Monroeville junior and two-time state champ Chris Phillips
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Boys Basketball Preview
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Is this the deepest Ohio hoops has ever been? You be the judge but here’s the evidence: a complete look at the state’s top talent and teams
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Ohio High Magazine is published online nine times a year and also produces an online and hard copy issue in July (Football Preview/Year in Review). Ohio High is an independent source of news and features relating to Ohio high school sports. Ohio High strives to report information based on fact, but assumes no responsability for any inaccuracies that may appear. Ohio High is not authorized, sponsored or sanctioned by any university, athletic conference or athletic governing body. Subscriptions are available and may be purchased online at jjhuddle.com. c Copyright 2009, Ohio High Magazine and MVP Magazine, LLC. All rights reserved. COVER PHOTO: Gary Housteau
24 Girls Basketball Preview 28 Wrestling Preview
A look at Ohio’s returning state champions and state placers and 10 storylines to follow this winter
Despite losing the services of PG Juwan Staten (with ball, now at Oak Hill Academy), Dayton Thurgood Marshall is a team with the talent to get back to Columbus.
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Boys Basketball Preview
STORY BY KURT STUBBS (OHSHOOPS.COM)
Boys Basketball 2009-10 Preview
Talent Overload: Ohio H.S. Hoops Is As Strong As Ever
This is the year to be a Buckeye when it comes to Boys H.S. Hoops; Here are the teams to watch...and some sleepers DIVISION I COLUMBUS NORTHLAND 2008-2009 Record: (27-1) *Division I State Champion. Head Coach: James “Satch” Sullinger (10th year @ school) League: Columbus City League Returning Starters: Jared Sullinger (6-9, Sr., 19.9 ppg., 13 rpg); James “JD” Weatherspoon (6-6, Sr., 17.0 ppg); Trey Burke (6-0, Jr., 10.0 ppg./7.5 apg) Others in the mix: Jordan Potts (5’10)- Sophomore; KeChaun Lewis (6’3)Sophomore; Jakyl Cornley (6’2)- Junior; Jalen Robinson (6-7, So., transfer from Westerville South); Devon Scott (6’7)- Sophomore; LaVonte Justice (5’10)- Junior; Roberto Pierre (6’2)- Junior OHSH on Columbus Northland: The Columbus Northland Vikings return three starters, but appear on paper, deeper and more talented than last season’s (27-1) squad. Since the high school arrival of Jared Sullinger and JD Weatherspoon, both Ohio State signees, the Vikings are (73-3) with two district, one regional, and one state championship. Sullinger and Weatherspoon are attempting to become the first players to ever go four-straight years and never lose a game in the Columbus City League. This is a very impressive feat to say the least. Northland’s three losses over the years are to Newark, Westerville South, and Canton Timken. The Vikings will have a chance to avenge last year’s only loss when Timken travels to Columbus on January 30. Most people are already asking what team will finish runner-up and it would be easy for OHSH to say the same seeing most of the Northland kids numerous times over the spring, summer, and fall. However, we are still dealing with high school kids, and anything can and usually does happen. However, we would be naïve to not say the Vikings aren’t a heavy favorite considering they encompass three D1 commits already including arguably the best player in the country in Sullinger. We could go on and on about Sullinger in regards to his ability, but there is really nothing that hasn’t been said before. He is the most fundamentally sound big we have seen in years and perhaps the most dominant rebounder on the offensive and defensive boards witnessed in Ohio in years. The “Big Smooth” has dropped quite a bit of weight and now shoots the ball off the catch and dribble like a top-notch guard. The big man can put the ball on the floor comfortably giving the Vikings another ball handler. Behind Lebron James, Sullinger along with O.J. Mayo and Bill Walker are the most dominant players of this decade. The one thing that gets lost in all of the hype and offensive fire power is Northland’s ability to get the job done on defense and control the glass. Look for much of the same with a daunting front line in Sullinger, Weatherspoon, Robinson, and Scott. The big thing is all of the kids have improved since last season, and did not get complacent. For those that haven’t seen a game since last March, Trey Burke won’t even look like the same player. The Penn State commit has got-
Princeton senior Jordan Sibert will look to lead the Vikings back to the D-I state tournament.
Photo by Gary Housteau
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Boys Basketball Preview OHIO HOOPSTARS Players You Want To See Dunks, 3-pointers, blocks, rebounds, you name it. These guys do it:
(no particular order)
1. Griffin McKenzie, Sr. (Cin. Moeller/Xavier) 2. Jordan Sibert, Sr. (Princeton/Ohio St.) 3. Xavier Jones, Sr. (HH Wayne) 4. Kenny Kaminski, So. (Medina) 5. Elijah Macon (Col. Marion Franklin) 6. Ralph Hill, Sr. (Westerville North/Dayton) 7. Jared Sulinger, Sr. (Northland/Ohio St.) 8. J.D. Weatherspoon, Sr. (Northland/Ohio St.) 9. Mark Henniger, Sr. (Mass. Jackson/Kent St.) 10. Craig Sealy, Brookhaven, Sr. (BGSU) 11. Cameron Black, Kent Roosevelt, Sr. (BGSU) 12. A.J. Pacher, Vandalia Butler, Sr. (Wright St.)
1. Cameron Wright, Sr.(Benedictine/Pitt) 2. Nick Kellogg, Sr. (Col. DeSales/Ohio) 3. Geron Johnson, Sr. (Dayton Dunbar) 4. Jakarr Sampson, Jr. (Akron SVSM) 5. Niko Fatimus, Sr. (Poland/Clarion) 6. Courtney Avery, Sr. (Lexington/Michigan FB) 7. Cody Smith, Sr. (Lima Shawnee/Hillsdale) 8. Greg Gainey, Sr. (Thurgood Marshall) 9. Quentin Rollins, Sr. (Wilmington/Miami, Ohio) 10. Adam Blake, Sr. (Logan Elm) 11. Maurice Taylor, Jr. (Libbey) 12. Brian Harp, Sr. (Minerva)
1. Aaron Craft, Sr. (Liberty-Benton/Ohio St.) 2. Anton Grady, Jr. (Cleveland CC) 3. Adolphus Washington, So. (Taft) 4. Blake Justice, Sr. (Peebles) 5. Brook Turson, Sr. (Plymouth/Robert Morris) 6. Paul Honigford, Jr. (Garaway) 7. Eric LeFeld, Sr. (Coldwater/Cincinnati FB) 8. Derek Billing, Sr. (Anna/Lake Superior) 9. Jalen Billups, Jr. (Cincinnati Shroder) 10. Shawn Flemming, Sr. (Dayton Northridge) 11. Andy Stegman, Jr. (Wheelersburg) 12. Kyle Ondera, Sr. (Oak Hill)
1. Adreian Payne, Sr. (Day. Jefferson/Mich. St.) 2. Greg Kahlig, Sr. (Fort Recovery/Findlay) 3. Dylan Kaufman, So. (Berlin Hiland) 4. Ryan Vanderhorst, Sr. (New Knoxville/Walsh) 5. Jake Davis, Sr. (Cincinnati Seven Hills) 6. Mark Frilling, Sr. (Fort Loramie/Findlay) 7. Josh Lee, Sr. (Pandora-Gilboa) 8. JP McFarland, Sr. (South Charleston SE) 9. Matt Dawson, Sr. (Newark Catholic) 10. Cody Latimer, Sr. (Dayton Jefferson) 11. Kris Tibbs, Sr. (WW Symmes Valley) 12. Jordan Basinger, Sr. (Kalida)
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ten bigger and stronger allowing his game to evolve leaps and bounds. The 6-foot guard has the ability to take over a game against any guard in the state. Weatherspoon keeps getting better improving his outside shot and overall game to go along with being one of the best dunkers in the state, while Robinson’s foot work is second to none when it comes to young bigs. Scott has improved steadily as well. Sophomore guard Jordan Potts should comfortably move into one of the starting spots after playing huge minutes in last year’s tournament. Potts was a big reason Northland withstood a stiff test from Westerville North in the district final. Potts doesn’t crack under pressure and is a real bulldog on the floor. He suffered an injury towards the end of summer, therefore, using most of the fall to get back into playing shape. Robinson, Potts, and Scott all have at least one D1 offer. Cornley and Lewis both bring great athleticism to the table and could be real x-factors. Lewis was more of a spot-up shooter last year, but look for him to put the ball on the floor a lot more this season. OHSH would be shocked if Northland wasn’t playing the last game of the season, but that is why we play the games. What the coach is saying: “We are expected to return and defend the state championship,” said assistant coach Victor Dandridge. “Newcomer Jalen Robinson (6’7) and returnee Devon Scott (6’7) provide a lot of depth in the post for us. Jordan Potts and KeChaun Lewis return a year wiser and better after making solid contribution as freshmen in last year’s tournament run. Trey Burke returns has the consummate floor general and JD Weatherspoon is back after a magnificent final four and championship game. All of this plus the return of Mr. Basketball in Jared Sullinger should make this team even more talented than last season’s state championship team.” WARREN HARDING 2008-2009 Record: (23-3) *Lost to Columbus Northland 73-59 in state semis. Head Coach: Steve Arnold (8th year @ school) League: Independent **Lake Erie next year Returning Starters: Tre’ Brown (6’4)- Junior; Fred Williams (6’0)- Senior; Angel Gonzalez (6’5)Senior Others in the mix: O’neal Brown (6’7)- Senior; Kennis White (6’4)- Senior; Enique Mason (6’8)Senior; Dominique Murray (6’3)- Senior; Shaheed Davis (6’8)- Sophomore OHSH on Warren Harding: We will have to wait and see how the brackets are set up, but Harding certainly has a great chance to return to Columbus. WH will be in the same district with Cleveland Heights, Cleveland St. Ignatius, Garfield Heights, and Shaker Heights. The Raiders lost the phenomenal Desmar Jackson and Sheldon Brogdon to graduation, but have benefitted from Washington High School (IN) transfer Kennis White and Brownsburg High School (IN) transfer Enique Mason. White, a 6-foot-4 senior, has committed to Western Michigan and Mason, a 6-foot-8 senior, has recently committed to Texas-Pan American. Those two will join returning starters Fred Williams, Angel Gonzalez, and Tre’ Brown. All three are D1 recruits.
Also back is part-time starter O’Neal Brown along with substituting Dominique Murray and potential filled sophomore Shaheed Davis. The Raiders have all the intangibles needed to make a long tournament run. Lakewood St. Edward’s and Harding has been the usual regional match up for a trip to the state tournament the past two years and this year could be no different. What the coach is saying: “Our objectives have not changed at all we want to win every game,” Arnold mentioned. “Once you win the district, then it is just two games to the state tournament. That is kind of the way we look at it. We will just take it one game at a time and hope to get better each time out. We are (46-5) over the last two years and the target on our back is now a lot bigger. As coaches and a program we would not want it any other way.”
MASSILLON JACKSON 2008-2009 Record: (17-5) *Lost to North Canton Hoover 58-47 in district semis. Head Coach: Michael Fuline (5th year @ school) League: Federal League Returning Starters: Josh Egner (6-6, Sr., 14.0 ppg./9.0 rpg); Mark Henniger (6-7, Sr., 20.4 ppg., 7.3 rpg., 2 bpg); Brad Dupont (6-1, Sr., 8.8 ppg., 3.7 apg., 2.8 spg) Others in the mix: Michael Shull (5-10, Jr., 5.4 ppg); CJ Julian (6’1)- Senior; David Devine (6’1)Senior- 2.4 ppg.; Ty Graening (6’4)- Junior; Josh Henniger (6’6)- Junior; James Feller (6’4)- Junior; Nate Kanam (5’10)- Senior OHSH on Massillon Jackson: Coach Fuline was correct in saying that his team will need to value the basketball, but saying they should be competitive throughout the year may be a bit of an understatement. The Polar Bears will certainly be more than competitive, and have a real good chance to make a run to Columbus. Jackson has a terrific inside combination in Mark Henniger (Kent State) and Josh Egner (Akron) to go along with some much-improved guards starting with Brad Dupont and junior Michael Shull. Henniger quietly ends up with 20 and 10 at the end of almost every game, while Egner is more ferocious in his rebounding and high-flying dunks. Dupont, a legitimate candidate to take control of the lead guard role, has committed to D2 Wheeling Jesuit. Dupont is a gritty competitor that can really shoot the basketball. Shaw is deceivingly athletic especially with finishing in traffic using his 30-plus-inch vertical and deadly with the three-point shot off the catch and shoot. The lefty should have a breakout season. The rest of the cast will come in and play hard on defense and score when an opening arises. The Polar Bears play really well together as a unit, and if the guard play holds up, this team could be special. Jackson made the state tournament in 2001 and could be returning in 2010. They have played extremely well in scrimmages with Cleveland Benedictine and Warren Harding along with performing like a state tournament team against Akron SVSM, Brunswick, and Barberton. OHSH was able to see Jackson several times over the summer, and this team just has that feel it might do something special. What the coach is saying: “If we stay healthy and value the basketball, we should be real compet-
Boys Basketball Preview Warren Harding senior Fred Williams returns after scoring 11 points in last year’s D-I state semifinal.
Photo by Gary Housteau
itive throughout the year,” Fuline believes.
CINCINNATI PRINCETON 2008-2009 Record: (25-2) *Lost to Columbus Northland 60-58 in state finals. Head Coach: Josh Andrews (3rd year @ school) League: Greater Miami Conference Returning Starters: Jordan Sibert (6-4, Sr., 15.8 ppg., 2.8 spg); Marcus Davis (6-2, Sr., 2.7 ppg., 3.1 apg., 2.3 spg) Others in the mix: Darrien Wilkins (6-5, Sr., 5.3 ppg., 3.7 rpg); Greg Williams (6-2, Sr., 7.3 ppg, transfer from Roger Bacon); Steve Martin (5’11)Senior; Lionell Hill (6-4, Jr., 2.2 ppg, trasfer from Cincinnati Aiken); Jay McCants (6’5)- Senior; Ulysses Thomas (6’2)- Junior; Spencer Ware (5’10)- Senior; Daryan Martin (6-4, So., transfer from Roger Bacon); Allante Foster (6’3)Sophomore; Kyle Budde (6’6)- Senior; Jaihlen Teague (6’1)- Junior OHSH on Cincinnati Princeton: The Vikings are coming off a sparkling season under third-year head coach Josh Andrews advancing all the way to the state finals before losing a heart-breaker to Columbus Northland. It is well known the 27-year-old Andrews took over for the late, great Bill Brewer right before the 2007-2008 season. Brewer died of a sudden heart attack just prior to the start of the season. Andrews is 43-8 in his two years at Princeton including two district titles, one regional championship, and one state runner-up. Losing three D1 college players would be an insurmountable blow to most schools, but Princeton is filled with talent including Ohio State commit Jordan Sibert and ready to make another run. Sibert is a smooth operator that suffered a broken leg at the Boo Williams AAU event in early April. The Princeton star missed the entire spring/summer, but has recovered nicely. For Sibert, sometimes the game appears too easy for him playing with what appears to be little effort at times. He is just one of those rare talents that can let the game come to him and end up taking over when needed. Sibert is one of two starters back along with 6foot-2 senior point guard Marcus Davis. The team captain, Davis, is a LSU baseball commit. The Vikings will benefit from Cincinnati Roger Bacon transfer Greg Williams and Cincinnati Aiken transfer Lionell Hill. Both will be key contributors for Princeton. Returnees Darrien Wilkins and Steve Martin are also back and should play a much bigger role this year. The Vikings should also benefit from LSU football commit Spencer Ware, who is out for the team this year. A couple youngsters (sophomores) to look out for are Roger Bacon transfer Daryan Martin, who was part of the All-Ohio Purple 15-and-under AAU National Championship team and Allante Foster. Cincinnati has no “super” teams this year, but like most coaches in SW Ohio have told us, Princeton is still the team to beat. What the coach is saying: “We are expecting contribution from all 13 players,” Andrews believes. LAKEWOOD ST. EDWARD 2008-2009 Record: (16-7) *Lost to Warren
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Boys Basketball Preview Harding 61-57 in overtime in regional semis. Head Coach: Eric Flannery (14th year @ school) League: Independent Returning Starters: Ryan Anger (5’6)- Senior; Delbert Love (5’11)- Junior; Myles Hamilton (6’0)Sophomore; James Zach Price (6’10)- Junior Others in the mix: Matt Stainbrook (6’9)Senior; Kyle Pisco (6’0)- Junior; Mike Newton (5’10)- Sophomore; Mike Corcoran (6’0)- Senior OHSH on Lakewood St. Edward: Every year when ranking teams or concerning polls there is that one team people love because of potential, and OHSH believes St. Ed’s is that team. They are experienced but young at guard with potential college players in Delbert Love and Myles Hamilton. Though, we really believe this team will go as far as Louisville commit James Zach Price will take them. Price, the big lefty, is loaded with potential but it will have to translate to action on the floor if the Eagles are to reach their full potential. The junior will be joined by big man Matt Stainbrook on the interior. Stainbrook is really going to surprise people and should have a breakout year. St. Ed’s plays a daunting schedule as usual, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see a Warren Harding/Ed’s match up in March once again. Eric Flannery has enjoyed a lot of success in his 13 years, and year 14 should be another good one. Flannery won a state championship at Ed’s in 1998.
CINCINNATI AIKEN 2008-2009 Record: (16-8) *Lost to Cincinnati Princeton 78-65 in regional semis. Head Coach: Leon Ellison (2nd year @ school) League: Cincinnati Public League Returning Starters: Aaron Thomas (6-4, Jr., 13.6 ppg); Nick McCoy (6-1, Sr., 5.8 ppg); Gene Primus (6-1, Jr., 5.5 ppg.) Others in the mix: Kenny Knight (6’7)- Senior; Willie Moore (6’3)- Sophomore; Keron Hicks (6’2)Junior; Romel Hicks (5’7)- Senior; Femey Thompson (6’4)- Junior; L.A. Johnson (5’7)- Senior; Floyd Lee (6’8)- Sophomore; Jermaine Freeman (5’10)- Sophomore; Emanuel Nelson (6’5)- Junior OHSH on Cincinnati Aiken: We would be hardpressed to find a team in Ohio that lost a more talented player than Aiken suffered when 6-foot-7 junior Chane Behanan left for Bowling Green High (KY) this past summer. The Cincinnati soft commit averaged 16.5 points and 10 rebounds per game as a sophomore and is a Top 100 player in the Class of 2011. In addition to Behanan departing, the Falcons lost Darren Goodson to graduation and his 15.6 points per game. Goodson is a freshman at Bowling Green State University. However, Aiken isn’t feeling sorry for itself with the talent it possesses. The Falcons roster is filled with no more than five kids either committed to a D1 school or getting interest. 6-foot-7 senior Kenny Knight, a Kent State signee, will be eligible to play this season and should be a big boost to the line up. Gene Primus and Nick McCoy are both excellent defenders at the guard spots and are drawing midmajor interest. Though, the key piece to the puzzle is fast rising star Aaron Thomas. The 6-foot-4 junior will most
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likely be a high major signee before his high school career is over. The kid is flat out explosive on the offensive end of the floor. Sophomore Willie Moore, before he is done, could be one of the best guards in the state. The 6foot-3 Moore is loaded with potential and should bust out this year. Look for Aiken to be a serious threat for regional play once again and a state tournament trip is not out of the question.
LYNDHURST BRUSH 2008-2009 Record: (19-4) *Lost to Mentor 59-50 in district final. Head Coach: Jayson Macauda (7th year @ school) League: Northeast Ohio Conference- River Division Returning Starters: Nate Tait (6-0, Sr., 25.7 ppg., 6.6 rpg, 5.4 apg., 4.0 spg.); Doug Harper (511, Sr., 12.0 ppg., 3.6 apg., 2.0 spg.); Curtis Oakley (6-4, So., 12.1 ppg., 6.5 rpg.); Robert Johnson (6-4, Jr., 5.9 ppg., 3.6 rpg.) Others in the mix: Ovunda Onunwor (6’1)Senior; Pharoah Brown (6-6, So., transfer from Richmond Heights); Ste’von Williams (6-1, Jr., transfer from Lutheran East); Tu Shad Coffey (6-7, Sr.; transfer from Youngstown Chaney); Nick Strah (5-11, Jr.) OHSH on Lyndhurst Brush: The Arcs are one of the most talented team in Ohio, and OHSH’s pick for the D1 sleeper. Returning four starters along with the addition of several newcomers should make for a dynamite year. Nate Tait is one of the most versatile and exciting players in the state that can do-it-all. Doug Harper is a nice complement to Tait, while Oakley and Johnson are looking to breakout. Oakley is the nephew of former NBA rebounding star, Charles Oakley. Transfers Pharoah Brown, Ste’von Williams, and Tu Shad Coffey should add depth, size, and quickness. “Ste’von Williams is a transfer from Lutheran East who came in December of last year, but was unable to play,” Macauda said. “Williams can play!” Brush should win the league again, and mark down January 23, 2010 as a game to keep an eye on when Brush tangles with Warren Harding. This should tell us a lot about the Arcs. The Arcs will once again have to try and get by Mentor to escape the district, and they have the talent to do so. What the coach is saying: “This is a well balanced team that returns four starters and has a blend of new faces,” Macauda mentioned. “Nate Tait and Curtis Oakley bring star power while Robert Johnson, Doug Harper, Ste’von Williams, and Pharoah Brown are all tremendous athletes that can score the basketball.” HUBER HEIGHTS WAYNE 2008-2009 Record: (18-6) *Lost to Cincinnati La Salle 68-64 in district final. Head Coach: Travis Trice League: Independent **Lake Erie next year Returning Starters: Travis Trice Jr. (5-10, Jr., 15.1 ppg., 5.9 apg.); Markus Crider (6-5, Jr., 10.8 ppg., 6.3 rpg.) Others in the mix: Keith Clements (5-9, So., 3.9 ppg.); Tre’ Moore (5-10, Jr., 3.1 ppg.); Isaiah
Boddie (6-2, Jr., 2.4 ppg., transfer from TrotwoodMadison); Xavier Jones (6-3, Sr., transfer from West Side High School, Ind.); Aaron Montgomery (6-5, Sr., 5.2 ppg., 4.1 rpg., transfer from Northmont) OHSH on Huber Heights Wayne: Wayne lost a good bit from last year’s (18-6) squad, but gained a lot more. The Warriors have benefitted from transfers Xavier Jones, Isaiah Boddie, and Aaron Montgomery. Jones was one of the best players in Indiana with offers from Dayton and Marquette, and Boddie is a junior getting better and better. The Warriors add the transfers to go along with D1 recruits juniors Travis Trice and Markus Crider. Trice and Crider combine for over 25 points per game as sophomores. Trice is rated one of the top three point guards in his class, while Crider is perhaps the best wing forward in that same class. Wayne should be the conference favorite, and once the team begins to gel it will be hard to beat. SW Ohio will be filled with parody, but Wayne could be a team that steps front and center.
CINCINNATI MOELLER 2008-2009 Record: (20-3) *Lost to Cincinnati Aiken 63-59 in district final. Head Coach: Carl Kremer (19th year @ school) League: Greater Catholic League Returning Starters: Alex Barlow (5-11, Jr, 6.3 ppg., 4.4 rpg.); Charlie Byers (5-10, Jr., 7.8 ppg.); Griffin McKenzie (6-9, Sr., 9.4 ppg., 3.8 rpg., only played in nine games) Others in the mix: Josh Morelock (5-11, Sr., 4.8 ppg.); Ben Galemmo (5’10)- Sophomore; Alex Voss (6’4)- Sophomore; Tony Sabato (6’6)- Sophomore; Cody Wacker (5’10)- Junior; Shaquille Jinks (6’1)Junior OHSH on Cincinnati Moeller: Two things that are always good are apple pie and Cincinnati Moeller basketball, and this season will not be any different. The Crusaders are coming off a (20-3) season that ended with Aiken upsetting Moeller in the district final. Moeller continues to put up monster seasons year-after-year with its tough and physical play that is synonymous with GCL basketball. The only difference this year will be lack of big bodies on the interior. Griffin McKenzie is 6-foot-9, but more of a perimeter player. Coach Kremer will be counting on a lot of young but talented inside players. Moeller possesses a very talented sophomore group that went 19-1 as freshmen including outstanding guard Ben Galemmo, and bigs Alex Voss and Tony Sabato. Look for all three players to contribute heavily this year. Galemmo is a tough kid that can shoot the lights out. Look for Shaquille Jinks and Cody Wacker to add bench depth. Jinks, who is a football player, should add some toughness to the line up. The returnees are starters Alex Barlow, point guard Alex Barlow, Xavier signee Griffin McKenzie, and top sub Josh Morelock. Barlow, at 5-foot-11, plays the three spot and rebounds very well. Byers is a solid point guard, while McKenzie will try and stay healthy. The Moeller big man only played in nine contests last season due to injury. The Xavier-bound McKenzie will be a huge lift if he can stay healthy. It will be interesting to see a Moeller team with a
Boys Basketball Preview
Photo by Gary Housteau
Junior Jakarr Sampson is one of the state’s top players in his class.
10 J J H U D D L E . C O M
four guard line up as opposed to year’s past with big and physical inside players. Though, we know they will play lock down defense, box out and rebound, and pressure the ball relentlessly. If we look deeper at the numbers it becomes very clear how dominant Big ‘Moe has been. The Crusaders have enjoyed 20-plus win seasons six of the last seven years and seven in the last 11 years. Want more? Kremer’s bunch has three state championships (’99, ’03, and ’07) in 11 years and been to four state tournaments in that time frame. Moeller is (103-18) over the last five years and (208-58) over the past 11 seasons. We look for another strong year for the Crusaders in what should be a very competitive as usual GCL. “I do not see any powerhouse teams on paper in Cincinnati, but I do see a lot of good teams,” Kremer explained. “(Cincinnati) Princeton should still be listed as the top team until somebody knocks them off, and I also like (Huber Heights) Wayne out of Dayton. As for the GCL, it looks like all the teams are about even. Elder has all football kids, St. Xavier returns four starters, and La Salle should also be very good.” Interesting to note, Kremer will be entering his 19th season as head coach of Crusaders as will Joe Schoenfeld at Elder and Dan Fleming a La Salle. Scott Martin at St. Xavier will be entering his 15th campaign. What the coach is saying: “We have a nice team, but we are not elite,” Kremer believes.
WESTERVILLE NORTH 2008-2009 Record: (13-11) *Lost to Columbus Northland 59-56 in district final. Head Coach: Kevin Thuman League: Ohio Capital Conference- Cardinal Returning Starters: Ralph Hill (6-6, Sr., 19.0 ppg., 9.1 rpg., 3.1 bpg.); Bradley Nettles (5-11, Sr., 9.3 ppg., 2.4 apg., 1.5 spg.); Kenny DeBoer (6-5, Sr., 9.9 ppg., 5.1 rpg., 2.3 apg.) Others in the mix: Andrew Forrest (6’2)- Senior; Johnny Hochstetler (6’5)- Senior; Matt Rhodes (6’5)- Sophomore; Brian Chandler (6’2)- Senior; Charles Egerton (5’9) Junior; Drake Jackson (6’4)Junior; Garrett Lieb (6’3)- Junior OHSH on Westerville North: After two consecutive seasons with (3-18) records, the Warriors broke through with a (13-11) mark last season earning district runner-up honors. North came up short in the district final losing to eventual state champion, Columbus Northland (5956). The Warriors played extremely well in that game including University of Dayton signee Ralph Hill’s 25 points on 5-of-7 shooting from three-point range. The 6-foot-6 Hill was forced to the perimeter with Northland’s size on the interior, and showed his ability to knock down the triple from deep in The Barn. North lost six-straight games starting in late January before winning six-in-a-row to reach the district final. The Warriors return three starters and their top sub in Andrew Forrest. They are a senior dominated team that has a lot of experience to go along with some talented underclassmen coming off the bench including 6-foot-5 sophomore sharp-shooter Matt Rhodes.
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Boys Basketball Preview The Central District will be extremely competitive this season with a number of teams looking to make a tournament run. North doesn’t have Northland’s talent, but we like them ahead of Gahanna Lincoln, Dublin Coffman, and Upper Arlington at this point with its experience combined with good guard play and a pretty nice sized frontline. However, this could all change as the season goes along. North was very dominant against an undermanned Columbus St. Charles in its foundation game this past Friday. The Warriors started Nettles, DeBoer, Hill, Forrest, and Hochstetler giving them three starters 6-foot-5 or taller.
7 Sleepers (alphabetical order): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Brunswick Cincinnati Elder Cincinnati Winton Woods Cincinnati Withrow Cincinnati Woodward Columbus Brookhaven Kettering Fairmont
DIVISION II AKRON SVSM 2008-2009 Record: (23-4) *2009 Division II State Champions. Head Coach: Dru Joyce II (9th year @ school) League: Independent Returning Starters: Jakarr Sampson (6-8, Jr. 8.0 ppg); Davonte Beard (6-2, Jr., 6.5 ppg); Ricky Johnson Jr. (5-9, Jr., 11.1 ppg) Others in the mix: Khristian Taylor (6’2)- Junior; Lorenzo Cugini (6’5)- Sophomore; Aaron Carey (5’11)- Junior; Kameron Rubin (5’10)- Senior; Dominique Mitchell (5’10)- Senior; Treyvon Crater (6’4)- Sophomore; Oliver Hildebrandt (6’5)- Junior; Nick Wells (6’5)- Freshman OHSH on Akron SVSM: The defending D2 state champions are once again loaded for a run to Columbus. Though, if you look at the Irish roster they are loaded with juniors and sophomores and that is scary for the rest of the state. The Irish started three sophomores on last year’s team, but they will need to replace standouts Daylen Harrison and Michael Hammonds. Look for break out seasons from Sampson, Beard, Cugini, and Taylor as those were very productive in the spring and summer. Sampson is a high major recruit. Ricky Johnson Jr., who will be in his third season starting, should be the leader and the guy that will take the big shot. OHSH is still waiting to see how regional play is going to set up for a possible Benedictine/SVSM match up down the tourney trail. Coach Dru Joyce’s schedule is second to none equaling or possibly even better than Benedictines. Regardless, both have terrific games lined up and will be tournament-ready as usual. CLEVELAND BENEDICTINE 2008-2009 Record: (17-6) *Lost to Akron East 58-54 in district final. Head Coach: Rob Stircula (5th year @ school) League: Independent Returning Starters: Cameron Wright (6-4, Sr., 20.2 ppg); Derek Jackson (6-1, Sr., 19.0 ppg); Nick
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Harney (6’7)- Senior; Luke Heben (6’0)Sophomore Others in the mix: Desmond Ridenour (6’0)Sophomore Mark Williams (6’8)- Freshman; Justin Thomas (6’7)- Senior; Bryan De’Mato (6’6)- Senior; Winston Grays (5’10)- Sophomore; Westley Parr (6’6)Freshman OHSH on Cleveland Benedictine: When we look at the whole body of work that is Benedictine, it is hard to not have them ranked No. 1. We would have to go a long way to find anyone that plays a better schedule than Benedictine. The Bengals were a favorite to make the state tournament a year ago, but faltered against Akron East in the district final. However, that has only motivated the Bengals especially star player Cam Wright. He is not only been motivated by last season’s outcome, but also his de-commitment from Ohio State this past spring. Wright has now committed to Pitt. Wright along with Central Michigan commit Derek Jackson will lead the way in the backcourt. Next to Columbus Northland, Benedictine is arguably the most talented team in the state. They have a nice mixture of older talent along with some of the most heralded underclassmen in the state. Sophomore Luke Heben, Desmond Ridenour, and Winston Grays are the future in the backcourt that will join with possibly the state’s best young big man in freshman Mark Williams. Joining those four will be ultra-talented and crazy athletic freshman Westley Parr. “You name the school, and they have asked about Mark Williams,” Stircula said. “Westley (Parr) is playing really well thus far in practice as he is just so athletic.” Heben is returning from a torn ACL in April. “I have never seen a kid work harder to get back from an injury,” the Bengals mentor mentioned. “He has been a great example for the team to show what hard work can do.” OHSH believes the x-factor will be Nick Harney. He brings tremendous athletic ability to the floor and will give the Bengals that added energy. Keep an eye on this senior. Harney is a D1 recruit, but most schools are waiting on his grades and ACT score. He is hearing from Central Michigan, Eastern Kentucky, Robert Morris, and several JUCOS. We aren’t positive as to how the regional brackets will set up, but we know the Bengals will be in district play with Hunting Valley University School and Orange. We wonder about regional play to see where Benedictine and Akron SVSM would meet. Again, that is just speculation as many tough teams are in NE Ohio. What the coach is saying: “This team is extremely motivated after the way last season ended,” the Bengals boss proclaimed. “They have been in the weight room and working hard. Our team chemistry is very good, which was a problem last year. We just did not mesh well together. “ DAYTON DUNBAR 2008-2009 Record: (14-6) *Lost to Wilmington 71-67 in sectional final. Head Coach: Peter Pullen League: Dayton Public League
Players in the mix: Geron Johnson (6-3, Sr., 19.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 4.1 apg); Derrrick Benson (6-0, Sr., 8.2 ppg, 3.1 apg); Deon Stewart (6-2, Sr., 11.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.3 apg); Ryan Bass (5-9, Sr., 18.6 ppg, Transfer from CJ); Deontae Hawkins (6-6, So. 4.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg); Gary Akbar (6-3, So.); Delve Givens (6-4, Sr., 3.2 ppg, Transfer from Dayton Carroll); Roger Williamson (6’1)- Junior; Javon Rice (5’8)- Junior; Shawn Smith (6’6)- Senior; Talley Nile (5’8)- Junior; Jacob Snow (6’0)- Junior; Randle Boyd (6’3)- Junior OHSH on Dayton Dunbar: Potential and talent is two words to best describe Dayton Dunbar. After last season’s rocky end, the Wolverines are ready to put all that behind them and focus on winning another state championship. Dunbar was back-to-back D2 state champions in 2006 and 2007. The Wolverines will be led by a plethora of guards starting with D1 recruit Geron Johnson. The 6-foot-3 senior can do-it-all as he proved last season. He will be joined by Dayton CJ transfer Ryan Bass, who averaged nearly 19 points per game last season. Derrick Benson and Deon Stewart are also back, and that is definitely good news for Dunbar fans. The two combine for nearly 20 points per game and over five assists. If Dunbar is able gel together as a unit the sky is the limit for this squad. Its district will be brutal with Wilmington, Thurgood Marshall, Kettering Alter, and Dayton CJ. However, it has a team certainly talented enough to escape and get to the state’s capital. DAYTON THURGOOD MARSHALL 2008-2009 Record: (22-5) *Lost to Akron SVSM 59-53 in state final. Head Coach: John Ralph (8th year @ school) League: Dayton Public League Returning Starters: Greg Gainey (6-5, Sr., 16 ppg, 10 rpg); Shawn Robinson (5-9, Sr.); Adrian Quinn (6-3, Sr.) Others in the mix: Melvin Banks (6’3)- Senior; James White (5’9)- Senior; Jaquan Johnson (6’0)Senior; Tremayne Scott (6’4)- Senior; Jordan Watson (5’9)- Junior; Joe Ballard (6’3)Sophomore; Joe Thomason (6’2)- Sophomore OHSH on Dayton Thurgood Marshall: This was the year it was supposed to happen for the Cougars with a loaded senior class returning featuring one of the best point guards in the country it appeared evident they would be one of the preseason favorites to cut the nets down in late March. However, point guard Juwan Staten is running the show in Mouth of Wilson (VA) now and that left most people wondering if this team would be any good at all. No one in the Thurgood Marshall basketball family is thinking along those line as the goals are still the same. Ralph believes this team will be right there in March. Though, the Lebanon High School District will be cut-throat with Dayton Dunbar, Wilmington, Dayton Chaminade Julienne, and Kettering Alter in the mix. According to OHSH, that is three of the top five teams in the state competing in the same district. Remember this fact; the Cougars played almost the entire state tournament without their second best player in Greg Gainey a kid that averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds per game. Gainey was limited to four minutes of action in Columbus due to
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Boys Basketball Preview an injury. Gainey is now fully healthy and ready to lead the Cougars back to Columbus. Look for big seasons out of guard Shawn Robinson and Adrian Quinn along with Melvin Banks. They may not be as explosive without Staten, but Thurgood will be a major player once again. The talent is still there. What the coach is saying: “Expectations are very high with the thought that we can get back to Columbus,” Ralph extended. “Each player is focused with high hopes. Last season really helped our program and now the fans have high hopes, the players have positive attitudes, and the staff has been very dedicated over the offseason.”
WILMINGTON 2008-2009 Record: (21-3) *Lost to Dayton Thurgood Marshall 67-60 in regional semis. Head Coach: Michael Noszka (5th year @ school) League: Fort Ancient Valley Conference Returning Starters: Quinten Rollins (5-11, Sr., 15.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.0 apg, 2.6 spg); Jordan Berlin (6-3, Sr., 14.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.3 apg, 2.5 spg); Malcolm Heard (6-4, Sr., 7.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg); Brandon Arehart (6-0, Sr., 5.5 ppg) Others in the mix: Nyles Williams (6-2, Sr., 5.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg); Kyle Blakeman (6-4, Sr., 2.5 ppg) OHSH on Wilmington: Wilmington has never won less than 14 games under head coach Michael Noszka, and we don’t look for that to change this season with a team loaded with senior talent. The Hurricanes lost just three games last season and made the regional semis, but they were still a little bit of unknown to the rest of the state. Again, they may be an unknown to the rest of the state this season but certainly not to teams in the SW. Wilmington will be wearing the bulls-eye on its back this season after 21 wins a year ago. Led by the backcourt of Miami (OH)-bound Quinten Rollins and Ashland-bound Jordan Berlin, the ‘Canes will once again be a threat to make the state tournament. Wilmington returns four starters in all including top-notch bench players Nyles Williams and Kyle Blakeman. The biggest encounter for Wilmington could be getting out of the district with the likes of Dayton Dunbar, Dayton Thurgood Marshall, Dayton Chaminade Julienne, and Kettering Alter all doing battle at Lebanon High School. The back-to-back FAVC Champions will once again be a major player in the SW adding two nationally-ranked teams to its schedule this season and playing in several big time events including the Flyin to the Hoop, Wellston Classic, and the Scholastic Play-by-Play Classic in Columbus. What the coach is saying: “We have a solid nucleus of players that return from a FAVC, sectional, and district championship team,” Noszka said. “Those goals will be more difficult to achieve this year because we will be a target for other teams. Our team goals will be to achieve those same championships and ultimately to win a state championship. We will go as far as our character and leadership take us.” LOGAN ELM 2008-2009 Record: (24-2) *Lost to Dayton
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Thurgood Marshall 62-53 in overtime in state semis. Head Coach: Doug Stiverson (11th year @ school) League: Mid State League- Buckeye Division Returning Starters: Adam Blake (6-0; Sr., 8 ppg, 7.6 apg); Tyler Pritchard (6-5, Sr., 6 ppg, 4.5 rpg); Logan Hauserman (6-8, Sr., 8.5 ppg, 4 rpg) Others in the mix: Cory Whaley (5’11)- Senior; Zack Fulton (6’5)- Senior; Jake Thomas (6’0)Junior; Nathan Elswick (6’5)- Junior; Nick Hart (6’0)- Junior OHSH on Logan Elm: Simply put, the Braves are one of the best coached teams in the state. Year-after-year LE is in the hunt most times against teams that would appear to posses more talent. A year ago, the Braves had a little bit of everything except Juwan Staten. LE led by 10 points heading into the final quarter of last year’s state semi-final game against Thurgood Marshall, but it was outscored 16-6 in the final frame to send the game to overtime. The Cougars ended up prevailing in the extra session. This is something that LE has been thinking about for nearly a year. On paper, with the loss of Tim Congrove and Brandon Amann, most people would think the Braves would have to rebuild. OHSH doesn’t believe that will be the case. We had a chance to see LE several times this summer it played extremely well against some top notch competition. LE knocked off D1 power Canton Glen Oak in the Wheeling Shootout and then took D1 state tournament hopeful Massillon Jackson to overtime in the finals. Adam Blake will lead the way, and does it as well as anybody in the state. Blake is one of the best players most people have never read about. He only averaged eight points per game last season, but he didn’t have to score. Blake is capable of dropping 30-plus points if need be, and we think most people will be informed quickly this year of just how good Blakek is and will be. He should receive help from Tyler Pritchard and Logan Hauserman. Pritchard is very long and runs the floor well and also allowing him to rebound above his height. Hauserman improved leaps and bounds throughout the course of last season, so look for him to have a big year. The key for the Braves will be how the new guys step into their roles, and if this summer was any indication they should be just fine. OHSH looks for LE to be contending once again in mid-March for a real good chance to return to Columbus. What the coach is saying: “Defense should be a strength for us with our length and experience of three starters and one bench player who went through a deep tourney run and the hunger to do it again,” Stiverson said. POLAND 2008-2009 Record: (19-4) *Lost to Streetsboro 77-75 in district final. Head Coach: Ken Grisdale (17th year @ school) League: All American Conference- Red Tier Returning Starters: Niko Fatimus (6-1, Sr., 19.6 ppg); Ben Donlow (6-4, Sr., 15 ppg); David Baker (6’6)- Senior; Luke Wollet (6’1)- Senior Others in the mix: Darius Patton (5-, Jr., Transfer from Penn Hills (PA)); Dom Defelice (5’9)-
Senior; John Price (6’4)- Senior; Matt Mrozek (5’9)Senior; Andy Bartos (6’2)- Senior; Drew Wagner (5’8)- Junior; Brandon Maceyko (6’5)- Junior; Ben Tadla (6’4)- Junior OHSH on Poland: Success goes hand-andhand when speaking of Poland boy’s basketball. The Bulldogs are 67-9 over the last three years with two trips to the state tournament and one district runner-up. However, some still want to criticize the Poland staff and that is hard for us to believe. Grisdale has taken teams to the state tournament in 2007 and 2008 using different style of play in each of the two. First, they used the methodical and ball control style followed by the frantic up-tempo approach in ’08. They are still playing the latter. The 2010 Class is the most ballyhooed in school history with some playing the past three seasons. Four starters return in all in addition to Penn Hills (PA) transfer Darius Patton. Fatimus is one of the best three-point shooters in the state with his left-handed stroke, while Donlow brings athleticism and the ability to score in transition. Baker is a more of a finesse big man that can play with his back to the basket or face-up. The newcomer, Patton, will be the floor leader with his cat-like quickness. He should really bring a new dimension to the Bulldogs. The fifth starter will be D1 football recruit Luke Wollet, who is currently still playing in the playoffs. Wollet brings quickness but more importantly toughness to the squad. The Bulldogs should once again be the in the mix come tournament time for a nice tourney trail run. What the coach is saying: “We believe we have the potential to be competitive within our conference and at the sectional, district, and regional levels,” Grisdale stated. “Our experience, perimeter skills, style of play (up-tempo) should be strengths for us. Size could be an issue as we have no true big bodies.” TOLEDO LIBBEY 2008-2009 Record: (9-13) *Lost to Elida 50-47 in overtime in district final. Head Coach: Keith McClure (2nd year @ school) League: Toledo City League Players in the mix: Maurice Taylor (6-4, Jr., 15.7 ppg); Delvin Williams (6’3)- Junior; Brandon Underwood- Senior; Lonacy Utley (6’5)- Junior; Milan Mabry (6’4)- Junior; David McDonald- Junior; Maurice Birdsong- Junior OHSH on Toledo Libbey: Last year, under new head coach Keith McClure, the Cowboys struggled for much of the regular season with a young, inexperienced squad against a powerful schedule. However, by tournament time, Libbey was hitting its stride. The Cowboys ran off three wins and reached the district final before losing in overtime to Elida (50-47). Libbey’s season came to an end thanks to then Elida freshman Reggie McAdams knocking down a three-point shot in overtime much like the ending of its 2007-2008 season when Ray Chambers dropped in a basket as time expired in the D2 state championship game. Libbey’s roster is loaded with a strong junior class that took its lumps last season as sopho-
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Boys Basketball Preview mores logging the majority of the minutes. Brandon Hamm was only player that had any experience from the state runner-up team. Now the seven juniors will combine with Brandon Underwood (Senior) to form a team that has a serious chance of making a deep tournament run. The Cowboys are long and athletic, which should pose problems for a lot of teams. The schedule is ultra-demanding, but it will have them ready come D2 tourney time. Look for the Cowboys to be there come March, and we at OHSH would not be surprised to see Toledo-based school in Columbus. What the coach is saying: "We finished strong last season with a bunch of sophomores," McClure said. “We are hungry, athletic, and still young. We are coming together as a group through weight training and open gyms."
Logan Elm senior Adam Blake averaged 7.6 assists per game last season.
MINERVA 2008-2009 Record: (21-2) *Lost to Alliance Marlington 46-43 in district semis. Head Coach: Pepper Locke (14th year @ school) League: Northeastern Buckeye Conference Returning Starters: Brian Harp (6-4, Sr., 19.4 ppg, 9 rpg); Ryker Locke (6-0, Sr., 11 ppg, 4 rpg, 3 apg, 2 spg); Grant Summer (6’2)- Senior Others in the mix: Mitch Dulaney (6’4)- Senior; Damien Elifritz (5’9)- Senior; Ellis Battista (5-11,
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Photo by Gary Housteau
UNIVERSITY SCHOOL 2008-2009 Record: (19-6) *Lost to Akron SVSM 64-54 in regional final. Head Coach: Chris Osolin (5th year @ school) League: Premier Athletic Conference Returning Starters: Richard Morrow (6-3, Sr., 15.5 ppg, 5 rpg, 4 apg, 2 spg); Harry Briggs (6-2, Sr., 8.5 ppg, 4 rpg, 5 apg, 3 spg); Jack Bentz (511, Jr., 6 ppg, 3 apg); Matt Kelly (6-5, Sr., 6 ppg, 4 rpg); Danny Frate (6’2)- Senior Others in the mix: Chris Harris (6’1)- Senior; Mitchell Black (6’4)- Junior; Zach Persky (6’2)Senior; Pat Koenig (5’9)- Senior; Jordan Barham (6’1)- Sophomore OHSH on University School: It was a banter year for the Preppers last season being the first time reaching the regional final. They made the regional semis in 2002, but lost to Akron East. After a tremendous comeback effort, the Preppers eventually fell to the eventual D2 state champions, Akron SVSM. The University School welcomes back returning 3rd Team All-Ohioan Richard Morrow and his 15.5 points per game. Morrow is one of the best players the common fan may not know. He will be joined by fellow senior Harry Briggs. Both are all around solid players. The Preppers will have to replace several seniors from last year’s team and with graduation went some size. However, this team plays very well together and team chemistry has nothing to do with talent. University will need its talent and chemistry to get out of a district consisting of Cleveland Benedictine and Orange. What the coach is saying: “After a great year last season, we will be looking for a similar year,” Osolin mentioned. “We have a strong group of guys who play well together. We have great guards and good experience returning.”
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Boys Basketball Preview Sr., 4 ppg); Jeremy Fick (6’1)- Junior; Andrew Prendergast (5-9, Jr., Missed last year due to injury); D.J. Marrah (5’9)- Junior; Chas Johnson (5’8)- Junior; Eli Maurer (5’9)- Sophomore; Keanan Locke (5’10)- Sophomore OHSH on Minerva: It was a monumental year for the Lions in 2008-2009 as Minerva finished (212). However, the season ended perhaps before the Lions had hoped. Minerva lost to Alliance Marlington in the district semis after beating the Dukes twice in the regular season with the second meeting coming by 16 points. That is certainly not taking away from the defending NBC Champions terrific season. Look for much of the same with return of NBC Player of the Year Brian Harp and his 19.4 points per game along with point guard Ryker Locke. The Lions lost some players to graduation, but a lot of players a ready to step into those roles. One thing that may help Minerva this season is the move to the East District from the NE. Instead of contending with the Akron SVSM’s of the state, the Lions may find the competition a little more to their liking. Still, it certainly won’t be easy with likes of Carrollton, Zanesville, Dover, Coshocton, John Glenn, and Meadowbrook all primed for good seasons. We aren’t exactly certain as to how the sectionals and district will be set up as the East District is yet to release its data. What the coach is saying: “Our kids are eager for this year to get started,” said Locke. “We have a good core of last year’s team back. We have a challenge ahead of us, but I think the kids are aware of what we expect from them. The football team enjoyed another successful year this season, so that will have a positive impact on this season. We are ready to go.”
CARROLLTON 2008-2009 Record: (13-11) *Lost to Cambridge 61-52 in regional semis. Head Coach: Matt Voll (3rd year @ school) League: Northeastern Buckeye Conference Returning Starters: Kristian Cross (6-4, Jr., 15.1 ppg, 9 rpg); Johnny Lowdermilk (6-2, Jr., 9.2 ppg, 4.5 apg, 4.6 rpg); AJ Dalton (6-5, Sr., 7.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg) Others in the mix: Robbie Smith (6’1)- Junior; Chris Ericksen (6-3, Jr., 5 ppg, 3.5 rpg); Tyler Sheets (6’3)- Junior; Stephen Erickson (6’4)Freshman; Luke Starre (6’3)- Senior OHSH on Carrollton: Carrollton was extremely talented last year, but just couldn’t seem to be consistent. The Warriors finished the regular season just (10-10) and fifth in the NBC, but by tournament time things started to click. The Warriors steam-rolled their way through the sectional with lopsided victories over Buckeye Local and Meadowbrook before beating stateranked Dover in district play. Carrollton’s season came to an end to Cambridge in regional play a team the Warriors had defeated earlier in the year. The team is still young with five of the top eight being juniors including one freshman. However, this unit is ready to continue its hot streak from last March. With NBC rival Minerva moving to the East District things should be interesting come tournament time. The Warriors will be led by junior Kristian Cross
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on the inside and point guard Johnny Lowdermilk. Look for break out years from Chris and Steve Ericksen along with sweet-shooting lefty Robbie Smith. Dalton will be the blue-collar working on the interior. Carrollton will be one of the favorites to make the regional once again, but the arrival of Minerva may make things a bit more interesting. What the coach is saying: “With seven returning lettermen and a solid group of young kids, we feel Carrollton basketball is earning a good reputation in our area and around the state of Ohio,” Voll admitted. “We are looking forward to getting into the gym and going to work.”
7 Sleepers (alphabetical order): 1. Akron Hoban 2. Canal Winchester 3. Columbus East 4. Defiance 5. Kenton Ridge 6. Lima Shawnee 7. Tipp City Tippecanoe
DIVISION III ANNA 2008-2009 Record: (22-3) *Lost to Miami East 46-44 in regional semis. Head Coach: Matt Meyer (10th year @ school) League: Shelby County League Returning Starters: Derek Billing (6-2, Sr., 14.8 ppg., 3 rpg., 3 apg.); Wesley Hunsucker (6-3, Sr., 9 ppg., 3 rpg.); Alex Fogt (6-0, Jr., 4.5 ppg.) Others in the mix: Bryce Finkebine (5-10, Jr., 4.2 ppg.); Jacob Seger (6-2, Sr.); Charles Williams (6-0, Sr.); Josh Zumberger (6-2, Jr.); Grant Gehret (5-10, Jr.); Dexter Bensman (5-9, Jr.) OHSH on Anna: The Rockets season a year ago came to an abrupt end after a disappointing two-point loss to Miami East in the regional semis. Anna certainly had visions of grander a season ago with the making of a team that could have got the job done in Columbus. Anna is back once again coming off a two season run of 47-5 including a trip to the state tournament in 2008. Two starters remain from that team in Derek Billing and Wes Hunsucker. Billing, who recently signed with D2 Lake Superior out of the GLIAC, has grown a couple inches and should really explode this year. His longtime friend and backcourt mate (Hunsucker) should also enjoy a lot of success. Both are key members of Anna’s outstanding (8-1) football team. Therefore, it is hard to say when they will be reporting to basketball practice. Once everyone returns and gets up to speed, the Rockets should be hard to contain. If this summer is any indication of what the year is going to be like, it is not unrealistic for the Rockets to be thinking Columbus. The big question, as Meyer mentioned, is will Anna be able to score in the paint when needed and rebound and defend on the other end? One thing is for sure, they will be able to light it up with the dribble drive and kick. What the coach is saying: “We lost all our size (6-6, 6-4, and 6-3), but have solid guard play back,” Meyer said. “Hopefully a lot of success will occur this year, but it will be a differ-
ent look. We can put five kids on the floor that can shoot and handle the ball.”
ARCHBOLD 2008-2009 Record: (13-10) *Lost to Toledo Ottawa Hills 53-44 in district semis . Head Coach: Doug Krauss (25th year @ school) League: Northwest Ohio Athletic League Returning Starters (All 7 kids started at some point lost one starter): Sam Miller (6-1, Sr., 5.3 ppg); Christian Goering (5-11, Sr., 6.1 ppg); Corey Walker (5-11, Sr., 4.7 ppg); Collin Walker (5-11, Sr., 4.6 ppg); Drew Smith (6-2, Sr.); Micah McQuillin (63, Sr., 2.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg); Telly Fricke (5-10, Jr., 8.8 ppg, 2.4 apg) Others in the mix: Garrett Morton (6-2, Jr., 4.5 ppg) OHSH on Archbold: Archbold was down for its standards last season, but those standards are pretty high for a team has six regional appearances and four state tournament appearances including one runner-up (1996) in Krauss’ tenure. The Blue Streaks will once again be loaded with guards, quickness, and the ability to defend. However, as Krauss told us, last year they created a lot of turnovers but didn’t convert much into point. He is also a bit concerned about last year’s 59% shooting at the charity stripe. The Blue Streaks will have to use its speed and quickness to combat a lack of height. Perhaps 6foot-6 sophomore Luke Kammeyer could help the cause playing with the (19-1) jayvee team a year ago as a freshman. Archbold did lose one veteran to graduation in 1st Team All-NWOAL performer David Rupp and his nearly 11 points and six rebounds per game. We may have the Blue Streaks ranked too low, so we will have to wait and see. What the coach is saying: “Last year’s team made great strides throughout the season. At the halfway point, we were 4-6,” Krauss claimed. “This year, like always, we hope to develop into a balanced team offensively, and we hope to be a team that can have five guys on the floor capable of scoring.” BLOOM CARROLL 2008-2009 Record: (14-11) *Lost to Dayton Christian 67-42 in regional semis. Head Coach: Tom Petty (29th year @ school) League: Mid-State League-Buckeye Division Players in the mix: Eric Rowland (5-10, Sr.); Tyler Kraft (6-3, Sr.); Brad Przebieda (6-, Sr., *Did not play last year); Seth Williamson (6-9, Sr.); Tyler Tate (6-1, Jr.); AJ Ireland (6-3, So.); Robbie Watts (6-0, So.); Aaron McGraw (6-0, Sr.); Derek Wood (5-9, Sr.); Connor Canini (6-2, Jr.); Isaac McGlone (6-1, Fr.) OHSH on Bloom-Carroll: We would be hardpressed to find a better coached team than the Bloom-Carroll Bulldogs. They have a tendency to start slow and gradually get stronger throughout the season peaking right around tournament time. It is a safe bet to say a Tom Petty coached squad will be playing its best basketball in late February on into March. The Bulldogs have won the district four of the last six years, and don’t expect a let down in 20092010 with three starters returning and a host of talented younger kids ready to step up. The talent
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Boys Basketball Preview certainly doesn’t stop in the high school as the Purple and Yellow are loaded in the junior high ranks as well. Here is an example of just how good B-C is around tournament time; the Bulldogs have won the district four times in the last 10 years and finished runner-up four times in that time span. The two times they weren’t playing for the district title they were knocked out in an overtime game. The ‘Dogs won the district three-straight years from 2004-2006. This is pretty impressive history to say the least for Tom Petty and his squad. No one will play harder than this team, and B-C fans may not have to wait on a slow start. This team may take care of business right from the start. If the ‘Dogs get good point guard play from Rowland, the sky is the limit for this team. Williamson doesn’t have to be great in the post, but rather control the paint. Ireland is a rising star in Carroll, and the addition of Przebieda will add more athleticism along with the return of Kraft. CHESAPEAKE 2008-2009 Record: (17-5) *Lost to Williamsport Westfall 76-71 in district semis. Head Coach: Ryan Davis (3rd year @ school) League: Ohio Valley Conference Returning Starters: Trent Saunders (6-2, Sr., 9.7 ppg, 8.7 rpg); Peter Hintz (5-7, Sr. 7.1 ppg, 4.4 apg); Nathan Copley (6-1, Jr., 17.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 3.3 apg, 2.5 spg) Others in the mix: Colin Kennedy (6-7, Jr., *Transfer from Rose Hill (KY) Christian); Colton Lindsey (5-9, Sr.); Austin McMaster (6-3, So.); Gunner Hill (6-0, Sr.); Seth Ransbottom (6-1, Sr.) OHSH on Chesapeake: The Panthers are loaded and ready to make a run in D3. The return of do-it-all junior Nathan Copley and the addition of 6-foot-7 Rose Hill Christian transfer Colin Kennedy is a great place to start. Reliable and savvy point guard Peter Hintz is back along with blue-collar man Trent Saunders. OHSH loves the make up of this team, and its ability to make a deep tournament run. We could be looking at a Wheelersburg/Chesapeake opener and regional final. We are sure SE Ohio hoop fans would welcome that thought.
CINCINNATI HILLS CHRISTIAN ACADEMY 2008-2009 Record: (14-9) *Lost to North College Hill 62-52 in district semis. Head Coach: Mike Sylvester (1st year @ school) League: Miami Valley Conference Returning Starters: Wes Carlson (6-7, Sr., 19.5 ppg); Joe Reifenberg (6-3, Sr.); Andrew Wallace (57, Sr.) Others in the mix: Ryan Chappelle (6-3, Sr.); Brandon Walker (6-2, Sr.); Ian Smith (6-2, Sr., 5.2 ppg); Alex Dixon (6-2, Sr.); Will Lovellette (6-4, Sr., 11 ppg); Eric Rice (6-3, Jr.); Nick Lawley (6-7, Jr.); Aaron O’Neil (6-0, Jr.); Teddy Andrews (6-5, So.) OHSH on Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy: Eagle’ fans should be very excited for the upcoming year under new head coach Mike Sylvester. The new coach will bring over a winning attitude learning under Moeller head coach Carl Kremer. CHCA has a lot returning starting with big man Wes Carlson, and that is a good place to start. Carlson averaged 19.5 points per game as a junior.
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He will be joined by returning starters Joe Reifenberg and Andrew Wallace. The Eagles have very good size and quite a bit of depth with a very strong senior contingent. The schedule will be tough with conference games against North College Hill, Summit, Seven Hills, and Lockland. The Miami Valley Conference was once thought of as weak, but no more with Lockland and Summit CD making the regional last year and CHCA, North College Hill, and Seven Hills all making nice runs. The one bad break is the district teams CHCA will be lined up with in Taft, Summit CD, Shroder, and Georgetown. That district will be cut-throat. At any rate, expect big things from the Eagles in 2009-2010. What the coach is saying: “We have a good returning senior class and probably a pre-season pick to win the MVC,” Sylvester proclaimed. “We have an unproven firstyear varsity head coach.”
CINCINNATI SHRODER PAIDEIA 2008-2009 Record: (9-14) *Lost to Madeira 5857 in district semis. Head Coach: Thomas Owens League: Southwest Ohio Public- American Returning Players: Landon Williams (6-1, Sr., 10.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 3 spg); Tony Williams (6-3, Sr., 6.2 ppg); Jalen Billups (6-6, Jr., 14.6 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.6 bpg); Antwon Tolliver (5-9, Sr., 10.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.1 apg); Alex Springs (6-2, Sr., 2.6 ppg); Kario Cannon (6-1, Jr., 3.7 ppg); Isaiah McCullar (6-7, Jr., 3.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg) OHSH on Cincinnati Shroder Paideia: We may catch a little heat for ranking a team that finished last season (9-14), but we have reason behind the ranking. Shroder plays in a predominantly D1 league, and it showed last year as they finished (0-11) in league play. However, it was in 2008 the Jaguars made the regional with an 8-16 mark. Shroder was knocked out by Columbus Academy (68-66), and then Academy was beat by one-point in overtime to Anna. So, the Jaguars weren’t out of their league by any means. The Jaguars return at least four kids who started last year in Billups, Tolliver, Landon Williams, and Cannon so this team is experienced. Billups is a D1 prospect that played his spring/summer ball with the Ohio Basketball Club and had a solid sophomore season at Shroder. Look for Billups to really erupt this year. He will receive assistance from senior point guard Antwon Tolliver who is reliable and solid at the lead guard. Landon Williams is a do-it-all type kid that is the xfactor for this team. On the interior, Isaiah McCullar could be a sleeper at 6-foot-7. The Jaguars may not put up a sparkling record in the regular season, but no one will want to play this team come tournament time. Their talent is near the top in D3.
CINCINNATI TAFT 2008-2009 Record: (16-6) *Lost to Cincinnati Indian Hill 62-48 in D2 district semis. Head Coach: Mark Mitchell (7th year @ school) League: Southwest Ohio Public League Returning Starters: Cameron Mitchell (6-2, Sr., 16.2 ppg); Kevin Mitchell (6-0, Sr., 12.2 ppg) Others in the mix: Adolphus Washington (6-6,
So., 12.7 ppg. *Transfer from Roger Bacon); Dwayne Stafford (6-4, So., *Transfer from Roger Bacon); Orlando Berry (5-7, So., *Transfer from Roger Bacon); Rashard Davis (6-3, Sr., *Transfer from Salem (GA) High); Shawntez Johnson (6-5, Sr., 8 rpg.); Abraham Johnson (5-10, Sr.)- 3 spg.); Marquez Johnson (5-10, Jr.) OHSH on Cincinnati Taft: We would be fools to not have Taft as our preseason No. 1 with all the talent the Senators posses. However, the talent is on paper, and Taft will certainly have to prove its worth to some of the D3’s regular top competition. Taft lost six games last season two coming to out-of-state opponents, two to Indian Hill, one to Thurgood Marshall, and the other was to Woodward its only league play loss. The Senators have added three of the top sophomore in Ohio all of which were members of the 15U AAU National Championship All-Ohio Purple squad. Washington will be instant impact and give the Senators the best low post presence in D3. Look for Berry and Stafford to break out big time especially by tournament time, and the Mitchell twins will be steady as usual. Taft will be too much for most D3 schools with its speed, athleticism, quickness and size, but it won’t be a walk through come tournament time with Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, Georgetown, Cincinnati Summit Country Day, and Cincinnati Shroder in its district. If they are fortunate enough to get by district play, the likes of Anna and Versailles could be awaiting in the regional. Taft has enjoyed tournament success under Mitchell with two regional appearances in 2004 and 2005 (D2), so we don’t see any reason why it won’t in D3. “We had a little “x” on our back with what we had coming back and the newcomers before we knew we were making the move to D3, then when we found out we were moving the “x” became huge,” Mitchell said. What the coach is saying: “We have a tremendous amount of talent that is willing to work together,” Mitchell said. “We have kids that are buying into playing together. These kids all know each other really well. The new guys we have actually were supposed to come to Taft, so they have known each other for a long time. They all trust each other, and are great kids doing good things.” CLEVELAND CENTRAL CATHOLIC 2008-2009 Record: (24-3) *Won the Division III state championship. Head Coach: Kevin Noch (3rd year @ school) League: North Coast League Returning Starters: Anton Grady (6-8, Jr., 11.6 ppg., 12 rpg., 8 bpg); Chall Montgomery (6-3, Sr., 11.3 ppg.) Others in the mix: Shawni Jackson (6-2, Sr.); Marvin Davis (6-5, Jr.); Isaiah Shakespeare (5-7, Sr.); Marcus Arendas (6-1, Sr.); Kenny Lockhart (63, Sr.) OHSH on Cleveland CC: The Ironmen lost three senior starters off last year’s state championship team, and with that, a lot of defensive toughness and some scoring departed. That strong defense held Defiance Tinora scoreless in the first quarter of last year’s state championship, which happened to be the first time occurring since 1931.
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Boys Basketball Preview How will the Ironmen replace Brandon Campbell, Derrick Bufford, and Demetrius Bennett? A good place to start would be 6-foot-8 junior sensation Anton Grady. The high major D1 recruit is another year older, and look for growth in his scoring output. He was dominant on the boards and the defensive interior a year ago, but this season the scoring should grow immensely. Also, returning will be D1 recruit Chall Montgomery (6-3) who had a brilliant state tournament. Montgomery, who has offers from Navy and Eastern Kentucky, should explode in 2009-2010. The key for CCC will the growth of the bench players from a year ago. Mainly, Shawni Jackson and big man Marvin Davis who need to step up and fill some big shoes. The Ironmen play a challenging schedule certainly having them ready for the D3 tournament.
CLEVELAND VASJ 2008-2009 Record: (12-12) *Lost to Cleveland CC 46-34 in district final. Head Coach: Dave Wojciechowski (10th year @ school) League: North Coast Conference Returning Starters: Devin Carter (6-1, So., 11 ppg, 5 apg); Jermaine Williams (6-4, Sr., 10 ppg, 7 rpg); Ryan Hooper (6-5, Jr., 6 ppg, 4 rpg); Jeff Albert (5-8, Sr., 7 ppg, 6 apg) Others in the mix: Sidney Weems (5-7, Sr.); Ivory Brooks (6-5, Sr.); Raysean Dabney (6-2, Sr.); DeMonte Flannigan (6-7, Fr.); Darryl Jones (6-3, Jr.); Dahuntae Parrish (6-2, Jr.) OHSH on Cleveland VASJ: When one thinks of Cleveland VASJ most of the time the term winner comes up. The Vikings made three-straight trips to the state tournament from 2006-2008 before exiting in the district last season to the eventual state champion, Cleveland CC. The schedule is brutal, but that isn’t something new for the Vikings. They are use to that and have player which thrive against the competition. Sophomore lefty Devin Carter is back to help bring the Viking back to Columbus. Carter has great speed from end to end, which should allow for easy baskets. He will have big assistance this year in freshman DeMonte Flannigan. The youngster is ranked in the nation and is clearly one of the best 2013 prospects in the state of Ohio. He will be instant impact for the Vikings. Don’t sleep on the other returnees as the Vikings return four starters in all. This is a team that could get hot late in the season as its experience grows. Watch out for VASJ come tournament time. They are young and talented and perhaps ready to win now. This is a team that is built for three of fouryear run. COLDWATER 2008-2009 Record: (18-7) *Lost to Defiance Tinora 60-53 in regional final. Head Coach: Mike Kanney (5th year @ school) League: Midwest Athletic Conference Returning Starters: Eric LeFeld (6-8, Sr., 13.3 ppg); Adam Rammel (5-10, Sr.); Keith Wenning (64, Sr.) Others in the mix: Tim Burnett (6-4, Sr.); Luke Griesop (6-3, Sr.); Jordan Woste (6-3, Sr.); Reese Klenke (6-3, Jr.); Chad Westgerdes (5-10, Sr.) OHSH on Coldwater: The Cavaliers had an incredible tournament run last year especially when
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you look at who they defeated to reach the regional final. Lima Central Catholic, Findlay Liberty-Benton, Ottawa-Glandorf, and Colonel Crawford were the victims before losing to Tinora. That is ridiculous to say the least. Obviously, the question mark will be guard play and if that comes up to speed Coldwater could be as good as anybody in the NW. They will most likely be slowed in terms of starting due to the football success, which is nothing unusual in Coldwater. LeFeld (Cincinnati FB) and Wenning (Ball State FB) are both standouts on the football team, but also the hardwood. The MAC will be brutal as usual, so the Cavaliers will once again be battled-tested come February and early March. What the coach is saying: “The kids we have back posses a lot of experience,” Kanney said. “They have played together a long time. We are big and we should rebound the basketball very well.”
LIMA CENTRAL CATHOLIC 2008-2009 Record: (16-6) *Lost to Coldwater 47-42 in sectional final. Head Coach: Bob Seggerson (32nd year @ school) League: Northwest Conference Returning Starters: Desi Kirkman (5-10, Sr., 12.8 ppg., 5.1 apg., 4.9 rpg.); Sam Stolly (6-6, Sr., 10.2 ppg.); Austin Stolly (5-9, Jr., 8.8 ppg.); Jon Steiger (6-4, Jr., 5.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg); Ty O’Connor (62, So., 8 ppg, 4.5 rpg) Others in the mix: Jacob Rigali (6-2, Sr., 4 ppg, 3.3 rpg); Taylor Royster (6-2, Jr., *Injured possibly ready by January); Billy Taflinger (5-10, So.); Bubba Krieg (5-11, Jr.); Derek Allen (6-5, Jr.); Michael Rogers (5-11, Jr.) OHSH on Lima CC: Coach Seggerson, who is just five wins away from 500, wasn’t embellishing when talking about the brutal December schedule. LCC will open with the Tip Off Classic before playing New Bremen, Ottawa-Glandorf, and Findlay Liberty-Benton in the last month of the year. All of the above mentioned teams are expecting big things. LCC was a team that almost every coach in the NW mentioned as one of the teams to beat, and we certainly won’t disagree. Kirkman, who is the reigning conference player of the year, leads a solid group of starters and returnees. Depth is a huge advantage of the Thunderbirds. They appear to have it all guards, size, rebounding, and speed. That is a combination for success. This team will be battle-tested by tourney time, and will be one of the favorites to escape the ultracompetitive NW. What the coach is saying: “We lost only one player from last year, and return all five starters,” Seggerson said. “We will start slow because our football team will make the playoffs for the fourth time in five years, and as always we have a lot of basketball players on the football team. We have committed to play in the Tip Off Classic so we will not be moving our schedule back. The schedule is brutal in December, but as this team gets its skills together they will be very good.” MIDDLETOWN MADISON 2008-2009 Record: (17-5) *Lost to Versailles 49-47 in sectional final. Head Coach: Jeff Smith (13th year @ school)
League: Southwest Buckeye League- Buckeye Division Returning Starters: Mark Maloney (6-3, Sr., 14.6 ppg); Matt Houser (6-4, Jr.); Justin Brunswick (6-9, Sr.); Tyler Dietz (6-4, Sr.); Josh Foster (5-9, Jr.) Others in the mix: Billy McGuire (6-0, Jr.); Chris Daniel (6-1, Jr.); Ryan Thobe (6-3, Jr.) OHSH on Middletown Madison: We just get a good feeling when talking about Madison. They have all five starters back with good size and the ability to defend. Madison was (6-0) last year against DI and DII teams, so they can play with the big boys. It just ran into the wrong team (Versailles) at the wrong time last year. We will have a good idea about Madison on opening night against Adreian Payne and Dayton Jefferson. We really like MM’s size across the board at 6-3, 6-4, 6-9, and 6-4 in the starting line up. That is pretty good for a D3 squad. Most teams will have trouble dealing with all the height. The district will be tough with Anna, Bethel, Dayton Christian, and Greeneview lined up at the University of Dayton. It won’t be easy, but Madison has the pieces to give them a chance. What the coach is saying: “We have a chance to be real good with all five starters back,” Smith commented. “We have good depth at guard, and four of our five starters averaged double figures with the fifth averaging right around nine points per game. We are very balanced team that can come at you from a lot of different angles.”
OAK HILL 2008-2009 Record: (25-2) *Division IV state champions. Head Coach: Norm Persin (4th year @ school, 10th overall) League: Southern Ohio Conference 2 Returning Starters: Kyle Ondera (6-1, Sr., 14.6 ppg); Jesse Sloan (6-3, Jr., 10.5 ppg); Westin Hale (6-0, Jr.) Others in the mix: Drew Cannon (6-3, Jr., *Surgery could be back by January); Austin Brown (6-3, Jr.); Chris Fairchild (6-3, So.); Nick Gaines (63, So.); Wade Howard (6-3, Sr.); Travis Blevins (510, Jr.) OHSH on Oak Hill: Persin said it best in these kids just know how to win and there is no substitute for the winning attitude. The Oaks football teams is currently (9-0) and all three of his starters play. Persin is use to late starts on the hardwood from his days at Chesapeake. The Oaks have a three-year run under Persin consisting of three-straight regional appearances and one D4 state title. The first regional run was in 2007 when the Oaks were D3. Once again D3, Persin believes nothing will change. “The teams in this division are obviously good, but I think people underestimate how good division four is and how many good teams are out there,” Persin relayed. Oak Hill lost inside ace J.D. Hale and big-shot Ryan Borden to graduation which will hurt, but the cupboard is certainly not empty. The Oaks return one of the best floor leaders in the state in Kyle Ondera along with shooter Westin Hale and do-it-all Jesse Sloan. Ondera is the
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Boys Basketball Preview engine that makes the team run with a “refuse to lose” attitude. As most coaches have told us, people are going to be surprised just how good Oak Hill will be this year. Remember, it is still a guard’s game and the Oaks have three good ones. What the coach is saying: “We want to defend what we have done,” the personable Persin stated. “We lost some key pieces, but are goals remain the same. We want to challenge for the conference championship and make a nice run in the tournament.”
Cleveland Central Catholic junior Anton Grady nearly averaged a triple-double last year (11.6 points, 12 rebounds and 8 blocks)
OTTAWA-GLANDORF 2008-2009 Record: (21-3) *Lost to Coldwater 58-54 in district final. Head Coach: Josh Leslie (5th year @ school) League: Western Buckeye League *15 championships Players in the mix: Josh Johnson (6-0, Sr.); Quinn Kaufman (6-2, Sr.); Ryan Kuhlman (5-9, Sr.); Brian Laubenthal (5-10, Sr.); Drew Ellerbrock (Jr.); andon Pothast (Jr.) OHSH on Ottawa-Glandorf: We weren’t exactly sure where to put the Titans, but we know they are
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Photo by Gary Housteau
ORRVILLE 2008-2009 Record: (13-7) *Lost to Minerva 6257 in Division II first round. Head Coach: Sly Slaughter (1st year @ school) League: Ohio Cardinal Conference Returning Starters: Jacob Bolyard (6-1, Sr.); Zach Wasson (6-5, Jr.); Max Pirman (6-4, Jr.) Others in the mix: Chase Hoobler (6-3, Sr.); Joey Bescanson (5-10, Sr.); Andre Ingram (5-10, Sr.); Dan Groves (6-1, Jr.) OHSH on Orrville: Guess who is back? No, we are not speaking of Hip Hop artist Slim Shady. The Orrville Red Riders are back in D3 and that is great news for Red Rider’ fans. Orrville is one of three teams to win multiple D3 state titles and did it in 1992 and 1995 before moving up to D2 in 1996 and winning that title as well. The Red Riders were knocked out by a team that finished 21-2 (Minerva) a season ago in the D2 tournament. They bring back athleticism and the ability to shoot the basketball. We really believe this team is going to be a tough out and a definite threat to Cleveland CC and Smithville and some others in the D3 Canton Regional. One major thing they have going for them is playing in a conference of mainly D1 and D2 schools in the Ohio Cardinal Conference. They will be ready come tournament time. Of course, the same can be said for Cleveland CC. How will they respond to new head coach Sly Slaughter is a question mark, but he has been with the program for eight years so it shouldn’t be too dramatic of a change. What the coach is saying: “This team has a lot of experienced players that are hungry to win a conference title and go deep in the state tournament,” Slaughter began. “We will be led by Jacob Bolyard and Zach Wasson and that gives us a certified inside-outside game that can give opponents trouble. If the team can come together and work as a unit and learn a new coaching style good things can happen for this team. The move from division two to division three should also help past tournament woes.”
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Boys Basketball Preview top 20 worthy. O-G was a favorite to repeat as state champions last year, but was knocked off by Coldwater in the district final. The Titans will need to replace senior mainstays Eric Brickner, Taylor Kuhlman, Jacob Moening, Brent Kuhlman and host of other seniors. However, in Titan land they don’t rebuild they reload. O-G returns a nice group of seniors led by Quinn Kaufman and Josh Johnson to go along with Drew Ellerbrock and Landon Pothast who were standouts on last year’s (19-1) reserve team. The Titans were very good in the jayvee and freshman ranks. Most of the coaches we talked to said people would be surprised by how good the Titans were going to be this year. They played extremely well this summer, and don’t appear to have fallen off much or any. We have given them room to grow in our rankings as it may take some time to adjust when the lights turn on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday. One thing is certain there may not be a D3 team other than Taft that plays a more brutal schedule than OG. They will, as always, be ready come tournament time. In essence, this is our Super 20 sleeper.
ST. HENRY 2008-2009 Record: (17-4) *Lost to Spencerville 42-39 in sectional final. Head Coach: Eric Rosenbeck (1st year @ school) League: Midwest Athletic Conference Returning Starters: Victor Fortcamp (6-7, Sr., 13.7 ppg, 6.5 rpg); Jordan Post (6-1, Sr., 9 ppg, 4 rpg, Out at least half year with torn ACL); Brad Stahl (6-, Sr.) Others in the mix: Jason Westgerdes (5-9, Sr., Possibly out for the season with a shoulder injury); Neil Schwieterman (5-10, Sr.); Cory Siefring (6-4, Jr.); Todd Wehrkamp (6-1, Sr.); Adam Sutter (6-5, Sr.); Brad Kremer (5-10, Sr.) OHSH on St. Henry: The Redskins would be a lot higher on our list if it weren’t for the injuries. In order to reach their full potential, they will need Jordan Post back at some point this season. This may be a team ripe for the taking early in the year, but watch out come midseason to tournament time. Fortcamp should have a big year and Brad Stahl is a consummate leader at point guard. The development of the bench and the new starters will prove how far this team can go. It will be interesting to see how new head coach Eric Rosenbeck transforms the Redskins. The MAC will be very tough as always this year, and Rosenbeck will be adding a new style and face of sorts. What the coach is saying: “We lost two starters in Brent Prenger and Spencer Niekamp, but we hope to contend for the MAC championship,” Rosenbeck said. “If we can stay healthy, we have a chance to reach our goals and perform at a high level but we know there a lot of very strong teams in our league and area that we will have to contend with to be successful.” SMITHVILLE 2008-2009 Record: (24-1) *Lost to Cleveland CC 59-54 in regional final. Head Coach: Michael Snowbarger (5th year @ school) League: Wayne County Athletic League Returning Starters: Corey Caldwell (6-5, Sr., 16
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ppg, 9 rpg); Drew Frizell (6-2, Jr., 8 ppg, 4 rpg, 52 three-point goals made); Derek Orr (6-6, Sr., *Would have started, but tore ACL in preseason) Others in the mix: Josh Horst (5-11, Jr.); Corey Rehm (6-1, Sr.); Alex Herron (6-2, Sr.); David Rehm (6-1, Sr.); Alex Bates (6-1, Fr.) OHSH on Smithville: Smithville is 45-4 over the last two seasons making trips to the regional in both years. Last year, making the regional final before falling to the eventual state champion (Cleveland CC). Michael Snowbarger (68-24) has completely changed the outlook of Smithies’ basketball after being known mainly as a football power. Snowbarger was an assistant at Akron SVSM in the Lebron Era, so he is no stranger to winning. The Smithies were one Derek Orr away from making the state tournament last season, and probably winning the whole thing. Orr suffered a season-ending torn ACL in the Preseason. However, Smithville still found a way to run off 24-straight before losing in the regional final. The Smithies will need to replace 6-foot-8 Kenny Kornowski (D3 Player of the Year) and Tyler Bates, which may be easier, said than done. Though, the return of Orr and mainstays Corey Caldwell and Drew Frizell should help in the early season transition period. Look for some of the newcomers to really surprise people, and Smithville will once again be in the mix for a regional spot and possibly even further. What the coach is saying: “We have a good mix of returning players with a few young kids that have worked extremely hard to get themselves ready to compete at a high level,” Snowbarger explained. “We will hopefully build on the success the program has been able to accomplish the last two years.”
VERSAILLES 2008-2009 Record: (13-10) *Lost to Dayton Christian 65-51 in district final. Head Coach: Scott McEldowney (5th year @ school) League: Midwest Athletic Conference Returning Starters: Zach Niekam (6-0, So.); Derek Langenkamp (6-0, Sr.); Patrick Mescher (65, Sr.); Damion Winner (6-1, Jr.) Others in the mix: Zach Darlage (6-2, Sr.); Wes Drees (6-1, Sr.); Mitchell Campbell (6-3, So.); Max Kindell (6-3, Sr.); James Wilker (6-2, Jr.) OHSH on Versailles: We really like the making of this Versailles team. They escaped twice in last year’s tournament on last second shots to upset Middletown Madison and knock off a good Hamilton Badin team before being ousted by state semi-finalist Dayton Christian. Nieport will be hard to replace, but as McEldowney mentioned it will likely be committee with eight lettermen returning. Not a lot of people are talking about the Tigers, and we aren’t sure as to why. Perhaps it could be the fact they play in a league (MAC) that is all NW District teams and they are the lone SW District squad. That is just a guess, but people tend to forget about this statewide power in a conference filled with storied programs. The Tigers won’t wow you, but they will earn victories. Look for this team to be an extremely tough
out come tournament time. Also, sophomore Zach Niekamp should be primed for a breakout year. What the coach is saying: “We would love to win a district as we have lost two of the last three years in district play,” McEldowney explained.
WHEELERSBURG 2008-2009 Record: (16-6) *Lost to Proctorville Fairland 44-39 in sectional final. Head Coach: Tom Barrick (16th year @ school) League: Southern Ohio Conference II Returning Starters: Andy Stegman (6-5, Jr., 17.0 ppg); Brandon Schankweiler (6-0, Jr.); Cole Miller (5-11, Sr.); Shane Ward (6-2, Jr.); Nick Kemper (6-1, Sr., *Possibly not coming out because of baseball) Others in the mix: Andrew Bendolph (5-11, Jr., Transfer from Portsmouth); Tyler Lang (6-1, Sr., *Starter as a sophomore); Zaide Whitley (6-0, So.) OHSH on Wheelersburg: The Pirates are certainly a favorite in the Southeast, but Barrick certainly isn’t ready to crown his squad anything yet. When looking at history, things look very similar to 2006. What is that one may ask? The Pirates were underclassmen dominated in 2005 and made the district semis pretty close to last year’s ‘Burg team that made the sectional final. The Pirates had zero seniors on that team. In 2006, the Pirates made the state tournament with all their key components back from ’05. The ‘Burg enjoyed a return trip to Columbus in ’07 for the state tourney. We aren’t saying this kind of success is inevitable, but it does look quite parallel. The Southeast is going to be competitive this year with Oak Hill, Piketon, Zane Trace, Ironton, Chesapeake, Lucasville Valley, and Belpre all looking to have big years. Though, the ‘Burg will be near the top of the list. Andy Stegman is a warrior on the interior and the addition of Andrew Bendolph from Portsmouth at point guard and the return of Tyler Lang will take away from any thought of double-teaming the post. Lang missed all of last season due to a football injury. The Orange and Black lacked scoring punch last year, but look for them to be an up and down explosive outfit this season. The SE will get three teams to the regional to meet up with one from the East, so a trip to Columbus is not far fetched when thinking about Wheelersburg. What the coach is saying: “This year is probably the opposite of last year” Barrick said. “We got hit with graduation and injuries last year, so there were a lot of question marks. This year we have some experience back with a year under our belt. The big thing about this year is to develop our own identity because we have different kids in the mix. From a fan’s stand point people are going to be excited. From a coach’s standpoint we are thinking how are we going to mesh this group.” 7 SLEEPERS (ALPHABETICAL ORDER) 1. Centerburg 2. Columbus Africentric 3. Dayton Northridge 4. Defiance Tinora 5. Leavittsburg LaBrae 6. Twin Valley South
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Boys Basketball Preview 7. Wooster Triway
DIVISION IV BERLIN HILAND 2008-2009 Record: (24-1) *Lost to Lutheran East 76-68 in regional semis. Head Coach: Mark Schlabach (5th year @ school) League: Inter-Valley Conference Returning Starters: Dylan Kaufman (6-4, So., 16.9 ppg); Noah Boyd (6-7, Jr.) Others in the mix: Josh Yoder (6-1, Jr.); Braden Conn (6-0, Jr.); Alex Schmucker (6-2, Jr.); Jalen Miller (6-0, Jr.); Keith Miller (5-10, Sr.); Jordan Miller (5-10, Sr.) OHSH on Berlin Hiland: The Hawks will need to replace two huge holes from last year in combo guard Colten Hostetler and 6-foot-5 power forward Colton Troyer. Those two will be hard to replace, but the Hawks have a strong junior class which should help in the transition along with one special sophomore and a 6-foot-7 deep-shooting junior. 6-foot-4 sophomore Dylan Kaufman had a tremendous freshman season and an even better spring and summer with Team CBIZ. His stock has soared causing D1 colleges to already offer the youngster. Kaufman has a motor that doesn’t quit and a pull-up off the right dribble that is deadly. More specifically, Kaufman is a pure-shooter. Noah Boyd should carry more of the scoring load this year being mainly a deep threat last season. The lengthy junior has unlimited range, but needs to do even more this year. The above two will need to be very good early in the season until the others get their feet wet. This team should be really good by mid to late season with a chance to win the conference and a good shot to make the regional once again. Shadyside will be looking to get in the Hawks way. If they aren’t a state tournament contender this year, next year the Holmes County school will be a no-brainer.
CAREY 2008-2009 Record: (16-7) *Lost to Toledo Christian 55-45 in district semis. Head Coach: C.J. Kin League: Midland Athletic League Returning Starters: Michael Dennis (6-7, Sr., 16.9 ppg); Mason Tong (6-5, Jr.); Tyler Broadman (5-9, Sr.); Ty Strahm (5-11, Sr.) Others in the mix: Bryce Orians (6-0, So.); Brandon Distel (6-2, So.) OHSH on Carey: Carey has a mix of experience with some young talented sophomores. The Blue Devils are the defending conference champions. Carey is a team that could move up our list quickly, but we are still uncertain about the strength of the Midland Athletic Conference. Michael Dennis, who is a Michigan State football recruit at 6-foot-8 and 275 pounds, should dominate the paint for the Blue Devils making things a lot easier for the others. Mason Tong will be a huge key at 6-foot-5 with his ability to play the wing and put the ball on the floor. Kinn is big on his sophomores Orians and Distel to get the job done on defense along with senior mainstays Broadman and Strahm.
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Carey will have an excellent chance of winning the district with its main competition coming from Calvert and Bucyrus Wynford. The jury is still out on Wynford. What the coach is saying: “I think we will be very good defensively,” Kinn offered. “We play a hybrid 1-3-1 with some kids with good length. We like to pressure and get some turnovers. We are not real worried about getting beat off the dribble with Michael (Dennis) in the back.”
CINCINNATI SEVEN HILLS 2008-2009 Record: (16-5) *Lost to Cincinnati Summit Country Day 39-38 in district final. Head Coach: Willie Hill (6th year @ school) League: Miami Valley Conference Returning Starters: Jake Davis (6-6, Sr. 17.5 ppg., 9.3 ppg); Edmund Schweitzer (6-4, Sr.); Fran Chatfield (5-9, Sr.); Alex Hill (6-1, Sr.) Others in the mix: Jordan Burgess (5-11, Sr.); Adimu Hunter-Woodward (6-1, Jr.); Miles Hill (6-4, Jr.); Max Davis (6-0, Jr.); Anthony Clark (6-1, Sr.); Josh Dunaway (6-0, Sr.); Kyle Neu (6-4, Sr.) OHSH on Cincinnati Seven Hills: The Stingers are coming off a very good year in which they reached the district final before losing a one-point game to Summit Country Day. Seven Hills brings back no less than nine of its first twelve from last year’s campaign. That is real good news considering one of those nine is 1st Team All-Ohioan Jake Davis. The 6-foot-6 senior nearly averaged a double-double a season ago. The Cincinnati-based school is very well coached under Willie Hill and plays as good as anyone on the defensive end of the floor. Another top returnee is three-year starting point guard Fran Chatfield. A team that combines a topnotch point guard with a very good post game (Davis) almost always enjoys success. The Stingers won’t just be a two-man team as they encompass good depth. Seven Hills’ conference should be good this year with North College Hill and CHCA expecting big years in D2 and D3 respectively. It would interesting to see a Dayton Jefferson/Seven Hills match up to see how the Stingers defense would try and limit Adreian Payne and company. Seven Hills lost four games by two points or less including two to D1 teams and one game by five points. What the coach is saying: “This senior class is motivated to play consistent and win the Miami Valley Conference (MVC) Championship,” Hill stated. “The league is even more competitive this year than last. I am excited about this team and this group of seniors. They have remained focus since the end of last season’s tournament loss. If they remain focused on playing our style of ball and continue to push to get better we should see the desired results.”
COLUMBUS GROVE 2008-2009 Record: (11-11) *Lost to Kalida 5441 in sectional final. Head Coach: Todd Turnwald (4th year @ school) League: Northwest Conference and Putnam County League Returning Starters: Adam Bair (6-4, Jr.); Luke Kohls (6-4, Jr.); Colby Mueleman (6-2, Jr.); Devin Gerhoff (6-0, Jr.)
Others in the mix: Matt Jaennell (5-10, Jr.); Eli Ricker (6-2, Sr.); Rayce Risser (5-10, Sr.); Jordan Travis (6-2, So.); Connor Kohls (6-0, So.); Wayde Hefner (6-4, So.) OHSH on Columbus Grove: This is a sleeper that we have in the top 20. We just couldn’t get past the fact almost every coach we spoke with mentioned Grove as the team that will break out this season. CG has an excellent mix of size, speed, and quickness. The Bulldogs welcome back four kids that have started since their freshmen year, and have gradually became better players and a better team. We really look for this team to take off in 2009-2010 with the experience coming back and depth on the bench with the addition of three talented sophomores. One of the sophomores, Jordan Travis, is the quarterback of the football team. With the possibility of having all five starters back next year, this team could make a real nice two-year run. What the coach is saying: “We have four starters back that have been starting since their freshmen year and they are still only juniors,” Turnwald said. “We won six games with them as freshman and eleven last year, but I have seen us make big strides over the summer.”
CONTINENTAL 2008-2009 Record: (14-7) *Lost to Hamler Patrick Henry 45-44 in the sectional opener. Head Coach: Kevin Homier (10th year @ school) League: Putnam County League Returning Starters: Brock Homier (5-11, Jr.); Chase Ordway (6-0, Sr.); John Spitnale (6-4, Jr.); Ben Schwartzman (6-1, Sr.); Damon Schmidt (6-1, Sr.) Others in the mix: Curtis Weisenberger (6-2, Sr.); Chris Baden (6-0, Sr.); David Flattman (6-2, Sr.); Austin Sharp (6-1, Jr.) OHSH on Continental: It is hard to believe we can rank a team No. 5 that lost to a (6-16) team in the sectional opener a year ago. However, after talking with Coach Homier we just get the vibe that this team has the making of something special. Remember this, the Pirates beat D3 state runnersup Defiance Tinora the last week of the regular season and barely lost to the D4 state runners-up Kalida the week prior. Things just didn’t go Continental’s way in the opening round loss to Patrick Henry. Homier is no stranger to tough losses and tragic events. Continental’s star center passed before the 2001-2002 season, which can’t even be rivaled. The 2005 team lost in the state semis, the 2006 club lost in the regional, and the 2007 bunch started 14-1 before losing its best player to a torn ACL. Continental will be in the same sectional as Columbus Grove and Kalida and the same district as Ada and Arlington. Grove is a real sleeper, but Kalida, Ada, and Arlington lost quite a bit even though they will not be an easy out by any means. It is certainly there for the taking to make a trip to the regional, and anything can happen from there. This team will have one of the best true point guard’s around in Homier, along with Ordway who should really break out this year. Spitnale will be a huge with his ability to perform in the paint. This team has as much court time as anyone, but will all this translate into tournament success. We will say
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Boys Basketball Preview this, if they get that first tourney win out of the way, look out. What the coach is saying: “We have everyone back that includes one through twelve,” Homier said. “This team is different from past teams, because they figured it out on its own. We have been blessed with some good teams over the past eight years, but we always had some junior or senior leadership. When this group started they did not have that luxury. In other words, they had to climb the ladder.”
DAYTON JEFFERSON 2008-2009 Record: (19-5) *Lost to Lockland 6361 in district final. Head Coach: Art Winston (14th year @ school) League: Independent Returning Starters: Adreian Payne (6-10, Sr, 12.3 ppg); Cody Latimer (6-2, Jr, 15.8 ppg) Others in the mix: Joby Jackson (6-2, Jr.); Dwight Johnson (6-0, Jr.); Irving Wood (5-10, Sr.); Terry Blythe (6-3) Sophomore; Deontay Roverson (6-3) Sophomore; David Pritchett (6-3, Jr.); Zack Britt (6-4) Senior; Shawndale Lewis (6-2) Senior OHSH on Dayton Jefferson: Jefferson will need to solidify its guard spots throughout the regular season if they hope to make a long tournament run. Payne will be a menace this season especially come tournament time. If Latimer is as good as we expect him to be the Broncos will have a better than good chance of being in Columbus in late March. We rate Payne and Latimer as the best 1-2 punch in D4. Winston won the state tournament in 1998 at Jefferson defeated Delphos St. John’s in overtime. What the coach is saying: “We are going to have good speed with some good quickness,” Winston said. “Our big (Adreian Payne) can run, and we have very good team length. Adreian has a seven-foot-two wing span. We graduated are top three guards, which has to be noted. Though, Jackson and Johnson played a lot but they were not starters. We will see how they transition from the mentality it takes to be a starter from being a bench player. The mindset has to be totally different. I do feel confident they will do that.”
DELPHOS ST. JOHN’S 2008-2009 Record: (17-5) *Lost to Kalida 52-36 in the district semis. Head Coach: Aaron Elwer (3rd year @ school) League: Midwest Athletic Conference Returning Players: Scott Recker (6-2, Sr.); Nate Webb (6-4, Sr.); Justin Backus (6-4, Sr.); Jay Clark (6-4, Sr.); Ty Bergfeld (6-3, Jr.) Others in the mix: Wes Ulm (6-0, Sr.); Blake Williams (5-10, Sr.); Derek Klause (6-1, Jr.); Alex Recker (6-2, Jr.) OHSH on Delphos St. John’s: The Blue Jays were dominant in the early part of the decade, but faded off for a few years before getting back to their winning ways last season. Elwer’s teams are tough, which is a good thing playing in the MAC. The Blue Jays will play in a sectional with Fort Jennings and Ottoville and district action amongst Fort Recovery, New Bremen, and New Knoxville. In other words, things won’t be easy. DSJ’s situation is like most other NW D4 teams in that there are several teams that could get hot and get out of the district. The team playing the best basketball and
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gelling at the right time will be the team that advances. That seems obvious, but with so many good teams it is hard to say one will clearly advance. The Blue Jays have a nice group of seniors and the addition of Ulm and Williams should help immensely. Losing the main cogs on the perimeter will be a negative, but look for Webb to really break out this year. DSJ will be the team nobody in the MAC wants to play on a nightly basis. We will have to wait and see if this ranking is too high or too low for the Blue Jays. We have a feeling they will move up the list. What the coach is saying: “We have a senior dominated team as we return four seniors from last year plus two seniors that were unable to play their junior years because of injury,” Elwer said. “These players will provide a lot of experience along with great leadership qualities.”
FORT LORAMIE 2008-2009 Record: (16-9) *Lost to Lockland 6458 in regional semis. Head Coach: Karl Ratermann (2nd Year @ school) League: Shelby County Returning Letterman: Mark Frilling (6-5, Sr., 15.7 ppg); Brad Frilling (6-2, Sr.) Jake Boerger (6-2, Sr.); Justin Hoying (6-2, Sr.); Mitch Raterman (6-0, Sr.); Cody Alber (5-11, Jr.); Nick Meyer (5-10, Jr.) Newcomers: Jace Humphries (6-2, Sr.); Tyler Rose (6-0, Sr.); Chris Meyer (6-4, Jr.); Joe Poeppelman (6-3, Jr.) OHSH on Fort Loramie: The Redskins are as deep as anybody in D4 with a great combination of experience. They have the right ingredients for a lengthy tournament run. Frilling, along with Payne and Seven Hills’ Jake Davis, are the three of the best in SW Ohio. Loramie has nice mix of inside and outside play that will make it hard for most to match up along with being very well coached. Don’t be surprised if you see the Redskins in the state’s capital come March with the experience of their first eight returning from last year’s regional squad. Fort Loramie, if it makes Columbus, at some point will have to get by Dayton Jefferson or South Charleston Southeastern. What the coach is saying: “We lost one player (Eric Drees) that logged considerable playing time last year, and after that we return our top eight players from last year’s squad,” Ratermann noted. “We also have some key contributors coming from our jayvee team that finished 17-3. I look for some stiff competition at several positions this year.”
FORT RECOVERY 2008-2009 Record: (14-8) *Lost to Ada 56-40 in district semis. Head Coach: Brian Patch League: Midwest Athletic Conference Returning Starters: Greg Kahlig (6-6, Sr., 23.9 ppg); Craig Tobe (6-5, Sr.) Others in the mix: Ryan Schone (5-8, Jr.); Cody Fiely (6-1, Sr.); Wade Gelhaus (6-4)Freshman OHSH on Fort Recovery: The Indians may have the best “high school” player in D4 in Greg Kahlig, however, will that be enough to get them through a brutal schedule including a sectional containing New Bremen and New Knoxville? That
remains to be seen and will fall on the progression of the newcomers. Craig Tobe will help out on the interior, and Patch likes point guard prospect Ryan Schone, who is a savvy lead guard that make a lot of the right plays. FR will also rely on Cody Fiely for some outside shooting, and freshman Wade Gelhaus to help out in the scoring department. Patch considers freshman Gelhaus, a transfer Mississinawa Valley, a younger version of Kahlig. He has the ability to post up and take the defender off the dribble. OHSH struggled to place Fort Recovery in the rankings deciding if Kahlig was good enough to have them in the top 20. There may be better overall team outside the top 20 looking in, but those teams don’t have a Kahlig. That was enough for us to give them a spot. What the coach is saying: “We lost eight seniors from last year’s team including one four-year and one three-year player,” Patch said. “We have a returning all-state performer (Kahlig), who was the league player of the year. That is a good place to start.” HARVEST PREP 2008-2009 Record: (17-6) *Lost to Newark Catholic 48 in regional semis. Head Coach: Mike Thornton (4th year @ school) League: Mid-State League Cardinal Division Players in the mix: JQ Austin (5-8, Sr.); Shakir Dunning (6-1, Jr.); Eric Brown (6-4, Jr.); Geron Tate (6-4, Jr.) (transfer from Westerville South); Grant Harris (6-0, So.); Adam McCall (5-10, So.); Doug Richey (6-0, So.) OHSH on Harvest Prep: It may seem a bit odd to have a team so young ranked so high, but the Warriors are that talented. A lot of this ranking could be based on talent and potential, but that may be more than most D4 teams can handle. The Warriors will be quick, athletic, talented, and experienced. They have a solid point guard in Austin along with some very talented youngsters in Harris and McCall. Look for Dunning to have a break out year, and Tate and Brown will be hard for most D4 frontcourts to handle. If HP can force an up-tempo game success is inevitable. Newark Catholic may be the only team in Prep’s way en route to the final four, but this is just on paper. What the coach is saying: “We are younger than usual with a bunch of juniors and sophomores,” Thornton said. “I believe this team is going to have a lot better chemistry than last season. If we can mature throughout the season, this might be the best team I have had here. We have a lot of the core back from last season plus a few new pieces, so we are pretty much set for a two-year run.”
NEW BREMEN 2008-2009 Record: (14-8) *Lost to Fort Recover (46-44) in district semis. Head Coach: Mike Ernst (9th year @ school 9773) League: Midwest Athletic Conference (6-3) Returning Starters: Justin Eilerman (6-7, Sr., 16.8 ppg., 8.5 rpg); Caleb Williams (6-8, Sr., 4.2 ppg., 4.3 rpg); Spencer Rohr (6-0, Sr., 11.8 ppg., 3.8 rpg); Andy Timmerman (5-10, Sr., 4.9 ppg., 3.7 apg)
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Boys Basketball Preview Others in the mix: Marcus Bergman (5-9, Sr., 3.9 ppg., 1.5 rpg); Clay Heitkamp (6-7, Sr., 5.9 ppg., 2.6 rpg); Aaron Clune (5-11, So., 2.6 ppg., 2.1 rpg); Dean McFarlin (5-9, Sr.); Troy Williams (6-5, So.); Logan Bronkema (5-9, Sr.) OHSH on New Bremen: It is no secret that the Midwest Athletic Conference (MAC) is the best small school conference in the state, but many outside of the NW area may not even know New Bremen is in that conference. The Cardinals have been consistent and good, but with teams like New Knoxville, Delphos St. John’s, St. Henry, Marion Local, Versailles, Fort Recovery, and Coldwater dominating the basketball headlines over the past decade it would be hard for anyone outside of their own area to realize they were in this conference. However, the Cards finished tied for second last season and finished in the top two three of the last four seasons winning the championship in 2006. They currently have six-straight winning seasons, which is a school record. While all the other big dogs in the conference have garnered the majority of the headlines, NB has quietly went about its business and built a team this year that is capable of bringing home the prize. The Cardinals not only play their tough conference schedule, they have a brutal out-of-conference schedule against Anna, Fort Recovery, Russia, and Lima Central Catholic. This alone will certainly have them tournament-ready. As Coach Ernst told us, by the end of the regular season “there is nothing we have not gameplanned for or against.” The district will be brutal with the likes of New Knoxville, Fort Recovery, Ottoville, Marion Local, Delphos St. John’s, and Fort Jennings. We have to believe if they survive the district, this team is certainly capable of making a run to Columbus. NB will have to use its pressing, trapping, and good length to its advantage with not being a real physical team. It is just really hard to make accurate exact predictions with the bevy of quality teams in the NW. What the coach is saying: “We are really excited about this season,” Ernst said. “We graduated one starter from last season’s 14-8 team, and return seven letter winners. Five of the seven letter winners have earned two letters and should all become three-year winners. Some of that was due to low numbers when they were sophomores and were forced into action, but we do have a lot of experience. We have good size with four players 6foot-5 or taller and have three perimeter players who are all in their third year of varsity play.”
NEW KNOXVILLE 2008-2009 Record: (22-1) *Lost to Ada 52-45 in the district final. Head Coach: Kort Fledderjohann (1st year @ school) League: Midwest Athletic Conference Returning Starters: Ryan Vanderhorst (6-3, Sr.) Others in the mix: Marcus Reineke (6-1, Jr.); Cody Horstman (5-10, Jr.); Tyler Wright (6-7, Sr.); Darren Homan (6-2, Sr.); Travis Luck (6-1, Sr.); Brian Baumbauer (6-0, Jr.); Zach Leffel (6-0, Sr.) OHSH on New Knoxville: The Rangers enjoyed success over the past three seasons that only few could even begin to rival. Included in that stretch were three undefeated regular seasons and one state championship (2008). Now, the only playe logging serious minutes remaining from the state
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championship team is outstanding senior Ryan Vanderhorst. The sensational senior was a starter on that team. This ranking may be a bit high for a team a team that returns one starter and its sixth and seventh men, but respect is what a team only losing two games in three years earns. As several NW Ohio coaches put it, “they have developed that winning attitude.” The Rangers expect to win no matter who is signed into the scorebook. Look for the winning attitude to carry over for this season especially with the caliber of player in Vanderhorst returning. The Walsh commit should take some of the pressure off losing 6-foot-8 Brad Piehl (Robert Morris), Austin Arnett and Caleb Allen all of which were starters on the 2008 championship outfit. Fledderjohann will be replacing a legend in the departed Dan Hegemier, who has three state championships on his resume and a career record of (466-170). Hegemier left for St. Mary’s High School, who has just four wins over the past two seasons. Two of the championships came at Fort Loramie. Hegemier spent five seasons at his alma mater (NK) winning 101 games and lost just 19. Included in these staggering numbers are MAC titles the past three seasons, 60-0 regular season record over the same amount of time, and an overall record of (74-2) the past three campaigns. The Rangers were the overwhelming favorite to win the state championship last season starting the year 22-0 before having their 49-game winning streak snapped in the district final to Ada. In May, 29 seniors graduated and 15 of those were male and five of those fifteen were really talented basketball players. In all, there are 891 people in New Knoxville. Needless to say, Fledderjohann will have big shoes to fill but he has the talent and experience under Hegemier to be just fine. The Rangers haven’t lost a regular season game since February 10, 2006 (St. Henry, 46-36). What the coach is saying: “We have a good nucleus back in Ryan, Cody, and Marcus,” Fledderjohann said. “All three played significant varsity minutes last year. This year’s success will depend on finding consistent post play and building chemistry.”
NEW RIEGEL 2008-2009 Record: (16-6) *Lost to Van Buren 67-48 in district semis. Head Coach: Todd Aichholz League: Midland Athletic Conference Players in the mix: Dustin Kinn (6-2, Sr., 16.1 ppg., 9.6 rpg); Joey Dillon (5-11, Sr., 11.9 ppg); Jason Bouillon (5-6, Sr.); Cory Smith (5-10, Sr.); Aaron Schalk (5-11, Sr.) OHSH on New Riegel: The Blue Jackets return a lot from last year’s district team, but did lose a key piece in Lee Kelbley who was nearly a doubledouble guy every night. Recplacing Kelbley will be a tall order in the early part of the year, but the return of Dustin Kinn should help out big time. Kinn another double-double kid will team with returnee Joey Dillon to give New Riegel a very good one-two scoring punch. NR will be battling Carey for the top spot in the Midland Athletic Conference. The Blue Jackets will have to beat Van Buren in sectional play and have
Leipsic, McComb, Miller City, and Pandora-Gilboa in their district. Things won’t be easy.
NEWARK CATHOLIC 2008-2009 Record: (21-5) *Lost to Oak Hill 5652 in regional final. Head Coach: Drew Meister (4th year @ school) League: Mid-State Ohio Returning Starters: Matt Dawson (6-2, Sr., 14.0 ppg); Nate Adams (6-4, Sr.); Kevin Cox (6-4, Sr., 7 ppg) Others in the mix: James Moreman (5-11, Sr.); Phillip Taylor (6-2, Sr.); Derek Adam (5-10, Sr.) OHSH on Newark Catholic: The Green Wave appears to be in a two-horse race with Harvest Prep for the Central District crown, but that is paper talk. NC will be very good on defense with the return of Dawson, Adams, and Cox along with three other key components from a year ago. Dawson can shoot the light out whether it be off the dribble or the catch and shoot. He has really improved his overall game over the past spring/summer playing with Shining Star Sports AAU organization under Mike Price. Dawson will be a tough match up for any defender on the schedule. If the defense is able to catch up with the offense, the Green Wave is mentally and physically tough enough to play for a state championship. The two starters lost from last year will hurt, but six of the top eight return so that is comforting. Look for Nate Adams to really bust out this year, and make Dawson and him a quality one-two punch. This team will be a tough out with its quality coaching, efficient offense, and a defense that is destined to improve. NC lost four of its five games last season by five points or less. What the coach is saying: “This team is anything but content,” Meister said.. “We are more aware of what it takes to compete at the higher level and our goals will be even bigger.” PANDORA-GILBOA 2008-2009 Record: (19-4) *Lost to Kalida 44-37 in district final. Head Coach: Joe Braidic (13th year @ school) League: Blanchard Valley Conference and Putnam County League Returning Starters: Josh Lee (6-5, Sr., 14.6 ppg), Tyler Gratz (6-7, Sr.); Thomas Hochstettler (6-2, Sr.); Nathan Lee (5-8, Sr.) Others in the mix: Zach Niese (6-3, Sr.); Kyle Hall (6-2, Sr.) OHSH on Pandora-Gilboa: The Rockets certainly have a schedule that will once again have them battle-tested come late February and early March. The sectional will be staunch with the likes of Miller City, Leipsic, and McComb add New Riegel and Van Buren to the district list and as with most NW districts it will be tough to survive. Though, P-G has leg up on the competition with two-time conference player of the year Josh Lee returning. Lee will lead a solid group of returnees along with inside mate Tyler Gratz. A lot of these kids will be in their third or fourth year playing, and they were extremely good last season. The one glowing difference is the absence of graduated senior Sam Maag. He was the glue guy, and replacing him will not be easy. The Rockets beat a plethora of good teams last
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Boys Basketball Preview Ada senior Heath Jackson is one reason the Bulldogs are thinking Columbus again.
Photo by Gary Housteau
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Boys Basketball Preview season during the regular season including both D4 NW state tournament representatives in Ada (by 18) and Kalida (by 9). If that is any indication, the Rockets will certainly be a strong contender for state gold in 2010. What the coach is saying: “If we stay healthy and the juniors come on this could be a very good year,” Braidic said. “We have three or four kids that can shoot the three, so hopefully that will take some pressure off the interior. We will go as far as Lee and Gratz take us.”
RUSSIA 2008-2009 Record: (13-9) *Lost to Fort Loramie 55-44 in district semis. Head Coach: Paul Bremigan (26th year @ school) League: Shelby County League Returning Starters: Levi Francis (6-0, Jr.); Mitch Knight (6-3, Jr.); Nathan Wilson (6-5, Sr.); Andy Toller (5-10, Sr.) Others in the mix: Tyler Goubeaux (5-11, Sr.) OHSH on Russia: The Raiders have experience, shooters, and some size which are all great qualities. However, they are playing in an extremely tough conference with Anna and Fort Loramie expecting huge years. Russia is in a tough district with Covington, Mechanicsburg, and the aforementioned Redskins of Fort Loramie. Returning four of five starters and having five returning letterman is a good place to start. We just don’t believe they have improved enough to surpass a team like Fort Loramie that beat them last season and returned virtually everybody. What the coach is saying: “I think we will be improved in a lot of areas,” Bremigan noted. “We should be better offensively especially shooting the ball and rebounding. We need to improve this year on taking quality shots.”
SHADYSIDE 2008-2009 Record: (17-7) *Lost to Berlin Hiland 69-57 in district final. Head Coach: Ed Andes (13th year @ school) League: Ohio Valley Athletic Conference (2A) Returning Starters: Justin Andes (6-3, Sr., 15.0 ppg); Nick Schuetz (5-10, Sr.); Dylan Kimble (6-0, Sr.); Patrick O’Donnell (6-1, Sr.) Others in the mix: Heath Brooks (6-3, Sr.); Tyler Cline (6-0, Sr.); Colby Emery (6-0, Sr.); Ellis Brown (5-10, Jr.) OHSH on Shadyside: The Tigers make it an annual gathering at the district tournament, but going beyond that point is something they have been unable to accomplish. The Orange and Black were denied a regional opportunity in ’09 once again, but things could be different this year. This senior unit is the one Coach Andes has been waiting for since these kids were in middle school. Most of the kids have been part of twostraight district runner-up teams, so they know what it takes to get there. This could be the season they take it to another level. This unit gels together like peanut butter and jelly. It seems as if they always know where each other is on the floor. The Tigers enjoyed a solid summer culminated by taking D1 power Massillon Jackson to the wire in the Wheeling Shootout by connecting on 13 treys. Jackson, who will be a favorite to make the state
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tournament, was very impressed with the small school drawing high praise from head coach Mike Fuline. Shadyside does an excellent job on offense of spreading the floor using the dribble-drive to set up the spot-up shooters. If you have heard of a streaky shooter this is a streaky shooting team. They may miss 10-straight, but knock down the next 12. Schuetz and Andes is the best one-two combo in the Ohio Valley. Both have high basketball IQs with Andes doing a little bit of everything and Schuetz being a slick penetrator with the ability to hit the mid-range shot or continue to the cup. Typically the concern with Shadyside is its ability to defend especially on the interior. Over the years, a good low post player has given them serious problems. At any rate, the Tigers should have a huge year and will contend for a regional spot and a possible spot in Columbus. The sectional won’t see any team able to contend with the Tigers, while Berlin Hiland, Strasburg-Franklin, Steubenville CC, Malvern, and Tuscarawas CC are all possible tough district match ups. What the coach is saying: “We lost one player from last year’s district runner-up team,” Andes said.
SOUTH CHARLESTON SOUTHEASTERN 2008-2009 Record: (21-3) *Lost to Fort Loramie 56-49 in district final. Head Coach: PJ Bertemes (5th year @ school) League: Ohio Heritage Conference (2009 Conference Champions) Returning Starters: J.P. McFarland (6-5, Sr., 14.6 ppg); Austin Mercer (6-2, Sr.); Reed Florence (6-3, Sr.); Tyler Cooper (5-11, Jr.) Others in the mix: Brad Roberts (6-4, Sr.); Preston Snodgrass (6-1, So.); Travis Cain (5-11, Sr.); Caleb Errett (6-1, Jr.); Jordan Hitt (5-10, So.); Caleb Diamond (5-9, So.); Luke Pavlatos (5-11, So.) OHSH on South Charleston SE: One of the concerns Coach Bertemes mentioned was the tough district, and he couldn’t be more right. The Troy High School District will have Dayton Jefferson, Yellow Springs, Arcanum, and SE. Not exactly an easy road. However, the Trojans are in good shape led by returning 3rd Team All-Ohio performer JP McFarland and All District 9 Performer Austin Mercer. SE returns six of its top eight from last year’s (21-3) squad that reached the district final before losing to a very good Fort Recovery team. They have a nice combination of size, experience, depth, and athleticism which is always a good recipe for success on the hardwood. Its conference isn’t elite, but they do play up quite a bit. SE only lost one conference game a year ago and it was to Northeastern (56-54). Based on what they did a season ago and the talent they have coming this is no doubt a top 5 team. What the coach is saying: “We return six of our top eight players from last year,” Bertemes said. “Our strengths will be experience, depth, and athleticism.” TOLEDO OTTAWA HILLS 2008-2009 Record: (20-3) *Lost to Defiance Tinora 31-30 in D3 district final. Head Coach: John Lindsay
League: Toledo Area Athletic Conference Returning Starters: Eliot Browarsky (5-10, Sr.); J.J. Buckey (6-2, Jr.); Andrew Jamieson (5-10, Jr.); Jon Shollenberger (5-11, Sr.) Others in the mix: Bobby Brunner (6-0, Jr.); Ethan Haigh (5-7, Jr.) OHSH on Toledo Ottawa Hills: The Green Bears are coming off a (20-3) season that ended in the district final to D3 state runner-up Defiance Tinora by one point. With the loss, came the graduation of 6-foot-8 senior Phillip Beans and his 22.1 points per game. Beans has since moved on to Holy Cross leaving the Green Bears with a giant hole to fill in the middle. OH has a very good set of guards returning to help pick up the slack in senior Eliot Browarsky and junior J.J. Buckey including two other starters. The former is an Elon soccer commitment. Both have a lot of experience and we look for them to have huge seasons. Ottawa Hills is OHSH’s top 20 sleeper. Moving down from D3, the Green Bears have a real good chance of winnings their district with top competition coming from Bettsville, Norwalk St. Paul, and Toledo Christian. Keep an eye on this team. YOUNGSTOWN CHRISTIAN 2008-2009 Record: (21-4) *Lost to Lutheran East 57-44 in regional final. Head Coach: Dolph Carroll League: East Suburban Conference Players in the mix: John Pecchia (6-1, Sr., 11.9 ppg); Anthony Walker (6-7, Jr.); Torrell Grier (5-7, Sr.); Casey Carroll (6-6, Sr.)- (transfer from Canfield); Louis Fatimus (6-1, Sr.) (transfer from Poland); Caleb Yanno (5-8, Sr.); Victor Shaw (5-11, Sr.) ; Joe Napier (6-1, Sr.) OHSH on Youngstown Christian: The Eagles were one game away from the state tournament in 2009 falling to a very talented Lutheran East squad. YC loses its best player in Olonzo Johnson from a year ago, but have added some new pieces to help fill the void. Casey Carroll, the son of head coach Dolph Carroll, transferred over from Canfield along with Poland transfer Louis Fatimus. That is good considering the Eagles were not even close to the same team without Johnson on the floor. For example, the Warren JFK game in the regional semis when Johnson was forced to sit with foul trouble. However, the young guards are another year older and Pecchia is a solid scorer. Carroll will give YC a legitimate low post scoring threat with a physical presence on the interior. Fatimus has improved leaps and bounds and should be a real sleeper this season adding athleticism and the ability to shoot and score in transition. The path to the state tournament out of Canton this year will not be nearly as tough as it was last season, but it is never easy. Though, this could be the year for the Eagles to show up in Columbus. 7 SLEEPERS (ALPHABETICAL ORDER) 1. Dalton 2. Leipsic 3. McComb 4. Mechanicsburg 5. Miller City 6. Tiffin Calvert 7. Yellow Springs — MVP
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Girls Basketball Preview
Kettering Alter and Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown could be on a collison course for their third straight meeting in the D-II state tournament. The teams are 1-1 against each other. Photo by Gary Housteau
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Girls Basketball Preview
STORY BY MATT NATALI
Girls Basketball 2009-10 Preview
15 Teams to Watch: Keep an Eye on...
As usual, Ohio will again be one of the country’s top spots for girls basketball; Here’s who the state’s top teams are...
Berlin Hiland (26-2) Players to Watch: F Katelyn Stuckey (5-11, Sr., 10.0 ppg), G Hilary Weaver (5-7, Sr., 11.7 ppg), G Mykeila Mast (5-7, Sr. 7.4 ppg), G Jessica Stutzman (5-7, Sr., 2.1 ppg), P Missy Mast (6-0, Soph., 3.5 ppg), W Mckenzie Miller (5-8, Soph., 4.6 ppg), C Hannah Stoneman ( 6-2, Soph., 1.0 ppg) Outlook: Hiland was denied its second straight state championship last season and its fifth overall falling to Columbus Africentric 55-46 in the Division IV state championship game. Look for the Lady Hawks to be right back in the title mix again this year after graduating just one senior from last year’s team. That experience the younger players gained last season will be critical for the long haul this season. Weaver was first team All-Ohio selection last season and the D-IV coplayer of the year. Stuckey was All-State honorable mention. Canton McKinley (22-4) Players to Watch: G Ameryst Alston (5-9, Soph. 14.5 ppg), F Laneisha Lennon (5-9, Jr., 9.0 ppg), G Sydnee Penn (5-7, Jr. 10.0 ppg) Outlook: McKinley made the Division I state tournament last season for the fourth time in school history falling to eventual state champion Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame 62-51 in the semifinals The Lady Pups graduated five seniors but the well is not dry for fourthyear head coach Pam Davis. Alston, who scored 16 points and pulled down six rebounds in the state semifinal game, was a first team All-Ohio selection and is one of the best players in the state regardless of Division. “Ameryst is an incredible ball player,” Davis said after the state semifinal loss. “She plays way beyond her years as a 15-year-old and has great floor presence. If you didn't look at a roster or a program you would never know she was in the ninth grade. “So, I am going to put a plug in early and maybe we'll get a Ms. Basketball at Canton McKinley.” McKinley faces a tough regular season schedule with Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown, Youngstown Boardman and South Euclid Regina all on the docket. Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame (27-1) Players to Watch: G Kathryn Reynolds (5-7, Jr., 9.4 ppg), G Raeshaun Gaffney (5-8, Soph., 6.0 ppg), W Breanna Rucker (5-9, Soph.), P Bridget Williams (6-0, Sr.), F Shelby Kissel (5-11, Sr., 2.6 ppg), P Carling Daniels (6-0, Jr.), G Cassie Lastivka (5-8, Jr.), F Claire Whitaker (5-11, Jr.), W Gabrielle West (5-8, Jr.) Outlook: The Cougars made history last season becoming the first D-I team to win four straight state titles and tied South Euclid Regina out of Division III for the most consecutive championships. Dante Harlan enters his fifth season as the MND head coach and guiding the Cougars to each of those state titles and a 76-7 record in four seasons. MND will be without 2009 Ms. Basketball award winner Kendall Hackney, who is playing college bal at Northwestern. Wing Gabby Smith (Vanderbilt) and guard Ashley Fowler (Ohio) also leave holes in the MND lineup but as we have seen the past several years, MND doesn’t rebuild – it reloads. Reynolds is the lone returning starter but she has bright days ahead of
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OGBR's Preseason Girls Basketball State Rankings
The Ohio high school girls basketball season tipped-off last Friday and as usual, the Buckeye State is home to some of the nation’s top players and teams. Who exactly are the top squads of note? According to Ohio girls basketball guru and the founder of the Ohio Girls Basketball Report – Tom Jenkins – the following programs are the ones to watch. Jenkins knows his stuff when it comes to Ohio girls high school hoops and the following are his annual preseason polls. Some things to consider: - Of the 24 State Champions that have been crowned since OGBR has been releasing its Pre-Season Polls in 2003-2004, 19 teams ranked No. 1 in OGBR's Pre-Season Poll won their division state championship. Three of the last four years, all four No. 1 teams in the preseason finished as state champion. - OGBR has a 79.2% rate in selecting State Champions thru its preseason poll. - Since the 2003 -2004 season OGBR has predicted prior to the start of the season 41 of the 84 (48.8%) State Final Four teams.
Regardless of Division
1. South Euclid Regina (III) 2. Toledo Start (I) 3. Cincinnati Mt. Notre Dame (I) 4. Canton McKinley (I) 5. Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown (II) 6. Dresden Tri-Valley (I) 7. W. Chester Lakota West (I) 8. Twinsburg (I) 9. Pickerington North (I) 10. Berlin Hiland (IV)
1. Toledo Start 2. Cincinnati Mt. Notre Dame 3. Canton McKinley 4. Dresden Tri-Valley 5. West Chester Lakota West 6. Twinsburg 7. Pickerington North 8. Toledo Waite 9. Marion Harding 10. Mason
Others To Watch (listed alphabetically): Cincinnati Colerain, Columbus Brookhaven, Columbus Northland, Fairborn, Pickerington Central, Reynoldsburg, Springboro, Sylvania Northview, Toledo Central Catholic, Vandalia Butler, Youngstown Boardman
1. Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown 2. Dayton Chaminade Julienne
3. Kettering Alter 4. Walsh Jesuit 5. Kenton Ridge 6. Cambridge 7. Canton South 8. Indian Hill 9. Big Walnut 10. Salem
Others To Watch (listed alphabetically): Dayton Carroll, Lima Bath, Mentor Lake Catholic, Washington Court House Miami Trace, Millersburg West Holmes, Rocky River, Tipp City Tippecanoe
1. South Euclid Regina 2. Columbus Africentric 3. Middletown Madison 4. Oak Hill 5. Youngstown Ursuline 6. Findlay Liberty Benton 7. Heath 8. Defiance Tinora 9. Smithville 10. Orrville
1. Berlin Hiland 2. Columbus Harvest Prep 3. Cleveland Lutheran East 4. Waterford 5. Fort Loramie 6. Pandora Gilboa 7. South Webster 8. Delphos St. Johns 9. Minster 10. Mogadore
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Girls Basketball Preview
STORY BY MATT NATALI her on the hardwood already hearing from Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State and Princeton. Gaffney played in nearly every game last season as a freshman and should fill in nicely for the shoes Fowler left behind. Kissel is a Bellarmine University recruit and is healthy after suffering a knee injury in the playoffs last season. Harlan was originally going to resign from his post after last season’s senior graduated but he changed his mind. “At the time, I looked at it and I wanted to be able to spend time with my (4-year-old) son,” he said. “I just can’t put as much work in the off-season like I usually do. I have to make sure I balance that better. But I still have a passion for coaching and as long as I can continue to give the amount of effort I expect from (the players) on a regular basis, then I am going to coach.”
Columbus Africentric (23-4) Players to Watch: F Brein Babbs (5-10, Jr., 8.4 ppg), F Raven Ferguson (5-10, Jr., 19.6 ppg), G Chelsea Chambers (5-5, Jr., 4.6 ppg), F CharVanna Chandler (5-10, Sr.), PG Jimesha Mills (5-4, Sr.), W Ashley Young (5-10, Sr.), F Brittani Thomas (5-10, Jr.), F Taronna Neal (5-9, Jr.), F Kalyn Daniel (5-9, Jr.) Outlook: Africentric has enjoyed great success in its seven-year history winning two state championships and qualifying for the state Final Four three straight seasons. The defending D-IV state champs move into D-III without guard Shardai Morrison-Fountain (Marshall) and 2009 D-IV co-player of the year Ashar Harris (Morehead State) at the wing position. But those are the only two seniors that graduated from last season’s team. Ferguson was an All-State Special Mention selection and will be the natural leader of this season’s squad. The move to D-III will suspend the postseason rivalry Africentric has had with Hiland at least until the 2011-2012 school year. Last season marked the fifth straight time the schools had met in the playoffs with the Nubians topping the Lady Hawks 55-46 in the state title game last March. Hiland beat Africentric 44-37 in 2008 state championship and also ousted the Nubians from the tournament in 2005 (regional semifinal) and 2006 (regional final). Africentric beat the Hawks in the 2007 regional final en route to its first title.
Senior PG Tay’ler Mingo is the reigning D-III player of the year. She’s headed to Florida State.
Photo by Gary Housteau
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Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit (19-7) Players to Watch: PG Rachel Theriot (5-11, Soph., 9.1 ppg), F Nneka Offodile (6-1, Sr. 11.8 ppg), W Sarah Sureck (5-10, Sr.), G Sandra Yu (5-7, Frosh.), P Liz Reeves (6-0, Soph.) Outlook: Walsh Jesuit suffered a heartbreaking end to the season last spring falling to Wapakoneta 50-48 in overtime in the D-II regional finals. The Warriors, which won the state title in 2005 in its only trip to Columbus in school history, lose just three seniors from last season but will be back in the hunt for Columbus after that bitter, season-ending loss last season. Offodile is committed to Loyola (Md.) and Theriot was an All-State Special Mention selection and is already getting looks from the likes of Ohio State, Nebraska, Dayton, West Virginia, Minnesota and Bowling Green. Reeves has interest from Dayton, Miami (Fla.) and Akron. Keep an eye on the youngster Yu, who will make an impact on the varsity level this season. She is also a member of the USA National Soccer Team. “We gained a great deal of experience last year and return five seniors with some talented underclassmen,” head coach Pete Zaccari said. “We expect to compete at the top level of D-II. Dayton Chaminade Julienne (17-6) Players to Watch: G Samarie Walker (6-1, Sr.), G Nicole Disbrow (5-7, Sr.), C Mileah Walker (6-3, Sr.), G Emily Michael (5-7, Soph.) Outlook: To say that traditional power CJ had a rough offseason could be the understatement of the year. Last May, then-head coach Marc Greenberg was arrested for engaging in graphic sexual conversations and transmitted obscene images from his computers at his home and from his law offices in Kettering, Ohio. Greenberg believed he was sending these transmissions to underage girls but was in fact sending them to law enforcement. He was subsequently indicted on 12 counts of obscenity charges.
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Girls Basketball Preview Greenberg led CJ to the D-I girls basketball state runner-up finish in 2004 and the state championship in 2005 putting the Lady Eagles on the national forefront. CJ hired veteran AAU coach Duane Williams to take over the program and the Eagles community is looking to put the Greenberg incident behind it. That shouldn’t be too difficult dropping to D-II and with Walker on the court, who is one of the top players in the country according to ESPN. Walker was third team All-State selection last season and signed with collegiate power Connecticut last month. Findlay Liberty-Benton (23-2) Players to Watch: G Amanda Hyde (5-10, Sr., 21.4 ppg), G Amber Peterson (5-10, Soph., 9.2 ppg), Catie Craft (5-8, Soph., 9.2 ppg), G Catelan Ramsey (5-6, Sr.) Outlook: Last season was historical for the L-B girls basketball program. The Eagles made the state tournament for the first time in school history but the 59-30 loss to South Euclid Regina in the D-III semifinals is an alltoo bitter memory for the L-B squad. The Eagles lose five seniors from last season’s team but return Hyde, who was a second team All-Ohio selection and the Blanchard Valley Conference player of the year. Craft is the younger sister of Ohio State signee Aaron Craft and she should provide solid guard play in the backcourt.
Kettering Alter (24-3) Players to Watch: F Whitney Dabbelt (6-0, Jr., 5.3 ppg), G Ali Mygrants (5-8, Sr., 4.4 ppg), G Ashley Christie (5-7, Sr., 10.7) ppg, G Courtney Christie (5-7, Jr., 6.4 ppg), P Kelly Westerkamp (5-11, Jr.), Outlook: The Lady Knights won the D-II state title in 2008 but were upended in the state semifinals by Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown. Alter loses just three seniors from last season’s team and returns Christie in the backcourt, who was an All-Ohio third team selection as a junior. The Lady Knight have that talent returning to make it back to Columbus but will have to survive a regular season schedule that features rival CJ, Beavercreek, Kettering Fairmont and Dayton Carroll. Alter plays each of those Dayton-area powers twice. Middletown Madison (18-6) Players to Watch: P Allyson Malott (6-2, Jr.), W Lindsay Hopkins Outlook: Madison fell to Versailles in the D-III regional final last season 43-31 and the Lady Mohawks will be aiming for their first state Final Four appearance in school history behind Malott. Mallot was a first team All-Ohio selection last season and is ranked as one of the top juniors in the country by ESPN HoopGurlz Super 60. She already has scholarship offers to Ohio State, Purdue, Notre Dame, South Florida and Rutgers. Hopkins is a Lehigh recruit.
Oak Hill (25-2) Players to Watch: F Rebecca Puckett (5-10, Sr., 11.4 ppg), F Taylor Hale (5-10, Soph., 7.8 ppg), G Karrisa Adkins (5-9., Sr., 14.2 ppg), G Mikie Strite (5-5, Jr., 6.4 ppg), G Breanna Butler (5-7, Soph., 9.9 ppg) Outlook: The Oaks finished D-IV state runner-up last season and have their sights set on another trip to state with all five starters back.
Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown (21-6) Players to Watch: W Mylan Woods (5-11, Sr., 16.4 ppg), W Tanisha Lawler (5-7, Jr., 7.0 ppg), W Alana Guy (5-7, Jr., 5.9 ppg), P Erica Almady (6-0, Sr., 12.7 ppg), G Alexis Dobbs (5-5, Sr., 10.0 ppg), P Molly Crosby (61, Jr., 4.3 ppg), P Sarah Poland (6-3, Jr. 3.1 ppg), F Marlena Smith (6-2, Jr., 1.5 ppg), G Miriam Rossi (5-6, Jr., 1.0 ppg), Outlook: The third time was a charm for Hathaway Brown winning the DII state championship after finishing runner-up each of the previous two seasons. The Blazers defeated Wapakoneta 52-46 to claim the title. The Blazers avoided becoming the first team in OHSAA tournament history to lose three straight state championship games. HB should be the favorite again this season in D-II with Woods (Northwestern), Almady (Miami-Ohio) and Dobbs (American) leading the charge. Woods was co-player of the year last season in the Division while Dobbs earned second team All-State recognition and Almady was
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Honorable Mention. Crosby and Guy were clutch down the stretch in the state title game and both will be solid role players for the Blazers. HB will be battle-tested come tournament time with arguably the most difficult schedule in the state having Twinsburg, South Euclid Regina, Akron Hoban, Canton McKinley, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary and Canfield all on the slate and MND waiting for the Blazers in the Classic in the Country in January.
South Euclid Regina (27-0) Players to Watch: C Therany Dunnigan (6-2, Jr., 8.3 ppg), G Tay’ler Mingo (5-7, Sr., 13.8 ppg), C Pa’Sonna Hope (6-2, Sr.), PG Kourtni Taylor (5-6, Jr.), PG Rachel Walton (5-4, Jr.), F DaVonna Bradford (5-11, Soph.), Outlook: Pickerington got company last season in the form of South Euclid Regina. With a 63-48 win over Oak Hill in the D-III championship, Regina joined the traditional Central Ohio power as the only girls programs to claim six state basketball titles. The Royals, which have never lost a state championship game, won a record four straight titles from 2000-2003 and another in 2005. They have made seven state tournament appearances with the only loss coming to Versailles in 2008 in the semifinals. Regina was the only team last season to go undefeated in winning a title. Much of the same can be expected from the perennial Northeast Ohio power this season after graduating only three seniors, though, those players were crucial in the title run last season. Mingo, a Florida State recruit, was the outright player of the year in D-III and McCormick was Special Mention All-State and is headed to Toledo. Regina will need that talent with Akron SVSM, HB, MND, Youngstown Ursuline, Columbus Northland, Berlin Hiland, Pickerington Central, Canton McKinley and Walsh Jesuit all on the schedule. Toledo Start (22-4) Players to Watch: F Tiffani Blackman (5-8, Sr., 5.0 ppg), C Azia Bishop (6-2, Jr., 9.0 ppg), G Maleeka Kynard (5-6, Jr., 13.0 ppg), G Jaymie Jackson (5-9, Soph., 9.0 ppg), W Jamie Williams (5-7, Jr.), PG Keia McCarver (5-5, Jr.), P CeDra Evans (6-3, Soph.) Outlook: Last season the Spartans won their first Toledo City League, district and regional championships in school history en route to a 22-4 finish and the first appearance for a TCL team in a state final in 28 years. The only missing piece to that team was standout post Yolanda Richardson who is now at the University of Toledo. With everyone else back, including Kynard – an Ohio State commit – expectations are high for Start.
West Chester Lakota West (24-3) Players to Watch: W Kindsay Brandt (5-7., Sr., 5.7 ppg); P Taylor Deaio (6-1, Sr., 3.0 ppg), G Rylee Fishman (5-5, Sr., 4.0 ppg), W Ronni Grandison (5-10, Jr.), P Mea Williams (5-10, Jr., 1.0 ppg), G Devyn Ciotti (5-8, Jr., 4.0 ppg), F Morgan Jones (5-11, Jr., 0.8 ppg), W Claire Kozlowski (5-8, Jr., 0.5 ppg) Outlook: The Lady Firebirds will try to get over the state championship hump this season having made the state tournament each of the last two years. Lakota West has won at least a share of the Greater Miami Conference title each of the last three seasons and is the early favorite once again. “The girls are working extremely hard and want to back up success of last year’s team’s GMC - District Champion, Regional Champion, State Final Four,” veteran head coach Andy Fishman said. “The 2009-2010 Firebirds team will be up to the challenge of our very demanding GMC and out of league schedule.” The schedule includes a season-opening match up with four-time defending state champion Mount Notre Dame. Ciotti is a Louisville soccer recruit and Demaio is committed to play lacrosse at Tiffin. Youngstown Ursuline (17-8) Players to Watch: P Tymira Stinson (6-2, Sr.), P Courtney Powell (6-1, Soph.), G Aurielle Irrizarry (5-6, Soph.), Outlook: The Irish were stunned in last year’s district final. Expect bigger things from Ursuline this season. The Irish were state champs in 2004 and runner-up in 2006. Seems like they’re due. — OH
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Ohio continues its run as a wrestling hotbed What can Graham do for an encore? Can anyone unseat St. Edward? Does Logan Stieber win title No. 4?
Can this season compare to last? Last year’s state meet was arguably the greatest single tournament in the history of Ohio high school wrestling. En route to winning the Division II state title, St. Paris Graham set state records for individual winners (seven) and points (282). Lakewood St. Edward won its 13th straight state title in D-I, while Troy Christian won its third straight title in D-III. An encore that can match that is going to be hard to produce. Is Monroeville the D-III favorite? Last year the Eagles were denied their first team state title by one point (edged out 113-112 by Troy Christian). This year they have four state champs back, including two ranked No. 1 in the country and another No. 2. That being said, last year four champs weren’t enough. Graham going for its 10th straight DII title. Last year the Falcons qualified 13 wrestlers to the state tournament and all of
According to the Amateur Wrestling News, Ohio has 15 wrestlers ranked nationally in the preseason them placed. This year the Falcons return four state champions, two runners-up and two third place finishers. Could they break their own record with eight state champions this year. It’s possible. A 10th straight state title and 13th in a row are a given. Lakewood St. Edward going for 14th straight title. The Eagles have 11 national championships and 25 state titles. This year they should have the horses to add to the latter. Last year St. Ed trailed at the state meet after the first two sessions but then separated itself in the semifinals by putting four guys in the finals. Only one state champion returns though. Troy Christian going for fourth straight title. Of the defending state champions, TC no doubt faces the biggest challenge. The Eagles narrowly escaped Monroeville last year, winning by a single point (113-112). This year several other teams return more talent than the Eagles – see Monroeville and Cuyahoga Valley
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Christian Academy. Still, if anyone knows how to survive the state tournament its TC, which won the 2007 title over Marion Pleasant by just 2.5 points (154-151.5). Jamie Clark. The St. Edward senior looks to cap his career as a four-time sate finalist and three-time champion. One of two high school wrestlers to beat former Graham sensation and current Penn State freshman David Taylor, Clark was going t6o be a teammate of Taylor’s at Iowa State until then-head coach Cael Sanderson left the Cyclones for Penn State. Now Clark is headed to Illinois. Clark is the No. 1 ranked wrestler nationally in the 130-pound weight class by Amateur Wrestling News. Ohio is loaded at 119. This weight class is the deepest in Ohio with four wrestlers ranked among the country’s top seven according to the AWN. Monroeville’s Hunter Stieber is ranked No. 2, while Wadsworth sophomore Kagen Squire is No. 3 and Aurora senior Ty Mitch is No. 4. Graham junior Nick Brascetta is ranked No. 7. Logan Stieber. The Monroeville senior is vying to become the 19th wrestler in state history to win four state titles in his career. Stieber also enters the season ranked No. 1 nationally in the 125 weight class and riding consecutive undefeated seasons. His career record is 129-1 with his lone loss a 7-3 setback to David Taylor in the finals of the 2006 Ironman his freshman year. En route to winning his previous three state titles, Stieber, who is headed to Ohio State, is 12-0 in Columbus with seven pins and five technical falls. Chris Phillips. The Monroeville hammer is just one of three juniors ranked No. 1 in the country (171 weight class) and now with Taylor gone might be the most dominant wrestler in the state. He’s a two-time state champion with a 100-1 career record. Wadsworth. Do the Grizzlies have enough to overtake St. Edward and/or Massillon Perry for a top two finish at eh DI state tourney? They were close last year. Wadsworth beat St. Ed twice in duals last year and was in a position to challenge the Eagles for the D-I title last year before going 0-4 in state semifinal matches. St. Ed on the other hand went 4-0. They have horses back, but a better performance at crunch time will be crucial. — OH
STORY BY ERIC FRANTZ
Seven Wrestlers To Watch...
Heading into this season there are 21 returning state wrestling champions. On this page and the next we highlight seven defending champions that are going for their third title (or more). On Page XX we highlight those looking to defend their first championships.
Aurora H.S., Sr. 40-4 (two-time champion)
University School, Sr. 45-4 (two-time champion)
Monroeville H.S., Jr. 47-1 (two-time champion)
Monroeville H.S, Sr. 35-0, (three-time champion)
Monroeville H.S., Jr. 43-2 (two-time champion)
Monroeville H.S., Jr. 49-1 (two-time champion)
Photos by Nick Falzerano
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125, D-I Jamie Clark
Photo by Nick Falzerano
St. Edward H.S., Sr. 35-0 (two-time champion)
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Maple Heights H.S., Sr. 41-4 (last season)
St. Ignatius H.S., Sr. 39-3
Miamisburg H.S., Sr. 43-2
Mason H.S., Sr. 35-3
St. Ignatius H.S., Sr. 40-3
Westerville North H.S., Sr. 46-1
Graham H.S., Jr. 45-0
Walsh Jesuit H.S., Jr. 32-1
Graham H.S., So. 45-2
Graham H.S., Jr. 45-9
Graham H.S., Sr. 46-2
Elmwood H.S., Jr. 47-0
Blanchester H.S., Sr. 50-2
Clinton-Massie H.S., Sr. 43-2
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Photos by Nick Falzerano
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Division I Placers
First Place Finals 103: Kory Mines, Maple Hts. dec. Brian Hauser, Lyndhurst Brush 4-1 112: Jerome Robinson, Cle. St. Ignatius dec. Gus Sako, Lakewood St. Edward 4-2ot 119: Jamie Clark, Lakewood St. Edward maj. dec. David Bolger, Strongsville 12-4 125: Sam White, Massillon Perry dec. Nick Lawrence, Westlake 3-2 130: Shawn Fayette, Miamisburg dec. Ty Davis, W. Chester Lakota West 9-4 135: Robert Shepherd, Mason dec. John Gallagher, St. Xavier 7-5 140: Collin Palmer, Lakewood St. Edward dec. Tommy Sasfy, Reynoldsburg 3-1 145: David Habat, Cle. St. Ignatius dec. T.J. Rigel, New Carlisle Tecumseh 4-3 152: Josh Demas, Westerville North dec. Nick Sulzer, Lakewood St. Edward 4-3 160: Kyle Lang, Brecksville-Broad. Hts. pin J.T. Rice, Hilliard Davidson 3:04 171: Nick Heflin, Massillon Perry dec. Cory Hayes, Mayfield Vill. Mayfield 3-1 189: Andrew Tumlin, Harrison dec. Mike Lanigan, Brecksville-Broad. Hts. 5-3ot 215: Orlando Scales, Cin. Elder pin Denicos Allen, Hamilton 3:26 285: Jeremy Johnson, Brecksville-Broad. Hts. dec. James Meder, Parma Hts. Valley Forg 5-1 Third Place Finals 103: John Dillon, Young. Boardman dec. Mike Labry, Twinsburg 6-5 112: Kagan Squire, Wadsworth dec. Leslie Polley, Maple Hts. 5-0 119: Jake Corrill, Cin. Arch. Moeller maj. dec. Dan McNulty, Mayfield Vill. Mayfield 11-3 125: Jake McCombs, Marysville dec. Jake Sage, Ket. Fairmont 6-4 130: Dalton McHenry, Elyria dec. Zach Dailey, Massillon Perry 13-6 135: Anthony Salupo, Lakewood St. Edward dec. Scott Mattingly, Uniontown Lake 4-2 140: Waquiem Comar, Twinsburg dec. Tommy Fehring, Glen Este 3-1 145: Pierce Harger, Cin. Arch. Moeller maj. dec. Kevin Drake, Upper Arlington 12-0 152: Andrew Gasber, Madison dec. Aron Brenner, Canfield 6-4 160: Darren Rhodes, Macedonia Nordonia dec. Tylan Coleman, Mayfield Vill. Mayfield 6-5 171: Kyle Dilley, Lancaster dec. Cody Lamberg, Akron Kenmore 12-7 189: Greg Isley, Sylvania Southview dec. Kyle Sanders, Col. St. Charles 3-0 215: Nick Tavanello, Wadsworth pin Nate Weeks, Marysville 4:59 285: Adam Walls, Beavercreek dec. Ben Buzzelli, Wadsworth 2-1 Fifth Place Finals 103: Nick Garcia, Oregon Clay maj. dec. Corey Selmon, Princeton 10-1 112: Shawn Ague, Austintown-Fitch dec. Jeremy Artrip, Mason 3-1 119: Nick Hannan, Massillon Perry dec. Nick McSorley, Trenton Edgewood 7-4 125: Callen Vanderhoff, Marion Harding maj. dec. Jesse Walker, Clayton Northmont 14-6 130: Charlie Packard, Brecksville-Broad. Hts. dec. Ryan Hoyt, Cle. St. Ignatius 3-2 135: Mike Hillock, Massillon Perry dec. Joe Parra, Barberton 4-2ot 140: Dylan Zivcic, Mentor over Brad Squire, Wadsworth forfeit 145: Jerrel Valliant, Sandusky dec. Seth Horner, Massillon Perry 3-2 152: Joe Crabtree, Hilliard Darby pin Phillip Egnor, Elyria 4:59 160: Zack Goins, Elyria over Caleb Marsh, Marysville default 171: Marc Bryan, Cle. St. Ignatius dec. Marlon Baker, Twinsburg 5-3 189: Andrew Borgstrom, Middletown dec. Nick Miller, Centerville 7-5ot 215: Kyle Rose, Centerville over Ryan Nelisse, Elyria default 285: Sean Brooks, Northmont dec. Zach Laird, Olmsted Falls 3-1
Seventh Place Finals 103: George DiCamillo, Cle. St. Ignatius tech. fall Trevor Fiorucci, Lewis Center Ole 15-0 112: Max Byrd, LaSalle dec. Angelo DiSabato, Hilliard Davidson 16-9 119: Alex Marzec, Tol. DeSales dec. Alex Gray, Wadsworth 5-4 125: Tyler Dalton, Barberton dec. Cody Shivener, Springboro 4-2 130: Austin Sanders, Gr. City Central Crossing pin Tyler Riegle, Springboro 2:43 135: Louden Gordon, Wadsworth pin Randy Languis, Dublin Scioto 3:53 140: Joe Grandominico, Lewis Center Olentangy dec. Jerrell Hodge, Bedford 1-0 145: Louis Greco, Austintown-Fitch dec. Trevor Nickolai, Piqua 5-2 152: Chet Bissell, Twinsburg pin Justin Sneary, Tecumseh 2:57 160: Justin Wharton, Oregon Clay dec. Ian Korb, Cin. Elder 7-2 171: Michael Alexander, Findlay dec. Patrick Rigsby, St. Charles 8-5 189: Andrew Phillips, Massillon Perry dec. Caleb Busson, Wadsworth 3-1 215: Roman Lawson, Shaker Hts. dec. Seth Nelson, GroveportMadison 10-5 285: Steve Powell, Moeller dec. Dennis Cox, Bowling Green 3-1ot
JJ Hu d d l e â€™ s O h i o H i g h
Division II Placers
First Place Final 103: Nick Brascetta, Graham maj. dec. Andrew Bertubin, Cambridge 13-4 112: Ty Mitch, Aurora dec. Brandon Gambucci, Lexington 12-7 119: Johnni DiJulius, Walsh Jesuit dec. Drew Stone, Oak Harbor 1-0 125: Zach Neibert, Graham dec. Nate Skonieczny, Walsh Jesuit 8-6 130: Felipe Martinez, Graham pin Ryan Nakama, Big Walnut 1:14 135: David Taylor, Graham pin Manuel Cintron, Alliance 2:39 140: Harrison Hightower, Hunting Val. Univ. School dec. Matt Stephens, Graham 5-2 145: Brian Stephens, Graham maj. dec. Mike Fee, Lake Cath. 14-6 152: Jonathan McGookey, Sandusky Perkins dec. Huston Evans, Graham 9-3 160: Kyle Ryan, Graham dec. Adam Walters, W. Geauga 5-2 171: Zach Garbrandt, Uhrichsville Claymont dec. Dennis Raber, Orrville 4-3 189: Max Thomusseit, Graham dec. Nick Mills, Univ. School 4-1 215: Tyler Houska, Medina Highland dec. Dave Pickerel, Tol. Central Cath. 3-2ott 285: Josh Jackson, Uhrichsville Claymont dec. Ian Jones, Harvey 5-4 Third Place Finals 103: Luke Langdon, Uhrichsville Claymont dec. Brian Spangler, LaGrange Keystone 11-4 112: Isaac Jordan, Graham dec. Erik McLaughlin, Canal Fulton Northwes 8-2 119: James Inghram, Hunting Val. Univ. School dec. John Worthington, Shelby 3-1 125: Brent Fickel, Parma Padua Franciscan dec. Jacob Garringer, Wash. C.H. Miami Trac 3-2 130: Jake Vaughan, Col. St. Francis DeSales pin Shelton Morris, Ravenna Southeast 2:00 135: Ian Miller, Oak Harbor over Matt Hefner, Lima Bath default 140: Dylan Ice, Lisbon Beaver pin Kyle Leek, Warren Howland 2:07 145: Adam Fondale, New Lexington dec. Corey Dulaney, WhitehallYearling 7-5 152: Shane Gifford, Circleville Logan Elm over Brad Wukie, Hunting Val. Univ. School default 160: Brett Mellor, Warsaw River View pin Riley Kilroy, Parma Padua Franciscan 1:34 171: James Mannier, Graham dec. Dustin Sarosy, Perry 5-2 189: Beau Wenger, Navarre Fairless dec. Joe Poyser, Louisville 8-2 215: Logan White, Graham dec. Garren Dilley, Amanda-Clearcreek 6-2 285: Jared Torrence, Norwalk dec. Danny Demick, Chillicothe 3-1ot
Fifth Place Finals 103: John McComas, Lisbon Beaver dec. Cory Stainbrook, Streetsboro 2-0 112: Kyle Warner, Uhrichsville Claymont over Arizona Miller, Lisbon Beaver disq. 119: Alex Minnard, Lancaster Fairfield Union pin Dan Cook, Tol. Central Cath. 1:45 125: Nick Hile, Lexington dec. Tyler Alsip, Norwood 10-6 130: Jake Strausbaugh, Orrville maj. dec. Jake Mellinger, Beloit W. Branch 14-5 135: Randy Henline, Akron Coventry dec. Levi Barnett, Thornville Sheridan 7-3 140: Conrad Rosch, Canal Winchester dec. Mitchell Beemer, Wapakoneta 6-3 145: Mikkal Johnson, Maumee dec. Selo Ramjattan, Greenville 7-4 152: Michael Graves, Maumee pin Rob Eddy, Harrison Central 1:59 160: Darren Tate, SVSM dec. Andrew Nealan, New Richmond 6-5 171: Brian Borac, Lake Cath. dec. Ian Howell, Harrison Central 9-7 189: Jake Henderson, Tol. Central Cath. dec. Ashton Brown, Pemberville Eastwood 3-2 215: Robbie Lias, Hubbard over Branko Busick, Steubenville default 285: Ray Spence, Amanda-Clearcreek pin Vincenzo Cardone, Tol. Central Cath. 4:27
Seventh Place Finals 103: Jordan Burkhart, Carrollton pin Jon Edwards, Greenville 4:25 112: B.J. Miller, Defiance dec. Joey Ward, Goshen 2-0 119: Sheldon Kegley, Graham dec. Michael Perez, Wauseon 10-4 125: Dillon VanDyne, Cambridge over Jake Kazimir, Kenston default 130: Carson Frey, Wauseon pin Evan Storts, Spring. Shawnee 4:53 135: Jeremy Maiwurm, Orrville dec. Chaz Gresham, Goshen 4-3 140: Michael Slaga, Rayland Buckeye Local dec. John Fraley, Streetsboro 8-6 145: Terry Wagenhauser, Defiance maj. dec. Joe Schindel, Akron Arch. Hoban 8-0 152: Tucker Gregor, Buckeye dec. Eric Hildenbrand, Franklin 4-0 160: Reno Bernardo, Col. St. Francis DeSales dec. Mike Mallernee, Oak Harbor 7-4 171: Jason Brown, Napoleon dec. Nick McCall, Wauseon 10-6 189: Paul Lauth, St. Marys Memorial dec. Jake Mallernee, Cadiz Harrison Central 5-2 215: Patrick Sanford, Conneaut dec. Nick Thompson, Tallmadge 6-4 285: John Eckroth, Cadiz Harrison Central dec. Danny Quallich, Medina Buckeye 3-1 ot
Division III Placers
First Place Finals 103: Nick Goebel, Bloomdale Elmwood dec. Alex Dronzek, Beachwood 3-2 112: Bryce Baker, Mechanicsburg dec. Spencer Pierce, N. Union 6-3 119: Hunter Stieber, Monroeville pin Tyler Heminger, Northmor 1:42 125: Logan Stieber, Monroeville tech. fall Alex Lopez, Hamler Patrick Henry 16-1 130: Cam Tessari, Monroeville maj. dec. Erik Canter, Bellaire 13-0 135: Tyler Powers, CVCA dec. Ben Kuzma, Hopewell-Loudon 7-1 140: Zac Hancock, Troy Christian dec. Zach Noernberg, Cle. Cuyahoga Hts. 13-7 145: Chris Burns, Troy Christian dec. Alex Betts, Bloomdale Elmwood 2-1 152: Jake Howe, Blanchester maj. dec. Kyle Burns, Troy Christian 14-4 160: Zach Toal, Troy Christian maj. dec. Alex Utley, CVCA. 15-5 171: Chris Phillips, Monroeville pin Jonathan Beam, Apple Creek Waynedale 2:28 189: Corby Running, Clarksville Clinton-Massie dec. Colton Bowers, Marion Pleasant 5-3ot 215: Stuart Miller, Delphos Jefferson dec. Ethan Hayes, Dixie 7-1 285: Nick Hamilton, S. Central dec. Josh Morosko, Tuslaw 7-4
Third Place Finals 103: David Harrington, Sand. St. Mary C.C. dec. Jeremy Border, Caldwell 4-3 112: Jonny Tolson, Delta dec. Seth Powers, Cuy. Val. Chr. Acad. 2-0 119: Santino Pizzuto, N. Jackson Jackson-Milton dec. Travis Harbert, Garrettsville Ga 2-1 125: Zak Vargo, CVCA dec. Eli Donahue, Massillon Tuslaw 6-4 130: Joe Bruewer, Cin. Deer Park dec. Johnny Carpenter, Cin. Madeira 9-4 135: David Malkus, Burton Berkshire dec. Dominic Prezzia, St. Clairsville 6-5 140: Dann Miller, Brookfield dec. Cody Coomes, Marion Pleasant 3-2 145: Robbie Chilson, Bellaire dec. Andrew DeHart, Covington 6-5 152: Cody Walters, Bedford St. Peter Chanel maj. dec. Bryson Hall, Doylestown Chippew 10-0 160: Kyle Kwiat, Tiffin Calvert dec. Ashton Packard, Belpre 4-2 171: Beau Bowden, N. Lima South Range dec. Cody Rodgers, Mechanicsburg 9-7 189: Kurt Schaefer, W. Salem Northwestern dec. Matt Dues, Harrod Allen East 9-4 215: Greg Hojnacki, CVCA dec. Craig Ritz, Milan Edison 7-6 285: Hugh Thornton, Oberlin dec. Mike Treon, Versailles 7-1
Fifth Place Finals 103: Thomas McLaughlin, Nelsonville-York dec. Vinnie Pizzuto, N. Jackson Jackson-Milt 3-2ott 112: Zach Porter, Bellaire dec. Tim Triskett, Cle. VA-St. Joseph 3-1 119: Mike Kovach, St. Peter Chanel dec. Dom Barlow, Heath 9-7 125: Riki Reynolds, Marion Pleasant dec. Kyle Burns, Milan Edison 6-3 130: Jimmy Dankle, Cle. Cuyahoga Hts. over Brandon Sommers, CVCA default 135: Jeff Vitallo, Apple Creek Waynedale dec. Brendon Klaus, Mechanicsburg 12-9ott 140: Chris Block, Johnstown-Monroe dec. Joshua Goebel, Edgerton 4-3 145: Quinton Cooperider, Marion Pleasant over Aaron Hunter, Akron Manchester default 152: Tyler Rayl, Bluffton dec. Johnny Merryman, Shadyside 7-4 160: Shayne Stewart, Mogadore dec. Peter Lewis, W. Liberty-Salem 7-5 171: Royal Brettrager, Kirtland pin J.J. Hrabak, St. Wendelin 2:56 189: Colton Zody, Wooster Triway dec. Justin Cheesman, Ashland Crestview 7-4 215: Kyle Kelly, Akron Manchester dec. Dan Clawson, N. Jackson Jackson-Milton 4-1 285: Chris Doughty, Norwalk St. Paul over Tyler Obringer, Spencerville default
Seventh Place Finals 103: Michael Ratay, CVCA dec. Anthony Elchert, Arcadia 8-7 112: Tim Wiseman, N. Jackson Jackson-Milton dec. Brandon Booker, Cin. Purcell Marian 4-0 119: Jordan Hancock, Troy Christian dec. Carl Moody, NelsonvilleYork 8-5 125: Johnny Matacic, Jackson-Milton dec. Alex Panno, Blanchester 12-6 130: Tony Cardiero, Girard dec. Marco Gualtieri, W. Jefferson 11-4 135: Kyle Begg, Bluffton dec. Keith Tanner, Johnstown-Monroe 7-1 140: Chad Sonnenberg, Van Buren dec. Donny Montoney, Peninsula Woodridge 5-3 145: Kyle Freiberg, Middlefield Cardinal dec. Dustin Chatterton, Dixie 10-4 152: Nico Francis, Girard maj. dec. Sean Prather, W. Jefferson 11-2 160: Matt Ramage, Wellington dec. Jake Elling, Liberty Center 10-5 171: Kyle Keplinger, Troy Christian dec. Geoff Hainline, Norwalk St. Paul 11-6 189: Zack McKnight, Carlisle dec. Robert Blake, Defiance Tinora 5-4 215: Schuyler Bondy, Woodsfield Monroe Cent. pin Josh Salyers, Mechanicsburg 4:24 285: Greg Dailey, Independence pin Mimmo Lytle, Swanton 4:52
J J H U D D L E . C O M 31
Published on Dec 3, 2009
An in-depth preview of the upcoming high school boys basketball, girls basketball and wrestling seasons. The top stories, teams and players...