) was named to the all-tournament team, scoring in double figures in all four games this season for the Chargers. “Brandon (Ervin) is a guy who can gives us a

presence inside,” Ralph said. And Beckstedt can’t put up points faster than a pinball machine with his deadly 3-point shooting. “I think he is shooting over 40 percent on 3-point shots,” Ralph said. “He is always a threat from the perimeter.” Joining them in the early-season starting lineup are sophomores Nick Tingle (Northmont) and Jacob Benanzer (Houston) and freshman Jordan Taylor (Northmont).

Both scored 20 points in the loss to Miami-Middletown. “Nick (Tingle) was our leading rebounder last year,” Ralph said. “We lost 30 points in scoring in Lamont Cole and Kyle Duncan. They both averaged about 15 points a game.” Rounding out the roster are sophomores Jessie Davis (Tippecanoe) and Corey Decker (Parkway) and freshman Mike Howard (Northmont), Evan Barger (Tri-Village), William Plummer (Akron Ellet), Cody Gunckel (Tri-

H/A Opponent Date Dec. 1 A Glen Oaks CC Dec. 4 A Tiffin JVs Dec. 6 TBA Ivy Tech Lorain CC Dec. 15 H Dec. 17 H Wittenberg JVs Lake Michigan CC Dec. 22 A Jan. 5 A Clark State CC Jan. 9 H WSU/Lake Campus Jan. 16 A Cincinnati State CC* Jan. 19 H Cuyahoga CC* Jan. 23 A Sinclair CC* Jan. 26 H Columbus State CC* Jan. 30 H Owens CC* Feb. 2 A Lakeland CC* Feb. 6 H Cincinnati State CC* Sinclair CC* Feb. 13 H Cuyahoga CC* Feb. 16 A Owens CC* Feb. 20 A Feb. 23 H Lakeland CC* Columbus State CC* March 2 A * denotes OCCAC game Village) and Jaron Isaac (Northmont). “I think it was (the win over Ivy Tech a big win),” Ralph said about a young team closing out a tight game. Ralph said the Chargers will continue to play an up-tempo game, but what shouldn’t get lost in that is defense. “If you are going up and down the court and giving up a lot of easy shots, that is not going to work out to well,” Ralph said. Ralph said the OCCAC

Time 3:00 6:00 TBA 3:00 7:00 3:00 1:00 7:00 7:30 3:00 7:30 3:00 7:30 3:00 7:30 7:30 3:00 5:30 3:00 3:00

will be as competitive as ever. “Tough — from top to bottom,” Ralph said. “Every night will be a challenge. I think you will have your usual suspects like Cincinnati State, Columbus State and Owens. We are going to have to be ready to play.” Ralph is happy with what he has seen in the early season. “So far, so good,” he said. But, he understands, with eight freshman come growing pains.

Lady Chargers add speed, athleticism Edison women will be uptempo, off to 2-0 start BY ROB KISER Sports Editor


Edison women’s basketball coach Kim Rank knew his team would have a different makeup this season. That is just a simple fact when you lose the dominating presence of Brianna Innocent, a 6foot-2 post who has gone on to play for Wright State. “We are going to be a very different team,” Rank said. “Last year, we had Brianna (Innocent), who could just dominate in the paint. This is a going to be more of an-up-an-down the court team with more quickness.” Inside, the Chargers will go with a threeheaded monster, each of who has different strengths. They include sophomore Jo Steva (St. Marys) and freshman Kelly Tester (Greenville) and Tori Purk (Mechanicsburg). “They all have different things they do well,” Rank said. “Jo (Steva) is probably the most complete player. “(Kelly) Tester played with her back to the basket in high school and is a good defensive player. Tori

Date H/A Opponent Nov. 23 A Owens Turkey Shootout Nov. 24 A Owens Turkey Shootout Dec. 1 A Glen Oaks CC Dec. 4 A OSU-Lima Dec. 11 H Urbana JVs Dec. 15 H Lorain CC Lake Michigan CC Dec. 22 A Jan. 8 A Wittenberg JVs Jan. 11 H OSU-Lima Jan. 16 A Cincinnati State CC* Jan. 19 H Cuyahoga CC* Jan. 23 A Sinclair CC* Jan. 26 H Columbus State CC* Jan. 30 H Owens CC* Feb. 2 A Lakeland CC* Feb. 6 H Cincinnati State CC* Feb. 13 H Sinclair CC* Feb. 16 A Cuyahoga CC* Feb. 20 A Owens CC* Feb. 23 H Lakeland CC* March 2 A Columbus State CC* * denotes OCCAC game

Time TBA TBA 1:00 6:00 7:00 1:00 1:00 7:30 6:00 5:30 1:00 5:30 1:00 5:30 1:00 5:30 5:30 1:00 5:30 1:00 1:00


The Edison Community College women’s basketball team includes sitting (left to right): Terra Vanover, Jo Steva, Kendra Brunswick, Mackenzie May, Dakota Sowders, Emily Mowbray. Standing: Assistant coach Lance Jackson, Kelsey Tester, Brooke Richards, Kia Perrin, Tori Purk, Morgan Huelskamp, Chris Johnson, Paige Newlon, coach Kim Rank.

(Purk) is a better offensive player.” Rank has Kendra Brunswick (Fort Recovery) and Mackenzie May (Jackson Center) back at the guard positions. “Kendra (Brunswick) can score points for us and Mackenzie (May) has been playing very well,” Rank said.

Also returning on the wing is Dakota Sowders (Jackson Center). Rank has a very talented group of newcomers that can play on the perimeter led by Brooke Richards (Jackson Center) and Morgan Huelskamp (Anna). “They are both outstanding basketball play-

ers,” Rank said. “Brooke is coming off volleyball, but she is really good player. She can shoot, handle the ball, go to the basket, rebound. “Morgan (Huelskamp) is another really good player. She is just a really solid player. She won a state championship last year with Anna.” Other freshman include Terra Vanover (Miami East), Kia Perrin (Sidney), Paige Newlon (Bellefontaine), Emily Mowbray (Vandalia-Butler) and Chris Johnson (Botkins).

mores stepping up. Returning letter winners are senior, Meagan Winner, a Guard whom Stonebraker describes as “tall and thin,” and “a

pretty good shooter” at the 12-14 ft range. Other returning letter winners include juniors, Katie Heckman, a go to in the Post, Chloe, a go to

point guard on the outside, Amanda Winner at guard, Olivia Schlater, also at guard, Courtney Prenger, a forward, and then three more guards,

“We have a lot of freshman, but we feel like they are very talented,” Rank said. “One of the things we wanted to do was get quicker and more athletic. That’s been a problem for us for several years now.” Rank expects the conference to be as strong as ever. “That is one of the reasons we recruited the players we did,” he said. “We feel like it will give us a better chance to compete with the top teams like Cincinnati State and Owens.”

Edison is off to a 2-0 start. After breezing to a win in its opener, Edison rallied from a 17-2 deficit to defeat Miami-Middletown 72-66. Richard had 18 points, nine rebounds and four assists; while Brunswick had 17 points, seven rebounds, 10 assists and three steals. Huelskamp had 10 points and six assists, while Purk had 14 points and six rebounds and Steva grabbed six rebounds.

Kayla McEldowney, Rachel Kremer, and Brooke Pothast. One top newcomer to the team this year is junior Emily Harman, who

plays post. Other top newcomers are sophomores, Lauren Bruns, at guard, Christa Puthoff at post, and Taylor Winner, also a guard.

Tigers Continued from page 12 previous season was a kind of rebuilding year for the team. So this season they’ve got eight or nine strong athletic juniors, vets, and three sopho-

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012



Drew Westerheide goes after a loose ball.

Good news for Lehman boys No. 4 returns to action SIDNEY — This season is already a success for the Lehman boys basketball team. The number 4 uniform is being filled once again by Connor Richard, who was seriously injured in a car accident last season and was told at the time he might not play again. “It is just great to see him out here, let alone playing basketball,” Lehman coach Isaiah Williams said. “It is amazing how far he has come. It is definitely a motivator for the other kids, because they know what he has been through.” In fact, the 5-foot-9 senior guard who is always a threat from 3-point range, has come back so far he is currently in the starting lineup. “Right now, he is 100 percent,” Williams said. “I think he is just going to get better. He is getting better every day in practice. It is amazing where he is at.” The Lehman starting lineup will include sophomores Jackson Frantz (62) and Greg Spearman (6-1); 5-11 junior Drew Westerheide, 6-4 junior James Rego and Richard. “Those are the five guys we are going with right now,” Williams said. “But, we don’t have a set lineup.” The remaining seniors include 6-5 post Michael Jacob, 6-0 guard Tharron Goins and 6-1 guard Dylan Long; the juniors off the bench are 6-0 John Husa, 6-2 Josh Smith, 6-7 Nathan Hall and 5-8 Seth Bensman; and rounding the roster is 6-1 sophomore Nick Rourke. “The thing is we have a lot of varsity experience,” Williams said. “We have a lot of guys returning who have played.” But, the Cavaliers did lose much of their offense,

including the dynamic duo of Alex Baker and Solomon King-White, who combined for almost 50 points a game last year. “We lost a lot of our scoring,” Williams said. “I expect us to be a very balanced team last year.” Along with that, KingWhite was the floor leader and it was not unusual for him to record triple-doubles. “We are going to do point guard by committee,” Williams said. “I think we have a lot of good athletes.” Lehman will still be an uptempo team. “We are going to get up and down the floor,” Williams said. “I think we have pretty good depth.” And once again, pressure defense will be a big part of that. “We will play defense all the way to the bus in the parking lot after the game,” Williams said with a smile. While the Cavaliers don’t play in a league, they face a competitive schedule and again play in the B.I.G. Holiday Classic in Piqua. “We like having the opportunity to play in that tournament,” Williams said. “We play whoever coach Roll (athletic director Richard Roll) puts on the schedule. I am sure it will be a strong schedule like it always is.” Next year, Lehman will become a member of the league the football team played in this year. “We will be an associate member,” Williams said. “We will be eligible for allleague awards and things like that. The kids are excited about that.” But, for now, the focus is already on the postseason. “That’s what we are playing for,” Williams said. “We want to be the best team we can be in February and March.” Most importantly, No. 4 will again be a big part of that.

2012-2013 LEHMAN BOYS BASKETBALL SCHEDULE Date Nov. 30 Dec. 1 Dec. 8 Dec. 14 Dec. 15 Dec. 21 Dec. 22 Dec. 27 Dec. 28 Jan. 4 Jan. 5 Jan. 11 Jan. 12 Jan. 19 Jan. 22 Jan. 26 Feb. 1 Feb. 8 Feb. 9 Feb. 12 Feb. 15 Feb. 19


Opponent Time Minster 7:30 Ridgemont 7:30 Newton 7:30 Jackson Center 8:15 Riverside 7:30 Versailles 7:30 Miami East 7:30 WPTW Holiday Classic TBA WPTW Holiday Classic TBA Franklin Monroe 7:30 Catholic Central 7:30 Fort Loramie 8:00 Temple Christian 7:30 Sidney 7:30 Waynesfield-Goshen 7:30 Houston 7:30 Troy Christian 7:30 Anna 7:30 Bethel 7:30 Tri-Village 7:30 Upper Scioto Valley 7:30 St. Marys 7:30


Lehman’s Ava Schmitz (left photo) and Julia Harrelson (right photo) return this season.

Miller takes over Lady Cavs Coach looks to build Lehman girls program BY ROB KISER Sports Editor SIDNEY — Lehman Catholic first-year girls basketball coach Kim Miller knows not being hired until the summer has put the program behind. But, she sees progress from the Lady Cavaliers on a daily basis as they prepare for the season. “We only had a couple open gyms in the summer because of my late hiring,” she said. “But, we have already seen tremendous growth from this team. We made a lot of improvement from our first scrimmage and feel like we can have a lot of success.” Miller admits the first step will be increasing the numbers. Lehman has just 11 girls in the program this year. “We are playing a varsity only schedule,” she said. “We have scheduled some other (JV) games for our girls to play.” Junior guard Julia Harrelson probably brings the most experience to a team that has no seniors. She saw valuable playing time as a freshman, before starting last year. The other juniors in-

2012-2013 LEHMAN GIRLS BASKETBALL SCHEDULE Date Nov. 23 Nov. 24 Nov. 29 Dec. 1 Dec. 8 Dec. 11 Dec. 15 Dec. 18 Dec. 22 Dec. 27 Dec. 28 Jan. 3 Jan. 5 Jan. 12 Jan. 15 Jan. 17 Jan. 19 Jan. 26 Jan. 31 Feb. 2 Feb. 5 Feb. 9


Opponent Time Riverside 6:00 Sidney TBA Houston TBA Minster TBA Fairlawn 1:00 Marion Local 6:00 St. Henry 1:00 Upper Scioto Valley TBA Ridgemont 1:00 WPTW Holiday Classic TBA WPTW Holiday Classic TBA Fort Loramie 6:00 St. Marys 1:00 Versailles TBA Catholic Central TBA Jackson Center 6:00 Anna 1:00 New Bremen 1:00 Troy Christian TBA New Knoxville TBA Tri-Village 6:00 Bradford TBA

clude Jenna Kronneberg and Jordi Emrick. “We probably do (expect a lot from Julia Harrelson),” Miller said. “But really, we feel like all the juniors have given us great leadership. Jenna (Kronneberg) missed last season with an ACL injury.”

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The sophomores are Brooke Jones and Ava Schmitz. “Brooke (Jones) and Ava (Schmitz) both saw a lot of playing time last year,” Miller said. “Along with Julia, they are the girls that saw quite a bit of playing time.” Rounding out the roster

are freshman Kendall Eck, Taylor Schmidt, Allie Hall, Emmalae Rego, Marianne Hissong and Cassie Lee. “With not having a JV team, they are all going to be able to get playing time,” Miller said. Miller said the Lady Cavaliers have not decided on their style of play just yet. “We want to do something to play to our strengths,” she said. “We have a lot of quick, athletic girls, so hopefully we can take advantage of that to get easy baskets.” As always, Lehman will play a very strong schedule. “We do have a lot of tough teams on there,” Miller said. “But, we feel like these girls are going to be ready for it and be very competitive. Next year, we will have a chance to compete for a league title and we are excited about that.” Right now, Miller just wants to grow the program. “We want to continue to build the program and keep getting better,” Miller said. Something, she has already seen on a daily basis.


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Wednesday, November 21, 2012



Bradford coach ‘Case’ in patience paying off Takes over Railroaders boys program BY JAMES FREEMAN Civitas Media

decisions offensively, being patient and waiting for plays to develop.” McKee will have to build on a team that is losing five seniors. Alisha Patty, Chelsea Broughman, Katie and Courtney Miller and Peyton Shuff all graduated, opening the door for a group of talented juniors. Haley Patty and Michayla Barga are junior guards hoping to help the Railroaders reach their goals. Small forward Brooke Dunlevy and post player Bree Bates are both juniors and also going to be key to Bradford’s success. McKee is also hoping to get contributions from junior guard Ciara Broughman and sophomore centers Mindy Brewer and Brooke

Brower. The team will get their first test the second game of the season when they take on Cross County Conference rival Covington. “We are looking forward to Covington with that being our rivalry game,” McKee said. “We are also looking forward to Tri-Village. That is our senior night, but we are also hosting a Coaches vs. Cancer game that night.” McKee feels as if his team is up to the challenge and can take Bradford to levels they have not been. “It’s going to take a lot of focus,” McKee said. “No matter what we are doing, from stretching to drills to being in our positions. A lot of hard work when the doors are closed.”

BRADFORD — Firstyear head coach Jeff Case is a perfect example for his players that hard work really does pay off. After 14 years of working up the ranks — 11 years at Troy Christian and three years at Newton as a varsity assistant — Case is getting his opportunity at Bradford to be the man in charge. Consistency is not a luxury that Bradford has enjoyed recently. This is their third coach in as many years — Jerrel Morgan two years ago and Curtis Enis last year. Case is hoping to end that trend and bring a sense of pride to Bradford basketball. “We are looking to gain consistency that hasn’t been at Bradford,” Case said. “I’m looking to get the guys into a mindset that we are going to get really good at a few things and do them well and then expand on that.” It won’t be an easy first year either. Case is taking over a program that lacks any recent tradition, is coming off of a 3-18 season and is losing three key players from last year’s team — Alan Yount, Austin Sell and Travis Knightstep. “(Yount) was a natural creator on the floor,” Case said. “He could create his own shot and he was a playmaker. “We are going to miss that. (Knightstep) was a body inside and (Sell) was our best post player. You take away those attributes, and now we have to fills those roles.” Case will be looking to three-year starter Brandon Wysong and returning starter Eric Swabb to help lead the Railroaders. Josh Hoelscher, Bryce Arnett and Brandon Wirrig will be filling the roles of the three departing seniors. “(Hoelscher) will need to anchor the middle for us,” Case said. “We need him to rebound the ball well. (Arnett) is a senior for us, and he is a good shooting guard. (Wirrig) is a utility player, and his physical play will help open things up for the others.” In the top-heavy Cross County Conference, it will be an uphill challenge for the rookie coach. “Tri-Village, Miami East and Covington are always at the top of our conference,” Case said. “We want to be able to compete at that level. We understand that we have some things to prove, but we are hoping that we can build on the system that we put in place and eventually be able to compete with those elite teams in the league.” Case is confident that this group of seniors and the knowledge he has can help take the Railroaders to the next level. “We have a lot of talent, and we are looking to build a program,” Case said. “I’m looking forward

two of the kids, senior Chad Winner, and Sophomore Kyle Ahrens, are “in the gym whenever it’s open; 24/7.” They are both second and third in scoring and second and third in rebounding. The Tigers top scorer and rebounder, first and second in those categories, was Mitchel Campbell. He graduated and went on to

Findley, Ohio on a football scholarship where he is playing Division II football. With the loss of impact players, come challenges and areas for growth and improvement. The point guard position is a little bit of a concern, and McEldowney also has his Tigers working hard defensively. This year, McEldowney plans on having his squad

open the floor: up tempo, half and full court pressure, get the ball out, and run the floor. He wants to “take advantage of (his team’s) athleticism and quickness.” “So many teams in the MAC are more ball controlled,” McEldowney said. They are “trying to slow the game down. We try to speed it up.” Even though McEl-


Bree Bates leaps to save the ball in a game last season.

Something to build on for Lady Roaders Bradford girls coming off successful season BY JAMES FREEMAN Civitas Media BRADFORD — It was only two years ago when Bradford went 3-18 and had only one win in the Cross County Conference. The Railroaders are now coming off of a season where they won their first-round playoff game over Emmanuel Christian, and under first-year coach Patrick head McKee, Bradford is hoping to build on that success and take it to the next level. “One of our focuses is to go .500 this season,” McKee said. “Another one of our goals is to win a sectional championship. That has never been done in school history.” If Bradford reaches their goal to go .500, it will be the first time the team has done that since 1995. Last season the Railroaders had an 8-12 record. “We are going to go as far as our offense takes us,” McKee said. “We are going to have to play aggressive defense — but not overly aggressive to the point where we are fouling. Smart and teamoriented defense.” Bradford has not had much continuity in the recent past when it comes to their head coach. This is McKee’s first year coaching the varisty girls after spending some time in the Defiance area coaching and being the Bradford boys reserve coach last season. With a new coach at the helm, expect to see some differences from last year’s team. “We are going to be a little more aggressive with the ball this year,” McKee said. “We are hoping that they will make smarter

2012-2013 BRADFORD GIRLS BASKETBALL SCHEDULE Date H/A Opponent Time Newton 7:30 Nov. 23 A Covington* 7:00 Nov. 29 H A Miami East* 7:00 Dec. 6 H Xenia Christian 5:00 Dec. 8 Dec. 11 H Mechanicsburg 7:00 Dec. 13 H National Trail* 7:00 Dec. 15 A Tri-County North* 1:30 Dec. 17 A Arcanum* 7:00 Dec. 20 H Twin Valley South* 7:00 Dec. 22 A St. Henry 1:30 Dec. 28 H Bradford Holiday Tourney TBA Dec. 29 H Bradford Holiday Tourney TBA Jan. 5 H Houston 1:30 Jan. 7 H Parkway 7:00 Jan. 10 H Franklin Monroe* 7:00 Jan. 12 A Mississinawa Valley* 12:30 Jan. 17 H Newton* 7:00 Jan. 24 H Tri-Village* 7:00 Jan. 31 A Ansonia* 7:00 Feb. 2 A Fairlawn Noon Feb. 7 A Bethel* 7:00 Feb. 9 H Lehman Noon * denotes CCC game


Brandon Wysong will be a key player for Bradford.


Josh Hoelscher is back for the Bradford boys.

2012-2013 BRADFORD BOYS BASKETBALL SCHEDULE Date H/A Opponent Time Dec. 7 H Ansonia* 8:00 Dec. 8 H Xenia Christian 7:00 Dec. 14 A Tri-Village* 8:00 Dec. 15 H Bethel* 7:30 Dec. 18 A Newton 7:30 Dec. 21 H Mississinawa Valley* 8:00 Dec. 22 H Fairlawn 7:30 Dec. 28 H Bradford Holiday Tourney TBA Dec. 29 H Bradford Holiday Tourney TBA Jan. 5 A Franklin Monroe* 7:30 Jan. 12 A Houston 7:30 Jan. 15 H Arcanum* 7:30 Jan. 18 A Twin Valley South* 7:30 Jan. 19 A Union City (Ind) 7:30 Jan. 25 H Tri-County North* 7:30 Jan. 26 A Emmanuel Christian 7:30 Feb. 1 A National Trail* 8:00 Feb. 2 H Cedarville 7:30 Feb. 5 A Mechanicsburg 7:30 Feb. 8 H Miami East* 8:00 Feb. 9 H Newton* 7:30 Feb. 15 A Covington* 8:00 * denotes CCC game to putting together what I have learned from coaches the last 14 years — putting my own flavor to it — and we have some skilled athletes who fit my system well. We are hoping to

turn the program around and make basketball at Bradford relevant again.” And if anyone knows how working hard to achieve goals can pay off, it's Case.

downey’s team got beaten last year in the senior regional finals by Summit Country Day, they take pride in knowing that the team that knocked them out went on to actually win state, and no other team played them as close as Versailles. “We had a sub par night shooting,” McEldowney said. “It’s a game we had a good shot to get there

and win it.” One of the go to people this season will be junior Damian Richard. Top newcomers this season are seniors Dominic Richard and Craig Pothast, and juniors, Nick Campbell, Jacob Wenning, Evan Philpot, and Ryan Knapke. Jacob Heitkamp is another returning letter winner.

Versailles Continued from page 12 working kids at Versailles,” McEldowney went on to say. “Good at motivating themselves.” According to McEldowney, his team has “really good athletes.” And that “the chemistry is pretty good.” They are “good at accepting younger players.” Younger players that come on to the team to help them out. McEldowney said that



Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Buccs boys program left in good hands Pond takes over as Covington coach BY JOSH BROWN Civitas Media


Heidi Snipes returns for the Covington girls this season.

New face in charge of Covington girls Gooding excited about opportunity COVINGTON — For the first time in more than 20 years, the Covington girls basketball team will have new face at the end of the bench leading the team. Gene Gooding has replaced long-time Lady Bucc coach Chris Besecker, who won 344 games in 23 years. “Coach Besecker did an outstanding job with this program,” Gooding said. “They have a great tradition. That is one of the things that excited me about the job.” And in his short time at Covington, it has been everything Gooding expected. “Everyone has welcomed me and been very positive,” Gooding said. “I can’t say enough about that.” The Lady Buccs are coming off two district final appearances in the last three years, but gone are much of the offense in double figure scorers Julianna Simon and Shelby Kihm and four starters. BEN ROBINSON/GOBUCCS.COM PHOTO Combine that with Dylan Owens returns for Covington boys. Gooding getting the job in June and it made for a very busy summer. 2012-2013 COVINGTON BOYS “They were already in a BASKETBALL SCHEDULE summer league and we had a week of camp,” Date H/A Opponent Time Gooding said. “I got to Dec. 8 H Versailles 8:00 know the girls very Dec. 14 H Tri-County North* 8:00 quickly.” And he admits, both for Dec. 18 H National Trail* 7:30 him and the players, that Dec. 21 A Miami East* 8:00 process in still ongoing. Dec. 22 H Newton 7:30 “I will know a lot better Dec. 27 A WPTW Holiday Classic TBA in a couple weeks, who is Dec. 28 A WPTW Holiday Classic TBA going to be playing Jan. 5 H Milton-Union 8:00 where,” Gooding said in a pre-season interview. “I Jan. 11 H Bethel* 8:00 think we are getting betJan. 12 H New Bremen 8:00 ter every day in practice Jan. 15 A Ansonia* 7:30 and I am excited about the Jan. 18 H Tri-Village* 8:00 season.” Covington will be a mix Jan. 19 A Houston 7:30 of experience and youth. Jan. 22 A Marion Local 7:30 Along with returning Jan. 25 A Newton* 7:30 point guard Heidi Snipes, Jan. 26 A Twin Valley South* 7:30 a 5-6 senior; the other senJan. 29 A Arcanum* 7:30 iors included returning Feb. 1 H Mississinawa Valley* 8:00 lettermen Jessie Shilt, a 58 wing; 5-5 Rachel Carder, Feb. 2 H Coldwater 7:30 5-5 Kayleigh Cecil, 5-4 Feb. 8 A Franklin Monroe* 8:00 Brittanie Flora, 5-4 Jamie Feb. 9 A Anna 8:00 Crowell and 5-4 Ashley AlFeb. 15 H Bradford* 8:00 bright. “We don’t have a lot of * denotes CCC game experience, but we have great senior leaderships,” found the person that is Gooding said. part of it. "I've viewed it from the ready for the challenge. The juniors include "It's good to be home," Jackie Siefring, a 5-10 outside looking in," he said of the CCC. "I think Pond said. transfer from Russia; and it's an excellent basketball league from top to bottom. • RESTORATIONS There's a lot of great • EXTRACTIONS coaches, a lot of great ath• CROWNS & BRIDGES letes, and it's exciting to • ROOT CANALS come in and be a part of it. • PREVENTIVE CARE • DENTURES & PARTIALS "Every night is going to • RIGID STERILIZATION be a challenge. We'll just • WHITENING • SEALANTS have to take it one game • COSMETIC DENTISTRY at a time." • BOTOX & JUVEDERM And while replacing a MARK T. BENTLEY D.D.S. INC legend like Craft may be a 1523 N. Market St., Troy, Ohio CHARLES H. STEVENS D.D.S. tall order, the Buccs can rest assured that they've JULIE E. JONES D.D.S.


2012-2013 COVINGTON GIRLS BASKETBALL SCHEDULE H/A Opponent Date Nov. 23 H Houston Nov. 24 A Fairlawn Nov. 29 A Bradford* Dec. 1 H Versailles Dec. 6 H Franklin Monroe* Dec. 13 A Mississinawa Valley* Dec. 15 H Ansonia* Dec. 20 A Tri-Village* Dec. 22 H Newton* Dec. 27 A WPTW Classic WPTW Classic Dec. 28 A A Bethel* Jan. 3 A Jackson Center Jan. 5 H Milton-Union Jan. 7 Miami East* Jan. 12 H Jan. 17 A National Trail* Jan. 19 A Marion Local Jan. 24 A Tri-County North* Jan. 28 H Russia Jan. 31 H Twin Valley South* Feb. 2 A Newton Feb. 7 H Arcanum* * denotes CCC game 5-8 Morgan McReynolds. “Jackie (Siefring) is a girl that is going to help us a lot,” Gooding said. “We are excited about what she can do.” The sophomores are 5-8 Cassidy Cain, 5-2 Heidi Cron, 5-1 Jessica Dammeyer and 5-5 Ariel Robinson. Rounding out the roster is 5-3 freshman Jessie Crowell. Cain started some games for the Lady Buccs last year, before being slowed by an injury. “Cass (Cassidy Cain) is going to be a good player for us,” Gooding said. “We have some good young talent. Jessie Crowell is a very talented player.” This will be a different Covington team for a number of reasons. With two 6-1 players (Shelby Kihm, Caitlyn Crawford) graduating, along with 5-11 Julianna Simon, this Lady Buccs team is very different sizewise. And because of that it will be a very different style of basketball. “We will play uptempo,” Gooding said. “We will try and get some easy baskets in transition. We will play mostly man defense.” And he said the transition has not been as difficult as you might think. “When we have the Heidis (Heidi Snipes, Heidi

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Cron) at guard, we are very quick and have been able to get some easy baskets,” he said. “We graduated a lot of our scoring. That is one thing we have talked with the girls about. Some girls are going to have to step up. And we have some girls that have done that.” Another change this year is the Lady Buccs will play in the Buckeye Insurance Group Holiday Classic at Piqua, playing the host Lady Indians in the first round. “I think the kids are excited about it,” Gooding said. “Usually, you don’t get the chance to win a championship until the end of the season and we will have a chance midyear. “And there is nothing worse than going the holiday break without playing any games. So, that is another good thing.” Along with a strong conference that includes state semifinalist Tri-Village and regional finalist Miami East from last year, the Lady Buccs will continue to play a strong nonconference schedule. “We have Versailles early and we play Jackson Center,” Gooding said. “We are definitely going to be tested.” With a new coach who is very excited about the future of the program. • RESTORATIONS • EXTRACTIONS • CROWNS & BRIDGES • ROOT CANALS • PREVENTIVE CARE • DENTURES & PARTIALS • RIGID STERILIZATION • WHITENING • SEALANTS • COSMETIC DENTISTRY • BOTOX & JUVEDERM



BY ROB KISER Sports Editor

Troy Cron will be back for Covington.


C O V I N G T O N — Fo r years, Roger Craft has been Covington basketball. And when he stepped down in the offseason, he wanted to make sure the program maintained the excellence and integrity it had enjoyed under his tenure. So he tapped former Tippecanoe coach and longtime Covington resident Matt Pond. "That's something I want to continue on. He (Craft) did things the right way, and that's something I want to build on," Pond said. "He and I are both good friends, and he really helped make it a smooth transition. "It's good to be home. I was at Tipp for around 20 years, and I lived here most of that time. It will be exciting for us." And one thing that has made Pond feel right at home in practice leading up to the winter season? Missing players due to a lengthy football postseason run. "A little bit," he said when asked how used to it he was from his time at Tippecanoe — which has a lengthy streak of reaching the playoffs, as well. "The majority of our kids here are in football. We had to do this some over at Tipp as well, so it's not shocking. I have a couple of players right now, but very few." Pond doesn't mind, though. He knows that going far in the playoffs will translate to the basketball floor. "The success we're having in football right now is only going to help us," he said. "Those pressure situations these kids get into in football will pay dividends for us come January, February and March." And when those players return, Pond will have a very veteran lineup to work with. Seniors Dylan and Cole Owens, Alex Baskerville, Ryan Craft, Troy Cron, Austin Angle, Gabe Mohler, Cody Adams and Trent Tobias all return for the Buccaneers. Juniors Bobby Alexander, Andre Benedict, Tyler and Seth Clark and Tyler Henry will also compete for playing time. "It's a senior-loaded team, for sure," Pond said. "I'll know more once I get them in the gym. I had them for a while over the summer, too, but it's been five months." But anyone that's seen a Tippecanoe basketball in the last decade plus will know what to expect from the Buccs this year. "My style isn't going to change, just the colors on the uniform," Pond said. "We'll have a lot of pressure on defense, and the big kids will fall right into our motion philosophy offensively. We had small, quick teams there, and we had big kids there. The kids here will fit exactly into what we want to do. "We'll do that (transition from defense to offense quickly) as much as possible, but if there's no good, easy looks, we'll run our offense until we get what we want." And what the Buccs want to do is improve on a 10-11 season that saw them get bounced in the first round of the playoffs by a fellow Cross County Conference rival, Bethel. And while Pond is familiar with the league, he's been more of an observer -- and is excited about the chance to be a




Wednesday, November 21, 2012




Willoughby has high hopes for Wildcats Houston boys have young, experienced team BY TONY ARNOLD Civitas Media HOUSTON – Longtime Houston coach John Willoughby became just the third county coach to reach the 300 career win milestone a season ago. Willoughby’s Wildcats went 11-11 a season ago – giving the Houston coach 308 career wins. “Even though we are still young — 7 of our top 8 players are juniors — the three returning players were major contributors and statistical leaders on last year’s squad. We look to be a competitive team in our league and in the area,” explained Willoughby. Last season Houston was strong defensively – finishing second in the area limiting opponents to 45.8 points a game and also shot the ball well connecting on 46.2 percent of their attempts. “We must begin the season with that same defensive attitude and play; then get even tougher as the season moves on. We do have some very good defenders; plus the arm length to make shooting and passing challenging,” said Willoughby. Leading the way for Houston this year will be a trio of returning lettermen. “Key performers must play at their high level consistently game-in and game-out,” Willoughby said. “As always, team play and togetherness will determine this team’s success.” Junior Jesse Phlipot — a 6-4 wing-player is a well-rounded player who earned first-team all county honors a season ago. Phlipot scored 13.1 a game last season while

2012-2013 HOUSTON BOYS BASKETBALL SCHEDULE H/A Opponent Date Nov. 30 A Jackson Center* Dec. 1 H Newton Dec. 7 H Anna* Dec. 8 A Franklin Monroe Dec. 11 A Fort Loramie* Dec. 14 H Fairlawn* Dec. 18 A Russia* Dec. 28 H Minster Ansonia Dec. 29 A Jan. 4 H Botkins* Jan. 5 H Mississinawa Valley Jackson Center* Jan. 11 H Bradford Jan. 12 H Anna* Jan. 18 A Covington Jan. 19 H Jan. 22 H Fort Loramie* Jan. 25 A Fairlawn* Lehman Catholic Jan. 26 A Feb. 2 H Troy Christian Feb. 8 H Russia* Feb. 9 A Riverside Feb. 15 A Botkins* * denotes SCL game canning 54 percent from the field and grabbing nearly 8 rebounds a game. “Jesse has worked hard on his game,” Willoughby said. “He has become more explosive on the perimeter, able to get by the defender with a quick move. “He has become a more rounded player by improving his post moves. “He has learned to enjoy the contact in the post area and has expanded his game to take advantage of the physical play. “Where Jesse has improved as a player is by his leadership. “He leads by his exemplary effort and condition and his love for playing basketball.” Jake Braun is a key for the Wildcats. The 5-11 guard was a

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sturdy performer a season ago — leading the Wildcats in steals, assists, and three-pointers. “Jake may be our best on-ball defender,” Willoughby said. “He is stronger this year, and we are looking for Jake to be a big threat for us.” Rounding out the returning letter winners is Nate Ritchie a 6-2 wing player. The Wildcats will lean on Ritchie for his presence in the paint along with his ability to help clean the class on the boards. “Nate is one of our top athletes,” Willoughby said. “He has a unique knack for offensive rebounding. Last season Nate was second in all rebounding categories. “We look for Nate to continue his rebounding


Houston’s Jessie Phlipot (42) returns this season. skills; along with letting his natural ability to score,.” The Wildcat roster is lined up with plenty of other capable players. TJ Martin stands 6-3, and is a senior who Willoughby points to being an X-factor for the

Wildcats. “TJ has the capability of being a dominate player. He has to learn to play up to his abilities every time he steps on the court,” Willoughby said. “He can guard multi positions on the floor and is an active rebounder.

“Offensively, TJ must use his deceptive quickness to his advantage in the post. Junior Evan Winner is a junior guard who Willoughby describes as having plenty of quickness and brings excitement to the team. Winner will be the point guard and will be relied upon to help create opportunities on the offensive end. “He is a threat from deep and able to shoot from well beyond the three-point point line. A key will be getting consistent performance from Evan,” said Willoughby of Winner. Additionally, Austin Sarver is a junior post player who Willoughby says is a strength inside — with the ability to score in a variety of different ways including from downtown. Jamie Riffel is a junior who Willoughby describes as a streaky shooter who at times is capable of hitting four or five shots in a row. David Nagel is a junior post player who is quick to action when going after a loose ball. “It’s imperative that we get steady and reliable play from the new-comers,” explained Willoughby. A d d i t i o n a l l y, Willoughby points to the importance of being ready to go right out of the gate, with the season opener coming against Jackson Center. “Since we do have some experience back and our schedule is loaded at the beginning, we must be ready to play at a top level at the beginning of the season,” Willoughby concluded.

Lady Wildcats short on numbers this year Ward expects returners to step up for Houston girls BY TONY ARNOLD Civitas Media HOUSTON — Greg Ward and the Houston Lady Wildcats are a little short on numbers heading into the basketball season this year. Ward knows his Wildcats and their fortunes will rely heavily on the ability of different players stepping up this season. Three players return for the Wildcats including Kortney Phipps, Alyssa Stang, and Monique Booher. Senior center Kortney Phipps will be counted upon heavily for her experience and leadership. Phipps provides leadership and a proven track record of playing varsity basketball. “Kortney will be a third year starter, her experience will be relied upon to help develop our younger players and will be a quick shot blocking presence in the post,” said Ward. The Wildcats return another senior — Alyssa Stang — who will play the forward and center position. “She will be called upon to provide inside defense and scoring. The scoring, defense, and rebounding she can provide will be important for our success,” said Ward. Monique Booher is a junior forward for the Wildcats who will likely play a versatile role this year. “Monique will provide us with help inside and outside. Her size will be needed as a post presence and her ability to score

2012-2013 HOUSTON GIRLS BASKETBALL SCHEDULE Date H/A Opponent Nov. 23 A Covington Nov. 27 A Jackson Center* Nov. 29 H Lehman Catholic Dec. 1 H Anna* Dec. 4 A Tri-Village Dec. 6 A Fort Loramie* Dec. 8 H Sidney Dec. 13 H Fairlawn* Dec. 20 A Russia* Dec. 27 H Botkins* Dec. 29 H New Bremen Jan. 3 H Jackson Center* Jan. 5 A Bradford Jan. 8 A Anna* Jan. 12 H Fort Loramie* Jan. 17 A Fairlawn* Jan. 19 H Newton Jan. 24 A Mississinawa Valley Jan. 31 A Russia* Feb. 2 A Riverside Feb. 5 H New Knoxville Feb. 7 A Botkins* * denotes SCL game


Houston girls basketball seniors Angela Gilkeson, Kortney Phipps and Alyssa Stang are ready for a big season. outside will give much needed scoring,” said Ward. While the role of the returning players will be critical — several new players to the varsity team will need to step-up as well. Angela Gilkeson is a Wildcat senior forward who features plenty of speed and a strong work ethic. “Angela will provide

quickness and an eager positive attitude,” said Ward. Nicole Maier is a sophomore point guard who could play a significant role for the Wildcats. Maier’s development as a sophomore throughout the season could prove to be a difference-maker. “There are big shoes to fill with the departure of last year’s seniors. She (Nicole) has shown great

promise during our summer shootouts,” said Ward. A couple juniors will very much be in the mix for the Wildcats. Heidi Cox is a forward for the Wildcats and Terri Powell is a guard. “Heidi is a quick instinctive player that can cover a lot of ground because of the space she can cover. Terri will be needed as an outside shooter, especially after losing our 3

shooters from last year,” said Ward. The Wildcats could see a variety of different players fill their roster this year. “Because of our lack of numbers we will be using most everyone in the program at sometime during the season. The other players that can see playing time this season are: Morgan Ferryman, Madison Young, Ashley Peeples, Amber Meyer, Macey Stang, Micalah Hensley, Kayla New and Jenna Winner,” said Ward. With the departure of some key players to grad-

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uation the Wildcats anticipate some early growing pains — but Ward is quick to point out that the way his team responds will be critical this year. “We will be a young team looking to replace our scoring from last year,” Ward said. “If we can survive early growing pains and the players buy into how hard we will have to work and play we will see tremendous improvement this season. “Our success will depend on finding those players who are going to step up and score this season.”



Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Russia boys return talented group Francis will be multi-dimensional player BY TONY ARNOLD Civitas Media


Ashley Brochers chases the ball against Troy Christian.

Lady Raiders hope for memorable year Russia coach expects big things BY TONY ARNOLD Civitas Media RUSSIA — Allan King enters his third year as the varsity girls coach at Russia and this year promises to be a memorable one. The Raiders have experience by the buckets — as they were crowned the Division IV District champions a season ago with no seniors on the roster. Last year marked the first district title in 11 years for the Russia girls. “We expect to continue to build the foundation of a successful program, something these seniors were charged with as sophomores when I came to Russia,” King said. “Our effort and attention to detail will determine our success in doing so. “The keys for us taking the next step will be to improve in three main areas, rebounding, turnover margin, and scoring.” Russia fills the roster with a formidable bunch. Senior post player Shana Meyer is a twoyear starter who averaged 6.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, and an impressive 1.3 blocked shots a season ago. Senior guard Ashley Borchers tossed in 6.0 a game, grabbed 4.6 boards, and swatted 1.4 shots, and recorded 1.9 steals a season ago. “Shana and Ashley are a pair of seniors with the ability to score, rebound, and play defense,” King said. “Shana and Ashley are solid leaders. They do the work in the offseason, they come and practice hard every day and they always show up on game day. “They do most of their leading by example, which is the best kind.” A big lift this season will be the return of senior Bethany York — a powerful post player and excellent defender for the Raiders. After missing all of last season due to injury York returns this season. A couple seasons ago as a sophomore — York was an All-District performer while leading the Raiders in points, rebounds, steals, and blocked shots. “It will be interesting to see how Bethany fits into this group,” King said. “The last time she played two years ago we were a completely different team. “She only really had the opportunity to play about a week with this group

2012-2013 RUSSIA GIRLS BASKETBALL SCHEDULE Date H/A Opponent Time Nov. 23 H Sidney 7:30 Nov. 24 H Mississinawa Valley 7:00 Nov. 27 A Botkins* 7:30 H Jackson Center* 2:30 Dec. 1 A Anna* 7:30 Dec. 6 H Marion Local 2:30 Dec. 8 Fort Loramie* 7:30 Dec. 13 H Fairlawn* 2:30 Dec. 15 A Dec. 20 H Houston* 7:30 Dec. 22 A New Knoxville 2:30 Dec. 27 A WPTW Holiday Classic TBA Dec. 28 A WPTW Holiday Classic TBA Jan. 8 A Jackson Center* 7:30 Jan. 12 A Minster 2:30 Jan. 17 A Fort Loramie* 7:30 Jan. 19 A Versailles 2:30 Jan. 21 H Botkins* 7:30 Jan. 24 H Fairlawn* 7:30 Jan. 28 A Covington 7:00 Jan. 31 A Houston* 7:30 Feb. 2 H Franklin Monroe 2:30 Feb. 5 H Anna* 7:30 * denotes SCL game last year, and it was so early on it is hard to tell how things will shake out. “She has yet to practice with this group and I am really anxious to see how her athleticism and abilities mesh with those on the court. I think it opens up options for us all over the court and I plan on doing some things to highlight her abilities.” Also returning for the Raiders is junior Camille Puthoff who serves as a steady point guard for Russia. Puthoff was a second team All-SCL performer last season averaging 8.0 points, 4.5 assists, 1.6 steals, and 4.0 rebounds a game. “Camille has been our starting point guard since a few games into her freshmen year,” King said. “In our system we ask a lot of her. We give her no help against pressure and just expect her to make plays. “She has grown so much in her first two years and I see her growing even more this season. “She has the ability to be one of the best point guards in our area. I think this year you will really see her come into her own making plays for others as well as herself. I think she is a player to watch this season.” Last year’s leading scorer is also back for the Blue and Gold. Sophomore Kylie Wilson was a source of consis-

tency last season, starting every-game and producing some glossy numbers. Wilson tallied an average of eleven points and seven rebounds a game. “Kylie jumped out to a great start last year and by six to seven games into our season everyone keyed on her inside,” King said. “She saw double teams, denials, etc. from that point on. It slowed her scoring down some but I think it really helped her learn the game as a whole and she will be better off for it. “She will have a target on her back in every game for the next 3 years, but I feel like she is used to it at this point and has learned how to have success in spite of it.” Sophomore Taylor Daniel saw varsity action in every game a season ago and averaged 4.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, and a pair of assists last year. King points to a Claire Sherman and Claudia Monnin as a couple of players who played key roles coming off the bench a season ago as being players pushing for playing time. “It is great to have a large group returning because you feel like you have a jumping off point for the season,” King said. “However I’ve learned in the past that each year is independent of the past and even if you have the same players that dynamics on a team change from year to year.”

RUSSIA — Raider head coach Paul Bremigan lost six seniors from last year’s team that finished 14-9 and advanced to the Division IV district final. However, Russia returns plenty of solid performers including three letter-winners and a deep roster of players competing for minutes at the varsity level. Leading the way among the returning players is Treg Francis, a second team all county performer a season ago. Francis tallied 13.1 a game while canning 38 triples in the regular season. “Treg will have to be multi-dimensional for us this year,” Bremigan said. “We know that he will be the focal point of opponents defenses and he realizes that he will have to help us in all parts of the game and be a leader for us. Treg’s ability to lead by example will be important to us this year.” Trevor Sherman returns for the Raiders after running the offense a season ago at the point guard position. “He will be used in that spot again this year but will also be playing on the p e r i m e t e r,” B r e m i g a n said. “We are looking for Trevor to continue to be a good defender and a leader on the floor. The experience he gained last year will help us tremendously.” Bryce Dues returns for the Raiders as an athletic player with plenty of capabilities. Dues, is a versatile threat for the Raiders with the ability to play strong in the paint but also flexible enough to roam the perimeter for the Blue and Gold. “Bryce is an athletic kid with exceptional jumping ability and has good court sense,” Bremigan said. “He is able to guard the perimeter as well as the post. His post presence is important to us this year.” The Raiders should feature plenty of depth and a number of players competing for minutes on the varsity team. Senior Austin Gariety is a player Bremigan describes as a good shooter who had a good summer before his final year. “He’s a hard worker that wants to make the most of his senior season. We are hoping he can help us on the boards and also on defense,” said Bremigan of Gariety. The Raider roster includes four juniors who could be critical to the success of the Raiders. Isaiah Counts had elbow surgery in July and his status still remains unsure. “Isaiah is a good aggressive defender who plays hard,” Bremigan said. “We are hoping he gets to play this year. His aggressive style would really help us.” Classmate Chase Hammonds has shown a demonstrated capability to shoot from outside for the Raiders. “Chase is a good shooter and aggressive defender. His shooting can help us when we see zone from opponents,” said Bremigan. Additionally, the Raiders are looking to lean on Kyle Poling — particularly when it comes to post play and battling for boards. “Kyle is a very good rebounder who is also physical. With our lack of size


Treg Francis returns for the Russia boys.

2012-2013 RUSSIA BOYS BASKETBALL SCHEDULE Date H/A Opponent Time Dec. 1 H St. Henry 8:00 Dec. 4 A Botkins* 7:30 Dec. 7 H Jackson Center* 8:00 Dec. 8 A Minster 8:00 Dec. 11 A Anna* 7:30 Dec. 14 H Fort Loramie* 8:00 Dec. 18 H Houston* 7:30 Dec. 21 A Fairlawn* 8:00 Dec. 27 A WPTW Holiday Classic TBA Dec. 28 A WPTW Holiday Classic 8:00 Jan. 5 H Ansonia 8:00 Jan. 11 H Botkins* 8:00 Jan. 12 A Catholic Central 7:30 Jan. 18 A Jackson Center* 8:00 Jan. 19 A New Bremen 8:00 Jan. 22 H Anna* 7:30 Jan. 25 A Fort Loramie* 8:00 Jan. 26 A Versailles 8:00 Feb. 1 H Fairlawn* 8:00 Feb. 8 A Houston* 8:00 Feb. 12 H Newton 7:30 Feb. 16 H Marion Local 7:30 * denotes SCL game this year, he could definitely help us,” said Bremigan. Austin Tebbe is a player who plays with plenty of energy and has the ability to play a either the wing or post position for the Raiders. “He makes a lot of hustle plays that make a difference in a game. He is a tough kid who plays with a lot of heart,” said Bremigan. Nolan Francis and Adam Hoying are a pair of sophomore players on the varsity roster this year. Francis has proven to be a capable ball handler while Hoying provides versatility. “Nolan is a good ball handler who gets to the basket quickly,” Bremigan said. “He is also a good shooter which is a good inside out combination for us. He will play point or wing for us this year.

“Adam is a smart player who can play inside or out. He will play post for us this year and has really improved from last year. “He is a good defender with the ability to guard posts and wings.” Despite losing six players to graduation – an upand-coming roster provides Russia with depth again this year. “I usually like to play a lot of players. This will create a great atmosphere for improvement. We don’t have much size but will be able to use our quickness and athleticism at both ends of the floor. Our posts are athletic kids. A lot depends on how well we rebound and defend. I think the Shelby County League will be improved this year and very competitive with Jackson Center being the favorite,” concluded Bremigan.



Wednesday, November 21, 2012




Trelissa Lavy returns for the Newton girls

Newton girls lack experience Hans sees bright future PLEASANT HILL — It’s Neal Hans’ first year as Newton girls head coach. But Hans, who served as the schools head boys coach for five years and has spent the last two seasons as a girls assistant to Ken Ford, is no stranger to Newton basketball. In his debut as girls coach, he will be coaching a group that has little varsity experience collectively. The nucleus of the team, however, does consist of a few upperclassmen and a bevy of with underclassmen promising potential. “We’re pretty young,” Hans said. “We’ve got some good girls coming up through the program. “If we can keep them all in the program, I mean we got six sophomores and seven freshmen, we only have four girls in the upper two grades, we should be able to compete.” The Indians most experienced player is senior point guard Trista Lavy, while seniors Marissa Kleman and Kasey Thompson also bring experience to the table. “Trista basically has handled the point since the middle of her freshman year,” Hans said. “So she’s really experienced at the point guard position. She’s a good ball handler. “We can count on her and Marissa Kleman to be good senior leaders because they have more time on varsity. Both will provide good leadership for the team.” Still, with a slew of young players, Hans expects playing time to be up for grabs. Sophomore Trelissa Lavy, who split time between JV and varsity last season, is one of those vying for a spot in the top

seven. Hans said sophomore Madison Tebics is expected to be the teams defensive-stopper. “She’s a defensive wiz,” Hans said. “She is tough on defense. She’s not big, she is small — but as quick as can be. She will give people trouble on ‘D’. “She also can be one of our better offensive players too.” Those in contention for playing time in the post are Megan Rutledge and Allison Wise. Rounding out the girls who could see time in the rotation are sophomore Laura Burden, who Hans said “could be a good player for us”, junior guard Halee Mollette and Madison Mollette. Hans hopes his team can gain experience and winning habits going against the always competitive Cross County Conference, which includes good teams from top-to-bottom, including Covington, Tri Village and Miami East, who finished as Division III regional runnerup last year. “Miami East has got to be the front runner,” Hans said. “They are so big. Tri Village lost a really good player, but they still have a lot of good girls in the program. Those two are definitely the class of the league. “I think we can compete with everybody. I think we’re going to win our share. We’ll have to try to get up and down the floor and put pressure on people. “If we aren’t successful at those two things, we probably won’t be performing at the level we’re capable of. I hope we’re in the upper-third of our league.” The Indians get a shot at CCC competition right away, hosting the Bradford Railroaders on Nov. 23 to open the season.

2012-2013 NEWTON GIRLS BASKETBALL SCHEDULE Date H/A Opponent Nov. 23 H Bradford Nov. 27 A Troy Christian Nov. 29 A Tri-Village* Dec. 1 H Xenia Christian Dec. 4 A Northridge Dec. 6 H Ansonia* Dec. 8 H Dixie Dec. 13 A Bethel* Dec. 20 H Miami East* Dec. 22 A Covington* Dec. 27 A National Trail* Jan. 3 H Tri-County North* Jan. 5 A Fairlawn Jan. 8 A Stivers Jan. 10 A Twin Valley South* Jan. 17 A Bradford* Jan. 19 A Houston Jan. 24 H Franklin Monroe* Jan. 29 H Arcanum* Jan. 31 H Mississinawa Valley Feb. 2 H Covington Feb. 5 H Milton-Union * denotes CCC game

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Getting Daniel Vance healty will be a key for the Newton boys basketball team.

Newton boys looking ‘C’ word Fisher says confidence will be key for Indians BY COLIN FOSTER Civitas Media PLEASANT HILL — Having been around basketball for as long as he has, Newton coach Steve Fisher — who has also coached at Covington and won a Division IV State title at Bethel in 2003? — has learned a thing or two about winning games. One key aspect that he knows about winning is that it starts with confidence, and that’s something Fisher wants his players to grasp going forward. “The first thing we need to do is develop confidence,” Fisher said. “I mean we talked about changing the culture at Newton — and I think confidence to win is the first thing we really need to develop.” And with several seniors back, including threeyear starting point guard Daniel Vance, this may be the group to get Newton in contention again. Vance has been bothered by a knee injury that he suffered during soccer season. He is expected to be back soon enough, and Fisher hopes he can pick right up where he left off during the summer. “He had a really, really good summer,” Fisher said. “I thought he was one of the best players in the area during the summer and I thought he was the best player at our team camp. I feel he’s really starting to take on the leadership role. “He was going to be a focal point of offense, but we haven’t had him during preseason. I think he’s really going to be a big boost when he gets back.” The other key seniors are Bobby Gerodimos, who has started for three years, Cole Adams, who also has starting experience, and David Brauer.

“Those four kids have really got to step up and play,” Fisher said. “If we’re going to have a good season, which were capable of having, these four need to take charge and lead. “Cole had a really good summer. “He was probably the second best player for us during the summer. He also needs to work on his consistency. “Bobby struggled with some knee issues when he was younger. “But I think with those two, how good we are really depends on how they develop consistency. They have shown flashes in the last two years, but just need to show consistency.” The Indians also have a senior in 6-foot-5 post player Branden Walters. “He has lots of potential,” Fisher said. “He’s big and he gives us a post presence. I think he will be hard to guard in the post. He just needs to convince himself he can be a big contributor for us.” Junior Ryan Hines will start for the Indians, and gives the team an element they haven’t had in a while. “Ryan finally gives us someone who can spread the floor and make people guard the perimeter,” Fisher said. “He’s a very, very good shooter on the perimeter.” While Vance has been out, freshman Brady McBride and junior Tyler Filbrun have been splitting the duties at point. The duo has performed well in Vance’s absence, and Fisher thinks they will both be solid contributors this season. “Brady is a really good shooter and a good ball handler. He’s done a good job filling in, but he’s just a freshman. “I think he will be excellent player for us as year progresses. Tyler Filbrun

has had a very nice preseason. He has been a pleasant surprise for us. He played really well in first scrimmage. “But once we get Vance back, I think those guys can come off bench.” Fisher thinks this team has more depth than Newton squads in the past. And having more depth this season will allow the Indians to play the style Fisher wants to play. “We would like to get the ball down the floor faster and be more of an

uptempo team,” Fisher said. “We felt last year that we just kind of banged our heads up against the wall and were forced to play in the half court. We just weren’t good enough to run last year. “This year we’ll run some zone and a little man to man. We would like to pressure certain teams, because now we can go seven or eight deep, and we haven’t been able to do that the last few years.”

2012-2013 NEWTON BOYS BASKETBALL SCHEDULE Date H/A Opponent Dec. 1 A Houston Dec. 7 A Mississinawa Valley* Dec. 8 H Lehman Catholic Dec. 14 A Franklin Monroe* Dec. 15 H Fairlawn Dec. 18 H Bradford Dec. 21 A Arcanum* Dec. 22 A Covington Dec. 29 H Dixie Jan. 4 H Twin Valley South* Jan. 5 A Xenia Christian Jan. 11 A Tri-County North* Jan. 15 H National Trail* Jan. 18 A Miami East* Jan. 19 H Stivers Jan. 25 H Covington* Feb. 1 H Bethel* Feb. 2 H Milton-Union Feb. 8 A Ansonia* Feb. 9 A Bradford* Feb. 12 A Russia Feb. 15 H Tri-Village* * denotes CCC game

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012


East boys hit hard by graduation Vikings strength will be inside BY JOSH BROWN Civitas Media CASSTOWN — Miami East will spend the early part of the season dealing with loss. The loss of a talented senior class that had been key to who the Vikings were. The Vikings graduated five seniors — three of them three-year starters — and lost a lot of ball handling, shooting and scoring in the process, leaving three returning players this season that will be leaned on heavily for their talent and experience. How the Vikings move on without Gunner Shirk — who was the team MVP the past two seasons — point guard Josh Snyder and shooter Bradley Coomes, as well as roleplayers Colton Bowling and Luke Clark, will define how well they play this season. “We lost a tremendous senior class, and a lot of guards,” Miami East coach Allen Mack said. “Gunner was our leading scorer and team MVP two years in a row, Josh has been the team’s point guard and Bradley led us in field goal percentage. They led us in a lot of ways.” And that leadership took the Vikings far, too — they went 21-3 last sea-

2012-2013 MIAMI EAST BOYS BASKETBALL SCHEDULE Date H/A Opponent Northwestern Nov. 30 A Dec. 4 A Oakwood A Tri-County North* Dec. 7 National Trail* Dec. 14 A Covington* Dec. 21 H Dec. 22 H Lehman Catholic Versailles Tournament Dec. 28 A Versailles Tournament Dec. 29 A A Bethel* Jan. 4 Jan. 5 A Troy Christian Jan. 11 H Ansonia* Tri-Village* Jan. 15 A Jan. 18 H Newton* Jan. 19 H Twin Valley South* Jan. 25 A Mississinawa Valley* Jan. 26 H Fairlawn Feb. 1 H Franklin Monroe* A Graham Feb. 2 Feb. 8 A Bradford* H Troy Feb. 9 Milton-Union Feb. 12 A Feb. 15 H Arcanum* * denotes CCC game son, were Cross County Conference champions for the second straight year and reached the district championship game, where they lost to eventual state champion Summit Country Day. “It was our second straight undefeated run through the CCC, and the district final was a strong game for us to close out on,” Mack said. That was a game that we led at halftime. They were just a lit-

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tle better.” And while the Vikings said goodbye to most of their experienced guards, their returners’ strength is definitely on the inside. Garrett Mitchell — a 6foot-4 senior — will move out to the wing position and will be looked at to provide a bit of everything — especially veteran leadership — and 6-3 sophomore A.J. Hickman returns after starting in the post as a freshman.


A.J. Hickman returns in the post for Miami East. Also returning is 6-4 junior Luke House, who was the first player off the bench last season. “We have players to build around,” Mack said. “Garrett will move out to wing and hopefully provide scoring, ballhandling, defense — he’s very versatile, and he’ll have to do it all. He was also the CCC Player of the Year during baseball season, so he’s just a great athlete. “A.J. can stretch a defense and be one of our better outside shooters in

addition to his skills inside. “Both he and Garrett shot better than 50 percent from the field last season. All three of those guys have capabilities both inside and outside.” Beyond those three, though, it will be an open competition for playing time that is still ongoing. Seniors Michael Harmon and Kevin Jackson will compete for time in the post, while fellow senior Ross Snodgrass will compete for time at guard. Junior Franco Villella

and freshman Brandon Mack will be vying for the point guard position, and sophomores Conner Hellyer, Nick Beard and Zack Ostendorf and freshman Braxton Donaldson will add depth to the roster. “We have a lot of new faces, so we’ll rely heavily on our veterans, our two returning starters, for leadership, scoring, rebounding … and the other guys will all be looking to compete and contribute,” Mack said. “Hopefully our experience and having some of our top guys coming back will help carry us.” And with the strength of the CCC this season, a three-peat will be a tall order for the Vikings. “Tri-Village lost to Jackson Center in overtime in the district final last year the night after us, and they only lost one senior,” Mack said. “They’re a team that’s pushing hard to compete at the top of the league. “And Covington returns its top eight or nine guys and has a lot of experience, Franklin Monroe returns four of its five starters, Bethel returns its top two scorers and Twin Valley South, we beat them in overtime in the last game of the season, and they’ll be in contention. “We’re going to have our work cut out for us, that’s for sure.”

No break needed for Lady Vikings Miami East girls ready to take care of unfinished business BY JOSH BROWN Civitas Media CASSTOWN — The day after the Miami East volleyball team won its state championship, the players were told that they could take a few days off before going to basketball practice. The next day, they were on the practice court. "That's just the type of kids they are," Miami East girls basketball coach Preston Elifritz said. "They want more." After a run to the regional championship game last season, the Vikings have the potential to claim the hardware in another sport. And after losing no seniors off of that team that went 24-2 last season, including a Cross County Conference title, Miami East knows that its goal is within reach. "That feeling is contagious," Elifritz said. "They know the potential we have, and they want to be a part of that. “They know we're going to have to work for it this year. We're going to have to fight tooth and nail for every point we get. We won't be surprising anyone this year. "We have a big target on our back, and we'll have to work hard. So here they are. They just got done playing 30 volleyball matches, and they showed up Monday ready for a new season." But the Vikings have become accustomed to this routine now. "Last year, it (winning a first volleyball state title) was a shock to the whole program. Not a shock that they did so well, but a shock in that we didn't get them in practice until the middle of November," Elifritz said. "We were prepared for them to do well again this year, and we had some younger girls in their absence that were able to improve on some things and get some one-

2012-2013 MIAMI EAST GIRLS BASKETBALL SCHEDULE Date H/A Opponent Nov. 24 H Vandalia-Butler Arcanum* Nov. 29 A Dec. 1 H Troy H Bradford* Dec. 6 H Fort Loramie Dec. 8 Dec. 10 H Greenon Dec. 13 A Franklin Monroe* Dec. 15 H Mississinawa Valley* Dec. 20 A Newton* Dec. 22 A Anna Dec. 27 H Tri-Village* Jan. 3 A Ansonia* Jan. 7 H Urbana Jan. 10 H Bethel* Jan. 12 A Covington* Jan. 16 A Graham Jan. 19 A Tippecanoe Jan. 24 H National Trail* Jan. 26 A Wayne Jan. 31 H Tri-County North* Feb. 2 A Versailles Feb. 7 A Twin Valley South* * denotes CCC game


Abby Cash and the Miami East girls are shooting for another big year. on-one coaching time. "Then come Monday, they were all at practice and ready to go. So it was good to see those two units gel right away." But it's not just the returning volleyball players that are bringing an attitude of success to the court. "Across the board, we have athletes coming from everywhere that have that mentality," Elifritz said. "The soccer team went to the regional last year and made it to the sectional title game this year, the cross country team went to the regional level. This entire junior and senior class has had this mentality their entire careers." And it all starts with

the senior captains, Abby Cash, Madison Linn and Leah Dunivan. "Abby does a little of everything. She's smart, talented and consistent," Elifritz said. "Leah is one of the most raw athletic individuals I've had the privilege of coaching. She's a defensive presence, and she does a lot of little things that may not get noticed. “Maddie, we asked her to play point guard last year, a role she had not played before. She a good shooter — shot 37.3 percent from 3-point range, second on the team — and distributes the ball well." Juniors Trina and Ashley Current are a force to be reckoned with in the

paint, and fellow juniors Angie Mack and Emily Kindell are deadly from the outside. "Trina averaged roughly 13 points and seven rebounds a game last year, and everyone knows about her now," Elifritz said. "The challenge for her will be taking what the defense gives her. “And Ashley is the same way inside. The both can score around the basket and rebound the ball. "Angie shot 45.3 percent from 3 last year and is a real threat outside. And Emily averaged 7.3 points per game last year, too. When she's on, she's on." Junior guard Sam Skid-

more will add depth to the team, as will seniors Tori Nuss and Hannah Davidson. The first step for the Vikings to building on last year's success will be defending their CCC title. "The league was young last year," Elifritz said. "Tri-Village is going to keep coming at you with athletes. “They may have graduated CCC Player of the Year Kayla Linkous, but she was their only senior. “And Covington has a new coach that will carry on their tradition, Bradford has got some athletes and will surprise a lot of people. There are some teams that were battling for second, third, fourth place last year that are ready to step up to the next level and compete." The Vikings also will take advantage of the two extra games this season — teams can play a 22-game schedule instead of the traditional 20-game one — picking up the team

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that knocked them out in the regional title game, Anna. "The state gave us two extra games, so we're going to look for games that will make us better," Elifritz said. "We're going to Anna — a hostile environment, a tournament atmosphere. We want to get the girls that kind of experience. We're also going to Wayne, a Division I school that will throw some bigger girls at you." Miami East's girls expect to win, and when that doesn't happen, it doesn't sit well. And they haven't forgotten what it's like to win a state title in one sport — or what it's like to come close in another. "(Losing in the regional final) definitely left a bittersweet taste in our mouth," Elifritz said. "Tying the second-best record in Miami East history, realizing how close we came … the girls say they have some unfinished business."



Wednesday, November 21, 2012



Versailles boys still Another challenge have big expectations for Lady Tigers Coming off 22-win season BY FRED HERRON Civitas Media VERSAILLES — “I’m looking forward to this season,� says Scott McEldowney, coach of the Versailles boys varsity basketball team. “We’re hoping to repeat a better last year.� McEldowney is referring to his team’s impressive 22-3 overall run last year. They also went 7-2 in the MAC and placed second overall. “We again have high expectations for the upcoming season,� McEldowney explained. “Although we lost three starters to graduation, we have four lettermen coming back, including our second-and-thirdleading scorers and rebounders: Chad Winner 14 points per game, 5 rebounds, and Kyle Ahrens 13 per game, 6 rebounds. “We also have a lot of good newcomers coming from a highly successful JV team last year. This is one of the most athletic teams we’ve had at Versailles, and we hope to again make a deep run in tournament.� In reference to the Tiger’s place in the MAC, McEldowney further explained, “The MAC will again be very difficult with Ft. Recovery, St. Henry, and Delphos St. John’s returning key players. We hope to put ourselves in this mix, along with all the other highly competitive teams in the conference.�

2012-2013 VERSAILLES BOYS BASKETBALL SCHEDULE Date H/A Opponent Dec. 1 A Celina H New Bremen* Dec. 7 Dec. 8 H Covington Dec. 14 A New Knoxville* Dec. 21 A Lehman Catholic Dec. 28 H Versailles Tournament Dec. 29 H Versailles Tournament H Parkway* Jan. 4 Jan. 5 A Fort Loramie Jan. 11 A St. Henry* Jan. 12 H Mississinawa Valley Fort Recovery* Jan. 18 H Tippecanoe Jan. 19 A Marion Local* Jan. 25 A Jan. 26 H Russia Feb. 1 H Coldwater* H Franklin Monroe Feb. 2 Feb. 8 H Delphos St. John’s* A Ansonia Feb. 9 Feb. 15 A Minster* Greenville Feb. 16 A * denotes MAC game This will be McEldowney’s seventh year as head coach of the Varsity Boys basketball team, so he no doubt has a good handle on the Tiger’s potentials this season. McEldowney has been at Versailles for 23 years where he was the freshman coach for two years, Junior Varsity coach for twelve years, and than a varsity assistant for two more years. In fact, McEldowney seems to have been about basketball for most of his life. One year out of High School, he played at Edison, and then started coaching the second year.

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One change to McEldowney’s staff this year is the loss of one of his two Michael assistants, Bashere. Bashere took on a head-coaching job over at Greenville. McEldowney has decided to remain with only one assistant, Kevin Ahrens. “The kids are typically self motivated,� McEldowney said. He tries to get the kids to “stay positive on the floor the whole time� and to “try not to show negative emotion. To put the team before self. “We’ve got really hard See VERSAILLES/Page 6

T o w n

Versailles girls ready for always-tough MAC BY FRED HERRON Civitas Media Stonebraker, Jacki Coach of the varsity girls basketball squad at Versailles, believes, “it will be another tough race for any team to stay undefeated in the MAC. New Knoxville, Minster, and Marion Local should be at the top! (We) lost one senior, a shooting guard, from the outside, but I think we have some girls that can step up.� Namely, Danielle Langston. This will be Stonebraker’s 10th year as head coach. She emphasizes to her players to “play with an aggressive attitude. Never say die.� She said that when playing every game in the MAC, “you have to have to have a determined attitude or you’ll get beat.� However, even though Stonebraker emphasizes this tough and determined, “never say die� attitude on the court, she strongly emphasized that the team’s attitude is also “very family oriented,� that they are “like sisters. They do a lot together.� Stonebraker went on to say that “getting along off the court can help the on the court,� and that the “coaching staff does a lot to develop the whole kid, and do a lot for the community.� When it comes to the Lady Tigers strengths and areas that need improvement, Stonebraker commented, “we are very versatile this year. “We hope to improve defensively and play with more pressure.�

S p o r t s

2012-2013 VERSAILLES GIRLS BASKETBALL SCHEDULE Date H/A Opponent Nov. 23 A Celina Tournament Celina Tournamet Nov. 24 A Nov. 29 A Tippecanoe Dec. 1 A Covington Dec. 6 A New Bremen* Dec. 8 H Arcanum Dec. 11 A Franklin Monroe Dec. 13 H New Knoxville* Dec. 18 H Lima Bath Dec. 20 H Minster* Dec. 29 A Fort Loramie Jan. 3 A Parkway* Jan. 10 H St. Henry* Lehman Catholic Jan. 12 H Fort Recovery* Jan. 17 A Jan. 19 H Russia Jan. 24 H Marion Local* Greenville Jan. 26 H Jan. 31 A Coldwater* Feb. 2 H Miami East Feb. 7 A Delphos St. John’s* Feb. 9 A Jackson Center * denotes MAC game She said that they needed to work on their post play. “They are going to “concentrate on getting the ball inside. She also hopes to improve her squads outside shooting. Stonebraker’s emphasis will be on keeping the midrange game, those twelve to fourteen foot shots, going strong. “We’re really strong there.� Stonebraker mentioned that sometimes the girls will want to go all out and try to shoot 3-point buckets. But Stonebraker feels that those mid-range shots are where they are

M e d i c i n e

strong and can garner more potential points. Additionally, Stonebraker will focus on “a lot of posts.� Last year was a good season for the Lady Tigers, even though they were knocked out early in the tournament. They went 14-7 overall and 5-4 in the MAC. As to their disappointing tournament showing, Stonebraker said that it was “one of those upsets when you show up not ready to play.� But even with such a good season, Stonebraker commented that the See TIGERS/Page 4

T e a m

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PDC Winter Sports Preview 2012  

PDC Winter Sports Preview 2012

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