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The Press

Basketball Preview

• Cardinal Stritch • Clay • Eastwood • Genoa • Gibsonburg • Lake • Northwood • Oak Harbor • Waite • Woodmore

A supplement to The Press Newspapers December 4, 2017 Cover photo: Genoa junior guard Jacob Plantz (Press file photo by Russ Lytle)


B-2

THE PRESS

DECEMBER 4, 2017

Stritch returns five starters from boys’ regional campaign Cardinal Stritch boys Coach: Jamie Kachmarik, fourth year, 53-23 Last Year: 21-5 (11-3 TAAC). Key Players: Jeff Dunsmore, 6-2, Sr., G; Terrance Taylor Jr., 6-4, Sr., F; Collin Yost, 5-9, Sr., G; Alex Adams, 6-6, Sr., F; Joey Holifield Jr., 6-1, Soph., G; Jordan Burton, 5-10, Jr., PG; Little Anderson, 6-3, Jr., F; Preview: The Cardinals return all five starters and nine lettermen from a team that won a school-record 21 games and reached the regional semifinals last season. “The keys to the season are making sure we play as a team and really focus on the defensive end,� coach Jamie Kachmarik said. “With our size, we need to be a great rebounding team on both ends of the floor. We used to be the team who was doing the hunting and now we will be the team who is hunted every night. We have to be mentally tough night in and night out because we’re going to get every team’s best effort.� Sophomore guard Joey Holifield and junior point guard Jordan Burton both averaged double figures in scoring a year ago. Holifield averaged 13.8 points, four rebounds and three assists a game, while Burton averaged 12.6 points, three rebounds and four assists a game. Both were first-team All-Toledo Area Athletic Conference selections. Kachmarik said Holifield has been offered scholarships from the University of Toledo and Kent State University “due to his play this summer.� “Burton and Holifield are two very skilled guards who can score in a variety of ways,� Kachmarik said. The Cardinals have size inside with 6-foot-6 senior Alex Adams (4.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg.), 6-4 senior Terrance Taylor (5.5 ppg., 5 rpg.) and 6-6 junior Nolan Finch. Stritch also added 6-6 junior Ashton Caryer, who sat out last season after transferring. The Cardinals’ other top players are junior forward Little Anderson (8.6 ppg., 5 rpg.) and senior guards Jeff Dunsmore (5.7 ppg.) and Collin Yost (5.3 ppg.). Kachmarik said all three players will provide solid perimeter play.

Stritch guard Jordan Burton. (Press file photo by Doug Karns/CardinalStritch.org)

Guard Courteney Hardy. (Press file photo by Doug Karns/CardinalStritch.org)

“Collin and Jeff are good 3-point shooters and Little Anderson is a very good slasher,� Kachmarik said. “With his athletic ability, he can play inside and outside. Senior Shaun Enright and junior Paul Latz will provide depth off the bench with their grit and hustle on the defensive end.� (— Press contributing writer Mark Griffin)

Sr., W; Hope Yost, 5-6, Soph., G; Taylor Vanatta, 5-7, Soph., F; Jamie Popkin, 5-8, Soph., F/P. Preview: Kuron said the Cardinals have good size and depth and should be able to handle themselves inside on offense and defense. With only two starters and three letter winners returning from last year’s team, however, varsity experience is lacking. “We need consistent guard play and solid minutes from our bench, along with our young players getting used to the speed and physicality of the varsity game,� Kuron said. “If we can get all that to fall into place,

Cardinal Stritch girls Coach: Brad Kuron, second year, 17-5. Last season: 17-5 (12-2 TAAC). Key players: Courteney Hardy, 5-5, Sr., G; Taylor Besgrove 5-5, Sr., G; Erika Berg, 5-7,

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we’ll be right there with the other very talented teams challenging for the top spot.� Stritch is used to having success, winning 33 games the past two seasons, including 24 in the TAAC. Courteney Hardy and fellow senior guard Taylor Besgrove contributed to both of those squads. Hardy was a second-team All-TAAC and honorable mention all-district selection last year after averaging 10 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.3 assists a game. “Courteney is one of our team leaders and she brings a hard-nosed attitude on the defensive end of the floor,� Kuron said. “We will lean on her to lead our scoring attack.� Besgrove averaged 9.1 points per game and added 1.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals a game a year ago. She was an honorable mention all-conference selection. “Taylor is another one of our floor generals,� Kuron said. “She’s a good on-theball defender and we’ll also ask her to help carry our scoring load.� Senior wing Erika Berg was Stritch’s first player off the bench last season and will be expected to improve on last year’s scoring average. “She will have to step up at both ends of the floor, help us rebound and become a major contributor on the offensive end,� Kuron said. The Cardinals’ other main contributors will be guard Hope Yost, forward Taylor Vanatta and forward/post Jamie Popkin. All three girls are sophomores. “Hope will be a lock-down defender along with helping us rebound, provide some scoring in transition and from 3-point range,� Kuron said. “Taylor is another dynamic sophomore who is very athletic, and she will need to use her length to defend and rebound at both ends of the court.� Kuron added that Popkin’s main role will be to defend the post area and grab rebounds. “Jamie is very athletic,� Kuron said, “and she will need to become more of a scorer for us as conference play starts.� (— Press contributing writer Mark Griffin)

  

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THE PRESS

DECEMBER 4, 2017

B-3

Clay girls cagers have chance to build on success, height Clay boys Coach: Dave Rodriguez, first year. Last year: 2-21 (0-14 TRAC). Key players: Walker Bliss, 6-2, Sr., P; Josh Meinke, 6-0, Sr., G; Dakota Culkins, 5-9, Sr., G; Reese Wamer, 5-10, Jr., PG; Jake Novak, 6-3, Jr., F; Trey Reddick, 6-0, Jr., G; Palmer Yenrick, 5-10, Jr.; G. Preview: First-year coach Dave Rodriguez enters his first season at Clay after coaching Bowsher’s junior varsity boys team for the past six years. He has also coached at Northwood. “We are going to be an up-tempo team that will shoot more threes than last year,� Rodriguez said. “We have really worked on shooting since last year. That wasn’t one of our strengths. We worked on team defense, which we were really good at, but we gave up too many second-chance points. We are emphasizing that a lot this year.� Clay doesn’t have a lot of size, but it has talented athletes. Junior point guard Reese Wamer was the quarterback on the football team and “he’s the guy who runs the show,� Rodriguez said. “In my mind, he’s the best point guard in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference,� the coach said. “He worked all summer on being a consist shooter.� Rodriguez said junior guard Trey Reddick, a first-team all-district selection in football, is the best athlete on the team. “He has worked on his game and the sky is the limit for him,� Rodriguez said, adding that senior guard Dustin Aiton has also worked on his outside shooting and can play any position. Senior guard Dakota Culkins is the Eagles’ best on-the-ball defender and is a good leader, according to Rodriguez. The coach said junior Jake Novak will play the forward positions and has taken a leadership role with the younger players. “I love the way he has matured and has worked on his offensive game,� Rodriguez said. The Eagles also expect to get good contributions out of seniors Walker Bliss and Josh Meinke and junior Palmer Yenrick,

Clay returning junior guard Reese Wamer. (Press file photo by Scott Grau)

Clay senior forward Elizabeth Vincent. (Press file photo by Scott Grau)

who did not play last season. “Walker is our energizer player, an undersized post player who is a tough kid,� Rodriguez said. “Josh is the best shooter in the program and works extremely hard to get open. He’s been working all summer to shoot a higher percentage and to be more than just a 3-point shooter. Palmer has been a great addition to the team. He’s a tough kid who loves to be challenged. He’s worked on his offensive game and will be a big part of the team.� Rodriguez said he knows that turning around Clay’s program won’t come overnight. He said the chance of winning 10plus games this season isn’t out of reach. “The kids have really bought into the new style and have been in the gym a lot

more than years past,� he said. “With a good young group coming up behind them, the upperclassmen have really done a great job trying to set the culture and becoming great leaders.�(— Press contributing writer Mark Griffin)

Clay girls Coach: Corey Slovak, sixth year, 65-52. Last season: 14-11 (7-7 TRAC). Key players: Elizabeth Vincent, 5-11, Sr., F; Shannon Coughlin, 5-11, Sr., F; Samantha Stanley, 5-5, Sr., G; Kennedy Slovak, 5-8, Soph., PG; Olivia Henneman-Dallape, 5-11, Soph., F. Preview: Coach Corey Slovak said the Eagles will have to take advantage of their height in order to have a successful season.

“It’s the first time in the six years I have been coaching that we’ll have three girls who are 5-foot-11 on the floor at the same time,� Slovak said. “We need to win the rebounding battles at both ends and take advantage of that post presence. We also need to get out in transition and create easy, quick scoring chances to minimize turnovers.� Clay graduated four starters from a team that won 14 games last season. Slovak said the Eagles will have to overcome their inexperience and get their four new starters a chance to settle into their roles as quickly as possible.� Clay’s 5-11 players are senior forwards Elizabeth Vincent and Shannon Coughlin, and sophomore forward Olivia HennemanDallape. Vincent is a threeyear starter and Coughlin has played on the varsity team for three years. “Elizabeth led our team in blocked shots last season and was second in scoring,� Slovak said. “She will be a big part of our offense this year and we’ll rely heavily on her for scoring and rebounding. Shannon will have a much bigger scoring and defensive role this season. She will be one of our primary shooters, and her height and length on defense will be key for rebounding.� Slovak said Henneman-Dallape’s biggest strengths right now are her rebounding and shot-blocking skills. “Her height and length give us different options on defense,� the coach said, “and she is working very hard on her offensive skills.� The Eagles’ other top players are senior guard Samantha Stanley and sophomore guard Kennedy Slovak, who played a sixthman role last year and earned a varsity letter. “Kennedy will be our point guard and one of our primary 3-point shooters,� coach Slovak said. “We'll need her to push our transition offense and create easy scoring chances for others. Sam will step into a bigger role as a senior as one of our ball handlers and 3-point shooters.� (— Press contributing writer Mark Griffin)

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B-4

THE PRESS

DECEMBER 4, 2017

Six seniors counted on to lead Eastwood toward success Eastwood boys Coach: Todd Henline, second season, 92-41 Last Year: 20-5 (12-2 NBC). Key Players: Tyler Haas, 6-5, Sr., P; Cade Boos, 5-11, Sr., G; Grant Hirzel, 5-9, Sr., PG; Cory Coffman, 5-11, Sr., G; Logan Frobose, 6-1, Sr., G/F; Zach Henline, 6-0, Sr.; F; Dalton Andrews, 6-3, Sr., P; Brendan Halko, 6-1, Sr., G/F; Jake Halko, 6-2, Soph., G; Joel Stanley, 6-1, Jr., F. Preview: The Eagles’ season is postponed to Dec. 14 (at Elmwood) due to the football team’s run to the Division V state championship game. Eastwood shared the Northern Buckeye Conference basketball title with Genoa last season. Coach Todd Henline said he expects six seniors and one junior from the football team to come out for the basketball squad after the football season ends. “We’ll probably give them two to three days off (after football),” Henline said. “Fifteen football games take their toll on you. We’ve got some guys who are tired. I still have 16 kids, freshmen through seniors, and five of them will be on varsity. We’ve been able to practice and put stuff in, and we’ve had two scrimmages (as of Nov. 27). We’re still moving forward, but it’s hard.” Senior guard Cade Boos, the team’s leading scorer (10.9 ppg.) last season, isn’t expected to play until around mid-season, according to Henline. Boos broke his leg in the football season opener. Senior post Tyler Haas was the Eagles’ top rebounder last year, averaging just over five per game. “We were pretty balanced across the board last year,” Henline said. “We played 10 guys consistently. That’s probably our strength, our depth and experience coming back.” Henline said he expects sophomore guard Jake Halko and junior forward Joel Stanley to contribute this season. “They’re going to see some playing time,” the coach said. “They led our jayvee team last year and they have a shot at getting some minutes.” Henline added that a big key to Eastwood’s success is how quickly the football

Guard Grant Hirzel. (Press file photo by Lee Welch/FamilyPhotoGroup.com)

Guard Jamie Schmeltz. (Press file photo by Lee Welch/FamilyPhotoGroup.com)

players can transition to basketball. He said the NBC returns several talented skill players, and the conference could be as competitive as it was last season. “We set goals at the beginning of the year, but we haven’t been together,” Henline said. “My goal year in and year out is to win an NBC championship. We made the district finals last year and I’d like to see us build on that. Our district is a bear, and the team that can get out of our district has a pretty good shot at making a run again.” (— Press contributing writer Mark Griffin)

Key players: Kelley Turk, 5-5, Sr., G; Morgan Rost, 5-9, Sr., F; Hannah Owens, 5-7, Jr., F/G; Sydnie Abke, 5-7, So., F; Hannah Limes, 5-5, Soph., G; Jamie Schmeltz, 5-10, Soph., G. Preview: The Eagles made tremendous improvement last season, going from 5-18 and 3-11 in the Northern Buckeye Conference in 2015-16 to 12-12 and 6-8 last season. “Our style of play, combined with our athletic roster, puts us in a spot where we feel we can compete and beat the upper-level teams in the NBC,” coach Nick Schmeltz said. “Staying healthy and injury-free will also go a long way for us.” Schmeltz said Eastwood will lean on and need to get great defensive performanc-

Eastwood girls Coach: Nick Schmeltz, third year, 17-30. Last season: 12-12 (6-8 NBC).

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es from its upperclassmen, led by senior guard Kelley Turk, senior forward Morgan Rost and junior forward/guard Hannah Owens. “They are all extremely hard workers and have dedicated themselves to doing whatever it takes to help our team be successful,” Schmeltz said. “While all three are very good defenders and rebounders, we will see an expected increase from all three on the offensive end as well.” He added that Turk “has put in countless hours and shots over the spring and summer,” and Rost and Owens are good at getting to the basket and finishing or drawing a foul. “Our free-throw shooting will need to improve drastically,” Schmeltz said. “We shot under 50 percent from the charity stripe last year. If we expect to win close games, we will need to make free throws.” Sophomores Jamie Schmeltz, Sydnie Abke and Hannah Limes all got a full year of varsity experience last season, and coach Schmeltz said he expects them to carry the Eagles offensively. The trio combined to average nearly 30 points per game a year ago. “We expect that number to increase this winter,” coach Schmeltz said. “Jamie is able to handle the ball and get us into our offense and make big plays when needed. Hannah has become a well-rounded player and is able to hit outside shots and take the ball and finish at the basket. Sydnie is one of the highest IQ players I have coached. She can score around the rim, get rebounds, block shots and set screens, and she always knows where to be. Coach Schmeltz said the Eagles also expect to get contributions from junior guard Staci Bienko and freshman guard Jaylee Souder. “We will need to be able to play at a faster and more up-tempo pace this year in order to be successful,” coach Schmeltz said. “We will be undersized against most teams. If we’re able to play at a faster pace, knock down shots and disrupt the other team’s flow, we feel good about our chances.” (— Press contributing writer Mark Griffin)

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THE PRESS

DECEMBER 4, 2017

B-5

In third year, Plantz, Bench ready for big-time rewards Genoa boys Coach: Zach Alt, fourth year, 44-28 Last Year: 20-4 (12-2 NBC) Key Players: Jacob Plantz, 6-3, G, Jr.; Drew Bench, 6-5, P, Jr.; Josiah Bradfield, 6-0, PG, Sr.; Noah Edwards, 5-10, Sr. Preview: If one were to ask coach Zach Alt what type of offense he foresees running this year, the responses would probably range from a unit that spreads the ball around a lot to one that is focused on execution to one that gives opposing defenses multiple scoring looks every trip down the floor. These everevolving Comets, are well-rounded, and can hurt you from all over the floor. That explosive offense a year ago helped Genoa to a share of the NBC crown at 12-2, as well as a run into the tournament that saw the then up-and-coming Comets fall to Cardinal Stritch, 53-49, in a district semifinal matchup. Leading again this year will be a key returning third-year starter in 6-foot-3 junior guard Jacob Plantz. Plantz has been logging varsity minutes since he was a freshman; notched 17 points per game to go along with six rebounds as a sophomore; was named first team All-Northern Buckeye Conference, first team all-district, and third team All-Ohio last year. Meanwhile, as if Plantz wasn’t enough to contend with, defenses also have to try to find an answer for fellow junior Drew Bench, a 6-5 post player who absolutely prides himself on setting up in the trenches, and doing a lot of the dirty work and heavy lifting down low. Another of the Comets’ three-year starters, Bench poured in 14 points a year ago and hauled eight rebounds against some of the league’s top big men, which earned him both second team All-NBC and second team all-district accolades. Joining these two big guns will be honorable mention all-district point guard Josiah Bradfield, a senior and yet another of Alt’s three-year starters, who scored four points and grabbed three rebounds in 2016-17. Alt says he is much more known

Andrew Bench. (Press file photo by Russ Lytle/Facebook.com/RussLytle_RHP)

Rylee Fredericksen. (Press file photo by Harold Hamilton/HEHphotos.com)

for playing smart, for quarterbacking this offensive attack, and for being a gritty defender. Joining him will be Noah Edwards, another senior, who was crucial off the bench during last year’s run and another of the squad’s top defenders, which earned him honorable mention all-district recognition. Genoa does deal with the key losses of team leaders Matt Bradfield and Sam Sutter to graduation. Stepping into their shoes will be a cast of contributors, including 6-2 junior Nate Lewis; 5-10 junior Jacob Bradfield; 6-3 junior Joey Dominique; 5-11 junior Caleb McGeorge; and 6-1 senior Gary Goodman. Still, as explosive as these Comets could be this season, Alt is just as savvy in his response regarding his own expecta-

tions of how the NBC will shake out. “We would like to finish in the top half of the NBC,� Alt says, “but, the conference is full of great coaches and athletes, and we have to approach each contest as the grind we know it will be.� (— Press contributing writer Jeffrey D. Norwalk)

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Coach: Mike DeStazio, eighth year, 104-60 Last Year: 10-13 (7-7 NBC) Key Players: Amanda Meng, 5-11, P, Sr.; Sasha Roberts, 5-11, W, Jr.; Lexus Wiciak, 5-8, P, Jr.; Tatum Neumann, 5-6, G, Soph,; Kendall Gerke, 5-5, G, Soph.; Rylee Fredricksen, 5-7, G, Soph.; Darcie Goodman, 6-0, P, Soph.; Caitlin Cruickshank, 5-9, G, Fr.; Tess Neumann, 5-2, G, Fr. Preview: The Genoa Lady Comets basket-

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ball program has seen its fair share of ebbs and flows. Not too long ago, the team was on top and winning league championships. Last year saw the program finish on the downside of the win-loss column at 10-13 overall, to go along with a .500 record of 7-7 in Northern Buckeye Conference play, which was good enough for fourth place. The question going into a new season is “Are this year’s Comets experienced enough to better those marks from last year?� “That will take some time,� says DeStazio, “and we hope we will be a better team in the second half of the season. We will have to learn to play together and learn to be competitive before we see wins. We will be young, playing some freshmen on the varsity team.� Looking to lead this still young team will be a capable core of veteran upperclassmen, including 5-11 senior post player Amanda Meng, 5-8 junior post Lexus Wiciak, and a 5-11 weapon coming off the wing in junior Sasha Roberts, who scored 136 points and grabbed 280 rebounds, to emerge as a team leader as a sophomore in 2016-17. Meanwhile, joining that trio will be a crop of sophomores, in 5-6 guard Tatum Neumann, who had an absolutely monster year for a freshman last year when she poured in 219 points and hauled down 100 rebounds, and 5-5 fellow guard Kendall Gerke, who also recorded a stellar freshman campaign to the tune of 182 points, and 66 boards. Look for them to be spelled from time to time by fellow sophomores Rylee Fredricksen (5-7 guard) and Darcie Goodman (6-0 post), who will try to take some of the weight off their teammates’ young shoulders. Watch for solid and regular contributions from both 5-9 guard Caitlin Cruickshank and 5-2 guard Tess Neumann. Overall, not a team with the greatest size on the block and one whose depth is still very much a question mark. (— Press contributing writer Jeffrey D. Norwalk)

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B-6

THE PRESS

DECEMBER 4, 2017

2017-2018 High School

l l a b t e k s a B w e i v e r P

CARDINAL STRITCH GIRLS SCHEDULE Nov. 24 ST. JOE’S Dec. 1 TOLEDO CHRISTIAN Dec. 5 @ Ottawa Hills Dec. 12 EVERGREEN Dec. 15 @ Emmanuel Christian Dec. 19 @ Danbury Dec. 22 @ Maumee Valley Dec. 28 @ Margaretta Jan. 4 GIBSONBURG Jan. 6 NORTHWOOD Jan. 11 @ Toledo Christian Jan. 13 OTTAWA HILLS Jan. 17 WHITEFORD Jan. 20 @ Lake Jan. 22 @ Bowsher Jan. 25 EMMANUEL CHRISTIAN Jan. 27 @ Danbury Jan. 29 @ Edon Feb. 1 MAUMEE VALLEY Feb. 5 @ Swanton Feb. 8 @ Gibsonburg Feb. 15 @ Northwood Varsity games start at 7:30 otherwise stated below, Home games in all caps. Jan. 6,13 & 27 Game starts @ 2:30PM Jan. 25 Game starts @ 6:30PM

CLAY GIRLS SCHEDULE Nov. 30 SCOTT Dec. 4 @ Notre Dame Academy Dec. 7 @ Whitmer Dec. 11 @ Start Dec. 14 CENTRAL CATHOLIC Dec. 16 @ Southview Dec. 18 FINDLAY Dec. 21 FREMONT ROSS Dec. 28 @ Northview Jan. 4 ST. URSULA ACADEMY Jan. 8 BOWSHER Jan. 11 @ Lima Senior Jan. 16 @ Bedford Jan. 18 NORTRE DAME ACADEMY Jan. 22 WHITMER Jan. 25 @ Central Catholic Jan. 29 PERRYSBURG Feb. 1 @ Findlay Feb. 5 FREMONT ROSS Feb. 8 @ St. Ursula Feb. 10 DELTA Feb. 15 LIMA SENIOR Varsity games start at 7:30 otherwise stated below, Home games in all caps.

EASTWOOD GIRLS SCHEDULE

Nov. 25 Nov. 28 Nov. 30 Dec. 5 Dec. 7 Dec. 12 Dec. 21 Dec. 28 Dec. 30 Jan. 5 Jan. 11 Jan. 13 Jan. 16 Jan. 18 Jan. 23 Jan. 26 Feb. 1 Feb. 3 Feb. 6 Feb. 8 Feb. 15

EVERGREEN @ Port Clinton WOODMORE OAK HARBOR @ Fostoria @ Elmwood @ Rossford @ Swanton LIBERTY CENTER OTSEGO @ Woodmore GENOA VAN BUREN FOSTORIA @ Genoa ELMWOOD ROSSFORD BRYAN @ Northwood LAKE @ Otsego

Varsity games start at 7:30 otherwise stated below, Home games in all caps. Dec. 30 Game starts @ 2:30PM Jan. 13 Game starts @ 2:30PM Feb. 3 Game Starts @ 2:30PM

NORTHWOOD GIRLS SCHEDULE

Nov. 25 Nov. 28 Dec. 1 Dec. 5 Dec. 8 Dec. 12 Dec. 10 Dec. 14 Dec. 15 Dec. 20 Jan. 4 Jan. 6 Jan. 11 Jan. 13 Jan. 18 Jan. 20 Jan. 25 Jan. 27 Feb. 6 Feb. 8 Feb. 10 Feb. 15

@ Lake LAKOTA @ Emmanuel Christian DANBURY @ Maumee Valley County Day GIBSONBURG @ Gibsonburg @ Maumee OTTAWA HILLS @ Woodward @ Toledo Christian @ Cardinal Stritch EMMANUEL CHRISTIAN @ Danbury MAUMEE VALLEY COUNTRY DAY @ Gibsonburg @ Ottawa Hills ROSSFORD EASTWOOD TOLEDO CHRISTIAN JONES LEADERSHIP ACADEMY CARDINAL STRITCH

Varsity games start at 7:30 otherwise stated below, Home games in all caps. Jan. 6, 13 & 20 Games start @ 2:30PM Feb. 10 Game starts @ 1PM

GENOA GIRLS SCHEDULE

Nov. 24 Nov. 28 Dec. 1 Dec. 5 Dec. 7 Dec. 9 Dec. 12 Dec. 15 Dec. 21 Jan. 2 Jan. 5 Jan. 9 Jan. 11 Jan. 18 Jan. 23 Jan. 26 Jan. 30 Feb. 1 Feb. 8 Feb. 10 Feb. 13 Feb. 15

@ Maumee @ Oak Harbor @ Elmwood OLD FORT ROSSFORD DELTA OTSEGO @ Eastwood WOODMORE @ Fostoria LAKE @ Woodward ELMWOOD @ Rossford EASTWOOD @ Otsego @ Central Catholic @ Woodmore FOSTORIA HOPEWELL-LOUDON ANTHONY WAYNE @ Lake

Varsity games start at 7:30 otherwise stated below, Home games in all caps. Dec. 9 Game starts @ 1:00PM

Nov. 24 Nov. 25 Nov. 28 Dec. 1 Dec. 7 Dec. 12 Dec. 15 Dec. 21 Dec. 27 Dec. 30 Dec. 28 Jan. 2 Jan. 5 Jan. 11 Jan. 18 Jan. 20 Jan. 23 Jan. 26 Feb. 1 Feb. 3 Feb. 8 Feb. 10 Feb. 15

LAKE GIRLS SCHEDULE

@ Gibsonburg NOTRE DAME/NORTHWOOD SWANTON @ Otsego ELMWOOD @ Rossford @ Woodmore @ Fostoria @ Port Clinton @ Fostoria MAUMEE EASTWOOD @ Genoa OTSEGO @ Elmwood CARDINAL STRITCH WOODMORE ROSSFORD FOSTORIA @ Delta @ Eastwood @ Ottawa Hills GENOA

Varsity games start at 7:30 Home games in all caps

WAITE GIRLS SCHEDULE

Nov. 28 Nov. 30 Dec. 4 Dec. 6 Dec. 11 Dec. 13 Dec. 27 Dec. 28 Jan. 3 Jan. 10 Jan. 17 Jan. 24 Jan. 27 Jan. 31 Feb. 3 Feb. 5 Feb. 7

@ Findlay @ Woodward @ Jones Leadership Academy ROGERS SYLVANIA SOUTHVIEW @ Scott Motor City Tourney Motor City Tourney START @ Bowsher WOODWARD @ Rogers DETROIT COUNTRY DAY SCOTT CLEVE. JOHN KENNEDY @ Start BOWSHER

Varsity games start at 7:30 otherwise stated below, Home games in all caps. Dec. 4 Game starts @ 6PM Dec. 27 Game starts @ 11am Dec. 28 Game starts @ 9:20am Jan. 27 Games start @ 2PM Feb. 3 Game starts @ 3:30pm

GIBSONBURG GIRLS SCHEDULE

Nov. 24 Nov. 28 Dec. 1 Dec. 8 Dec. 12 Dec. 19 Dec. 22 Dec. 28 Jan. 4 Jan. 6 Jan. 11 Jan. 13 Jan. 16 Jan. 18 Jan. 20 Jan. 25 Jan. 27 Feb. 1 Feb. 8 Feb. 13 Feb. 15 Feb. 17

LAKE @ Woodmore MAUMEE VALLEY OTTAWA HILLS @ Northwood @ Toledo Christian DANBURY @ Arcadia @ Cardinal Stritch @ Emmanuel Christian @ Maumee Valley HOPEWELL-LOUDON @ Fremont St. Joe @ Ottawa Hills NORTHWOOD @ Calvert TOLEDO CHRISTIAN @ Danbury CARDINAL STRITCH BOWLING GREEN EMMANUEL CHRISTIAN LAKOTA

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Varsity games start at 7:30 otherwise stated below, Home games in all caps. Jan. 6 Game starts @ 2:00PM, Jan. 13, 20 & 27 Game starts @ 1:00PM

OAK HARBOR GIRLS SCHEDULE Nov. 25 @ Rossford Nov. 28 GENOA Nov. 30 @ Huron Dec. 5 @ Eastwood Dec. 9 @ Tiffian Columbian Dec. 12 @ St. Mary Dec. 16 @ Vermilion Dec. 19 NEW RIEGEL Dec. 22 WILLARD Dec. 28 ST. JOE’S Dec. 30 MARGARETTA Jan. 5 PORT CLINTON Jan. 9 @ Edison Jan. 13 HURON Jan. 23 @ Vermilion Jan. 27 @ Willard Jan. 30 @ Woodmore Feb. 2 @ Margaretta Feb. 6 OLD FORT Feb. 10 @ Port Clinton Feb. 13 @ Elmwood Feb. 15 EDISON Varsity games start at 7:30 otherwise stated below, Home games in all caps. Dec. 9, 16 & 30 Game starts @ 1PM Jan. 13 & 27 Games start @ 1PM

WOODMORE GIRLS SCHEDULE Nov. 24 PORT CLINTON Nov. 28 GIBSONBURG Nov. 30 @ Eastwood Dec. 7 OTSEGO Dec. 12 FOSTORIA Dec. 15 LAKE Dec. 13 EASTWOOD Dec. 16 FOSTORIA Dec. 19 @ Old Fort Dec. 21 @ Genoa Dec. 28 OTTAWA HILLS Jan. 2 ELMWOOD Jan. 5 @ Rossford Jan. 11 EASTWOOD Jan. 18 at Otsego Jan. 20 @ Hopewell-Loudon Jan. 23 @ Lake Jan. 26 @ Fostoria Jan. 30 OAK HARBOR Feb. 1 GENOA Feb. 3 @ St. Joe’s Feb. 6 @ Lakota Feb. 8 @ Elmwood Feb. 15 ROSSFORD Varsity games start at 7:30pm Home games in all caps

o t t i e k a T the net!


THE PRESS

DECEMBER 4, 2017

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CARDINAL STRITCH SCHEDULE Nov. 22 CARDINAL BASK. MANIA Nov. 26 BOWSHER Dec. 2 FOSTORIA Dec. 5 @ Erie Mason Dec. 7 @ Toledo Christian Dec. 9 OTTAWA HILLS Dec. 14 @ Evergreen Dec. 16 @ Lake Center Christian Dec. 18 EMMANUEL CHRISTIAN Dec. 21 @ Danbury Dec. 28 @ Southview Tournament Dec. 29 @ Southview Tournament Jan. 5 MAUMEE VALLEY Jan. 9 @ Gibsonburg Jan. 12 @ Northwood Jan. 16 @ Lake Jan. 19 TOLEDO CHRISTIAN Jan. 23 @ Ottawa Hills Feb. 2 @ Emmanuel Christian Feb. 6 Danbury Feb. 9 @ Maumee Valley Feb. 16 GIBSONBURG Feb. 20 SWANTON Feb. 23 NORTHWOOD Varsity games start at 7:30pm Home games in all caps Game on Dec. 16 starts at 1pm Game on Dec. 28 starts at 6pm

GENOA BOYS SCHEDULE

Dec. 1 Dec. 5 Dec. 8 Dec. 14 Dec. 19 Dec. 22 Dec. 27 Dec. 29 Jan. 4 Jan. 9 Jan. 12 Jan. 13 Jan. 19 Jan. 20 Jan. 25 Jan. 27 Feb. 2 Feb. 3 Feb. 6 Feb. 9 Feb. 16 Feb. 20

@ Oak Harbor @ Wauseon @ Fostoria ROSSFORD OTSEGO @ Eastwood @ Gibsonburg @ Anthony Wayne WOODMORE ELMWOOD LAKE TIFFIN COLUMBIAN FOSTORIA @ Port Clinton @ Rossford SWANTON EASTWOOD CLYDE @ Otsego @ Woodmore @ Elmwood @ Lake

Varsity games start at 7:30pm Home games in all caps

EASTWOOD BOYS SCHEDULE Nov. 18 @ Liberty Center Nov. 21 HOPEWELL-LOUDON Dec. 14 @ Elmwood Dec. 19 FOSTORIA Dec. 22 GENOA Dec. 29 @ Archbold Jan. 2 MAUMEE Jan. 4 @ Rossford Jan. 6 BOWLING GREEN Jan. 9 @ Lake Jan. 12 Otsego Jan. 13 PORT CLINTON Jan. 19 @ Woodmore Jan. 20 @ Gibsonburg Jan. 25 ELMWOOD Jan. 27 @ Oak Harbor Jan. 30 WOODMORE Feb. 2 @ Genoa Feb. 3 @ Ottawa Glandorf Feb. 6 @ Fostoria Feb. 9 ROSSFORD Feb. 13 @ Ottawa Hills Feb. 16 LAKE Feb. 23 @ Otsego Varsity games start at 7:30pm Home games in all caps NORTHWOOD BOYS SCHEDULE

Nov. 30 Dec. 7 Dec. 9 Dec. 14 Dec. 16 Dec. 18 Dec. 19 Jan. 6 Jan. 9 Jan. 12 Jan. 15 Jan. 16 Jan. 19 Jan. 23 Jan. 26 Jan. 30 Feb. 2 Feb. 3 Feb. 13 Feb. 16 Feb. 23

LAKE EMMANUEL CHRISTIAN @ Danbury MAUMEE VALLEY @ Gibsonburg @ Ottawa Hills @ Ottawa Hills ARCADIA TOLEDO CHRISTIAN CARDINAL STRITCH @Swanton MONCLOVA CHRISTIAN @ Emmanuel Christian DANBURY @ Maumee Valley GIBSONBURG OTTAWA HILLS @ North Baltimore LAKOTA @ Toledo Christian @ Cardinal Stritch

Varsity games start at 7:30pm Home games in all caps

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CLAY BOYS SCHEDULE

Dec. 1 Dec. 5 Dec. 8 Dec. 12 Dec. 15 Dec. 19 Dec. 22 Dec. 27 Dec. 29 Dec. 30 Jan. 5 Jan. 9 Jan. 12 Jan. 16 Jan. 19 Jan. 26 Jan. 30 Feb. 2 Feb. 6 Feb. 9 Feb. 16 Feb. 23

@ Columbian @ Maumee LIMA SENIOR @ Whitmer @ Findlay SPRINGFIELD ST. FRANCIS NORTHVIEW North Royalton Tournament North Royalton Tournament @ St. John’s @ Waite @ Central Catholic @ Bowsher FREMONT ROSS WHITMER @ Lima Senior FINDLAY ST. FRANCIS ST. JOHN’S CENTRAL CATHOLIC @ Fremont Ross

Varsity games start at 7:30pm Home games in all caps Games on Dec. 29 & 30 start at 6pm

GIBSONBURG BOYS SCHEDULE

Dec. 5 Dec. 7 Dec. 9 Dec. 14 Dec. 16 Dec. 19 Dec. 21 Dec. 27 Jan. 5 Jan. 9 Jan. 12 Jan. 19 Jan. 20 Jan. 26 Jan. 30 Feb. 3 Feb. 6 Feb. 9 Feb. 10 Feb. 13 Feb. 16 Feb. 23

@ Elmwood @ Maumee Valley WOODMORE @ Ottawa Hills NORTHWOOD @ Tiffin Calvert TOLEDO CHRISTIAN GENOA @ Danbury CARDINAL STRITCH EMMANUEL CHRISTIAN MAUMEE VALLEY EASTWOOD OTTAWA HILLS @ Northwood LAKOTA @ Toledo Christian DANBURY @ Fremont St. Joe @ Otsego @ Cardinal Stritch @ Emmanuel Christian

Varsity games start at 7:30pm Home games in all caps

LAKE BOYS SCHEDULE

Nov. 30 Dec. 2 Dec. 5 Dec. 8 Dec. 14 Dec. 16 Dec. 19 Dec. 22 Dec. 28 Dec. 29 Jan. 4 Jan. 6 Jan. 9 Jan. 12 Jan. 16 Jan. 19 Jan. 25 Feb. 2 Feb. 6 Feb. 9 Feb. 16 Feb. 24

@Northwood @ Toledo Christian SWANTON @ Ostsego FOSTORIA @ Oak Harbor @ Rossford WOODMORE @ Maumee MCCOMB @ Elmwood DELTA EASTWOOD @ Genoa CARDINAL STRITCH Otsego @ Fostoria @ Woodmore ROSSFORD ELMWOOD @ Eastwood GENOA

Varsity games start at 7:30 Home games in all caps.

OAK HARBOR BOYS SCHEDULE

Dec. 1 Dec. 2 Dec. 8 Dec. 9 Dec. 16 Dec. 21 Dec. 23 Dec. 29 Jan. 4 Jan. 6 Jan. 12 Jan. 13 Jan. 16 Jan. 20 Jan. 26 Jan. 27 Feb. 1 Feb. 9 Feb. 13 Feb. 16 Feb. 17 Feb. 23

GENOA @Woodmore @ Huron @ Old Fort LAKE @ Vermilion @ Lakota WILLARD MARGARETTA PORT CLINTON @ Edison ST. MARY HURON FREMONT ST. JOE VERMILION EASTWOOD @ Willard @ Margaretta NEW RIEGEL @ Port Clintion @ Bellevue EDISON

Varsity games start at 7:30pm Home games in all caps Dec. 23 game starts at 11am

WAITE BOYS SCHEDULE Nov. 10 @ Springfield Nov. 22 @ Port Clinton Dec. 5 @ Sylvania Southview Dec. 8 @ Woodward Dec. 9 CLEVELAND JOHN HAY Dec. 15 ROGERS Dec. 17 @ Univ. Prep. Academy H.S. Dec. 22 @ Thurgood Marshall Dec. 29 @ Emmanuel Chr Tourney Jan. 5 @ Scott Jan. 7 SYLVANIA SOUTHVIEW Jan. 9 CLAY Jan. 12 START Jan. 16 @ Monroe Jan. 19 @ Bowsher Jan. 26 WOODARD Jan. 30 @ Rogers Feb. 2 SCOTT Feb. 3 CLEVE. JOHN F. KENNEDY Feb. 9 @ Start Feb. 13 BOWSHER Varsity games start at 7:30 otherwise stated below, Home games in all caps. Nov. 10 Game starts @ 6:00PM Nov. 22, Dec. 29 Game starts @ 5:30PM Feb. 3 Game starts @ 6:30PM

WOODMORE BOYS SCHEDULE

Dec. 2 Dec. 5 Dec. 9 Dec. 14 Dec. 16 Dec. 19 Dec. 22 Jan. 4 Jan. 9 Jan. 12 Jan. 13 Jan. 19 Jan. 23 Jan. 25 Jan. 30 Feb. 2 Feb. 3 Feb. 6 Feb. 9 Feb. 13 Feb. 16 Feb. 23

OAK HARBOR @ Port Clinton @ Gibsonburg OTSEGO HOPEWELL-LOUDON ELMWOOD @ Lake @ Genoa FOSTORIA ROSSFORD MARGARETTA EASTWOOD @ Lakota @ Otsego @ Eastwood LAKE @ St. Joe’s @ Elmwood GENOA OLD FORT @ Fostoria @ Rossford

Varsity games start at 7:30pm Home games in all caps

B-7


B-8

THE PRESS

DECEMBER 4, 2017

Both Gibsonburg teams think young athletes will prevail Gibsonburg boys Coach: Brent Liskai, 16th year, (184-138) Last Year: 10-13 (7-7 TAAC) Key Players: Josh Ernsthausen, 6-3, W, Sr.; Addison Weaver, 6-3, W, Jr.; Theo Hernandez, 5-6, G, So. Preview: Veteran coach Brent Liskai hopes his Gibsonburg squad can overcome youth in the 2017-18 campaign. “We’re going to be very young,” said Liskai, now in his 16th year at the helm of the Golden Bears. Josh Ernsthausen, Addison Weaver, Theo Hernandez and Jake Foster give Gibsonburg returnees to build around, with Ernsthausen the top scorer back at 14.5 points per game “We’re young and hungry,” Liskai said. “We’re a very smart basketball team, but you can’t teach speed at the varsity level. As we get used to the speed we’ll improve and be competitive, but we’ll take some lumps getting there.” In addition to Ernsthausen, a 6-3 senior who led the Golden Bears in rebounding a year ago at 7.6, the 6-3 Weaver is also a twoyear lettermen following a sophomore season in which he scored six points an outing. Hernandez (5-6) and Foster (6-2) are sophomores that lettered last season and will be aided by 6-2 seniors Joe Adkins and Nate Kissell, both junior varsity players a year ago. A pair of 6-1 freshmen, Mitchell Tille and Mason Tille, are also being counted on. “We’ve got decent size and I like our skill set,” noted Liskai, whose team must replace Nick Kille, last year’s leading scorer (15.6) and second-leading rebounder (5.1). “We can play the game right, but trying to simulate varsity speed in practice takes a little bit.” Ernsthausen, who missed seven games a year ago with an injury and so far has been battling an ankle issue in the preseason, headlines a strong group of shooters. “Shooting is one of our strengths,” Liskai pointed out. “Weaver can shoot it and our young guys can shoot.” The Golden Bears will again rely on

Go Golden Bears

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Gibsonburg guard Emily Roberts drives against a Cardinal Stritch defender. (Photo courtesy Innovations Portrait Studio/InnovationsVisualImpact. com) the same style of play Liskai has instilled in the program. “We’ll get up and pressure people, though more in the half-court until we develop depth,” the Gibsonburg coach explained. “We’ll use pressure defense to create offensive opportunities. We have decent size for us, but nowhere near what our opponents have.” That means the pace of the game is key. “We’ll be primarily a man-to-man team with full-court run and jump.” Liskai said. “We’ll mix in a zone press to help keep the tempo up.” A tough start to the season awaits the Golden Bears with three games in a span of five days to open the schedule. It begins Dec. 5 at Elmwood, followed Dec. 7 with the TAAC opener at Maumee Valley Country Day before playing host for the first time two nights later against Woodmore. “With a young team, we’ll have to grow up quickly,” Liskai said. “But we’ve been here before. We understand we can’t rush it and worry about sacrificing the future and winning now, we must be patient and stay

Coach: Heather Hall, fourth year, (27-35) Last Year: 12-11 (11-3 TAAC) Key Players: Emily Roberts, 5-7, G/F, Jr.; Becca Morelock, 5-2, G, So.; Jasmine McNett, 5-7, G/F, Jr. Preview: A year ago Gibsonburg came up one win short of its first girls basketball title in 41 years. But an 11-3 Toledo Area Athletic Conference record from last season will be tough to match this time around for a program that last won a league cham-

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THE PRESS

DECEMBER 4, 2017

B-9

Six-foot post Lexi Robinson returns to lead Lady Flyers Lake boys

Coach: Jeff Limes, second year, 6-23. Last Year: 6-23 (3-11 NBC). Key Players: Ahmad Smith, 6-3, Sr., F; Dylan O’Quinn, 6-5, Sr., F; Ben Stowers, 6-2, Sr., G; Andrew Hoffman, 5-7, Sr., G; Mikey Szymanski, 5-8, Sr., PG; Luke Walsh, 6-2, Jr., F. Preview: The Flyers will have a seniordominated starting lineup this season. Coach Jeff Limes is confident the experience the players gained last year will pay off this season. “We will need to keep our composure every game night,� Limes said. “The players have worked extremely hard over the summer and since the beginning of the preseason. We worked hard last year but we lacked court experience. Nothing much has changed since then except the court knowledge.� Ahmad Smith, Luke Walsh and Dylan O’Quinn, who will play football at the University of Cincinnati next year, are the Flyers’ most experienced interior players. “Ahmad is a solid ball handler and sees the floor well,� Limes said. “He will be able to stretch the floor, he’s good on the defensive end and he will rebound well. Dylan is a hard-working player. He will be our inside presence and will also be able to step outside and drive to the basket. Luke is always in the right spot at the right time. He’s not afraid to mix it up on the outside and will go inside as well.� Lake’s perimeter players are Ben Stowers, Andrew Hoffman and Mikey Szymanski. “Ben has good floor vision and will be able to hit from the outside and drive to the basket,� Limes said. “Andrew works hard and will be able to stretch the floor when we need a basket. He has good court sense and sees the floor well. Mikey is a solid defensive player. He is quick and will get the ball up the court, and he’s not afraid to mix it up taking it inside.� Limes added that this team has “come together well� and is starting to believe in each other. “We are having fun,� Limes said. “We

Go Flyers!

Lake forward Lexi Robinson. (Press file photo by Scott Grau) stress ‘family’ every day. We will need to pay attention to detail and value every possession. The league this year will be very competitive, so we will need to bring our ‘A’ game every night and we have to stay upbeat and positive. We will continue to work hard and get better every day. I’m very excited to see my kids on the court and get after it.� (— Press contributing writer Mark Griffin)

Lake girls Coach: Joe Nowak, third season, 31-16. Last year: 17-7 (8-6 NBC). Key players: Maddy Hodgson, 5-6, Sr., G; Kayla Bekier, 6-0, Sr., P; Lexi Robinson, 6-0, Jr., F; Mya Staczek, 5-8, Jr., G; Kortney Ellison, 5-8, Soph., G Preview: The Flyers return all but one player (Rebekah Swartz) from last year’s team. Swartz was Lake’s best outside shooter, and

Guard Maddy Hodgson. (Press file photo by Scott Grau)

coach Joe Nowak will have to find her replacement. “Last season we started off very well, going 11-1 in our first 12 games,� Nowak said. “Then we hit a wall and struggled before finding new life in the tournament If we want to accomplish our goals this season and finish at the top of the NBC, we will need to have the right mindset and show up ready to improve as the season rolls on.� Senior guard Maddy Hodgson was the Flyers’ do-it-all player last season, while senior post Kayla Bekier led the team in rebounding with 9.3 boards per game. The 6-foot Bekier and fellow 6-footer Lexi Robinson, a junior, give Lake a good inside presence. “We’ll look for Maddy to expand her

role this year and build off the success she had last season,� Nowak said. “We’ll look for Kayla to do the same thing (rebounding) this year and expand her offensive role. Lexi served as our primary offensive threat last season. We’re looking for her to expand her role into other parts of the game for us to accomplish our goals.� Lake’s other top players are junior guard Mya Staczek and sophomore guard Kortney Ellison. “Mya came on strong for us at various points of last season,� Nowak said. “Her athleticism and motor will give us a nice addition. Kortney saw limited time as a freshman, but she has shown very promising things over the summer and in the preseason. We look forward to what Kortney will be able to add to our team.�(— Press contributing writer Mark Griffin)

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B-10

THE PRESS

DECEMBER 4, 2017

Northwood cagers feeling like they are at a turning point Northwood boys

Guard Gabe LaPlante (13) and center Logan McDermott (32). (Press photo by Don Thompson/Facebook.com/DNRsport) think they’re open. He’s willing to make those passes that others aren’t willing to make. He talks on defense and keeps everybody in the right position.� McDermott has grown three inches from last season, to 6-foot-10, according to Drake. The coach said McDermott is learning to become a dominant post defender and rim protector. McDermott averaged eight points a game as a freshman. “He’s starting to become more coordinated at his size now,� Drake said. “Last year he was still kind of figuring out how to be that tall. Now he’s able to move a little better. If he has the mentality to want to dominate, I can see him averaging about 12 points and 10 rebounds. It’s just a question of mentally telling himself he can do it.� Marks will play point guard after having a successful football season at receiver and cornerback. “He is very athletic and uses his quickness to create mismatches for the defense,� Drake said. “We hope his football experience helps him as far as not being nervous or uncomfortable. He can get a rebound and go the length of the court and beat a lot of kids down the court.� Drake said a huge key for the Rangers

Go Rangers!

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Northwood point guard Olivia Randall (2) in action last year. (Press file photo by Don Thompson/Facebook.com/DNRsport)

is to be able to play defense and limit teams to one shot. “If we give teams more than one chance,� he said, “that gives us a bigger hill to climb. With Demond playing the point guard role, as long as he can get the defense to focus on him when he penetrates, that will give Tyler and Gabe some open shots. Donte is more skilled on the inside, so he’ll be able to use the size he does have to create an advantage for himself. We need to use that to our advantage.� (— Press contributing writer Mark Griffin)

Northwood girls Coach: Bill Hamilton, six years, 42-80. Last season: 7-16 (7-9 TAAC). Key players: Olivia Randall, 5-4, Jr., G; Corey Fry, 5-4, Jr., G; Kirsten Dombrowski, 5-5, Jr., P; Brooke Schmitz, 5-3, Jr., G; Sarah Frey, 5-6, Jr., P; Ashlyn Rable, 5-6, Fr., P; Emily Bowen, 5-6, Fr., G Preview: Junior guard Olivia Randall is the Rangers’ lone returning letter winner from last season. Northwood will play five freshmen. “We have a roster of just 12 players this

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year, for both jayvee and varsity,� coach Bill Hamilton said. “Playing time will not be an issue this year, and most players will play five quarters a night to fulfill our league schedule.� Hamilton said that due to low numbers, Northwood will not play a non-league jayvee schedule. Randall averaged four points and one rebound a game as a sophomore. “We expect her and Corey Fry to step up and be strong leaders for us,� Hamilton said. “They’ve kind of taken that responsibility upon themselves. They’re both guards and Fry is going to handle the point and Randall will be a two-guard. They will be interchangeable. Corey Fry, Kirsten Dombrowski, Brooke Schmitz, Sarah Frey, Ashlyn Rable and Emily Bowen will see the majority of varsity time early on. “With continued hard work, the other players will see time as well. We are a building and growing program this year. Our success will be determined by our players’ hard work and dedication to the game. They are taking it one day and one practice at a time. That’s how our success will come this year.� (— Press contributing writer Mark Griffin)

The

Coach: Allen Drake, third season, 1-45. Last season: 1-22 (1-13 TAAC) Key players: Gabe LaPlante, 5-10, Sr., G; Tyler Lindhurst, 5-8, Sr., G; Donte Dixon, 5-11, Jr., F; Logan McDermott, 6-10, So., C; Demond Marks, 5-9, Fr., G. Preview: The Rangers hope to be able to close games out this season behind four returning starters. Northwood’s lone win last season came against Toledo Area Athletic Conference rival Emmanuel Christian. “We were able to play into the fourth quarter where the game was still meaningful,� coach Allen Drake said. “I believe the returning guys will be able to lead the newer guys over the hump and get us some wins. We just couldn’t finish last year. They weren’t in that position before and they didn’t have enough confidence to tell themselves they could do it.� The four returning starters are senior guards Gabe LaPlante and Tyler Lindhurst, junior forward Donte Dixon and sophomore center Logan McDermott. Northwood lost Gabe’s brother, Evan, to graduation. Evan was an honorable mention all-conference selection and led the team in scoring with 12 points a game last year. “The biggest thing with Evan last year was he wanted to be in the gym and he wanted everybody to work out and be competitive and get better,� Drake said. “Evan was the first guy in the gym and the last one to leave. Gabe has been doing that this offseason and he has been working very hard. He gained a lot of confidence and, with his brother being gone, he has to do more in accepting that same role.� Drake said Lindhurst is a good shooter who “always finds himself in the right spot on the floor,� while Dixon is a versatile athlete and a natural leader. Dixon averaged five points and seven rebounds a game last season. “Donte has a high basketball IQ and he’s good enough to handle the ball for us,� Drake said. “He’s also a solid rebounder and he’s able to find guys when they don’t

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THE PRESS

DECEMBER 4, 2017

B-11

Rocket girls picked to win SBC’s Bay Division trophy Oak Harbor boys Coach: Eric Sweet, seventh year Last Year: 8-15 (6-8 SBC) Key Returnees: Jac Alexander, 5-10, PG, So.; Alex Gezo, 6-1, W, Sr.; Aric McAtee, 6-3, W/P, Sr.; Tate Smith, 6-5, P, Sr.; Clay Schulte, 5-11, W, So. Key Losses: Isaiah Jefferson; Matt Harris; Nate Poiry Forecast: On paper, Oak Harbor features its share of talent. A backcourt of Jac Alexander and Clay Schulte to go with Alex Gezo and Aric McAtee on the wings with Tate Smith on the block would be something any coach would like to have. The team just got Alexander back from a broken collarbone he suffered during the football season and coach Eric Sweet is ready for the season to begin. The son of legendary former Ottawa-Glandorf coach Dave Sweet says his team still needs to progress. “We have had our good moments and our bad moments (during scrimmages). We've been inconsistent, so we've got to be more consistent with things. We also didn’t have Jac for any of the scrimmages, so we had to move players in different positions. We got accomplished what we wanted to get accomplished,” Sweet said. The Rockets were competitive last year in the Sandusky Bay Conference and are now looking to take the next step and make some noise in the league. Sweet feels good about the team’s depth, which features the likes of Jake Lewis, Clark Rutledge, Hunter Lacer, Connor Hoy and Hunter Wilkins. “I’m excited for the year. It’s much harder to get over the hump. Last year, we got to eight wins. You’re not just going to come out and be able to get over the hump and go 11-11 or 12-10. It’s a big jump,” Sweet said. “The kids have been working hard, they've been listening and they know nothing is given. I think the middle of the league is extremely tough,” added Sweet. “You bring Vermilion back, Huron back and Margaretta brings a lot back. Taking that next step is harder than it sounds. We could finish at the top but we could also finish towards the bottom.” (— Press contributing writer Yaneek Smith)

Waite point guard Carl Banks. (Press file photo courtesy Innovations Portrait Studio/ InnovationsVisualImpact. com)

Waite boys picked to win Toledo City League trophy Oak Harbor post Logan Harris last year. (Press file photo by Scott Grau)

Oak Harbor girls Coach: Tom Kontak, sixth year Last Year: 21-4 (10-2 SBC) Key Returnees: Logan Harris, 6-1, P, Jr.; Abby Dornbusch, 5-4, PG, Sr.; Ashley Riley, 5-9, W, Sr.; Sophia Eli, 5-7, W, So. Key Losses: Maddy Rathbun; Emma Barney; Emma Bergman Forecast: Since Tom Kontak arrived in Oak Harbor, his teams have done nothing but compete with the best the Sandusky Bay Conference has to offer and make noise in the postseason. And with four returning starters, this year is expected to be no different. Last season, the Rockets went 21-4 and lost in overtime in the district finals to Clyde. Leading the way was junior post Logan Harris, who averaged 18.7 points and 7.2 rebounds while Maddy Rathbun contributed with 10.7 points and 10.1 rebounds. Rathbun is gone, as are Emma Bergman and Emma Barney, but Sophia Eli (9.2 pts.) returns and joins Abby Dornbusch, a threeyear starter, in the backcourt. Ashley Riley (7 pts., 5.4 reb.) is the fourth starter and three juniors — Jill Thorbahn, Alaina Hetrick and Addi Hasselbach — and one senior, Emily Lenke, will battle it out for the final starting spot. Any team coached by Kontak will typically be one that treats playing defense as a paramount concern. Offensively, expect the group to work the inside-outside game with Harris in the post and shooters like Dornbusch, Riley and Eli out on the perimeter. And Harris can also step outside and hit the open jumper when the opportunity presents itself. “Each time the team is on the floor, there will be players that present an inside threat and players who present an outside threat,” said Kontak. “This team will be able to score from inside the paint and outside the perimeter.” The most important aspect of the club’s success will come down to how it plays defense. The zone trapping that the Rockets have practiced in recent years has wreaked havoc on opponents and been the calling card for the program.

Oak Harbor wing Sophia Eli last year. (Press file photo by Scott Grau) “These players, having played together for a couple seasons now, are able to better communicate on defense. I think a strength of this group right now is the trust amongst everyone,” said Kontak, whose teams have gone 97-27 since arriving in Oak Harbor. “Additionally, they have a winning attitude both in the classroom and when they compete. “The biggest challenge this group will face is keeping their laser focus and staying in a day-to-day mentality. The basketball season is a marathon, so pacing and staying consistent is very important. And it will be vital that the group continues to work to stay at a high level of conditioning and keep good health throughout the season.” Oak Harbor now competes in the 21team SBC, which has three divisions. The Rockets are in the Bay Division, which is for the medium-sized schools and includes Edison, Huron, Margaretta, Port Clinton, Vermilion and Willard. Oak Harbor was picked to win the division just one year after nearly sharing the league title with Clyde. (— Press contributing writer Yaneek Smith)

Waite boys Coach: Adam Rodriguez, fifth year Last Year: 14-10 (5-5 TCL) Key Returnees: Carl Banks, 5-8, PG, Sr.; Keyshawn Leach, 6-4, P, Sr.; Dominique Booth, 5-10, W, Sr. Key Losses: Ronnie Sanders; Mohammed Elmajzoub Forecast: Waite returns three starters and features its share of talent and size, something that was enough for the club to be picked to win the Toledo City League this year. Adam Rodriguez’s team, which won 14 games last year, returns three starters in 5-8 point guard Carl Banks, who averaged 19.4 points and 3.2 assists, 6-4 post Keyshawn Leach (10.8 pts., 11.1 reb.) and 5-10 wing Dominique Booth. Mark Randall, a 6-0 junior wing, joins the starting lineup, as does 6-2 senior post Dewayne Wells. “We have four seniors in the starting lineup. It’s the most experience we’ve had. Our expectations are really high for this group,” said Rodriguez. “We have a good senior class, the guys that have been around have been a great group of leaders on the floor. They know what to expect from the coaching staff and what we run offensively and defensively. We have a couple new kids in that will give us some good minutes and the experienced kids have helped them come along. “Carl is one of the reasons we were picked to win the City League,” continued Rodriguez. “Keyshawn can handle his own and is going to be a force in our league and Dewayne is a dirty worker who does all the little things — he rebounds and sets picks and does what we ask of him.” Two players who will see time off the bench will be 6-3 wing Corvaun Howard and 6-2 wing Vinnie Guerrero, both of whom are transfers, as well as backup point guard Demond Allen. To be successful this year, the Indians will have to slow the game down and grind the tempo to their liking, something different from what most of the teams in the CL like to do. “We have to slow the game down, especially in our league. We still have to play our game and keep in the 50s and 60s,” said

Good Luck Indians!

Rodriguez. “The rest of the league wants games in the 70s and 80s. We want to be tough and make other teams earn their baskets. That’s been our M.O.” (— Press contributing writer Yaneek Smith)

Waite girls Coach: Manny May, 20th year Last Year: 2-17 (1-9 TCL) Key Returnees: Mae Sanders, 5-10, F, Sr.; Jamareah Howell, 6-2, F, Jr.; Mikayla Taylor, 5-8, G, So. Key Losses: Marteena Fitch; Carae Finn Forecast: Progress is what Manny May is looking for out of his team this season. Each day, each practice, each game. May has a team that will look to climb the ladder in the City League and compete to earn a spot in the middle of the pack. He’s got some talented players, namely 5-10 Mae Sanders and 6-2 Jamareah Howell, both of whom are post players. Sophomore Mikayla Taylor and junior Delanie Northeis will fill both of the wing spots and Haley Mitchell and Shandrea Belcher are currently battling it out for the point guard positions. The Indians will have to replace a number of key players from last year’s squad in Marteena Fitch, Julia Compos, Essense Smith, Carae Finn and Brittney Johns. “We’re a work in progress. We’ve been up and down in the scrimmages — some were good, some were bad,” said May. “We want to get better every night, and you want to be that middle-of-the-road team that goes .500 or better. You want to be in the running for a City League title. You just want to improve each day.” May sees Rogers as the league favorite yet again. “You have a talented team in Rogers, they’ve won the City League the last seven years. You’ll probably put them No. 1. From there, it will be interesting from that point on who is Nos. 2-6. Bowsher has a nice nucleus, Scott was in the final four last year, so there are some good teams out there.” Rogers was picked to win the league, followed by Start, Scott, Bowsher, Waite and Woodward. (— Press contributing writer Yaneek Smith)

East Toledo Family Center 419-691-1429 1020 Varland Avenue, Toledo, OH 43605 www.etfc.org


B-12

THE PRESS

DECEMBER 4, 2017

Mitchell Miller returns to lead Wildcats in his final season Woodmore boys Coach: Aaron Clouse, 4th year, (24-46) Last Year: 9-15 (6-8 NBC) Key Players: Mitchell Miller, 6-1, G, Sr; Kevin Paul 6-1, G, Sr; Sam Barbee, 5-11, G, Jr; Drew Burner, 6-1, G, Jr Preview: Last year’s leading scorer Mitchell Miller will be counted on more than ever for the Woodmore boys basketball team. The 6-1 senior, who averaged 15.7 points and 3.1 assists per game in earning first-team Northern Buckeye Conference honors, is the lone returning starter from a squad that finished 9-15 a year ago. Miller was a first team Alan Miller Jewelers All-Press selection as a junior. “We lost a lot to graduation,” head coach Aaron Clouse said about key losses including three-year letterman Derek Wank (10 pts., 5.5 reb.) along with leading rebounder Mike Blausey (8 pts., 7.5 reb.), JT Atkin (8 pts.) and DJ Wellons, a defensive standout. Wank was an honorable mention All-Press pick last year. “But losing four starters gives a lot of our guys a chance to earn a place on this year’s team,” Clouse said. All the new players will look to Miller for guidance. “He had a great year and can hurt a defense in many ways,” Clouse said of Miller, the third-leading scorer in the NBC a year ago. “He has a quick first step, finishes around the rim very well and is an excellent outside shooter.” Senior Kevin Paul (6-1) and juniors Sam Barbee (5-11) and Drew Burner (6-1) return as lettermen for the Wildcats. “They will have to develop much larger roles on this year’s team,” Clouse said of the trio. “Drew is a great all-around player who can shoot, attack the basket and provide an offensive compliment to Miller. Kevin Paul does everything for us. He is a great team defender and will play all five positions on offense. Sam Barbee returns to help fill the role DJ left by providing energy on defense and has the ability to attack the basket and finish.”

That leaves players like juniors Taityn Rollins (6-1), Logan Mierzejewski (5-7), Brandon Blausey (5-11) and Hayden Heidebrink (6-0), sophomores Andrew Barringer (6-2) and Paul Koenig (5-11) along with 6-1 freshman Aaron Sandrock to provide depth. “They are all competing to earn minutes this year,” Clouse said of the group, none of which lettered last season. “Sandrock is a freshman who will see a lot of time on the floor. He is a good young player with an excellent skill set around the basket. He has toughness and will be a valuable piece to this year’s team.” Putting it all together is the job of Clouse, the fourth-year head coach. “We have a lot of pieces to be very competitive this year,” Clouse noted. “I like the effort we have seen thus far and the kids have really made a commitment to the program. We will have quickness and the ability to stretch a defense because of our ability to shoot and attack the basket.” Woodmore finished 6-8 in conference play a year ago, with Eastwood and Genoa at the top of the standings each with 12-2 records. “We will need to improve our rebounding and defense if we want to compete with the better teams in our conference.” Clouse said. “Genoa and Eastwood are incredibly talented and very well coached.” (— Press contributing writer Bruce Hefflinger)

Woodmore girls

Woodmore guard Mitchell Miller (20) last year. (Press file photo by Doug Hise)

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Coach: Kyle Clair, 10th year, (102-101) Last Year: 15-9 (10-4 NBC) Key Players: Hayley Freund, 5-6, G, Sr.; Katie Brugger, 5-6, G, Jr.; Nora LaMunyon, 5-7, G, Jr. Preview: “We kind of cleaned house,” Kyle Clair said of losing six seniors from last year’s Northern Buckeye Conference runner-up squad. “We’re going to go from last year’s guardoriented team that can get to the basket, drive and dish to this year with a post game that’s strong. We’ll pound it in, wait on the double team and kick it out.”

That is the plan with returning guards Hayley Freund, Katie Brugger and Nora LaMunyon the lone experienced players on a team featuring just three seniors. “Haley is probably our best defender,” Clair said of the two-year letterwinner coming off a knee injury in soccer. “Nora and Katie are our two biggest perimeter threats. Losing six seniors, we’re looking for leaders to emerge and they’re the ones with experience. They have to show the others how this works.” Lauren Wolph, a 6-0 senior, and Brooke Allen, a 5-11 freshman, give the Wildcats size inside. “Having a post option is key to us doing well,” Clair said. “They’ve got to get a lot of touches. We’re working on them understanding the need to be available at all times to be able to get multiple touches. “They’re also going to help us on defense. With their size, they’re good rim protectors. We haven’t had this kind of height for a few years.” Sophomores Claire Rothert (5-6) and Jordan Nighswander (5-9) are also expected to see big minutes for a team that lost “two cornerstones at guard that will be tough to replace” in Kate Barbie (5.0 reb.) and Lily Rothert (10.7 pts.). Rothert was a second team All-Press selection. Nighswander is being counted on to score and rebound in the post while Rothert brings quickness and the ability to create at guard according to Clair. “We have a lot of young kids coming in getting their first taste of varsity minutes,” Clair said. “It will be nice to be able to reteach team concepts and basic fundamentals.” Maddie Thatcher and Makayla Throop, a pair of 5-6 juniors, bring depth to the the Wildcats along with 5-6 freshman Ava Beam. Clarissa Chavez, a 5-4 senior, is also pushing for playing time on a squad hoping to contend for first place in the NBC. “Elmwood is the pick in preseason polls but it’s kind of wide open,” Clair said of the NBC, won a year ago by Otsego (131) followed by Woodmore (10-4) and Lake (8-6). “There were a lot of tight games last year and I see it that way again.”(— Press contributing writer Bruce Hefflinger)

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Basketball Preview 2017 Section B  

Basketball Preview 2017 Section B

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