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2012-13 High School Basketball Preview

Small Schools Big Expectations Region’s Class 1A teams on the rise BY SCOTT MEES THE SOUTHERN


Woodlawn players celebrate on the court after the championship game of the Class 1A boys tournament at Carver Arena in Peoria. Woodlawn took the state title with a 48-45 win over Carrollton.

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outhern Illinois’ Class 1A basketball teams have been on the rise in recent years, and the four-class system is big reason for that, as far as postseason play is concerned. Gone are the days of a school with 175 students trying to win a regional against an opponent with an enrollment of 600. The Woodlawn boys’ basketball team has made the most of the new rules on a statewide level. The Cardinals have advanced to the state tournament in Peoria three times since the four-class system came into effect in 2007. “Obviously we’ve benefitted from it the most having three state finishes out of the first five years,” said Woodlawn coach Shane Witzel. “It’s something that we feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in, and it’s been great for our community.”

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2012-13 High School Basketball Preview The Cardinals have won a regional all five years, and they’ve been sectional champs four times. A second and third place finish at the state tournament was nice, but Woodlawn won the state title last season. “I’ve been fortunate enough to have some really good teams, even in the two-class system,” Witzel said. “Some of it is coaching, but a lot of it is talent and having players that trust us as coaches.” Woodlawn defeated Meridian at the Class 1A super-sectional at SIU Arena last spring. The Bobcats are striving to get where the Cardinals have been in recent years. Meridian has a record of 136-18 in the past five years, which includes four regional titles and two straight sectional championships. “There’s no reason a good team with 150 students can’t compete with a school of 600

kids if you’ve got some talent,” said Meridian coach Jeff Mandrell. “But the bigger schools have more assistant coaches, and their kids can play a freshman schedule, which helps out a lot. There is more equal footing in the postseason now, and I think a lot of good has come from it.” The Bobcats schedule up and have enjoyed plenty of success, but they haven’t been able to beat Witzel’s Woodlawn club in the past two super-sectionals. “They are just really solid all the way around,” Mandrell said of Woodlawn. “They shoot the ball well, and you can’t key on one or two people. They play good defense, and they move the ball well. They’ve had a good tradition for a long time, and the class changes can help people realize that a little bit more.” The Trico Pioneers are traditionally a 1A team, but they were bumped up to Class

2A last season. It looks like they’ll be one of the smallest 2A schools again this season, but the Pioneers could easily fall back into 1A very soon. “We’re going to be on the bubble just about every year,” said Trico’s new coach Mike Denault, who enjoyed success coaching Waltonville in the past. “We might be in 1A next year, but this year we’ll be in with the big boys.” Scheduling becomes an interesting proposition for bubble teams, especially when multi-year contracts are involved.. “My philosophy at Waltonville was that I wanted my team to be battle tested,” Denault said. “Every time we went out on the floor my goal was for us to get challenged. Maybe we had some games on our schedule that we couldn’t win, but we’d get better from playing in those games.” Denault cited an example of

when his Waltonville team was throttled by Nashville team that featureed future Northern Iowa standout Lucas O’Rear. Like Denault, most coaches would agree that it’s a good idea to play a tougher schedule. Another area Class 1A team to keep an eye on is Gallatin County. The Hawks return a solid nucleus from their sectional final team, which lost to Meridian last year. Andrew Drone (6-foot-11) and Patrick Lowe (6-6) make up the best frontcourt duo of small schools in the south. Drone will play D-I college basketball for Rice, and he should be able to dominate the competition this season. Daine Hish returns at the guard spot, which should provide Gallatin County with one of the most potent trios in the southern half of the state. 618-351-5086


Gallatin County’s Andrew Drone looks to pass after picking up a rebound against Meridian last season at the Class 1A sectional.

The Southern Illinoisan Friday, November 16, 2012 Page 3

Belleville Althoff Belleville Althoff (12-18) is still rebuilding after winning the conference two years ago. Coach Greg Lieb lost three more starters and will only bring back guard Kevin Renner and center Erik Furmanek. “I have a great group of kids to work with, but I keep putting salve on their ears because they are so green,” Lieb said. “We will have length at most of our positions, so maybe we will be able to control rebounding and get some passing lanes. But the focus of this conference is how well you will be able to execute half-court.” Renner will be moving to point guard to replace Eldin Salmond, with forward Ryan Marcum and shooting guard/small forward Grant Strieker in the mix to replace IerNeshama Quarles and Alex Sandheinrich. The competition for the last starting

2012-13 High School Basketball Preview

Boys: South Seven Conference job is open.

but they are now battled tested, so they should be Coach: Greg Lieb Seniors: ERIK FURMANEK, 6-3, f; Ryan Marcum, ready.” 6-3, f; Shaun Wells, 5-9, g. The plan is for Jackson to Juniors: KEVIN RENNER, 5-10, g; Grant Strieker, 6-1, g/f; Erik Krause, 6-6, c; Eric Mertens, 6-3, f; replace Traveyon Smoot at center with Gary Hickman Luke Frazier, 6-0, g. becoming a starter at either Cahokia forward or wing guard and Cahokia (23-8) won its shooting guard Derenzo first conference title last Jennings first off the bench. year, but lost in the regional Coach: Darian Nash Seniors: VINCENT JACKSON, 6-6, f/c; KEENAN finals. Coach Darian Nash 6-2, g; Derenzo Jennings, 5-11, g; Michalean will have four starters and MINOR, Raymond, 5-11, g; Tim Nicholson, 6-4, c; Phillip his two top reserves back to Scott, 6-2, g. Juniors: DARIUS AUSTIN, 6-7, g/f; CARLTON go for two in a row. RIVERS, 6-3, g; Gary Hickman, 6-4, g/f. Power forward Vincent Sophomores: Devante Williams, 6-9, c; Montez Jackson, guard Keenan Crumble, 5-9, g; Traveon Jackson, 6-3, f. Minor, guard/forward Darius Austin and point Carbondale guard Carlton Rivers return. The Carbondale Terriers “The young guys played (7-21) went through growbig minutes last year,” Nash ing pains last year with only said. “Last year, they got one senior on the team and rattled in some situations, three sophomores and a

freshman in the starting lineup. “Our kids have matured,” said coach Jim Miller. “They’ve grown physically and their basketball IQ has improved. “We lost only four games during the summer, so I’m very excited about this group of kids.” Point guard Allen Billinger started last year, as did forward Shamarc Bursey, wing guard Elijah Bidinger and shooting guard Devontavius Payne. “Depth is going to be asset and we are going to be very athletic,” Miller said. “Between our nine juniors and eight sophomores there’s going to be a fierce competition for playing time.” Jarron Warren will be stepping into the shoes of last year’s only senior, Sam Strus, at center. “Jarron is extremely successful in transition and does so much at both ends of the floor,” Miller said. “Sophomore Jordan Kelly played a lot of minutes last year and another sophomore Denzel McCauley is probably our best athlete who gives up a good midrange jump shot and is explosive on the defensive end.”

Coach: Jim Miller Seniors: Jackson Bates, 6-0, c/f; Dion Wooly, 510, g/f; Jarron Warren, 6-1, f/c. Juniors: SHAMARC BURSEY, 5-10, g/f; DEVONTAVIUS PAYNE, 6-1, g/f; ELIJAH BIDINGER, 60, g/f; Michel Andre, 6-0, f; Tyrell Robinson, 6-0, c; Christian Harris, 6-2, f; Nanshan Gibbs, 6-1, f; Anthony Day, 6-1, f/c; Cleva Fitzgerald, 5-9, g. Sophomores: ALLEN BILLINGER, 5-10, g; Jordan Kelly, 6-4, f/c; Denzel McCauley, 5-11, g/f; Robby Dozier, 6-1, g/f; Isaac Harris, 5-10, g/f; Sidney Ousley, 5-4, g; Joseph Stanford, 5-11, f; Lavonte Sutton, 5-10, g/f.

Centralia Centralia (18-13) slipped a bit last year falling in the sectional finals after finishing second in the state two years ago. Coach Lee Bennett has three and a half starters back, but his big job is finding a replacement for point guard Bryan Betts, who led the Orphans in every category. “With Betts gone we lost almost all of our everything,” Bennett said. “That’s big shoes to fill, but hopefully our inexperienced guys will be able to step it up.” Also gone are guard Ivan McConnaughay and forward Luka Stefanovic. Forward Charlie Evischi returns, as does forward Jake Wood and guard Chase Alcorn. Also back is Jerod Simmons-Young, who was a part-time starter at guard. Coach: Lee Bennett Seniors: CHARLIE EVISCHI, 5-11, f; Jordan Tyson, 6-3, f; Mitch Martin, 6-0, f.

Juniors: CHASE ALCORN, 6-2, g; JAKE WOOD, 61, f; Jerod Simmons-Young, 6-1, g, C.J. Berry, 6-1, f; Austen Shidle, 6-0, f. Sophomores: Ryan Obermeier, 5-10, g.

Marion Marion (12-15) will be starting over under the guidance of new coach Shane Hawkins, former Trico coach and standout player at Pinckneyville and SIU. Hawkins uses former SIU coach Bruce Weber’s system of playing hard-nosed and being disciplined on both sides of the ball. He runs an up-tempo offense that involves five people at all times and is proficient in the half-court and in transition. Hawkins has only one starter returning in shooting guard Jawan Tucker. Malik Stuckey at point guard, Colton Carter at the third guard, with Gabe Murphy, Carson Cash and Brant Hill at forward are in the hunt for starting jobs. “Jawan is very athletic and can go to the rim,” Hawkins said. “Carter can really shoot and Stuckey can play off the bounce and make good decisions in the paint. Gabe can make open shots and Carson can shoot from 17-feet.” Coach: Shane Hawkins Seniors: JAWAN TUCKER, 6-0, g; Gabe Murphy, 6-2, f; Malik Stuckey, 5-11, g. Juniors: Colton Carter, 5-11, g; Zach Bingman, 6-2, g; Carson Cash, 6-4, f; Brant Hill, 6-2, f. Sophomores: R.J. Manfredo, 6-4, f; Brandon Oborne, 6-2, f; Layne Alexander, 5-11, g; Braden Reeves, 5-11, g.


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Page 4 Friday, November 16, 2012 The Southern Illinoisan

Belleville Althoff The Crusaders’ (17-11) hopes for a return to the top suffered a setback with the loss of center Whitney Harris, who suffered a broken leg during a volleyball regional. “You can’t control injuries, so the next kid has to step up,” said coach Todd Hill. “We’re a young team based around our seniors, but losing (graduated) Alece Shumpert’s 17 points a game is what we have to replace.” Hill still has three returning starters with point guard Jazmine Stubblefield and shooting guard Rachel Kaltwasser and Kymber Hill, who has signed with the University of Massachusetts. “Mackenzie and Madison Weilbacher and Kyle Sullivan have shown real improvement and did well this summer,” Hill said. “We’re going to expect them to take up the slack.” Coach: Todd Hill Seniors: WHITNEY HARRIS, 6-3, c; KYMBER HILL, 6-3, c; JAZMINE STUBBLEFIELD, 5-7, g; Mary Cardenas, 5-9, f/g. Juniors: RACHEL KALTWASSER, 5-7, g; Mackenzie Weilbacher, 5-8, g; Alexa Wilson, 5-5, g. Sophomores: Mary Jackson, 5-8, f; Madison Weilbacher, 5-10, g; Kylie Sullivan, 5-6, g. Freshmen: Alanna Bramwell, 6-2, f/c; Rachel Mertens, 5-10, f; Danielle Hawthorne, 5-7, g; Anna Hanger, 5-6, g.

Cahokia Cahokia (18-14) coach Fred Dancy has a job to do to improve on last season that ended in the regional semi-

2012-13 High School Basketball Preview

Girls: South Seven Conference finals with only two returning starters. Gone to graduation are center Takeshia Gibson, shooting guard Diamond Suggs and point guard Shyniece Manuel as well as guard Michaela Dew, who started at the end of season. Dancy has forward Teykia Cooper and Deairelle Ivy, who can play all five positions, back as senior starters. J’Ava Brock will take over at point guard with Ronesha Lewis looking good at shooting guard. Renajha Denzmore and LaShonda Brewer will battle for the post position. “If Denzmore starts then Ivy starts at center and if I start Brewer Ivy will be at forward and Cooper moves to the wing,” Dancy said. “I can also put Ivy at the point and shooting guard.”

with a loss in the first round of the regionals. This year, coach Marialice Jenkins lost three starters to graduation and senior point guard Sarah Goodale to a knee injury, leaving her with an inexperienced squad. “It’s a setback because Sarah is a three-year starter and the hardest working kid I’ve ever coached,” Jenkins said. “With one returning starter, we are wide open this year.” Guard/forward McKena Miller is the lone returning starter. Jenkins is hoping Kaili Bacon can win the center job. “We count on McKena a lot,” Jenkins said. “Offensively she can be unstoppable and defensively she’s long and lanky. Another big key is Kaili. If she can give us presence in the paint that will free up McKena to play the swing Coach: Fred Dancy Seniors: TEYKIA COOPER, 5-11, g/f; DEAIRELLE spot more.” IVY, 5-11, f; Renajha Denzmore, 5-8, f. Forward Kristy Scally, Juniors: LaShonda Brewer, 6-2, c; Keyarra Minor, 5-4, g; Marshay Morton, 5-8, g; Kerra Herron, point guard Skylar Miller, guard/forward Bryonne 5-10, f/c; Makayla Oliver, 5-8, f. Sophomores: J’Ava Brock, 5-5, g; Dominique Williams, guard Paige Bird Jennings, 5-11, f. Freshmen: Ronesha Lewis, 5-11, g; Licole and guard/forward Alex Bursey, 5-10, g. Jackson are in the mix. “Kristy is tough as nails and gives us rebounding Carbondale and defense,” Jenkins said. Carbondale (18-10) is “With Sarah’s injury Skylar coming off a season that could be called into service ended in disappointment quickly.”


Coach: Marialice Jenkins Seniors: SARAH GOODALE, 5-8, g; Kristy Scally, 5-6, f; Zamorrow Glispie, 5-7, g; Bobbie Harris, 5-9, f. Juniors: MCKENA MILLER, 5-11, g/f; Bryonne Williams, 5-9, g/f. Sophomores: Paige Bird, 5-7, g; Elisha Richardson, 5-8, g; Kaili Bacon, 5-10, f/c; Atlantress Green, 5-4, g. Freshmen: Skylar Miller, 5-8, g; Alex Jackson, 5-8, g/f.

Centralia The Annies (21-9) are coming off their third straight stellar season, advancing to the sectional semifinals, but with only forward Danielle Meadows back, coach Roger Stieg has a big job ahead of him. “Losing four seniors is a big adjustment for us,” Stieg said. “Our guard play is a big question mark. We have to find out who our ball handlers and scorers

are going to be. We going to have to guard and rebound because we aren’t going to out score teams.” Gone are guards Khakija Brown-Haywood and Kaitlin Murphy and forwards Darryl Lusch and Ashton Doza. Expected to move into the starting lineup are guard/forward Jordyn Looman, center Abbey Holtkamp, guard Maddie Wernsman and forward Erika Starr. “We look to Meadows, Looman and Holtkamp to carry the scoring for us and Starr, Looman and Meadows to rebound,” Stieg said. “We are hoping for them to fill those voids.”

Wernsman, 5-6, g; Jordyn Looman, 5-6, g/f. Juniors: Lauren Smith, 5-9, f/c; Raigen Schwartz, 5-4, g; Mariah Peters, 5-7, g/f; Cassie Kwiatkowski, 5-7, g; Rachel Cavaletto, 5-7, f; Abbey Holtkamp, 6-0, c; Erika Starr, 5-6, f. Sophomores: Holly Mays, 5-6, g.

Marion Junior varsity coach Chris Roberts takes over the reins of a team that hit rock bottom last year, not winning a game in the conference and finishing 3-24. “We were very young last year after losing a player of the caliber of Lindsey Lenon,” Roberts said. “The biggest thing this year is not talking about last year. We’ve got 30 girls out, the most we’ve ever had, and they all have really good attitudes. We are stressing being tougher and competing.” Roberts has three returning starters in shooting guard Dailey Williams, center Katie Comp and point guard Emily Dickman.

Coach: Roger Stieg Seniors: DANIELLE MEADOWS, 5-9, f; Maddie




The Southern Illinoisan Friday, November 16, 2012 Page 5

Benton The Rangers lost nearly all of their key players from last season’s 19-win regional championship team. But Ron Winemiller’s squad has seven seniors this year, which should help out. “We’re a very experienced team, so we’re going to have to learn on the fly,” Winemiller said. “We just have to get our feet wet down at the Goreville tournament and learn pretty quickly the first week.” Cole Forby and Daulton Ward, both senior post players, are really the only two players with decent varsity experience. Those two players will be relied upon heavily, especially early in the season. “We’re going to lean on Forby a little bit,” Winemiller said. “He started a few games during his sophomore and junior years. He’s got some experience, and he’s such a tough kid.” Winemiller is also expecting quite a bit of scoring from Nathaniel Higgins, who is one of the team’s best shooters. Although this year’s squad may not have the raw potential from last season, Winemiller believes it comes down to toughness. “We’re going to have to be a good defensive-minded team,” Winemiller said. “We can’t get into game in the upper 60s or 70s, or we’ll really struggle to win.”

2012-13 High School Basketball Preview

point. His overall strength and quickness should make it difficult for opponents to guard him. “His ability to penetrate and break down a defense should really help us out,” court as well. “Nickerson is just a Murphy said of Bradley. Coach: Daryl Murphy tremendous athlete,” Seniors: KEVIN GUDE, 6-1, f; Kane Wilson, 6-1; Hosman said. “He shoots Jacob Baird, 5-9, f; Nathan Hinkle, 5-10, g; Hoston the ball better than we Gee, 6-3, f; Diamante Bradley, 5-7, g; Jay Marston, 5though he could, and I think 9, g. Juniors: STEVEN ELDRIDGE, 6-1, f; Anthony he could be very good Hibbler, 6-2, g; Eric Finders, 5-9, g; Kaleb Jarrett, 6defender. He also runs the 0, g. floor well.”

Boys: SIRR Ohio Division low or on the perimeter, and he had a solid sophomore season, especially toward the end of the year. “I think he’s progressed well even though he’s still a young kid,” Randy Smithpeters said. “He has matured a lot physically, Harrisburg and he’s added range to his There are extremely high game.” expectations of this year’s Coach: Randy Smithpeters Seniors: CAPEL HENSHAW, 6-3, g; TYLER Harrisburg squad, which 6-4, g; RYNE ROPER, 6-3, g; Dakota nearly beat eventual state SMITHPETERS, Upchurch, 6-6, c; Justin Younger, 5-10, g; Gabe champion, Breese Central, Oglesby, 6-0, f; Caleb Bartok, 5-9, g. Juniors: ELI TABORN-SCOTT, 6-4, f; Snjolfur in last year’s super-secBjornsson, 6-2, g; Daniel Lewis, 5-10, g. tional. Sophomores: Bahari Amaya, 6-4, g; Logan The Bulldogs have almost Hartley, 6-2, g. all of their key players back, including top scoring Herrin threats in Tyler Smithpeters The new-look Herrin and Capel Henshaw. “We have a lot of experi- Tigers will be vastly difference, skill and athleticism,” ent from last year’s explosaid Harrisburg coach sive 23-win team after losRandy Smithpeters. “They ing most of its key players. “I think we’ll be very have high expectations of themselves, and we’ve competitive, and I like the stepped up our non-con- chemistry of the team,” said Herrin coach Irv Lukens. ference schedule.” Harrisburg faces some “There are some different stiff competition in scenarios I can use as a lineshootouts, but when it gets up, whereas in the past it’s back to the SIRR Ohio kind of been set.” Justin Lukens, a senior Division, the team is the guard, is the only returning heavy favorite once again. The Bulldogs will also be starter. He performed quite one of the teams expected well at times for the Tigers to potentially represent the last season. However, this deep south at the state year he’s going to be counttournament. Eli Taborn- ed on even more. “He has to be a leader, and Scott can play either down

Coach: Ron Winemiller Seniors: Cole Forby, 6-2, f; Daulton Ward, 6-5, f; Cameron Rock, 5-10, g; Austin Myers, 5-10, g; Ethan Hughes, 6-2, f; Dylan Sheeks, 6-2, f; Jordan Rodriguez, 5-11, g. Juniors: Nathaniel Higgins, 6-2, g; Mat Buntin, 6-2, f; Tyler Owens, 5-9, g. Sophomores: Dakota Head, 6-1, g; Martin Ward, 6-2, f; Gus Gibbs, 5-11, f; Ike Hutchcraft, 6-3, f; Jesse Vanhoerbeke, 6-0, g; Trey McDaniel, 5-10, g.

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618.357.8627 Page 6 Friday, November 16, 2012 The Southern Illinoisan

there’s a lot on his shoulders,” Irv Lukens said of his son. “He has to get the ball where it needs to go and look for his shot as well. He’s going to have to score more for us this year game in and game out.” Austin Butler and Jerrell Pirtle can both take the ball to the rim and score, and Lukens is expecting solid contributions from both players. Coach: Irv Lukens Seniors: JUSTIN LUKENS, 6-1, g; Austin Butler, 6-1, f; Jerrell Pirtle, 6-1, g; Dylan Chrostoski, 5-9, g; A.J. Taitt, 6-2, f; Brenden Beasley, 6-0, f; Johas Hagerschurz, 6-5, c. Juniors: Nick Ryker, 5-9, g; DeVante Branch, 60, f. Sophomores: Ryan Snider, 6-3, f; Josh Hayes, 5-9, g.

Massac County Last year’s Massac County squad, which won 18 games, didn’t possess the athleticism of previous seasons, and Joe Hosman is hoping this group of Patriots returns to that fast-paced style. “We have a very athletic team, and a team that I think can get after you defensively,” Hosman said. “I think we can get down the floor better, and hopefully get transition buckets. We have a good chemistry of kids.” Ethan Schulte, a solid 6foot-6 center, returns to the starting lineup along with guard Dalton Mitchell. But the Patriots don’t have much varsity experience outside of those two players. “He’s one of the top students in the school, and he’s got to have some doubledoubles for us this year,” Hosman said of Schulte. Many people saw just how explosive Daz Nickerson was on the football field. He’ll be counted on to make some noise this season on the basketball

Coach: Joe Hosman Seniors: ETHAN SCHULTE, 6-6, c; Daz Nickerson, 5-11, g. Juniors: DALTON MITCHELL, 6-0, g; Daniel Fort, 5-10, g; Austin Kendall, 6-5, f; Kyle Reinwald, 6-0, gf; Alex King, 6-2, f; Davontay Blye, 5-11, g; Kevin Welch, 6-0, f; Andy Walquest, 6-5, f; Eli Rose, 6-2, f; Jacob Myer, 5-9, g. Sophomores: Alex Bellamy, 6-5, f; Caleb Travis, 6-4, f; Dylan Stoner, 5-10, g; Jalen Roundtree, 5-10, g.

Murphysboro Most people didn’t expect the Red Devils to sniff 20 wins last year, but the squad won 19 games, which was impressive considering it lost almost everyone from its state runner-up team in 2011. “Last year we had kids that could really execute and do their job, and then you had Pierre House in the middle of all of them,” said Murphysboro coach Daryl Murphy. “But we’re really athletic this year, and I think we can do some more things. We don’t have much size though.” Steven Eldridge excels with his raw athleticism, and Kevin Gude will shore up the low post game for the team. “Eldridge is just getting better at being a true basketball player fundamentally,” Murphy said. “Unfortunately, Kevin Gude has to play out of position, but he’s relentless, and no one can match his desire to win. He plays 100 miles per hour the whole time, and he’s a dandy to have coming back.” Diamante Bradley joins the varsity team this season, and he’ll likely run the

West Frankfort The Redbirds only picked up one victory last season, but things appear to be getting better. Dan DeWerff returns four starters, all of whom are seniors. “I think we can make strides, and I think we’ll win more games this year,” DeWerff said. “We’ve got some seniors with experience, and that’s definitely going to help us improve.” Zach Ford and Trenton Easley return at the guard spots, and Gage Williams along with Nic Korolenko are back down low. Ethan Sisk should help out in the paint as well. However, a pair of sophomores, Braxston Koehl and Christian Dunning, could log big minutes. “We’re going to look for those two to make a difference,” DeWerff said. “They are pretty talented. We’ll combine our youth with some of the experience of our seniors.” The Redbirds played pretty well over the summer, and DeWerff hopes it carries over. “I think things are getting better,” DeWerff said. “Our work ethic and attitude are improving, and even last February, our kids were still playing hard.” Coach: Dan DeWerff Seniors: TRENTON EASLEY, 5-8, g; ZACH FORD, 6-1, g; GAGE WILLIAMS, 6-3, f; NIC KOROLENKO, 6-2, f; Evan Keller, 6-1, g; Drew Maller, 6-3, f; J.D. Harper, 5-9, g; Anthony Easton, 5-8, g Juniors: Ethan Sisk, 6-0, f. Sophomores: Braxston Koehl, 5-10, g; Christian Dunning, 6-3, f; Jacob Bartonni, 6-3, c; Garrett Karoski, 5-10, g.

— Scott Mees

Benton After a 16-13 campaign last year, the Rangerettes bring back an experienced squad with plenty of talent. The team is led by Morgan Corn and Evelyn Mendez, both of whom should provide plenty of scoring. “It is nice to have that experience and leadership,” said Benton coach Andy Sloan. “Morgan works hard and she’ll hit the board hard for us, too. Evelyn will run the point, and she can pretty good offensively when she plays under control. It all starts with them, and I think a lot of times we’ll probably go how those two go.” Makala Carney and Rowdee Sanders should help give Benton more help in the paint. Sami Minor played well for the Rangerettes at the guard spot last year, too. The wild card could be Cali Carney, who missed a lot of her freshman year with a knee injury. She played well to start the season and could be a major contributor this year. Coach: Andy Sloan Seniors: MORGAN CORN, 5-11, f; EVELYN MENDEZ, 5-7, g; MAKALA CARNEY, 6-1, c; Brittany Pedigo, 5-6, g; ROWDEE SANDERS, 5-10, f. Juniors: SAMI MINOR, 5-7, g; Ashtyn Ward, 5-10, f; Kaitlyn Biddle, 5-9, f. Sophomores: CALI CARNEY, 5-9, g; Katie Sandusky, 5-9, g; Cassie Johnson, 5-9, f; Bobbie Jo Wegrzyn, 5-6, g. Freshmen: Haley Ing, 5-6, g; Marcy Mendez, 57, g; Sydney Watkins, 5-10, f.

West Frankfort

2012-13 High School Basketball Preview

Girls: SIRR Ohio Division won eight games as a very young team last year, but expectations are much higher this time around with all five starters returning. “We’re expecting to win a lot of games this year,” said Harrisburg coach Jake Stewart. “The girls are excited and ready to prove themselves this year.” Shelby Boer is the team’s only senior, and she is terrific in the low post. She averaged 12 points per game a year ago. Ashley Ferrell led the squad in scoring at a clip of 13 points per game. “Shelby and Ashley are two really good players for us,” Stewart said. “Lindsey Murray can score a lot for us as well.” Harrisburg lost a lot of close games last year, and Stewart is hoping to turn that around in his second season as head coach. Coach: Jake Stewart Seniors: SHELBY BOER, 5-9, f. Juniors: ASHLEY FERRELL, 5-2, g; HANNAH JONES, 5-9, f; LINDSEY MURRAY, 5-4, g; MALAYNA DOUGLAS, 5-6, g; Brittany Reynolds, 5-3, g; Hannah Walker, 5-9, f; Hayley Thompson, 5-8, f. Sophomores: Whitney Younger, 5-7, g; Taylor McDaniel, 5-7, f. Freshmen: Devan Jones, 6-0, c; Alexa Burtis, 56, g; Kelsey Hobbs, 5-8, g.

County for the conference crown. The squad is the likely favorite this year and brings back plenty of talent. Abby Horn is one of the best post players around and is a four-year starter. “I’m returning my three top scorers, so that’s a plus for the team,” said Herrin coach Bill Green. “Abby is a great player to have, and she’s a great person, too. I’m sure for other coaches it seems like she’s been here for 10 years.” Horn averaged 14 points and 10 rebounds a game, and Whitney Woodis contributed 13 and nine. Tori Johnson, a sophomore guard, had a rough season last year, but Green is expecting her to return to form this season. “Tori didn’t play volleyball this year, and she worked out,” Green said. “I think Tori is coming to play. She’s going to be a big plus this year.” Coach: Bill Green Seniors: ABBY HORN, 6-1, c; JESIKA ALONGI, 55, g; Alexis Yates, 5-7, f; Jessica Renshaw, 5-6, g-f; DeNa Nesbitt, 5-6; g. Juniors: WHITNEY WOODIS, 5-11, f; Gabby Woodis, 5-10, f; TORI JOHNSON, 5-7, g; Micaela Ceruti, 5-11, c. Sophomores: Haley Hunter, 5-11, f.

year’s 19-win squad, which won a regional and tied Herrin for the conference title. But Keith Shelton’s team returns three starters, including Kaylee Childers and Lauren Bunting. “We trying to be realistic about how young we are,” Shelton said. “Early on it could be kind of tough just find our footing, but I think we’re more athletic this year.” A trio of sophomores could be relied upon heavily this season. Emily Hoard started as a freshman, and she’s one of the most athletic players in the south. Jessie Douglas received solid minutes as freshman post player, and Gracyn McBride can really light up the scoreboard. Coach: Keith Shelton Seniors: KAYLEE CHILDERS, 5-6, g; LAUREN BUNTING, 5-11, c; Taylor Klankey, 5-7, g. Juniors: Summer Clapp, 5-6, g; Natalie Bailey, 5-6, g; Stephanie Davis, 5-6, f. Sophomores: EMILY HOARD, 5-9, g; Jessie Douglas, 5-10, f; Gracyn McBride, 5-6, g; Jordan Oliver, 5-7, g-f.


Jon Marston takes over the Murphysboro girls basketball program, and the squad is clearly in rebuildMassac County Herrin ing mode. Harrisburg The team doesn’t have The Lady Patriots lost The Tigers won 22 games The Lady Bulldogs only last year and tied Massac quite a bit of talent from last any seniors and hopes to

receive solid contributions from its underclassmen. “The biggest thing is teaching them the fundamentals and how to play good defense,” Marston said. “I want to get them in the weight room and get them stronger, too. We just hope to keep improving by the end of the season. I want to change the culture here.” Bria Ciganovich returns at guard, and Marston believes she’ll provide great leadership for the team, and Aimee Rafael is a really good shooter, who should be able to score some points for the Lady Red Devils. Kierra Nolan, a 6-1 junior, is a tremendous athlete who could provide a spark in the post. Rebecca Shields, a 5-11 forward, should also add scoring and defense. “Rebecca Shields is really learning a lot, and she could be a good post person for us,” Marston said. “She’ll continue to get stronger, and she’ll get better rebounding the ball for us.” Coach: Jon Marston Juniors: Kierra Nolan, 6-1, c; Lindsey Timmons, 5-5, g; Bria Ciganovich, 5-4, g; Aziah McBurney, 5-2, g; Sophomores: Johnna Hines, 5-7, g; Rebecca Shields, 5-11, f; Kerry Flanagan, 5-7, g-f; Deja Williams, 5-8, g-f; Aimee Rafael, 5-11, f. Freshmen: Caylee Jarrett, 5-0, g; Jasmine Frazier, 5-6, g; Abby Vaughn, 5-6, g; Heather Cross, 6-0, c.

The Lady Redbirds look to rebound after a 10-win season a year ago, and Kiarha Wilce is a good place to start. The sophomore guard tore up the conference as a freshman, and coach Matt Hampleman is expecting big things from her. “She scored 28 to 35 points for us a bunch of times last year,” Hampleman said. “She is an explosive and quick point guard. She can shoot a tear drop layup and shoot the three from deep. She can do it all for us.” Hampleman is also expecting his senior post player, Rebecca Cunningham, to provide his team with a solid option in the paint. “I think she has to score some points for us,” Hampleman said. “Now she’s pretty quick and athletic, and I think she could cause some matchup problems for our opponents. “She scored quite a few points as a freshman and sophomore in games at the JV level.” Jacklynn Calvert, who is only a freshman, will also be relied upon to make some noise. Coach: Matt Hampleman Seniors: Rebecca Cunningham, 5-10, f; Jordan Crowder, 5-7, g-f. Juniors: Callie Wyant, 5-8, f; Sophomores: KIARHA WILCE, 5-5, g; Lindsey Williams, 5-5, g; Courtney Paris, 5-9, f. Freshmen: Jacklynn Calvert, 5-5, g.

— Scott Mees

The Southern Illinoisan Friday, November 16, 2012 Page 7


2012-13 High School Basketball Preview

After losing three starters to graduation following a 14-16 season, coach Mike Chamness has a youth movement going on at Anna-Jonesboro. Andrew Nixon (6-8 center) will be the lone senior this season, mentoring five juniors, five sophomores and a freshman that will all be in the mix at the varsity level. “I think this year we’ll be more balanced,” Chamness said. “I think we’ve got 10 guys who are interchangeable, but there’s going to be some games where our youth sets in.” The Wildcats will have to replace the contributions of Brady Wright, Travis Smith and Dalton Baker, but Jay Kemp (6-3 forward), Tyler Vaughn (6-1 guard) and Colton James (6-foot guard) all saw significant minutes in 201112.

look up to.” Like a lot of teams in the division, defense and rebounding have been two points of emphasis for the Indians. With seven sen“We lost size from last iors, Sveda said he believes year’s team, but we’ve got a his team can excel in both. Coach: Gabe Sveda good core group of seniors Deeja Cole, 5-10, g; BRENDEN FRED, coming back,” said Du 6-2,Seniors: g/f; Daulton Beltz, 6-3, c; Daulton Donoghue, Quoin coach Gabe Sveda. 6-1, f; Austin Mansker, 5-10, g; John Erwin, 5-10, g; “They provide a lot of Austin Mapps, 6-0, g. Sophomores: A.J. Smith, 5-10, g; Jacob energy; are really competi- Hunciker, 6-1, f. tive and are playing hard.” Fred (6-2 guard/for- Nashville ward), Deeja Cole (5-10 Nashville coach Brad guard), Daulton Donoghue Weathers has been trying (6-1 forward) and John Erwin (5-10 guard) are to temper the expectahaving to make a quick tions. The Hornets return five transition to the hardwood after helping the football players with starter’s expeIndians reach the Class 2A rience from a 16-14 season in 2011-12 and appear balquarterfinals. “We open up with our Du anced among the classes at Quoin Tip-Off Classic and the varsity level. With we’ll be a little bit behind guards Scott Brown (6-2) the 8-ball in starting late and Chance Reuter (5-11) to with football,” Sveda said. go along with center Devin “Fred is a tremendous Holle (6-5), Weathers leader that a lot of kids SEE MISSISSIPPI / PAGE 9

Boys: SIRR Mississippi Division “I think we’ll be quicker with our guards than we were last year,” Chamness said. “We’ll be able to mix up our defenses a bit more and if we can rebound like we did last year, it can’t hurt.” Schedule-wise, AnnaJonesboro is a part of the new Goreville Invitational Tournament that runs Nov. 26 to Dec. 1.

return the most starting experience in the division after a 15-15 campaign in 2011-12. Coach Scott Burzynski has six players that all started at one point or another last season, adding to a team with 11 upperclassmen at its core. “The big thing is the experience we had last year will give the kids some confidence this season,” Coach: Mike Chamness Burzynski said. “I think Senior: Andrew Nixon, 6-8, c. Juniors: JAY KEMP, 6-3, f; Ben McFarland, 6-6, our athleticism will be one c; TYLER VAUGHN, 6-1, g; Colton James, 6-0, g; of our strengths and hopeDamian Reed, 6-2, f. Sophomores: Noah Prater, 6-0, g; Derek fully we can use that Harvell, 6-2, f; Dallas Marks, 6-3, c; Noah Fuller, 6against other teams.” 1, g; Zane Dewitt, 6-2, g. With decent size in Matt Freshman: Zach Parr, 5-8, g. Bigelow (6-4 center), Carterville Travis Kidd (6-3 forward) This season could be a and Tyler Horn (6-3 cenbreakout one for the ter), Burzynski is hoping Carterville Lions, who this summer’s focus on

specific fundamentals will pay off this season. Coach: Scott Burzynski Seniors: DALTON BROWN, 5-9, g; LUCAS HUNTER, 6-0, g; TRAVIS KIDD, 6-3, f; Tyler Horn, 63, c; Matt Hansen, 5-10, g; David Eaton, 6-0, g. Juniors: MICHAEL ASCHEMANN, 5-11, g; MATT BIGELOW, 6-4, c; CAM LENZINI, 6-0, f; Britton Herrin, 6-1, g; Ian Tacderas, 6-0, g. Sophomores: Blake Watson, 5-9, g; Matt Galik, 6-1, f; Will Galik, 6-2, f; Gavin James, 6-1, c; Dylan Samuel, 6-1, f.

Du Quoin Du Quoin lost some significant size and athleticism following the graduation of seniors Brandon Williams, Sam Gossett and Cayle Diggins after a 13-17 campaign last season. Now, the Indians turn to just one returning starter (Brenden Fred) and a tribe of others that saw varsity time in an effort to improve on the 2011-12 finish.

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Anna-Jonesboro Four returning starters are going to have to steer the ship for Anna-Jonesboro this season, coming off an 11-16 record in 2011-12. Kim Mixen (5-4 guard), Brooke Chamness (5-4 guard), Katie Grant (5-7 guard/forward) and Erica Friebel (5-8 forward) give the Lady Wildcats some experience, but rebounding will be an issue in 2012-13. “We lost our 6-1 center in Jessie Stone and Valerie Pender,” said AnnaJonesboro coach Bryan Clark. “Those two are going to be very hard to replace. “I think we’re going to surprise ourselves, as well as some other people, but it’s going to take awhile to find our own identity.” Friebel is coming off an ACL injury she suffered late last season that allowed Grant to step into a starter’s role. Anna-Jonesboro has bench depth with 23 players program-wide, but the Lady Wildcats only have three seniors. Coach: Bryan Clark Seniors: KIM MIXEN, 5-4, g; BROOKE CHAMNESS, 5-4, g; KATIE GRANT, 5-7, g/f. Juniors: Cara Ferris, 6-1, f; Krista Pender, 5-10, f; ERICA FRIEBEL, 5-8, f; Emily Russel, 5-5, g. Sophomores: Balyie Denny, 5-3, g; Natty Hepburn, 5-4, g; Sammy Brimm, 5-4, g; Erikah Harks, 5-6, g.

Carterville After an 18-13 rebuilding year in which as many as

2012-13 High School Basketball Preview

Girls: SIRR Mississippi Division nine players saw consistent varsity time, the Lady Lions are ready to reap the rewards of that experience. Twin sisters Nina and Jennifer Skinner return for their senior year, joining four other classmates and three juniors in an upperclassmen-heavy squad. “I have some younger kids in the program that I expect to make an impact,” said Carterville coach Todd Rogers. “I think if the team can embrace the idea of multiple people getting playing time and always staying fresh offensively and defensively, it will help us.” Nina Skinner is the team’s point guard and was an allconference selection a year ago, while Savana Jones, Sydney Michael, Cierra Charles and Kelli Hicks are all guards with starter’s experience. “Nina has become a pretty good scorer and defender,” Rogers said. “It’s going to take some time to see what type of rotation works best.” Coach: Todd Rogers Seniors: NINA SKINNER, 5-6, g; JENNIFER SKINNER, 5-10, f; Cierra Charles, 5-5, g; Sydney Michael, 5-5, g; BRIGITTE GENTRY, 5-10, f; Katherine Prusator, 5-10, f.

Juniors: Kelli Hicks, 5-7, g; Savana Jones, 5-9, g; Jordan Gaston, 5-10, f.

Du Quoin A year after a recordbreaking season and Du Quoin has four returning starters to build off of in 2012-13. The Lady Indians set a school record with 23 wins, but lost a very important piece of the puzzle in Jessica Hirsch, who is now at John A. Logan College. “You can’t replace an allstate guard,” said Du Quoin coach Shawn File. “We’ve worked all summer long with the focus that everything is a team effort. “We’re asking more of our seniors, especially ballhandling.” Seniors Rebekah Maddox (6-1 forward), Taylor King (5-7 guard) and Alexis Kohrs (5-9 guard/forward) return to help the program build on last year’s success, while Kelsey Robinson (5-7 guard/forward), Bailie Caldwell (5-7 guard) and Abby Myers (5-4 guard) all saw significant minutes. “We’ve got a really nice core,” File said. “Myers started for us earlier in the year when we had some

injuries and we’re going to ask her to do a lot for us this year.” Coach: Shawn File Seniors: REBEKAH MADDOX, 6-1, f; TAYLOR KING, 5-7, g; ALEXIS KOHRS, 5-9, g/f; Kelsey Robinson, 5-7, g/f. Juniors: Bailie Caldwell, 5-7, g; Morgan Dennis, 5-9, f; ABBY MYERS, 5-4, g; Ashanti Warren, 5-8, f; Katrina Whitley, 5-4, g. Freshmen: Jordyn Bullar, 5-7, f; Alaina Caldwell, 5-6, g; Andrea Morgan, 5-1, g.

Katy Kosydor, 5-5, g; SHAWN RENNEGARBE, 5-11, f. Sophomores: Jordi Harre, 5-6, g; Rachael Reid, 5-9, c; Alli Kellerman, 5-10, f.


After missing out on a trip to the state tournament for the first time in four years, Nashville is reloading with three of the most decorated players in school history. Eastern Illinois University recruit Erica Brown (6-foot forward), SIU softball prospect Shaye Harre (5-10 forward) and SEC golf prospect Shawn Rennegarbe (5-11 forward) return to try and bring the Hornettes back to Illinois State’s Redbird Arena. “I think our biggest challenge is depth,” said Nashville coach Wayne Harre. “We have five pretty good players and after that, there’s a lot of question marks.”

Pinckneyville lost just one senior from a 15-15 season and heads into the 2012-13 campaign with four returning starters. Heather McDaniel (5-2 guard), Haley Simpson (5-10 forward), Katelyn Mayer (5-10 guard) and Keelyn Stein (5-8 forward) give the Lady Panthers size and athleticism to build off of. McDaniel is a three-year starter who averaged 6.8 points per game last season, while Mayer averaged 11.1 as the team’s leading scorer. “One of the things that is pleasing to me is how hard we compete in practice,” said Pinckneyville coach Alan Engelhardt. “It hasn’t been real pretty at times, but at least they’re willing to come out and get after it.” Traditionally, Pinckneyville has played aggressive man-to-man defense, but the Lady Panthers may be transitioning into more of a zone look this season.

Coach: Wayne Harre Seniors: SHAYE HARRE, 5-10, f; ERICA BROWN, 6-0, f; Emily Gill, 5-8, f. Juniors: Hannah Yung, 5-6, f; Matti May, 5-5, f;

Coach: Alan Engelhardt Seniors: HEATHER McDANIEL, 5-2, g; Dani Schoenbacher, 5-6, g; HALEY SIMPSON, 5-10, f. Juniors: KATELYN MAYER, 5-10, g; Alyssa


Hirsch, 5-7, g; Haley Szczepanski, 5-8, f. Sophomores: KEELYN STEIN, 5-8, f; Dalis Hubler, 5-3, g; Megan Bagley, 5-6, g; Kaitlyn Goldman, 5-10, f. Freshmen: Sophie Keith, 5-7, f; Taylor Smith, 52, g.

Sparta Last season was a tough one for Sparta and the Lady Bulldogs may face tough times again in 2012-13. Sparta has just one returning starter, Katie Hill, back from a 4-21 campaign and has just two upperclassmen opposed to eight sophomores and freshmen. “This is kind of a rebuilding year, so we’re working on fundamentals like ballhandling and rebounding,” said Sparta coach April York. “We don’t have a true point guard this year, so those duties will be shared throughout the team.” Hill (5-5 forward) is a three-year starter for Sparta, which will have senior Taylor Craig (5-11 guard/forward) and freshman Olivia Beattie (6-foot center) as its tallest players. “I think everybody’s kinda young this year based on the other people I’ve talked to, so that helps out a bit,” York said. Coach: April York Senior: Taylor Craig, 5-11, g/f. Junior: KATIE HILL, 5-5, f. Sophomores: Juliana French, 5-5, f; Grace Hamm, 5-3, g. Freshmen: Brooke Kortys, 5-4, g; Mallori Parks, 5-4, g; Ashley Brenning, 5-4, g; Savannah Oliver, 5-5, f; Alexis Kempfer, 5-6, g; Olivia Beattie, 6-0, c.

— Pete Spitler

MISSISSIPPI: Schools have numerous players back to make run at conference championship FROM PAGE 8

Royce Newman and only two total players listed under 6-foot, believes he has the senior leader- the Hornets appear to have the ship to make a great season hap- ability to shake that designation pen. in 2012-13. “We’re definitely looking forCoach: Brad Weathers ward to the season, but there are Seniors: SCOTT BROWN, 6-2, g; CHANCE REUTER, 5-11, g; still some question marks,” DEVIN HOLLE, 6-5, c. Juniors: KEEGAN ANDERSON, 5-10, g; Bryce Styninger, 6Weathers said. “We’ve potential0, f; Hunter Beetley, 6-3, f; Clint Johannes, 6-7, f. ly got a lot of depth and some Sophomores: DANIEL THORSON, 6-0, g; Troy Pedtke, 6-3, good size, but we don’t have a f. Freshman: Royce Newman, 6-6, f. true point guard.” Last season, Nashville had the Pinckneyville reputation of being a good defensive team that had trouble scorPinckneyville is already enduring. With 6-foot-7 junior Clint ing its first challenge thanks to an Johannes, 6-foot-6 freshman injury to its only full-time

returning starter in Dylan Hardin. A torn labrum will sideline the 6-foot senior guard until December, which means that the rebuilding Panthers will have to bank on some inexperienced players in 2012-13. “You can’t put a price tag on experience and I think, experience-wise, we don’t have a lot left over from last year,” said Pinckneyville coach Bob Waggoner, referring to his team’s 26-5 season. “It’s one of those things where we’re going to have to throw some inexperienced kids

into the fire and see how they do.” out and not just every eight or nine years,” Bowlby said. Coach: Bob Waggoner Bowlby will have two returning Seniors: Chris Priebe, 6-4, f; DYLAN HARDIN, 6-0, g; Sterling Bejma, 6-3, f; Brandon Edwards, 5-11, f; Luke Miller, 5- starters in senior Aaron Rushing 8, g; Chaz Russino, 5-8, g; Kelton Lively, 5-8, g. (6-7 forward/center) and sophoJunior: Chase Lazenby, 6-0, f. more Dewayne Dodson (5-8 guard) to help begin the conSparta struction process. Rushing is After 15 years at the school, back healthy again after playing which included assisting five through an ankle injury. other head coaches, it’s finally Coach: Jeff Bowlby Jeff Bowlby’s turn at the helm in Seniors: Ayonta Fuller, 6-0, f; AARON RUSHING, 6-7, f/c; Sparta. Phil Lockhart, 6-0, g; Christian Jackson, 6-4, c; Sharvel “My goal is to get some funda- Austin, 5-10, g; Derek Barnett, 5-10, g; Sean Lukes, 6-4, f. Junior: Brenden Wilson, 5-7, g. mentals in place and lay some Sophomores: DEWAYNE DODSON, 5-8, g; Seth Ferguson, groundwork to the point where 5-8, g; Trey Edmonson, 6-0, f. we can compete year in and year — Pete Spitler

The Southern Illinoisan Friday, November 16, 2012 Page 9

Carmi-White County Coach Eric Dixon lost four seniors from last year’s second-place conference team, but has three starters and two seniors who are ready to lead the Bulldogs over the top this season. Third-year starter Chase Sailer is joined by Andy Vaughn and Brodie Brown, who both started large chunks of last year. Dylan Rankin and Lukas Matsel make up the senior group on a Bulldogs team that went 13-16 (8-2 BDC) a year ago. “Last year we were a few games under .500, if we get above .500 that would be excellent,” Dixon said. “We’ll have a good chance to win some games in conference, but outside it will be pretty tough.” In order to remain near the top of the conference, Carmi-White County will have to shore things up defensively according to Dixon, as he said they are a long way from where he wants them to be. Coach: Eric Dixon Seniors: Dylan Rankin, 5-10, g; Lukas Matsel. 510, g. Juniors: CHASE SAILER, 6-0, g; ANDY VAUGHN, 6-0, f; BRODIE BROWN, 5-10, g; Jamie Steed, 6-5, f; Seth Gross, 6-0, g; Brett Short, 5-8, g. Sophomore: Jordan Large, 6-4, c.

Eldorado After a 12-19 (4-6 BDC) finish last year, coach T.J. Zurliene has his Eagles showing a will and a want they have not shown for a few seasons.

2012-13 High School Basketball Preview

Boys: Black Diamond East “We’re really intense and the hustle we have is going to be different than what we’ve shown the last few years,” Zurliene said. “We’re working hard and flying around the court.” Led by third-year starting guard, Brennan Unthank, and returning starting guard, Joel Boulds, the Eagles look to speed the pace of the game up on both sides of the ball. Especially with a newly installed pass and cut offense. “We want to play fast, but not out-of-control fast. We have a really fluid halfcourt offense that’s hard to defend because of the movement,” Zurliene said. “We’re going to get up, play pressure defense, get after it and try to take our defense and turn it into offense.

“We’ll have some new guys at every spot because of our lack of overall experience and playing the competition we play it will be tough early on,” McElravy said. “We may take some lumps early, but hopefully we’ll learn from them. We’ve won conference two times in a row and that’s a goal once again.” Despite losing what they have, the Mules return two letter-winning guards in Joe Rodgers and Will Griffith who lead a core of guards that will be quick and athletic. Down low, 6-6 sophomore Nathaniel Lackey looks to be a force. “We’re going to look to push the ball, but with size on the inside we will look at Lackey in the half court set,” McLravy said.

Coach: T. J. Zurliene Seniors: BRENNAN UNTHANK, 5-7, g; JOEL BOULDS, 5-10, g; Matt Pena, 5-8, g. Juniors: Dylan Lawrence, 5-11, g; Justin Wiseman, 6-1, c; Tyler Deaton, 5-10, g; Dillon Street, 5-10, g; Dylan Roberts, 6-1, f; Derek Mitchell, 5-10, f; Derek Mayberry, 6-4, c. Sophomores: Nathan Burnett, 6-2, g; Richard Graceffa, 6-2, g/f.

Coach: Scott McElravy Seniors: Will Griffith, 5-10, g; Storm Kollak, 6-2, f; Keegan Owen, 6-2, f. Juniors: Joe Rodgers, 5-10, g; Tristan Fry, 6-3, f; Cody Simpson, 6-3, f; Derek Greifzu, 5-8, g; Dylan Wells, 5-8, g; Austin Russell, 5-8, g; Colton Simpson, 5-10, g; Nate Coomer, 6-2, f. Sophomores: Nathaniel Lackey, 6-6, c; Andrew Gifford, 5-9, g.


Hamilton County

Coach Scott McElravy has his hands full as he brings back no starters, including conference MVP Tyler Hutcheson, from last year’s conference championship Mules team.

The Foxes lost 90 percent of their scoring from a squad that went 7-3 in conference, en route to a third place finish, last season and coach Keith Welch will need to find people to fill that


void if they want to remain near the top. Third year starter Levi Leuke and returning starter Nathan Anselment will be a good start. “He’s (Leuke) our motor and keeps us going,” Welch said. “He’ll need to look to take more of an offensive role this season.” Another way the Foxes will look to make up for lost scoring is through a defense Welch said is going to really good and will try to pressure the ball. “We want to pressure the ball and try to turn teams over to create easy offense for us,” Welch said. “Offensively, we’ll have to take care of the ball a little better this year and have good shot selection.” Coach: Keith Welch Seniors: River Steele, 6-0, f; Tyler Cross, 5-9, g; LEVI LUEKE, 6-0, f, Garrett Biggerstaff, 6-5, c. Juniors: Logan Billington, 5-9, g; NATHAN ANSELMENT, 5-9, g; Jake Rubenacker, 5-8, g; Balee Gay, 5-10, f; Travis Stevens, 6-2, g. Sophomores: Landon Vaughan, 5-9, g; Tyler Kelly, 5-9, g; Eli Lueke, 6-0, g; Jake Scattone, 5-11, g, Joey Rebstock, 5-10, g; Daniel Rapp, 5-9, f; Tucker Braden, 6-1, c, Brandon Craddock, 6-3, f; Lucas Stover, 5-9, g.

Johnston City With four starters back, and two other players who served as keys off the bench last year, coach Wade Thomas will look to experience to build on a nine-win

season last year for the Indians. “I feel like I have guys that are pretty comfortable with what we want them to do and we have a lot of leadership from a lot of different guys,” Thomas said. “We have good chemistry, and our guys are playing with confidence, which is very important with where our program has been and where we’re trying to go.” Senior Austin McPheron and juniors Hunter Zeigler, Levi Tanner and Jake Davison all return as starters, while Luke McCormick and Derek Smith look to make a splash. “Offensively, we return both of our post players (McPheron, Davison) and both can play with their back to the basket or step outside to stretch the defense,” Thomas said. “We have some perimeter guys that can not only shoot, but can beat people off the bounce. Hopefully, we can have a good inside and outside balance.” On the defensive end Thomas said that they want to be stingier and have goals of holding opponents to fewer than 45 points every game out and under 40 percent shooting from the field.

Coach: Wade Thomas Seniors: AUSTIN MCPHERON, 6-3, f. Juniors: LEVI TANNER, 6-1, g; HUNTER ZEIGLER, 5-10, g; Colson Myers, 5-8, g; Jordan Blankenship, 510, g; Luke McCormick, 6-1, g; Derek Smith, 6-2, g/f; JAKE DAVISON, 6-3, f. Sophomores: Jeremy Gregge, 6-0, g; Dalton Cobb, 5-11, g; Adam Waters, 5-7, g; Garron Sherrod, 6-1, f; Dylan Jeffords, 6-0, f; Brandon Brunk, 6-4, c. Freshmen: Dustin Long, 6-1, f; Darick Davis, 61, f; Nathan Payne, 6-3, c; Nico Gualdoni, 5-10, g.

Vienna Coming off of a threewin season and a winless conference record last year, coach Cory Waters is focusing on the basics in order to see improvement. “Offensively, we have to finish opportunities, we just have to take care of the basics and try not to do too much with it,” Waters said. “Defensively, we will have to get after the guards, we’re smaller this year and that will help us get after the guards early in the half court set.” Junior guard Dylan Graves returns as the Eagles leading scorer from last year, and junior Blake Crain returns as the point guard, where he has done a good job defensively. “We’re very young, but their attitude, work ethic and coachability are their strengths right now,” Waters said. Coach: Cory Waters Seniors: Richard Kindhart, 5-11, f; Dominick Tedeschi, 6-0, f. Juniors: DYLAN GRAVES, 5-9, g; BLAKE CRAIN, 5-9, g; Lucas Wright, 6-1, g. Sophomores: Quinnton Bent, 5-10, g; Nathan Gearing, 6-2, g; Austin Krelo, 5-9, g; Tommy Meier, 6-4, c; Wyatt Robinson, 5-10-, g; Kevin Penrod, 5-10, g. Freshmen: Jarrod Wiggs, 5-10,g; Zachryn Moore, 5-11,f; Lane Wright, 5-8, g.

— Dan Zobel


10756 State Hwy. 149 • West Frankfort, IL



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Page 10 Friday, November 16, 2012 The Southern Illinoisan

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Carmi-White County Coach Scott Connor is putting the emphasis on pushing the ball and turning defense into offense this season for the Lady Bulldogs as they attempt to make a jump from a nine win season a year ago. “We have some quickness this year, and we’re going to try to play a little more up tempo than we have in the past,” Connor said. “We are going to try to press more and generate offense off of steals and things like that.” Second team all-conference player Emma Bachman is back, and she is joined by Sydney Clark, Alexa Combs, Kelsey Rodgers and Briley Attebury who all have starting experience. “Bachman is quick and can create some things off the dribble for us,” Connor said. “Clark and her are the only two seniors we have on the team.” To make the jump to a record over .500 this season, Connor said they need to focus on being more consistent and to do that they will need to take care of the ball better and limit turnovers. Coach: Scott Connor Seniors: EMMA BACHMAN, 5-9, f; SYDNEY CLARK, 6-0, f. Juniors: BRILEY ATTEBURY, 5-8, g/f; Jessica Money, 5-7, g/f; Samantha Murphy, 5-6, g; Frencheska Robinson, 5-7, g; KELSEY RODGERS, 56, g; Briley Tolley, 5-6, g; Bailey Winters, 5-5, g. Sophomores: Susanna Cohen, 5-7, g/f; ALEXA COMBS, 5-7, g\f; Britney Johnson, 5-9, f; Jessica Woods, 5-5, g. Freshmen: Brooke Buchanan, 5-8, g/f; Chaselyn Craig, 5-6, g; Ashley Cross, 5-9, f; Evalee Dale, 5-8, g\f; Taylor Hays, 5-6, g; Peighton Parks, 5-7, g; Tiffaney Winkleman, 5-6, g; Paige Winter, 56, g.

Eldorado With a young lineup last year the Eagles sputtered to a 13-16 mark. However, Josh Bradley has his entire starting lineup back, a year older and a year wiser. “I’ve got my whole starting five back,” he said. “We pretty much return everybody, and we’re still

2012-13 High School Basketball Preview

Girls: Black Diamond East pretty young.” Returning starters include senior Ashton Unthank, juniors Erica Graczyk and Kourtney Phillips as well as sophomores Taylor Goodley and Paige Zertuche. The Eagles don’t have much size, Graczyk is the only returnee 5-10 or taller. “We’re small, but we’re very quick,” Bradley said. “We shoot the ball very well. We hope we can use our speed and athleticism to our advantage.” Others players who could see action include senior Cassidy Morris, sophomores Lacy Jo Bradley, Riley Duckworth, Dresdyn Bramlet and freshmen Abby Steed, Jacquelyn Artman, Jordan Bailey, Caitlyn Stafford and Brooklyn Beaver. Despite the youth and lack of size, Bradley expects the Eagles to compete for the Black Diamond East title. “I’d be disappointed if we couldn’t,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll mature and compete for a conference title and maybe do something at regional time. We’re still young.” Coach: Josh Bradley Seniors: ASHTON UNTHANK, 5-5, g; Cassidy Morris, 5-6, f. Juniors: ERICA GRACZYK, 5-10, f; KOURTNEY PHILLIPS, 5-6, g. Sophomores: TAYLOR GOODLEY, 5-6, g; PAIGE ZERTUCHE, 5-5, g; Lacy Jo Bradley, 5-6, f; Riley Duckworth, 5-5, g; Dresdyn Bramlet, 5-10, f. Freshmen: Abby Steed, 5-8, f; Jacquelyn Artman, 5-10, f; Jordan Bailey, 5-9, f; Caitlyn Stafford, 5-6, g; Brooklyn Peaver, 5-5, g.

Fairfield McKenna McWilliams leads a young Lady Mules team that finished 19-13 (6-4 BDC) and third in the conference last season. “We’re really young, and it depends on how they develop, they are working hard and improving every

day,” said coach Tonya Conrad. “It’s going to be a learning experience all year long, we’ll surprise some teams on how good we’ll be at the end of the season compared to now.” While McWilliams establishes herself in the post, Conrad said guards Emily McKibben, Allison Tullis and Kendra Cessna will be key to using their quickness on both ends of the court. “We have to value the basketball, we averaged way too many turnovers last year, and if we don’t score in transition we want to be patient on offense and get a good, high percentage shot,” Conrad said. “Defensively, we want to force teams to shoot the outside shot and use our quickness to press some, and just work on playing really good fundamental defense.” Conrad said their strength right now is their overall quickness, and Fairfield will rely on that put pressure on and cause havoc up and down the court. Coach: Tonya Conrad Seniors: Driahna Hopper, 5-10, f/c; Emily McKibben, 5-2, g; McKENNA McWILLIAMS, 6-0, c. Juniors: Kayla Cessna, 5-5, g. Sophomores: Allison Tullis, 5-5, g; Grace Borah, 5-2, g; Caelyn Musgrave, 5-9, g; Lacey Sams, 5-7, f; Kendra Cessna, 5-8, g/f; Alyssa Kollak, 5-11, f/c.

Hamilton County

Winemiller said. Dana Rubenacker did not start, but received some varsity minutes last year, and has improved her ball handling and shooting to go along with her hardnosed defense that allows her to guard any player on the floor, according to Winemiller. The Lady Foxes went 8-2 in conference play, and 21-9 overall, and will look to junior Lucendia Adams and sophomore Megan Rubenacker to continue to step up. “Adams is a good shooter and ball handler, and is a very smart and steady player,” Winemiller said. “Rubenacker is a very good shooter and can get to the hole.” Senior Emily McCullough, juniors Jordan Scrivner and Erin Bonner, and sophomore Kara Biggerstaff will all be valuable to the success of the upcoming season. Coach: Clint Winemiller Seniors: Emily McCullough, 5-8, g. Juniors: Lucendia Adams, 5-7, g; ALICIA YORK, 5-10, f; Erin Bonner, 5-8, f; Nicole Rubenacker, 5-7, f; Jordan Scrivner, 5-8, f. Sophomores: Megan Rubenacker, 5-8, g; Kara Biggerstaff, 5-6, g; Dana Rubenacker, 5-9, g; Briana Forrester, 5-4, g; Rachelle Rexing, 5-8, g. Freshmen: Leslie Drone, 5-6, g; Katie Coy, 510, f; Caitlyn Barr, 5-7, g; Alex Miller, 5-8, g; Kaytlin Ebert, 5-8, f.

Johnston City

Indians looking up and ready to surprise some teams this season. Junior Molly Price comes back as Johnston City’s leading scorer and rebounder and senior Kelsie Nagrodski logged a lot of varsity minutes last year, but Lennon said there is a good chance three freshmen will fill out the rest of the starting lineup. “We’re going to be young and inexperienced, and it’s going to be a pretty tough climb, especially early in the season,” Lennon said. “By midwinter, we’ll hope to be playing better basketball.” Lennon has his kids working hard and feeling optimistic, and he feels if they can reach six or seven wins this season then that will be great. “It’s just going to be a trying year for us,” Lennon said. “We’re just kind of rebuilding, but we’re going to lace them up and go play hard.” Coach: George Lennon Seniors: Katie Cutsinger 5-7, g/f; Bianca Woodhall 5-4, g; KELSIE NAGRODSKI 5-7, f. Juniors: MOLLY PRICE 6-0, f; Amber Miller Jr. 5-7, g/f; Andrea Boyd 5-9, f. Sophomores: Jessica Conner 6-1, f; Taylor Jones 5-4, g; Brittney Williford 5-8, g/f. Freshmen: Paige Rich 5-11, f; Bailee Pulley 55, g; Bailey Mings 5-7, f; Darcey Stanley 5-6, g;, Adisa Rushani 5-8, f.

It is hard to be optimistic Vienna after a one-win season last The Lady Eagles were year, but coach George co-conference champions Lennon has the Lady last season and return first

team all-conference players Carley Childress and Maranda Chance to a team that is going to rely on pushing the ball. “Our speed is going to be our game, that’s our advantage, because size wise we are small,” said coach Brannon Waters. “It definitely benefits us having Carley and Maranda back this year, they’re big players for us and they’re excited.” Last season’s sixth man, Knikki Keeling and senior Cady Ross will be huge parts of the Lady Eagles success. Waters just hopes the team can slow down and stay under control when they need to be. “I think a big thing for us is patience, we’re very eager to score, and I think finally this year we realize that we don’t want anything unless it’s good,” Waters said. “We have to break down the defense, take advantage, and get all those easy buckets.” The lack of size makes it even more imperative to stay under control and not get overexcited, according to Waters. “I couldn’t ask for a better group as far as hustle and scrap, and really for us, rebounding is going to be key,” Waters said. Coach: Brannon Waters Seniors: Cady Ross, 5-5, g; Knikki Keeling, 5-7, g; Iris Rutherford, 5-6, g; CARLEY CHILDRESS, 5-8, g/f; Sammi McKibben, 5-8, f; Montana Craig, 6-1, f/c. Juniors: MARANDA CHANCE, 5-7, g; Haley Edwards, 5-7, g/f. Sophomores: Breanna Russell, 5-5, g; Becky Reeder, 5-8, f. Freshman: Makayla Rice, 5-8, f.

— Dan Zobel

The Lady Foxes bring back first team all-conference player, Alicia York, from last season’s co-conference championship team, but coach Clint Winemiller is not short of new tools to work with this season. “She (York) works very hard, runs the floor well, and she has improved her post moves,”

The Southern Illinoisan Friday, November 16, 2012 Page 11


2012-13 High School Basketball Preview

Chester returns most of its squad back from last year’s 14-14 campaign. The Yellow Jackets will not be a one-man show, but should be able to distribute the ball around the court. “They can’t trigger in on one particular player,” Chester coach Brad Norman said. “We’ll be able to attack them on five different positions. We should be solid everywhere.” Norman will have a full bench of seniors to draw from. Kyle Landon, Reed Koenemann, Link Cushman, Chris Schwartz, Alec Weir, Boyd Miles and Caleb Arbeiter will provide the senior leadership. Complementing them will be Cody Mileur and Jake Lochhead. Coach: Brad Norman Seniors: Link Cushman, 6-0, g;, Chris Schwartz, 6-2, g/f; Alec Weir, 6-1, g/f; Boyd Miles, 6-1, f; Caleb Arbeiter, 6-0, g; Reed Koeneman, 6-8, c; Kyle Landon, 6-6, g/f. Juniors: Cody Mileur, 6-1, g; Garret Alms, 5-8, g; Austin Redeker, 6-1, f; Joel Clendenin, 5-9, g; Jake Lochhead, 6-2, g; Austin Gendron, 6-2, f.

Christopher Christopher thinks it’s time they finally break even. The Bearcats finished 1314 last season, and they feel they left some wins out on the court last year. “I would hope we could be above .500,” Christopher coach Eric Stallmann said. “We haven’t been above .500 in the past six years. We lost a couple games last

Boys: Black Diamond West year that we should have been able to win.” Christopher lost only two players from last year’s team and returns three seniors, including three-year starter and shooting guard Tyler Atchison and 6-6 Kevin Mercks inside. Eric Young and his 12 points and 7 rebounds per game return as well, and Jacob Towers will lead the Bearcats’ offense at the point guard position. “He had a great summer for us last year,” Stallmann said. “He was a great JV player last year, and he has worked hard in the weight room, and I look for him to have a very good year this year.” Coach: Eric Stallmann Seniors: TYLER ATCHISON, 5-11, g; KEVIN MERCKS, 6-6, f; RJ KUH, 6-1, f; Tony Hodge, 5-8, g. Juniors: Maurice Brown, 5-10, g; JACOB TOWERS, 6-0, g; ERIC YOUNG, 6-2 g; Ethan Conner, 6-3,f; Austin Williams, 5-10, f. Sophomores: Luke Saeger, 6-2, g Freshmen: Josh Calloni, 6-2, f; Hunter Wheeler, 5-9, g


is we will be a little bit deeper and have a little bit more talent.” With a group of seniors returning from last year’s squad, the Falcons hope to improve on last year’s 3-24 mark. Kyle Whittington will be a third-year starter this year at point guard. Elverado will have a little bit more size this year with 6-4 Josh Sarensen patrolling the low post. “His height is going to help us,” Riley said. “Our tallest guy last year was 6-1 or 6-2.” In addition to Sarensen and Whittington, Kody Ellett and Andrew Jeschke return. “I’m hoping we have a little bit more offense because each one of those players brings a little something to the table we didn’t have last year.” Coach: Mark Riley Seniors: KYLE WHITTINGTON, 5-11, g; ANDREW JESCHKE, 6-1, f; KODY ELLETT, 5-8, g; JOSH SARENSEN, 6-4, f; Christian Huppert, 6-5, f; Juniors: Eli Fennell, 5-9, g; Anthony Kirk, 5-8, g Sophomores: Lucas Jones, 5-9, g; Tyler Funk, 6-3, f; Justin Sarensen, 6-1, f Freshman: Brock Barnes, 5-8, g; Alec Valerius, 6-0, f

Black Diamond Conference championship. “The experience is big for us,” Goreville coach Todd Tripp said. “Last year, we had one kid that was back that had a lot of experience. We played a lot of kids last year, and a lot of kids got some time. That’s going to help us get off on the right foot.” Returning players for Goreville include all-south and all-conference selection Dayton Tripp and second team all-conference Zeke Snell. Even though he expects the conference to be tougher this year, Tripp likes his team’s chances. “I think we’re going to be one of the favorites in the conference.” But the memory of Goreville’s loss in the regional final last year is still fresh in the Black Cats’ minds, and that’s exactly where Tripp wants it. Coach: Todd Tripp

Seniors: Nik Dunn, 5-9, g; DAYTON TRIPP, 6-3, g; It’s Mark Riley’s second Blake Gray, 5-11, g; Caleb Belcher, 6-0, g; Garrett year on the Elverado bench, Patterson, 6-2, f, J.T. Snell, 6-4, f; ALEX ANDROS, 64, f and he hopes the changes Juniors: Daniel Lanham, 5-10, g; Kyefer Cavins, made last year will begin to 6-1, f; ZEKE SNELL, 6-4, f; Dallas Mellot, 6-2, f; Shon Goreville Messmer, 5-9, g pay dividends this year. Sophomores: Kolton Morrison, 6-3, f “Last year, we sort of got a Expectations are high lot of the distractions again in Goreville. away,” Riley said. “We only The Black Cats have a lot Sesser-Valier had eight guys on the varsi- of players back from a 2011If Sesser-Valier repeats as ty squad last year. My hope 12 campaign that netted a regional champion this year, the Red Devils will have to do it without most of its personnel from last year. Justin Kulich is the only returning starter. The Red Devils will depend on the 67 post player for most of its production. “With the exception of Kulich, we’ve got a lot of new faces that have not played at a varsity level,” Sesser-Valier coach Chip Basso said. “It’s going to be a baptism by fire for most of Member FDIC our players, making the

Go Falcons!

Page 12 Friday, November 16, 2012 The Southern Illinoisan

transiton from the jv level to the varsity level.” The Red Devils will look for seniors Derek Hood and Cody Lingle to step up and shoulder some of the load. “Outside of Justin, I think we’re going to have a lot of depth,” Basso said. “The next seven, eight or nine guys are a lot of interchangeable parts.” But while players have come and gone, SesserValier’s approach will stay the same. “We’re not going to change,” Basso said. “We don’t have drastic changes to what we’ve done in past. Coach: Chip Basso Seniors: Zach Vieria, 5-10, g; JUSTIN KULICH, 66, c; Gunner Bailey, 6-1, f; Derek Hood, 5-11, g; Reggie Eubanks, 6-0, f, Cody Lingle, 5-10, g Juniors: Jordan Gunter, 6-1, f; Tyler Baxter, 6-0, g; Nick McCarty, 6-4, c Sophomores: Jacob Vanwey, 6-0, f; Luke Thompson, 5-10, g; Nick Marlo, 5-10, g; Kaleb Miller, 6-0, f; Logan Barrett, 5-10, g

Trico New coach Mike Denault finds himself in uncharted territory at Trico. Even though the Pioneers graduated their two starting guards and Chase Heins in the paint, Denault did not find the cupboard bare. “In the programs I’ve come to in the past, I’ve had to rebuild,” Denault said. “I don’t have to change the culture. It’s nice to just go in there and help the players improve.” Trico returns two 6-5 forwards in Blaine LePere and George Kuhlman. The Pioneers boast a couple other 6-5 players in senior Luke Watson and sophomore Chase Rednour. “We have four guys at 65, and I can put three of them on the floor at the same time,” Denault said. “I’m not sure there’s many teams that can bring the kind of length that we have.”

Coach: Mike Denault Seniors: Chad Bower, 6-0, f; BLAINE LEPERE, 65, f; GEORGE KUHLMAN, 6-5, f; KLAYTON BUNSELMEYER, 6-0, g; Luke Watson, 6-5, f; Brandon Rickenberg, 5-8, g Juniors: Ryan Strohmeyer, 6-2, f; Kyle Hammel, 5-9, g; Jordan Jones, 5-11, g Sophomores: Chase Rednour, 6-5, f; Zach Anderson, 5-8, g; Jake Chapman, 5-10, g; Ryan Myers, 6-0, g

Zeigler-Royalton If Zeigler-Royalton has its way, its games will be 84-feet long. The Tornadoes will not have much size and will have to depend on athleticism and quickness to win basketball games this year. “We’re going to have to push the ball up the floor,” Zeigler-Royalton coach Matt Morgan said. “Defensive pressure is going to be big for us as well, guarding all the way up the floor. “Our defensive pressure’s going to be the biggest thing for us, because we need stops to get out and push the ball up the floor.” Zeigler-Royalton will also not have much experience. Jeffrey Pedigo will be its only returning senior. Juniors Nick Mcphail and Bailey Schimpf will join Pedigo in the starting lineup. “Hopefully, those three can get us going and lead us in the right direction,” Morgan said. The Tornadoes picked up only two wins in the Black Diamond West Conference last year, but Morgan believes his team can be more competitive this season. “I think we’ll be relatively competitive throughout the conference,” Morgan said. “We’re going to have to take care of the ball, play unselfish basketball and take good quality shots.” Coach: Matt Morgan Seniors: Michael Dobroski, 5-11, f; JEFFREY PEDIGO, 5-11, g Juniors: Timmy Brooks, 6-0, f; Nick Eisenhaur, 5-9, g; Trevor Fitch, 5-9, g; BRANDON JONES, 5-11, f; NICK MCPHAIL, 5-9, g; BORIS MOSKOFF, 5-10, g; Andrew Reece, 5-9, g; BAILEY SCHIMPF, 5-9, g; Brandon Stubblefield, 5-11, f; Jeremy Weddle, 5-8, g Sophomores: Austin Risley, 6-0, f; Jeffrey Sadler, 5-8, g

— Chris Hottensen

Chester Chester hopes variety will be the spice of victory this year. “It’s going to be a team concept,” Chester coach Pat Knowles said. “We’ll probably have a different leading scorer each night. We don’t have that player that we’re guaranteed 20 points from each night.” With only one returning starter from last year’s team, the Lady Yellow Jackets will have to experiment with various formulas to find the right combination. “We’re still trying to find our identity,” Knowles said. “We’re probably going to have a different starting lineup every night.” It will be a rebuilding year for Chester, but the Yellow Jackets believe they can chalk up more wins than last year. “We lost some close games last year because we didn’t know how to finish games,” Knowles said. “It’s just going to be growing pains throughout the year. The Yellow Jackets are quick and athletic, but with Alexandria Fedderke the only returning starter, Knowles’ biggest concern is finding the basket. Coach: Pat Knowles Seniors: Libby Bollman, 5-3, g; Chelsea Schroeder, 5-7, f; Taylor LaRose, 5-10, f; Marah Laramore, 5-10, f. Juniors: Maribeth Lawrence, 5-3, f/g; ALEXANDRIA FEDDERKE, 6-0, c; Kaley Ludwig, 56, f; Madison Conner, 5-9, c; Sarah Bindel, 5-8, f. Sophomores: Deanna Hohgrefe, 5-9, c; Rachel Clendenin, 5-6, g/f; McKenzi Rucker, 5-7, g. Freshman: Malorie Cashmer, 6-0, c.

Elverado With more experience, Elverado hopes to improve on last year’s 7-19 performance. The Lady Falcons return four players that started the last two years. Corrine Wilson, Hannah Rawson, Rebecca Korando and Meghann Trammel will start for the third straight year. Kelsey Leland, who has seen playing time the

2012-13 High School Basketball Preview

Girls: Black Diamond West last two years, will be the fifth starter. Elverado will not push the ball up the court. The Lady Falcons will try to keep the score low. “We’re going to try to slow it down, hopefully score in the 30s or 40s and go from there,” Elverado coach Lance Bedar said. “We do need to improve on our defense. We haven’t been able to play four quarters. They know how to do it; they just don’t want to do it.” Coach: Lance Bedar Seniors: REBECCA KORANDO, g/f; CORRINE WILSON, g; HANNAH RAWSON, g; MEGHANN TRAMMEL, f; Sarah Knapp, f; Kelsey Leland, g. Juniors: Allecia Cross, g. Sophomores: Kylee Bedar, g; Paige Newfarmer, f; Cheyenne Abbadusky, g; Brittany Dunmeyer, f; Logan Hart, f; Shelby Jatho, c/f; Kaitlin Lively, f. Freshmen: Brooke Whittington, g; Ellie Winthrop, c/f; Kadie Dunmeyer, g.

Goreville Goreville hopes to make an encore performance of last year’s sectional championship, but it will have to perform its second act without all-stater Shelbey Miller. “Shelbey Miller did a lot and getting used to playing without Shelbey will probably be the biggest change,” Goreville coach Mike Helton said. “Knowing which direction to go when we need a basket will be one of the things we have to figure out.” The good news is the Lady Blackcats return allstater Alison Webb, senior Jessica Wright, Allison Sullivan and junior Haley Darnell, who has played varsity since her freshman year. “We’ve got a nice foundation,” Helton said. After winning 29 games last year, Helton expects more of the same. “We are not lowering expectations,” Helton said.

“I told them you guys are a marked team. Teams are going to be ready to play hard against you. “We’ve got to be more prepared. But we’ve still got top level talent. We’ve got depth and kids with experience.” Coach: Mike Helton Seniors: JESSICA WRIGHT, 5-9, g; ALISON WEBB, 6-0, c; Allison Sullivan, 5-6, g; Taylor Odum, 5-10. Juniors: Brittany Pritchett, 5-9, f; Marbia Martin, 5-10, c; Haley Darnell, 5-5, g; Kayla Webb, 5-1, g; Madison Walters, 5-2, g. Sophomores: McKenzi Schaede, 5-4, g; Gracie Snell, 5-6, f; Sydnee Rushing, 5-3, g; Autum Tripp. Freshmen: Alexis Massey, 5-2, g; Cheyenne Cook, Madison Arnold.

Sesser-Valier Last year, Sesser-Valier coach Rick Metcalf was just trying to find his way in girls basketball after taking the job just days before practice started. This year, Metcalf wants to build on the momentum of a 23-6 campaign that saw the Lady Red Devils win their regional. Tasha Doerr is the only player Sesser-Valier lost off last year’s roster, but filling her shoes will be a difficult task. The Black Diamond West all-conference selection averaged 14 points and seven rebounds per game. “You can’t replace somebody like that,” Metcalf said. But the Red Devils return another all-conference selection in four-year starter, Rachel Marlo. Chelsea Miller also returns as a four-year starter and another all-conference selection in Rae Lappin will take the court for Sesser-Valier. So far, Metcalf likes what he sees. “Early in practices, we’ve had awesome senior leadership,” Metcalf said.

“We’ve had a few new freshmen coming in. The mental approach has been very good. They’re very coachable kids.” The post-season is already in Metcalf’s mind. “I’ve always had my expectations high,” Metcalf said. “We do everything we do for the tournament, and there’s always a rhyme and reason for everything we do.” Coach: Rick Metcalf Seniors: CHELSEA MILLER, 5-6, g; RAE LAPPIN, 5-7, g; MAEGAN ESKEW, 5-6, g; Mariah Miller, 5-8, f. Juniors: RACHEL MARLO, 5-8, f; Mikala Williams, 5-7, f; Maty Garner, 5-7, g; Bailee Jones, 5-8, f; Claire Pitlynski, 5-7, g; Amber Williams, 5-6, g. Sophomores: Hannah Neikas, 6-0, f; Daisy Edminson, 5-6, g; Cheyenne Pitchford, 5-9, f; Katie Metcalf, 5-8, f. Freshmen: Carson Severs, 5-5, g; Lily McFarland, 5-6, f; Emily Bulla, , 5-5, g; Grace Pitlynski, 5-7, f; Tori Gillam, 5-6, g.

Trico Trico had a hard time putting points on the board last year. That should not be a problem this year. “I think we’ll be better this year,” Trico coach Steve Vogt said. “We’ve got some kids who can shoot the ball. I’ve got three or four that can shoot.” Vogt gets Hayleigh Heins back from injury. She had a stress fracture last year and had to remain on the bench. Heins should make a difference this year on the post. The Lady Pioneers won’t look to slow it down. “I hope we’re going to get it up and down, get it up the floor and get to the basket as quickly as we

can,” Vogt said. “We’re pretty athletic.” Trico will be very young with only two seniors, Lisa Luehr and Katelyn Thies. Vogt said after Heins, Luehr and Thies, it will be a “group effort”. Coach: Steve Vogt Seniors: Lisa Luehr, 5-3, g; Katelyn Thies. Juniors: Kourtney Bunselmeyer, 5-6, g; Paige Ebers, 5-5, g; Jordan Lodge, 5-6, g. Sophomores: Colleen Guy, 5-6, g; Hayleigh Heins, 6-0, f; Brooke Higgerson, 5-7, g-f; Jessica Prange, 5-7, g/f; Morgan Vogt, 5-3, g. Freshmen: Emily Bauersachs, 5-7, g/f; Rachel Bryant, 5-5, g; Kelly Hamilton, 6-0, f; Tori King, 54, g; Emily Thomas, 5-7, g-f; Bailey Witthoft.

Z-R-C Graduation day was hard on Zeigler-RoyaltonChristopher’s team. Seven seniors departed from the program, leaving coach Jeremy May with only one returning starter from last year’s 17-10 team. Brandy Mifflin was an all-conference guard last year. SEE WEST GIRLS / PAGE 15

The Southern Illinoisan Friday, November 16, 2012 Page 13

Carrier Mills Veteran coach Mark Motsinger is absolutely sure of one thing regarding his latest group of Wildcats. “We’ll do a real good job of being small,” he said, taking an extra moment to extract a chuckle from a questioner. Of that, Motsinger is right. With no one taller than 6-foot-2, Carrier Mills will start many games at a real disadvantage in the post. But few will feel sorry for the Wildcats, since Motsinger boasts 588 wins in 28 seasons of coaching high school and women’s college basketball. The bigger concern here is the lack of upperclassmen. After seniors Cameron Taborn, the aforementioned 6-2 performer who averaged 10 points per game last year, and Josh Bailey, a 5-9 guard who checks in at 8 points per game, there’s exactly one junior. Sophomores and freshmen comprise the roster’s remainder. A pair of sophomore guards, 5-11 Darren Vetz and 5-9 Slayden Figg, appear likely to start. Two other sophs, coach’s son Gabriel Motsinger (6-1) and Lorn Whiting (6-0), will pick up lots of minutes up front. Mark Motsinger said his team has a few scorers and will try to run a motion offense to make up for a lack of size. Coach: Mark Motsinger Seniors: JOSH BAILEY, 5-9, g; CAMERON TABORN, 6-2, f; Steven Binkley, 5-7, g. Juniors: Dalton Summers, 5-6, g; Levi Gabbard, 6-0, c. Sophomores: Darrin Betz, 5-11, g; Slayden Figg, 5-9, g; Gabriel Motsinger, 6-1, f; Loren Whiting, 6-0, f; Anthony Kaladner, 5-5, g; Jordan Mitchell, 59, g; Jonah Crowder, 5-10, g.

Crab Orchard If it weren’t for the complete reconstruction jobs going on at Galatia and Hardin County, one could argue that the Trojans had the biggest rebuild in progress for this iteration of the GEC.

2012-13 High School Basketball Preview

Boys: Greater Egyptian Coach Jon Brown saw four starters get their diplomas in May, including one of the school’s greatest players in Ben Kissing and a pretty solid No. 2 man in guard Drew Johnson. There will be a step – if not steps – back from the 59-7 record Crab Orchard’s posted the last two years. “We’re young and obviously inexperienced,” Brown said. “Things are different. We knew who would play and what their roles would be last year. This year, we’re evaluating every day and we’re thinking more long-term.” The only player about who Brown has any clue at this stage is junior Caleb Perry, a swingman with 3point range who can also get to the rack. As the only returning starter, Perry is the team leader by default and will be the top option on offense. Beyond that, no one knows. But the early schedule won’t allow much time for easing into things. In the season’s first two weeks, there are two meetings with Gallatin County. Coach: Jon Brown Senior: Ty Bailey, 6-2, c. Juniors: CALEB PERRY, 5-10, f-g; Josh Emery, 59, g; Zane Clerk, 6-0, f; Tyler Deaton, 5-9, g; Cody Fisher, 5-8, f; Zach Ray, 5-9, f. Sophomores: Colten McCree, 6-1, f; Gunnar Galloway, 6-0, f; Travis Tarlton, 5-9, f; Jonathan Stephens, 5-10, f. Freshmen: Lane Hutson, 5-6, g; Billy Treat, 5-6, g.

Galatia Here’s the bad news: The Bearcats graduated every starter off last year’s 3-21 team. Here’s the good news: Fresh faces dot the roster, eager to improve the product under second-year coach Kendall Hankins. “We’re young, but we are quick and we’re going to try to use our speed to our advantage,” Hankins said.

“We don’t have much size, but if we can limit our turnovers, I think we can put up some points. We’re not planning on sitting still very long.” Translation: Don’t expect a lot of half-court hoops from this squad. With the tallest player junior Tyler Sloan, who scrapes the sky at 6-foot-1, Galatia can’t afford to get caught into 5-on-5 games against bigger, stronger foes. Bodie Beckman (5-11, junior.) and Michael Mondino (5-10, junior.) each saw playing time last year off the bench. Beckman figures to be the team leader and the No. 1 option offensively. Hankins is excited about a freshman class which includes 5-10 Austin Stricklin, 5-9 Josh Rice and 5-11 Hayden Mitchell. Stricklin is headed for what Hankins calls “significant playing time,” while Rice and Mitchell’s development curve will determine how much they play. Coach: Kendall Hankins Juniors: Bodie Beckman, 5-11, f; Michael Mondino, 5-10, g; Tyler Sloan, 6-1, c; Adam Brothers, 5-8, g; Zane Stanley, 5-10, f. Sophomores: John Simpson, 5-7, f; Austin Hector, 5-11, g. Freshmen: Austin Stricklin, 5-10, g; Josh Rice, 5-9, f; Logan Carter, 5-8, g; Hayden Mitchell, 5-11, c.

Gallatin County There are big hopes for arguably the biggest team in Southern Illinois. The Robert “Radar” Pattoncoached Hawks return six seniors from a 20-win team which won its second straight regional title and wants to take a Peoria-sized next step. Rice commitment Andrew Drone, a 6-11 center who averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds per game last season, will lead the charge. Offering consider-

Page 14 Friday, November 16, 2012 The Southern Illinoisan

able support is 6-6 senior forward Patrick Lowe, who was good for 18 points and six boards. Drone has the kind of size which can’t be taught and can score with both hands around the bucket, but has worked on diversifying his offensive game, stretching his shooting range out to the 3-point line. Ultimately, Gallatin County’s chances of getting out of the sectionals, much less reaching the Class A final four, will come down to improving on defense and cutting down turnovers. Both were exposed last year in a season-ending loss to Meridian. “They’ve grown the last two or three years,” said new assistant coach Doug Miller. “They’re showing a lot of maturity.” Gallatin County’s nonconference schedule, which includes a trip to Harrisburg and a meeting with Goreville at SIU, could help its season march into March. Coach: Robert Patton Seniors: ANDREW DRONE, 6-11, c; Wes McGuire, 6-5, f; PATRICK LOWE, 6-6, f; DANE HISH, 5-10, g; Anthony Storto, 5-9, g; Josh Belford, 5-10, g. Juniors: Mitchell Ramsey, 5-10, g; Jared Jackson, 6-0, f; Austin Russell, 5-6, g; Zack McGuire, 5-10, g. Sophomores: Chandler Scates, 6-2, f; Hank Odum, 5-10, g; Tyler Odum, 6-0, f. Freshmen: Tomas York, 5-8, g; Patrick Clark, 60, g.

Hardin County There are rebuilding seasons and then there’s what the Cougars are doing this winter. Following a 19-10 year, third-year coach Rodney Lane waved goodbye to all five starters and only has three players with any kind of varsity experience. It’s going to take this new roster some time to cohere and figure out some

There is a little bit of size here in 6-6 junior Seth Halfacre and 6-3 sophomore Dakota Wheeler, so expect them to soak up some minutes. Dylan Martin and Jacob Taylor, both 6-2, will offer some versatility on the wings. Briar Short (5-6, junior) and Blake Karnes (5-11, so.\phomore) should earn playing time in the backcourt. “We will be a very defensive-minded team this season,” Graven said. “We believe good defense creates good offense. Guarding people will be something we take pride in. We will like to get out and run a little bit on offense.” Graven’s system was successful the last three seasons at Williamsville, where he went 66-21 and won two Class 2A regional titles.

kind of identity. Lane knows there is plenty of work to be done but is enthused by his team’s willingness to get after it. “You have to love the work ethic of these kids,” he said. “How quickly we develop our offensive skills, not just individually but as a team, will be a key. This group hasn’t played together and we’ll need game experience to figure out who we are.” Making things tougher for Hardin County is an almost complete lack of height. Its tallest players are only 6-foot-1 – forward Jeremy Hicks and center Dylan McClenahan. Coach: Bryon Graven Freshman Taze Paskon is COLTON STEYCK, 6-0, f; Dylan Martin, the only other player who 6-2,Seniors: g-f. even tickles 6-0. Juniors: COLE TUCKER, 5-11, g; Briar Short, 5-6, Factor in that there’s just g; Jacob Taylor, 6-2, g-f; Seth Halfacre, 6-6, f. Sophomores: Blake Karnes, 5-11, g; Dakota one senior, guard Dalton Wheeler, 6-3, f. Vaughn, and only two juniors, and one has to think there will be some real Pope County growing pains for the Second-year coach Jim Cougars. Simmons has four starters returning from last year. Coach: Rodney Lane He’s banking on that expeSenior: Dalton Vaughn, 5-10, g. Juniors: Jeremy Hicks, 6-1, f; Nik Brooks, 5-10, rience, and the team’s g. Sophomores: Darrien Robinson, 5-9, g; Colton quickness, to improve on Winters, 5-10, f; B.J. Austin, 5-11, f; Logan Conn, 5-7, last year’s mark of 11-18. g; Tanner Dutton, 5-10, c; Aaron Winters, 5-10, f. Seniors Bruce Dunlap, Freshmen: Taze Paskon, 6-0, c; John Rose, 5-8, g; Dylan McClenahan, 6-1, c; Jake Austin, 5-8, g; 5-10, Kyle Wise, 5-9, Dallas Brady Blair, 5-10, f. Cockrum, 6-0, and Corey Rison, 6-1, all started last season. In addition, Adam NCOE Schuchardt, 5-10, senior, Coming off a 10-16 sea- Tyler Thompson, 5-10, son, the Cardinals welcome senior, J.D. Ward, 6-0, juna new coach in Bryon ior and Douglas Ferguson, Graven, who will have to 6-4, sophomore all saw make the most of what he’s action last year. got. “We’re going to really With just eight players on have to rely on our defense, the roster, NCOE can’t full-court pressure and try afford injuries or even the to score off pressure,” slightest hint of foul trouble Simmons said. “We’re a and doesn’t have a whole lot pretty athletic group. We’re of experience to offset its going to rely on our quicklack of depth. Just two ness. starters return in 6-foot-0 “That’s where our senior forward Colton strength is.” Steyck and 5-11 junior guard SEE GEC / PAGE 15 Cole Tucker.

Gallatin County For coach Chuck Ingram and the Hawks, the season really comes down to the simplest thing in basketball: Can they score? “They play hard and they can handle the ball a little bit,” he said. “But can we get our shooting down? As of now, we don’t shoot the ball well. They don’t wait for the shot to come to them. They don’t understand what is a good shot and what isn’t a good shot sometimes. “They just don’t have the confidence right now as shooters.” If it can fit a round ball in a round hole, Gallatin County stands a good chance to improve on its 918 record of a year ago. It returns three starters and its top two reserves, giving it good experience in its starting five. Seniors Lexi Prince (5-3),

2012-13 High School Basketball Preview

Girls: Greater Egyptian Emily Logsdon (5-9) and Cassie Duvall (5-10) started last year and will be joined by sixth man Casey Spears (5-6). Sophomore Sidney Ahrens (5-10), who also played frequently off the bench, will round out the lineup. Ingram said the team’s goal is to win a regional title. For that to happen, the Hawks will have to make shots they haven’t been able to make. Coach: Chuck Ingram Seniors: LEXI PRINCE, 5-3, g; EMILY LOGSDON, 5-9, f; Casey Spears, 5-6, g; CASSIE DUVALL, 5-10, c. Sophomores: Sidney Ahrens, 5-10, f-g; Hannah Logsdon, 5-9, f; Kristyn Jester, 5-7, g; Brooke Van, 5-11, c. Freshmen: Makalyn Smith, 5-8, f-c; Jordan Prince, 5-8, g; Alexa Rhinesmith, 5-6, g; Paige Williams, 5-6, g.

Galatia After an 11-win season a year ago, expectations are a bit higher for the Lady Cats. The team returns three starters, including guard Elizabeth Sloan. “She’s just a tough matchup for anybody,” said coach Josh Summers. “She has enough size to post up and most people can’t handle her. She can shoot 3s and take it to the hole, but she does need to shoot more.” Look for Tayler Sweet, a senior point guard, to run the show once again. “She needs to be a floor commander,” Summers said. “Without her I won-

der if I can get the ball up the floor. I expect a lot out of her, and she is a leader on the floor.” Emily Reed is an exceptional shooter from the outside, and Summers is hoping for a big year out of her. “I hope she gets better recognizing how to move without the ball and recognizing defenses,” Summers said. “Once she figures that out the sky is the limit. “She’s one of the most competitive people you’ll ever meet.” Coach: Josh Summers Seniors: TAYLER SWEET, 5-1, g; Emily Arview, 5-9, f. Juniors: EMILY REED, 5-4, g; Kasey Bowlin, 56, g-f; Seneca Tso, 5-7, f. Sophomores: ELIZABETH SLOAN, 5-6, g-f;

Kaelyn Watson, 5-7, f; Ayshia Mitchell, 5-10, f. Freshmen: Lexi Johnson, 5-3, g.

Pope County Kelly King returns to the bench after a three-year hiatus. He coached Pope County for an 11-year stint previously. King inherits the nucleus of a 20-win team that claimed a regional title. Three starters return in Victoria Vaughn, 5-9, junior; Sarah Maynor, 5-7 senior; and Brittany Noel, a 5-6, junior. In addition, Emily Powles, a sophomore, saw a lot of playing time last year. “There is a pretty good core there,” King said. “We don’t really have a lot of bench right now. I have

four pretty good players to build around. “The four girls that played a lot last year. They can play just about anywhere on the floor. All four can handle the ball pretty decent. “I have a little flexibility there.” Other players likely to see action are Audrey Harris, a senior, juniors Jessica Morris and MacKenzie Schutt, as well as sophomore Crista English. However, none of them are over 5-8. “We have to play defense,” King said. “We have to box out because we’re not real big.” Coach: Kelly King Seniors: SARAH MAYNOR, 5-7, g-f; Audrey Harris, 5-4 g. Juniors: VICTORIA VAUGHN, 5-9, g-f; BRITTANY NOEL, 5-6, g; Jessica Morris, 5-8, f; MacKenzie Schutt, 5-7, g-f. Sophomores: Emily Powles, 5-8, g-f; Crista English, 5-8, g-f.

— Bucky Dent

GEC: Small schools have plenty of talent

WEST GIRLS: Z-R-C looks to rebound quick



The Pirates played an uptempo game last season, but Simmons is hoping to ratchet up the pressure a little more. Offensively, Dunlap and Thompson are capable scorers and Schuchardt is the team’s best 3-point shooter. Gallatin County and Carrier Mills are expected to be atop the GEC standings. Simmons hope the Pirates fit somewhere in the middle of the pack. “I’m hoping we can finish better,” he said. “If our pressure doesn’t prevail, we’re going to be in trouble.” Coach: Jim Simmons Seniors: BRUCE DUNLAP, 5-10, g; KYLE WISE, 5-9, g; DALLAS COCKRUM, 60, g; COREY RISON, 6-1, f; Adam Schuchardt, 5-10, g; Tyler Thompson, 5-10, g. Junior: J.D. Ward, 6-0, g. Sophomore: Douglas Ferguson, 6-4, f.

Thompsonville With all five starters returning from last season, Brandon Chaplain thinks Thompsonville is ready to contend for the Greater Egyptian Conference title. Not only do the Tigers have experience,

they also have some size with 6-6 Ryan Darnell, 6-6 Quentin Henson and 6-4, Shane McRoy. “What a difference a year makes,” Chaplain said. “Those guys grew last year. They weren’t mature in their bodies. They’ve really worked in the weight room. Basketball-wise, all those games really help. Most of them are pretty athletic.” Returning starters include juniors Darnell and Henson, Lance Darnell, a 6-3 junior, as well as Jake Williams and Brady Householder, a pair of 5-10 guards. “We didn’t have a senior on the team last year,” Chaplain said. A trio of junior guards, Keifer Payne, Pate Kerley and Tyler Parkhill are also expected to see action along with Brendan Clark, a 6-2 forward. “I’d like to see these guys around the top (of the conference),” Chaplain said. “They’re very capable.” Coach: Brandon Chaplain Seniors: BRADY HOUSEHOLDER, 5-10, g; Shane McRoy, 6-4 f. Juniors: JAKE WILLIAMS, 5-10, g; RYAN DARNELL, 6-6, g-f; LANCE DARNELL, 6-3, f; QUENTIN HENSON, 6-6, f; Brendan Clark, 6-2, f; Keifer Payne, 5-10, g; Pate Kerley, 5-9, g; Tyler Parkhill, 5-9, g.

— Bucky Dent

She and Maddy Caruso, who logged some varsity playing time last year, return to anchor a team with very little experience. Two freshmen, Brittany Brooks and Autum Gunter, will see quite a bit of time. “Going from junior high to varsity is a big jump for them,” May said. “We don’t have a lot of depth at the varsity level.” The Lady Tornadoes know they will once again be chasing Goreville and

Sesser-Valier at the top of the conference. “I think our goal is to compete with those two teams at the conference level,” May said. “Whether we get there depends on how reliant we will be on our younger kids and if they are ready for the varsity level.” Coach: Jeremy May Seniors: BRANDY MIFFLIN, 5-6, g; MADDY CARUSO,5-8, f; Marrisa Battaglia, 5-8, g; Breanna Price, 5-11, f; Mikala Chamness, 5-6, g. Sophomores: Alysha Rodgers, 5-6, g; Sammie Bright, 5-4, f; Jessie Roye, 5-8, f; Savannah Smith, 5-8, c; Breanna Dorris, 5-5, g.. Freshmen: Autum Gunter, 5-6, g; Brittany Brooks, 5-8, f; Brianna Bowlin, 6-0, f.

— Chris Hottensen

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2012-13 High School Basketball Preview

Second-year coach Travis Foster returns three returning starters from last year’s 15-15 squad, Cordon Hight, who led the team in scoring, Caden Hight and Davarae Edmonds. “The maturity of our young kids is going to show a lot,” Foster said. “We started two freshmen last year and they played a big role.” The Centurions lost their post presence to graduation, and Foster is looking to returning starter Devontay Pullett to fill that role. Foster feels Meridian is the team to beat in the SEC this season. “The SEC always goes through Meridian. Until someone knocks them off they’re always at the top.” said Foster. Coach: Travis Foster Seniors: CORDON HIGHT, 6-0, g Juniors: Aaron Jones, 5-10, f; DEVONTAY PULLETT, 6-5, c; Zach Sauerbrunn, 6-0, g Sophomores: Tivon Clemons, 5-10, f; Blake Crane, 5-11, g; DAVARAE EDMONDS, 6-2, f; CADEN HIGHT, 5-9, g; Collin Jones, 6-1, g; Austin Wethington, 5-8, g Freshmen: Malik Hagler, 5-9, g; Adam Jones, 6-1, f

Dongola Coach Russ Marsh has two starters returning from last year’s 11-17 squad and one of them is center Tyler

Boys: South Egyptian Eddleman, a four-year starter. The other returning starter is guard Brock Patterson. “This may be the fastest team that I’ve ever had at Dongola,” Marsh said. “My seniors are going to be more experienced.” The Demons will be young, but have a lot of freshmen coming in this year that could contribute right away. “I have some freshmen that could open some eyes.” Marsh said. “We hope to improve and cut down on turnovers.” Coach: Russ Marsh Seniors: TYLER EDDLEMAN, 6-6, c; BROCK PATTERSON, 6-0, g; Bradley Ralls, 6-2, f; Darius Schaure, 6-0, g Juniors: Donnie Gibson, 6-0, f/c Freshmen: Kyle Cox, 5-11, g/f; Alex Zeschke, 59, g

Egyptian It will also be a rebuilding project this year in Tamms as Egyptian returns just two starters in guards Devantae Price and Justin Prewitt from last year’s 22-7 team that fell to Cairo in the regional

semifinal. “We lost a lot from last year. It’s just going to come down to the supporting cast to emerge and get better and play well for us to be successful,” said coach Matt Mandrell. Size will be a problem for the Pharaohs, as they lost a lot of post players from last season. “We lost a lot of post players. We are going to struggle early with rebounding and post defense,” Mandrell said. “That‘s my big concern.” Coach: Matt Mandrell Seniors: Bryce Bigham, 6-3, c; Reggie Davis, 6-0, c; Alex McCrite, 5-11, g; Austin Murphy, 6-2, f; Darian Prater, 6-3, f; DEVANTAE PRICE, 6-0, g; Brandan Woodson, 6-0, g Juniors: Trae Davis, 5-9, f; Cameron Grueninger, 5-9, g; Ovell Pollard, 6-2, c; JUSTIN PREWITT, 6-3, g Sophomores: Tyler Dowdy-Klett, 5-10, g; Manny Fox, 5-11, f; Cameron Masterson, 5-8, g; Adam Poppen, 5-10, f; Jeromy Turner, 6-0, f Freshmen: Andrew Burton, 5-8, g, Blake Mix, 5-8, g; Tim Sams, 5-10, f

He inherits one returning starter in Tyler Castleman from a team that went 5-18 last year. “Our key to be successful will be defensive and hustling,” Harris said. “We’re very young. If we all play together we’ll be successful.” One thing that has impressed Harris so far about his team is their attitude. “We have a never-giveup attitude,” Harris said. “We’ll create a lot of turnovers and we’ll get the ball up and down the floor. I think our team will be all right.” Coach: Kenny Harris Senior: Austin Harrison, 5-11, c Juniors: TYLER CASTLEMAN, 5-9, g; James Garner, 6-1, g; Justin Harvill, 5-10, g Sophomore: Chris Brown, 6-4, f; Michael Sparks, 6-1, f Freshmen: Brandon Jackson, 5-4, g; Trenton Lewis, 5-4, g; Matthew Sparks, 5-8, g

Joppa First-year coach Kenny Harris takes over the reins of the Ranger program, as he replaces Trebor Hill, who is now athletic director.

It will be a rebuilding year in Mounds as the Bobcats return three starters from last year’s 28-3 team who lost to Woodlawn in the super-




Coach: Jeff Mandrell Seniors: JOSH JONES, 6-4, f; Greg Hopkins, 511 f; Jammerio Moore, 6-2, f-c Juniors: MICHAEL SCHOFFNER, 6-1, g; Meekial Steele 6-4, c Sophomores: DAVID DAVIS, 6-0, g; Khouri Powell, 5-10, g; D.J. Weldon, 5-7, g

Shawnee Meridian


sectional. “We lost quite a few seniors who played a lot,” said coach Jeff Mandrell. “We’re kind of rebuilding.” Depth is going to be a problem for the Bobcats this season, as Meridian lost a lot from last year’s team. “I think we don’t have as much depth and we’re going to have to find some,” Mandrell said. “We lost quite a few seniors who played a lot. We’re kind of rebuilding. We have a nucleus with some guys who got some playing time.”

Last year was a learning experience for LaDonna Bachmann in her first year as head coach. Her team finished last year at 7-17 and took some bumps along the way.

Now in her second year, the Redskins look to improve as they return four starters, but lost an important part of their team in Andrew Livesay. “He contributed a lot to our team last year and we have to find someone to pick up his role,” Bachmann said. “It will all be up to Aiden McMahan. He’s going to have to lead the team in learning patience and moving the ball. (Austin) Treece is the person we’re looking at replacing Livesay.” Shawnee has a good group of freshmen coming in, and a major key to their success is going to be defense. “We’re going to have depth on our bench,” Bachmann said. “I’ve got a group of freshmen coming in and they only lost two games in junior high.” Coach: LaDonna Bachmann Seniors: GAVYN ELLET, 5-10, g; Dalton Myers, 6-4, c; BRANDON PIND, 5-11, f Juniors: AIDEN MCMAHAN, 5-10, g; Ryan Ochoa, 5-9, g; AUSTIN TREECE, 6-3, c Sophomores: Jesse Ballance, 5-11, f; Michael Crane, 5-10, g; Logan McMahan, 5-6, g; Braden Mezo, 6-0, f; Hunter Myers, 5-10, g; Jayson Rose, 5-7, g; Freshmen: Dylan Boston, 6-0, f; Nick Crane, 57, g; T.J. Foeste, 5-9, g; Hunter Levan, 5-10, f; Lucas Matlock, 6-0, f; Daniel Parris, 6-3, c; Brady Reynolds, 5-10, f;

— Chuck Highland


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2012-13 High School Basketball Preview

S7 BOYS: Plenty of talent in the league

Girls: South Egyptian Century The Lady Centurions look to be loaded again this year as Century returns three starters from a team that went 19-9 last year and lost to Goreville in the regional final. One of them is Morgan Atherton, who was one of the top scorers in Southern Illinois last season at 26 points and 12 rebounds per game. Amanda Cheek, a guard/forward who averaged 12 points per game, and forward Amber Davis, who averaged seven points a game, also return. “We need to get Cheek inside so she is not handling the ball as much and score more.” said coach David Dexter. “We need to get better defensively and a lot depends on how much our young kids help us.” Coach: David Dexter Seniors: Natalie Hubbard, 5-3, g; Jade Yates, 57, f Juniors: MORGAN ATHERTON, 5-10, c; AMANDA CHEEK, 5-8, g-f; AMBER DAVIS, 5-11, f; Shelby Penrod, 5-2, g Sophomores: Jordan Clark-Holcomb, 5-6, g; Dina Hoenig, 5-8, c;; Hannah Miller, 5-5, f; Hannah Oliver, 5-4, g; Makayla Sickling, 5-1, g; Kim Stevens, 5-8, f; Hailey Wilhelm, 5-4, g Freshmen: Alysha Giltner, 5-7, g; Hana Hartline, 5-5, f; Moriah Ledbetter, 5-6, g; Kaitlyn Nale, 5-8, f; Kayle Stell, 5-7, f

Dongola Second-year coach Rob Shepard returns five starters from last year’s 1016 team. “Defense is probably our biggest asset,” Shepard said. “The teams that we played in tournaments last year had lower scoring games.” Shepard feels that if his team plays together they will be successful. “Team unity is a big thing with us. Last year we did have a big center and forward.” Shepard said. Coach: Rob Shepard

Seniors: HALEY FULLER, 5-7, f; BRITTANY HINKLE, 5-8, g;; Joanie Smith, 5-7, f Juniors: REBA ROBINSON, 5-8, g-f; STEPHANIE SHEPARD, 5-7, g-f; VICTORIA SHIRKEY, 5-8, g-f; Sophomores: Kylee Flores, 5-6, g; Cassandra Gorst, 5-4, g; Brenna Newman, 5-8, g; Freshmen: Cali Mowery, 5-8, g-f; Molly Swink, 5-6, g.

Egyptian There’s nowhere to go but up for the Lady Pharaohs, who return four starters from a team that won just three games last year. “This year, we have a new look for us,” said coach Erin Jackson. “We’re going to be athletic, a lot quicker.” The Lady Pharaohs don’t have much height this season, but it shouldn’t matter. “Overall, we’re not as tall as I’d like us to be,” Jackson said. “We’re going to be a lot stronger than we were last year.” Coach: Erin Jackson Seniors: Jessica Brooks, 5-10, f; KATIE LIPE, 54, g; Taberah Massie, 5-8, f Juniors: Alexis Arnold, 5-4, g; Adina Green 5-6, g; KAYTEE WOOD, 5-9, f Sophomores: Savannah Arnhart, 5-7, g; CAMBRIA BIGHAM, 5-7, g; ASHANTI WADE, 5-9, f Freshmen: Valencia Holloway, 5-5, g; Keilah Massie, 5-8, f; Kimber White, 5-5, g

Joppa Last year was a learning experience for Joppa as they fielded their first team in nearly two years. As expected, the Lady Rangers took their lumps, not winning a game. Now in their second year back Joppa looks to build on that, returning all five starters. “Starting with a new team last year they kind of had a year to prepare for varsity ball,” said secondyear coach Molly Stephens. “They had a lot of learning time. Coach: Molly Stephens Seniors: CHARLEE GILBERT, 5-8, g; SONJA ROBERTSON, 5-3, g Sophomores: KATIE BENNETT, 5-4, g; SARAH BURNETT, 5-8, f; MOLLIE MCCARVER, 5-9, c Freshmen: Haley Martin, 5-8, f; Paige Sharp, 55, g; Gabby Wrye, 5-7, f

Meridian Meridian will have a fresh face roaming the sidelines this year, as Jerry Johnson, who was the boys JV coach last year, takes over the reins from Dawn Turner. “The pace will be different,” Johnson said. “There’s going to be more fundamentals.” The Lady Bobcats will have to rely on their defense and quickness. “We’re hindered in the size department and we are going to have to rely on our defense and quickness to get us up and down the court to win games,” Johnson said. Coach: Jerry Johnson Juniors: Cierra Ballard, 5-7, f; Siera Covington, 5-5, f; Roni Jackson, 5-6, g; MARIE JOHNSON, 5-8, g; QUANSHAE JOHNSON, 5-6, f; Asia Wade, 5-8, c Sophomores: Amari Acree, 5-8, c; Deja Johnson, 5-7, g; Courtney Sanchez, 5-7, f; Shanice Wiggins, 5-5, g Freshmen: Ciera Johnson, 5-3, f

Shawnee The Lady Redskins return three full-time starters from a team that went 15-11 last season and lost in the regional semifinals to Century last season. “Our main thing last year was that we got hit by the injury bug,” said coach Chad Pitts. “If we stay injury-free, we have a good core group. If we get a little bit from our freshmen we should be OK.” Reagan Brown is the main starter coming back for Shawnee. “Reagan Brown is coming back from an ACL tear and she is going to run the point for us,” Pitts said. “If she can handle the ball we have a little height inside.” Coach: Chad Pitts Seniors: REAGAN BROWN, 5-8, g; GWEN KUEHNE, 5-9, f, JORDAN JOHNSON, 5-9, f; TAYLOR LOVELESS, 5-6, g; BETHANY MCMAHAN, 5-5, g. Freshmen: Alexis Charles, 5-3, g; Amanda Goodman, 5-8, f; Valley Reynolds, 5-5, g, Morgan Stevens, 5-7, f, Kayla Treece, 5-9, f.


Mount Vernon Mount Vernon (22-7) had its second straight 20-win season last year, advancing to the regional final. Coach Scott Gamber lost shooting guard Ty’Ril Trimble, power forward Clay Payne and center Leonta Badger, but has back two starters in point guard Jarron Liddell and wing guard Trevor Flota. Center Michael Feezer had significant playing time last year. “Hopefully, we’ll be solid defensively and be able to limit turnovers on offense,” Gamber said. “I’m hoping we can control the pace with our guards.”

QwyMann Cantley and Shakari Hawkins will compete at power forward, with Travis Mitchell and Jake Pike at small forward, with Clayton Reeves at both. “Mitchell, Pike and Flota really shoot the ball well, so you have to guard them on the perimeter and that’s something we didn’t have last year,” Gamber said. “We also have a freshman Braden Fitzgerrals that will possibly start at point guard.” Coach: Scott Gamber Seniors: JARRON LIDDELL, 5-7, g; TREVOR FLOTA, 6-0, g; Michael Feezer, 6-2, c; Travis Mitchell, 5-11, f; Clayton Reeves, 5-10, f; QwyMann Cantley, 6-2, f. Juniors: Shakari Hawkins, 6-0, f; Jake Pike, 5-10, f; Doug Gardner, 5-9, g. Sophomores: Luke Wilson, 6-1, g/f; Bryce Hunter, 5-11, g. Freshmen: Braden Fitzgerrals, 5-7, g.

— Geary Deniston

S7 GIRLS: Teams look to improve throughout FROM PAGE 5 Roberts also has three sophomores with forward MarQuisha Edwards and guard/forward Alyson Gwaltney ready to move into the starting lineup and guard Haley Rushing as the first off the bench. In addition, shooting guard Cortney Williams is a top reserve. “We are eight or nine deep and are going to play a couple freshmen, Dayne Faust and Jordin Foster, who has moved in from New Simpson Hill,” Roberts said. Coach: Chris Roberts Seniors: DAILEY WILLIAMS, 5-4, g; KATIE COMP, 5-6, c; Cortney Williams, 5-4, g. Juniors: EMILY DICKMAN, 5-4, g; Jessica Rauck, 5-8, f; Bethany Pickens, 5-10, c; Allison Wilson, 5-9, f. Sophomores: MarQuisha Edwards, 5-7, f; Alyson Gwaltney, 5-8, g/f; Haley Rushing, 5-6, g; Summer Fletcher, 5-6, g; Jenna Hurst, 5-7, g. Freshmen: Jordin Foster, 5-7, g, fr; Danye Faust, 5-8, f; Azariah Riley, 5-6, g.

Mount Vernon Mount Vernon made a big jump last year, doubling its 2010 win total and mov-

Go Indians!

ing out of the conference cellar. “Last year was a turnaround year after two subpar years,” said coach Jeff Lonnon. “We had gone from five wins to eight and then to 16.” Lonnon has three starters returning in shooting guard Aaliyah Palmer, with Haley Lockhart moving from center to forward and Kelby Kujawa moving from forward to the wing. Claire Ryan is taking over for Cheyenne Piper at point guard with 6-foot Hannah Owens at center. “Our rotation is going to be bigger this year,” Lonnon said. “Owens gives us an athletic post and Williamson is close to six-feet tall.” Coach: Jeff Lonnon Seniors: HALEY LOCKHART, 5-9, f; AALIYAH PALMER, 5-6, g; KELBY KUJAWA, 5-9, g/f; Natalie Williamson, 5-11, c. Juniors: Claire Ryan, 5-8, g; Courtney Scarbrough, 5-7, g; Colleen Skobel, 5-5, f; Vickie Skobel, 5-7, f; Iesha Sanders, 5-8, c. Sophomores: Hannah Owens, 6-0, c; Makiah Rush, 5-5, g; Kenzie Rankin, 5-8, g; Miriam Hester, 5-10, c; Olivia Zedalis, 5-9, g.

— Geary Deniston

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The Southern Illinoisan Friday, November 16, 2012 Page 17


2012-13 High School Basketball Preview

Brian Brandtner, former coach at Carruthersville and Cooter, Mo., will be at the helm of the Cairo Pilots this season. A pair of seniors, Terion Taylor and Devonte Johnson, will be Brandtner’s go-to guys this year. “Those two are probably going to be my leading scorers,” he said. “After that, to be honest with you, I have about eight kids that all bring something to the table that are going to get a little bit of playing time.” “We don’t have a lot of varsity experience on our roster. I have a gang of juniors that are going to play.” The key to Cairo’s success will be defense. “We’re going to get after you,” Brandtner said. “I think defensively we’re going to be really good. We don’t have much size. Running the floor is going

Boys: Independents to be our bread and butter.” That lack of size could create problems on the boards. “We’re going to have to work real hard on the rebounding,” Brandtner said. “We’re going to have to front a lot of post players. We’re going to have to limit mistakes.” “I’ve been super-pleased with the kids. Hopefully we can outwork some people this year.”

The Indians return three starters with Cody Huels, Matt Hilmes and Logan Zachary. “We feel we can be very competitive, and we should compete for the conference title,” Palmer said. “We have a lot of experience returning from a good team and we look forward to this season.”

Coach: Brian Brandtner Seniors: TERION TAYLOR, 6-0, g; DEVONTAE JOHNSON, 6-0, g; Floyd Johnson, 5-10, g; T.J. Taylor, 6-0, g; Carlandus Ware, 6-0, f.

Coach: Andy Palmer Seniors: CODY HUELS, 6-0, g; Tyson Boehne, 511, g Juniors: MATT HILMES, 6-3, f; LOGAN ZACHARY, 5-11, g; Tyson Boehne, 5-11, g; Deven Hicks, 5-5, g; Alex Voss, 5-11, g; Brandon Jansen, 6-3, f; John Becker, 6-2, f; Wanya Walker, 6-3, c Sophomores: Brent Johnson, 6-1, c



five starters. Cobden lost only one senior to graduation from last year’s 4-19 team. “I have five seniors and three juniors that have played since their freshman year at the varsity level.” Barke said. “We knew it was going to be a rebuild and we did rebuild. “I think we’re ready to go this year with experience.” Coach: Rhett Barke Seniors: JC CHAPMAN, 5-10, g; JOSH ASPEN, 61, f; NATHAN SWEITZER, 6-0, g; Garrett Marks, 6-3, f; Jordan Waldrop, 6-0, g Juniors: TYLER LEWEY, 6-2, g; AUSTIN FLAMM, 6-0, f; Zach Moore, 5-10, g; Keagan Tripp, 6-3, f Sophomores: Parker Flamm, 6-4, f; Sam Cohen, 5-8, g

Andy Palmer begins his Third-year coach Rhett Okawville ninth season as Carlyle’s Barke is excited about his head coach. The Indians team this year as the Jon Kraus begins his 13th went 22-8 last season. Appleknockers return all campaign with the Okawville Rockets. After losing eight seniors to graduation last year, Coach Kraus says he “always expects high expectations.” Despite losing all of the College debt has surpassed credit card debt in the U.S. upperclassmen, the Rockets have two Know how to reduce your anxiety and avoid debt? returning starters in Jeremy Call (618) 252-5400, ext. 4120 Weeke and Jacob Brammeier. “We expect to be good by the end of the year,” Kraus said. “We play a very difficult schedule.” His goal is to try to get 20 wins and place in tournaments. “Defense and rebounding are going to be our biggest keys, because we lack size,” Kraus said. “Weeke and Brammeier will be depended on to lead the team, and expand their leadership roles.”


Start Tomorrow Today

Page 18 Friday, November 16, 2012 The Southern Illinoisan

Coach: Jon Kraus Seniors: JEREMY WEEKE, 6-4, G-F; Connor Brammeier, 6-0, g; Robbie Koenigstein, 6-2, f; Jake Hensler, 6-3, f; Travis Thoeming, 6-3, f; Zach Yehling, 6-2, f. Juniors: JACOB BRAMMEIER, 6-0, G; Garrett Krohne, 5-6, g; Grant Riess, 6-0, f; Kaleb Kwiatkowski, 6-3, f, Alex Rossel, 6-3. f Sophomores: Nick Strubhart, 6-2, g-f; Trevor Martens, 6-7, c. Freshmen: Alex Wisneski, 5-11, g.

Steeleville The Steeleville Warriors have a first year coach in Bryce Bainter. Bainter was an assistant for four years at Seymour High School. Steeleville went 8-19 last season. Bainter expects to improve on that mark with three senior starters returning in Darin Winkelman, Reid Wilson, and Jon Polley. “I expect our team to play hard, take pride on defense, and compete night-in and night-out,” Bainter said. “Our post play will be our strong suit as Darin was our leading scorer last season. At 6-5, Darin will be a large offensive threat.” Coach: Bryce Bainter Seniors: DARIN WINKLEMAN, 6-6, c; REID WILSON, 6-3, f; JON POLLEY, 5-11, g; Dylan Wesbecher, 6-2, f Juniors: Stephen Utchman, 6-2, f; Justin Asbury, 5-11, g; Kenny Garlit, 5-11, g; Brendan Parker, 5-11, g; Kyle Smith, 5-9, g; AJ Jeffers, 5-11, g Sophomores: Chase Ebers, 6-1, f Freshmen: Nic Hagel, 5-11, g

Waltonville Brian Gamber takes the helm for the first time after six years as an assistant at Mount Vernon High School. The Spartans went 12-17 last year and return three senior starters in Trey Witges, Jordan Hale, and Matt Rogers. “I want us to compete at a high level and understand how much it takes to be good,” Gamber said. “We have the potential to be good if we buy into my system of playing hard and doing the right things. Diving for loose balls and making teams earn their baskets.” Coach: Brian Gamber Seniors: TREY WITGES, 6-2, g; JORDAN HALE, 66, c; MATT ROGERS, 6-1, f. Juniors: Justin Winchester, 5-9, g; Hunter Coggins, 5-10, g; Austin Zahm, 6-2, c. Sophomores: Levi Laird, 5-10, g; Derrick Whisenant 6-2, f; Patrick Buza, 6-2, f; Brendan

Barva, 5-10, g; Tyler Harmon, 6-2, f; Aaron McCoy, 58, g. Freshmen: Dylan Miller, 5-7, g; Jacob Lewis, 60, f.

Woodlawn What will the Cardinals do for an encore? Woodlawn rolled to the Class A state championship with a 29-5 mark last year. Coach Shane Witzel has four starters returning from that club in Gabe Owens, a 6-5 senior guard; Chris Harlow, a 6-1 senior forward; Logan Isaak, a 6-2, senior forward and Jason Hapeman a 6-0, junior guard. “We’re going to prepare the same way we do for every season,” Witzel said. “It was a great experience last year. It was very exciting for our kids and our community. We have a lot of players back. The bulk of our team is back. We’re excited about those returning. We have a lot of work in front of us.” Several other players also saw valuable minutes during the state championship run last season, including Matt Kennedy, a 6-0, senior and Jake Robinson a 6-2 junior. Also expecting to see action this year are senior guard Ty Coleman, junior forward Chase Phelps and freshman forward Ross Owens. Not surprisingly, Witzel likes this team. “I think a big part of it is the experience that we have,” he said. “Most of these players have played a lot of varsity time. We know what to expect of them. Our expectations are normally high. We expect the best of our guys. The success we’ve had the last 4-5 years, there is an expectation for our kids to perform well. Coach: Shane Witzel Seniors: GABE OWENS, 6-5, g; LOGAN ISAAK, 61, f; CHRIS HARLOW, 6-1, f; Matt Kennedy, 6-0, g, Ty Coleman, 5-9 g. Juniors: JASON HAPEMAN, 5-11, g; Jake Robinson, 6-2, f; Chase Phelps, 6-3 f. Freshman: Ross Owens, 6-1, g.

— Shawn Anglin


2012-13 High School Basketball Preview

Kelly Shepard has three starters returning from last year’s 12-8 team. While that sounds like a solid nucleus, Shepard said only five of the 18 girls in the program have much basketball experience. The returnees are sophomores Koree Simelton, 5-7, Takeena Taylor, 5-6 and Joyce Nelson, 5-9. “We’re going to try to be fast,” said Shepard. “Experience, that’s the main thing we’re lacking right now.” The Co-Pilots also lack height, although their prospects were bolstered when 5-11 sophomore Makayla Hicks moved in. However, the rest of the team fits the guard mold. Also expecting to see action are Kiana Houston, a 5-6 senior; Geleigha Hohnson, a 5-5, senior; and Jaala Terry, a 5-5 senior. Freshman Shakala Jangurant, 5-5, is also likely to see some action. Coach: Kelly Shepard Seniors: Kiana Houston, 5-6, g; Geleigha Johnson, 5-5, g; Jaala Terry, 5-5, g. Sophomores: KOREE SIMELTON, 5-7, f; TAKEENA TAYLOR, 5-6, g; JOYCE NELSON, 5-9, f; Makayla Hicks, 5-11, f. Freshman: Shakayla Jangurant, 5-5 g.

Carlyle Carlyle Lady Indians coach Randy Voss is in his third season. The Lady Indians went 14-14 last season and are looking to improve on that record with four

Girls: Independents returning starters. “We can’t go out and get into a hole early, and we have performed well on the road,” Voss said. “Our goal is to win 20 games.” Paige Rakers, a senior guard, is a verbal commit to the University of Michigan. “We like Paige to have the ball in clutch situations and she’s gonna have to carry us.” Last season she averaged more than 19 points per game. Coach: Randy Voss Seniors: PAIGE RAKERS, 5-11, g; SEDREYANA HARRIS, 5-9, f; SHAELYN TATE, 5-6, g; JESSIE BECKMANN 5-10, c; Sarah Haake, 5-10, g/f. Juniors: Kylee Ledbetter, 5-5, g; Brie Paulsmeyer, 5-6, g; Hannah Rueter, 5-7, g; Britlyn Tyberendt, 5-10, f; Brianna Smith, 5-9, g/f; Lori Whisenand, 5-10, c; McKenzie Magnus, 5-11, c. Sophomores: Morgan Siever, 5-4, g; Ashley Huels, 5-5, g; Erika Isaak, 5-4, g; Kristen Eversgerd, 5-5, g; Jamie Alexander, 5-6, f.

Cobden Karl Sweitzer has returned to the helm of the Cobden girl’s basketball team. The retired school superintendent coached the Appleknockers for five years in the late 1990s. Sweitzer inherits a pair of returning starters in 5-11 senior Devyn Inman and 57 junior Ashley Millis. In addition, Taylor Ellis, a senior, transferred to Cobden after playing three years at Shawnee

High School. The Appleknockers have gotten off to a slow start because of the success of the volleyball team. “Nine of the 11 were on the volleyball team,” Sweitzer said. “They do work hard. They are a great bunch of girls. Overall, they put forth good effort. They listen well and play hard.” “We’re relatively young and inexperienced. As the year goes on I think we will improve and be competitive. I am expecting a lot out of them.” There are just 11 girls in the program. Athleticism should be one of the team’s strengths. “They are pretty much all athletic girls,” Sweitzer said. “Nine of the 11 play volleyball and several of them play softball as well.” To be successful the Appleknockers will need a solid defense and a balanced offense. “I think we’re going to have to be very balanced,” Sweitzer said. “I think we’ll have to rely heavily on defense. I don’t think we’ll be a team that will put up 60-70 points per night.” Coach: Karl Sweitzer Seniors: DEVYN INMAN, 5-11, c; Taylor Ellis, 59, g. Juniors: ASHLEY MILLIS, 5-7, g-f; Haley

Tomazzoli, 5-6, g; Laurelin Pitts, 5-5, g; Brooklyn Yancey, 5-5, g. Sophomore: Sandra Hartline, 5-8, g-f. Freshmen: Taylor Tomazzoli, 5-6, g; Sara Millis, 5-7, g-f; Keleigh Britt, 5-9, f; Carley Washer, 5-9, f.

Okawville Fourth-year coach Michelle Burianek returns four starters in twins Jolyn and Janel Lake, Megan Wienstroer, Ashley Garlich. “We should be OK,” Burianek said. “We have to continue to improve. We have some veteran players, but we also have a tough schedule. “Defense is our biggest key, and I expect a lot from our seniors.” Coach: Michelle Burianek Seniors: JOLYN LAKE, 5-6, g; JANEL LAKE, 6-0, f; ASHLEY GARLICH, 5-4, g; MEGAN WIENSTROER, 5-8, g; Keatyn Meier, 6-0, f. Juniors: Allison Koch, 5-5, g; Cristina Hill, 5-6, f; Brooke Cronin, 5-6, f; Racheal Holm, 5-10, f. Sophomores: Macey Wienstroer, 5-4, g; MacKenzie Yehting, 5-9, g; Amanda Durr, 5-11, f. Freshmen: Kirsten Kesler, 5-3, g; Jessie Klasling, 5-5, g.

who went 11-12 last season. Alex Gale, Sara Potter and Alana Grimm return as starters. “We’re going to be young with only one senior and five freshmen, but we are going to play hard,” Winkelman said. “I’m going to play seven or eight girls and we are just going to try to improve as the season progresses. Defense will be our biggest key as we don’t have a lot of height. “Alex Gale is going to have to score the ball for us, and we will have to try to stay healthy.” Coach: Darryl Winkelman Seniors: ALEX GALE, 5-7, f. Juniors: SARA POTTER, 5-7, g; ALANA GRIMM, 5-7, c; Makeana Lalis, 5-9, c. Sophomores: Justine Knop, 5-8, f; Lindsay Hammel, 5-4, g. Freshmen: Sidney Eubanks, 5-8, c; Bailey Gale, 5-10, f; Chloe Gerlach, 5-5, g; Morgan Bockhorn, 5-9, f; Alyssa Landmann, 5-4, g.


Trish Draege is taking over a Woodlawn program Steeleville that finished 15-13 last Darryl Winkelman year. Draege has a solid founbegins his fourth campaign with the Lady Warriors, dation to build around with

leading scorer Alexa Capps and two other starters, Allie England and Cassandra Lueking. “Capps was the leading scorer last year, and probably will be this year,” Draege said. “She’s a good shooter. She’s pretty quick, and she’s pretty aggressive on the boards. She gets a lot of steals.” Others likely to see a lot of playing time are sophomores Makaila Ballard, Catherine Coleman and Carly Ethridge. The Cardinals don’t have a lot of height. Ethridge is the tallest player on the roster at 5-10. “I’m comfortable with it (makeup of the team),” Draege said. “I know it’s going to be a rebuilding year. I’m comfortable with the numbers. They’re picking stuff up pretty quick. There’s not a ton of experience. We’re pretty young, but even a lot of the older kids haven’t played a lot.” Coach: Trish Draege Seniors: ALEXA CAPPS, 5-3, g; CASSANDRA LUEKING, 5-6, g/f; Elesa Hefner, 5-7, f. Juniors: ALLIE ENGLAND, 5-4, g; Shellbee Carano, 5-7, g/f; Taylor Colbert, 5-8, f. Sophomores: Makaila Ballard, 5-7, g/f; Catherine Coleman, 5-8, f; Carly Ethridge, 5-10, f; Kaci Hails, 5-1, g; Kerstie Harlow, 5-6, g; Autumn Urbanski, 5-7, g/f; Shay Ilbery, 5-7, g/f. Freshman: Allison Tucker, 5-7, g/f.

— Shawn Anglin

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A “Top Tier” university in academic quality 22 consecutive years (1992-2013) Murray State is the only Kentucky regional public university to appear among the South’s top 20 private and public schools (2013) MSU ranked 7th among top regional public universities in the South (2013) Murray State is #1 on the top 10-school list where merit aid awards are most common (2012) On the “America’s Best Colleges” list and named one of “America’s Top 100 Best Buy Colleges” (2012) Military Friendly School (2013) Murray State is a “Yellow Ribbon School” 2012


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