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Egyptian basketball coach Matt Mandrell (left) and Meridian coach Jeff Mandrell pose for a portrait at Egyptian High School in Tamms. The two are brothers coaching in the same conference.

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Page 2 Friday, November 22, 2013 The Southern Illinoisan

2013-14 High School Basketball Preview

Mandrells’ sibling rivalry doesn’t extend to basketball court BY LES WINKELER The Southern


eff and Matt Mandrell have always been as close as brothers can be. Jeff, six years older than Matt, served as his younger brother’s personal athletic tutor in their younger days. Since their father was a coach, it seemed only natural for them to become teachers and coaches. This is where the happy story takes a twist. Jeff became basketball coach at Mounds Meridian High School. Matt became coach at neighboring Egyptian. Both schools are members of the South Egyptian Conference, meaning the brothers face each other at least twice a year. They join the ranks of the Herrin brothers Rich (Benton) and Ron (Olney) and the Lusk brothers Paul (Trenton Wesclin) and Gary (Breese Central), who coached against each other. “It’s just kind of uncomfortable,” Jeff said. “I just like to get the game over with. “A lot of games, you’re ready. That’s


Meridian coach Jeff Mandrell talks to his team during Woodlawn's win over the Bobcats in 2012 at SIU Arena.

one game I just like to get it out of the way. We play more than once a year. We just go through it. We both want our team to win.” “It’s the most miserable game of the year,” Matt added. “You want your brother to do well all those other games. It’s one of those you just survive and move on from it.” Discomfort aside, the brothers have been wildly successful at their respective schools. Jeff is 317-125 in his 15 years at Meridian. Matt is 118-75 in seven years at Egyptian. Unfortunately for the brothers, Meridian vs. Egyptian is a natural rivalry. Fans from the region get caught up in the excitement. The game took on even higher stakes last year when the teams met in the regional championship. The situation is so uncomfortable that their parents or siblings have never attended a Meridian vs. Egyptian game. “We’ve always been close,” Jeff said. “I have two brothers and a sister. Other than your minor disagreements, we’ve always gotten along very well as adults. There has always been a friendship. He’s probably just like me. We’ve been influenced by my dad. You just try to put it in perspective when you play each other.” “We’ve always gotten along very well,” Matt said.” We’re both competitive, but it’s always been respectful. He’s six years older. He must have treated me pretty well because I don’t have any deep-seated issues with him.” The Mandrells accept the annual meetings between the two schools, but they attempt to minimize the impact. There is no prodding, no trash-talking, no standing bets. And, no one keeps score.

“Not really,” Jeff said. “If we do talk, we probably rarely even talk about our team at that time. “We end up texting each other some time after the game. It’s just kind of worked out. You kind of leave it there. It works out. Texting kind of works out because you’re not really talking to each other.” “We don’t talk about that too much,” Matt added. “We just kind of take it individually. We’ve both had some decent teams when we went against each other. If you do things long enough, it kind of goes in cycles.” At the same time, the brothers are aware of the uniqueness of the situation. “I think the kids have more fun with it,” Matt said. “It’s kind of been exciting. A couple years ago we were both ranked in the state. It is fun when that happens, from the standpoint that both teams are doing well. That was somewhat enjoyable.” / 618-351-5088


Egyptian coach Matt Mandrell shakes his head at a call against Benton during the Goreville Invitational Tournament in 2012.





PH:618-435-3334 The Southern Illinoisan Friday, November 22, 2013 Page 3

2013-14 High School Basketball Preview

Anna-Jonesboro Last year’s rough season could turn out to be a blessing for the Anna-Jonesboro Wildcats in 2013-14. Coach Mike Chamness’ team returns four starters from a 5-23 campaign, with Jay Kemp (6-foot-3 forward), Ben McFarland (6-7 center), Colton James (6foot guard) and Damian Reed (6-2 forward) back as seniors to start the turnaround. “Really, we’ve got everybody back,” Chamness said. “Tyler Vaughn started for us last year and is not playing this year. The nucleus of guys is back and we’re pretty excited about that.” Entering his fourth season at the helm, Chamness is looking for some earlyseason victories to build the team’s confidence. The 23 losses last season were the most since former coach Brian Matzenbacher went 7-23 in 2006-07.

Boys: SIRR Mississippi Division “Last year, as the season went along, they started picking up on some things,” Chamness said. “We were in a lot of games, but just didn’t know how to win.” Anna-Jonesboro is looking at either a nine or 10man rotation this season and having nine players 6foot or taller gives the Wildcats some options. Kemp, McFarland, junior Noah Fuller and sophomore Zach Parr are the team’s returning starters.

seniors, Carterville returns four players with starting experience this season as the Lions seek to take the next step forward after back-to-back 15-win seasons. “I think we’re in a great situation in having a lot of experience coming back,” said Carterville coach Scott Burzynski, now in his 16th season as coach. “We’ve got a collection of guys who have played a lot of varsity and JV ball and that’s definitely an advantage for us.” Coach: Mike Chamness Michael Aschemann (5-11 Seniors: JAY KEMP, 6-3, f; BEN McFARLAND, 67, c; Colton James, 6-0, g; Damian Reed, 6-2, f. guard), Matt Bigelow (6-4 Juniors: Noah Prater, 6-0, g; Derek Harvell, 6center), Blake Watson (5-10 2, g; Dallas Marks, 6-3, c; NOAH FULLER, 6-1, g. Sophomores: ZACH PARR, 5-8, g; Collin guard) and Matt Galik (6-1 Prather, 5-8, g; Dakota Earnhardt, 6-2, g; Bryan guard) are the team’s Stark, 5-7, g. returning starters, coming off a 2012-13 season in Carterville which Carterville lost to Despite the loss of six Chester in the

Murphysboro regional championship game. “I think our athleticism is one thing we can take advantage of,” Burzynski said. “Our ability to shoot the basketball has really improved and we’ve got five or six good shooters.” Coach: Scott Burzynski Seniors: MICHAEL ASCHEMANN, 5-11, g; MATT BIGELOW, 6-4, c; Britton Herrin, 6-1, g; Ian Tacderas, 6-0, g. Juniors: BLAKE WATSON, 5-10, g; MATT GALIK, 6-1, g; Will Galik, 6-3, f/g; Gavin James, 6-1, c; Dylan Samuel, 6-1, f; Jake Turner, 5-10, g. Sophomores: Justin Parson-Nalley, 6-1, f; Austin Swalls, 6-2, g.

Du Quoin Wendell Wheeler returns for his second go-around as Du Quoin coach, replacing Gabe Sveda, and has to begin from scratch in 201314. Wheeler coached the Indians from 1993-2003, with regional titles in 1999, 2000 and 2003, and has no returning starters, plus the remnants of a junior varsity team that won two games last season. “We had a good summer doing what we could do,” Wheeler said. “We’ve got no experience back at all. Two guys dressed (varsity), but it’s a clean slate for everybody. “We’ve got two seniors in Spencer Cook and Camden Mercier who are great kids and good leaders.”

Cook was a linebacker on the Indians’ football team and Mercier hasn’t played basketball since his freshman year. They are part of a team with four juniors and five underclassmen in the varsity rotation. “We’re going to have to buy into how hard we can play,” Wheeler said. “We’re not very big and we’re very, very young.” Coach: Wendell Wheeler Seniors: Spencer Cook, 6-1, f; Camden Mercier, 5-10, g. Juniors: A.J. Smith, 5-10, g; Jon Harsy, 6-2, f; Jordan Clarson, 6-4 f/c; Nolan Shoewalter, 6-1, f. Sophomores: Brock Bullar, 5-10, g; Jacob Wright, 5-11, f; Tucker Kuhnert, 6-1, f. Freshmen: Caleb Vogel, 6-1, f; Jared Thomas, 60, g.

Nashville The defending Mississippi champions are hoping three returning starters, and two others who saw significant playing time, can help Nashville build on last season’s 24-8 campaign. “We graduated three starters in Scott Brown, Devin Holle and Chance Reuter and they all played significant roles,” said Nashville coach Brad Weathers. “There are big shoes to fill. We’ve got kids with the potential to do that, but guard play is going to be a question mark.” Six-foot-six All-South

forward Royce Newman returns for his sophomore year and has Keegan Anderson (5-11 guard) and Daniel Thorson (6-0 guard) to help steer the ship in 2013-14. Newman led the Hornets in scoring last season with 12 points per game and only adds to a team with significant size in 6-7 forward Clint Johannes, 6-5 guard/forward Dylan Mueller and 6-5 forward Hunter Cooper. Coach: Brad Weathers Seniors: Clint Johannes, 6-7, f; KEEGAN ANDERSON, 5-11, g; Hunter Beetley, 6-3, f; Walker Johnson, 6-0, g; Garrett Guest, 6-0, g/f; Chris Meyers, 5-11, g; Kyle Jasper, 5-11, g. Juniors: Dylan Mueller, 6-5, g/f; Troy Pedtke, 63, f; DANIEL THORSON, 6-0, g; Hunter Cooper, 6-5, f. Sophomore: ROYCE NEWMAN, 6-6, f.

Pinckneyville It’s a bit of a fresh start for Pinckneyville coach Bob Waggoner, as the Panthers graduated seven seniors from a 20-9 season. “I think that last year’s sophomore and junior classes got to play quite a bit and we try to play at least eight kids in our rotation,” Waggoner said. “We hope that experience will help them this season and we’ll take another step forward.” The 2013-14 version of the Panthers seems to be a bit more fundamentallysound group than in recent years and improved team chemistry has Waggoner encouraged. SEE MISSISSIPPI / PAGE 19

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2013-14 High School Basketball Preview

Anna-Jonesboro After an injury-plagued season in 2012-13, AnnaJonesboro is looking to three returning starters and increased athleticism to get the Lady Wildcats back on the winning path this season. “Last year, we were unhealthy,” said AnnaJonesboro coach Brian Clark. “We lost our point guard to a concussion, we lost another starter to an ACL tear and two sixth man starters also missed time to injuries. “We probably lost seven or eight games because we didn’t have enough gas in the tank.” The Lady Wildcats finished 9-21 last season and lost leading scorer Kim Mixen and two other quality players in Brooke Chamness and Katie Grant to graduation. Returning starters Cara Ferris (6foot-2 center), Erica Friebel (5-8 forward) and 5-3 junior guard Balyie Denny are tasked with filling the holes. Coach: Brian Clark Seniors: CARA FERRIS, 6-2, c; Krista Pender, 510, f; ERICA FRIEBEL, 5-8, f; Suzanna Cohen, 5-7, f; J.J. Ford, 5-9, f. Juniors: BALYIE DENNY, 5-3, g; Natty Hepburn, 5-4, g; Sammy Brimm, 5-4, g; Erikah Parks, 5-7, g; Haliegh Lawrence, 5-7, g. Sophomores: Erica Ralls, 5-8, f; Hannah Schlenker, 5-8, f. Freshmen: J.C. Pender, 5-7, g; Ellie Bosler, 5-10, g; Lexa Sharp, 5-6, g.


Girls: SIRR Mississippi Division looking to take the next step forward after a 21-11 season in 2012-13. Crain was hired in August to replace Lions athletic director/coach Todd Rogers, and spent five years as an assistant under Goreville coach Todd Tripp before making the move north. It is his first job as a head coach. “At the back of your mind, you want to see if you can do it,” Crain said. “This is an opportunity that’s been presented to me and I hope I don’t let anybody down and get the job done.” Seniors Kelli Hicks (5-7 guard), Savana Jones (5-9 guard) and Jordan Gaston (5-10 forward) are the team’s returning starters, but sophomores Avery English (5-6 guard) and Maddie Meyer (5-6 guard) could also be in the mix. Coach: Matt Crain Seniors: KELLI HICKS, 5-7, g; SAVANA JONES, 59, g; JORDAN GASTON, 5-10, f; Sidney Smith, 5-9, g; Carly Callahan, 5-11, f. Juniors: Lauren Ballestro, 5-8, f; Brooke Hewlett, 5-7, g; Taylor Dunning, 5-7, g. Sophomores: Maddie Meyer, 5-6, g; Avery English, 5-6, g; Cora Gurrieri, 6-0, c; Kammi Hankins, 5-5, g. Freshman: Megan Barrett, 5-6, g.

Du Quoin

With the loss of Rebekah With a new coach in Matt Maddox, Taylor King and Crain and three returning Alexis Kohrs to graduation, starters, Carterville is the Du Quoin Lady Indians

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Coach: Shawn File Seniors: ABBY MYERS, 5-4, g; BAILIE CALDWELL, 5-7, f; Katrina Whitley, 5-4, g; Ashanti Warren, 5-8, f. Sophomores: Alaina Caldwell, 5-6, g/f; Jordyn Bullar, 5-7, f; Andrea Morgan, 5-3, g; Timbra Mansfield, 5-3, g. Freshmen: Kate Smith, 5-4, g; Sadie Day, 5-7, f; Tarynn Mays, 5-3, g; Emily Born, 5-7, f; Kat Robison, 5-3, g; Hannah Baxter, 5-3, g; Grace Bailey, 5-6,. f.

Nashville After his first state championship, Nashville coach Wayne Harre has three returning starters back to defend the team’s Class 2A title. Hannah Yung (5-6 guard), Shawn Rennegarbe (5-11, forward) and Harre’s daughter in Jordi Harre (5-6

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are looking to be a bit different than the team that finished 9-22 last season. “We don’t have a ton of experience, or a ton of scoring, but we hope to make up for that with how hard we play,” said Du Quoin coach Shawn File. “(The players) have been pretty dedicated during the summer and we’re hoping to carry that over into the season.” It is up to senior returning starters Bailie Caldwell (5-7 forward) and Abby Myers (5-4 guard) to help run the show in 2013-14, as Du Quoin has no juniors and 11 freshmen and sophomores to contend with in the varsity rotation.

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guard) will attempt to maintain the Hornettes’ stranglehold on the SIRR Mississippi Division. “I think our athleticism is one thing we can take advantage of,” Harre said. “Our ability to shoot the basketball has really improved and we’ve got five or six good shooters.” All Wayne Harre teams are known primarily for defense and the 2013-14 squad doesn’t look to be an exception. But while the Hornettes’ guard core figures to be strong again this season, post play could be a concern. “We’ll have Shawn back in there and after that, I’m not sure,” Harre said. “We’ve played without a post before and may play by committee. Sometimes you

play posts you may not think are posts just to see different matchups.” Coach: Wayne Harre Seniors: HANNAH YUNG, 5-6, g; SHAWN RENNEGARBE, 5-11, f; Katy Kosydor, 5-5, g; Kiley Pelker, 5-6, f. Juniors: JORDIE HARRE, 5-6, g; Rachael Reid, 510, c; Alli Kellerman, 5-10, f; Emily Thompson, 5-6, g. Freshman: Janie Hollie, 5-9, f.

Pinckneyville A great summer, and a motivational boost from former Missouri State women’s basketball legend Jackie Stiles, has Pinckneyville headed in the right direction coming off a 16-14 season in 2012-13. The Lady Panthers have three returning starters in All-South guard Katelyn Mayer and forwards Keelyn Stein and Sophie Keith. “I thought we had a great

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summer where we got a lot out of our contact days,” said Pinckneyville coach Alan Engelhardt. “We went down to Branson (Mo.) this year and they had Jackie Stiles there and I think the kids came away from that energized.” Mayer, a 5-10 senior, averaged 12 points per game while leading the team in rebounding. She, and fellow senior Alyssa Hirsch, will be counted on to help lead a team with a large junior class. “She’s so intelligent, both in the classroom and on the court,” Engelhardt said of Mayer, who recently helped power Pinckneyville’s volleyball team to its first regional title in program history. “She’s got a great frame for basketball and you add in that competitive nature and athleticism and that’s a great mix.” SEE GIRLS / PAGE 19

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618.357.8627 The Southern Illinoisan Friday, November 22, 2013 Page 5

2013-14 High School Basketball Preview

Benton The Rangers endured a rough a year ago and won just 11 games. But head coach Ron Winemiller is optimistic that things will get better this season. “I like this team, and I feel like we’re more athletic than we were last year,” Winemiller said. “One of our main deficiencies last year was being able to shoot the ball from the perimeter. That’s something we really wanted to work on in the offseason. It’s miserable when you score 25 points. I think our guys have worked very hard to do that.” Nathaniel Higgins and Tyler Owens are returning starters at the guard position. Higgins is a good shooter and will be relied upon for quite a bit of scoring this year. “Higgins is a very good player,” Winemiller said. “He has really worked on his game and spent a lot of

Boys: SIRR Ohio Division time in the gym. He’s coming back off the all-conference team, so he’ll need to big for us.” Owens is also expected to be a solid contributor in the backcourt. “Tyler is probably our most improved player from the end of last year to right now,” Winemiller said. “He’s spent a lot of time in the gym shooting the ball. He had a good summer and a great football season, and usually those two things lead to a good basketball season in the winter.” Trey McDaniel will see a lot of action at point guard. Keegan Dawson and Dakota Head will also be factors this season. Coach: Ron Winemiller Seniors: NATHANIEL HIGGINS, 6-2, g; TYLER OWENS, 5-10, g; Keegan Dawson, 6-4, f; Mason

Bolen, 5-10, g. Juniors: Dakota Head, 6-1, g; Martin Ward, 6-2, f; Gus Gibbs, 6-0, f; Jesse Vanhoerbeke, 6-2, f; Trey McDaniel, 5-9, g. Sophomores: Chase Owens, 5-10, g; Kruz Hayes, 6-2, f; Brendan Ritchison??, 6-4, c. Freshmen: Derek Oxford, 6-2, g.

Harrisburg The defending Class 2A state champions lost quite a bit of talent from last year’s outstanding team, but the cupboard is not bare. Randy Smithpeters has two of the best players in Southern Illinois back. Eli Taborn-Scott and Bahari Amaya will likely do quite a bit of damage this season. “I think we have a nice group coming back,” Smithpeters said. “We’ll kind of try to fill in the holes around Eli and Bahari, but I think they’ll provide good leadership for us.”

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Page 6 Friday, November 22, 2013 The Southern Illinoisan

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Taborn-Scott, a 6-4 forward, has been a varsity contributor since he was a freshman. The senior can score in the paint and hit jump shots from the perimeter as well. “He is the leader of the team now, and I think he’s prepared for that. He is much more mature and physically stronger now,” Smithpeters said. “He’s really never had the opportunity to showcase what he can do because of the people he’s had around him. I think a lot of people are going to be surprised at what all he can do.” Amaya, another big guard at 6-4, mainly came off the bench last season as a sophomore. He plays top notch AAU competition and is primed for a breakout year on the prep scene. Coach: Randy Smithpeters Seniors: ELI TABORN-SCOTT, 6-4, f; Jarren Goldman, 6-2, f; Jake Simerly, 6-4, f; Dylan Street, 5-11, g. Juniors: Bahari Amaya, 6-4, g; Carson Batts, 61, g-f; Sophomores: Anfernee Houston, 6-0, g; Corbin Crim, 6-3, g-f.

Herrin The Tigers don’t have any returning starters from last year’s squad, and Irv Lukens will have lots of guys competing for playing time this season. “It’s going to be very difficult starting out because we don’t have much experience at all,” Lukens said. “I think our practices will be as competitive as they can be, and a lot of people will by vying for positions. Varsity experience is the only thing that counts, and we don’t have much of it.” Nick Ryker and Ryan Snider saw some minutes on the team last year, but beyond that, this will be an entirely different basketball team. “Outside of Ryker, I’m not really sure about what

the rest of the team will look like,” Lukens said. “There are a lot of questions marks, including how we’re going to play.” Although this season is basically an unknown at this point, Lukens believes it is exciting to have so many players battling it out for playing time. Coach: Irv Lukens Seniors: Nick Ryker, 5-9, g; DeVante Branch, 60, f; Jayvon Yarbrough, 5-8, g; Juniors: Ryan Snider, 6-3, f; Josh Haynes, 5-9, g; Cameron Driemeyer, 6-3, c; Barry Doral, 6-3, f. Sophomores: Savion Yarbrough, 5-6, g. Freshmen: Ty Downin, 6-1, f; Jake Downin, 6-1, f.

Massac County

BLYE, 5-11, g; Kevin Welch, 6-1, g-f; Andy Walquist, 6-6, f; Eli Rose, 6-2, f; Jacob Myer, 5-9, g. Juniors: Dylan Stoner, 5-10, g; Alex Bellamy, 66, c; Caleb Travis, 6-5, f; Jalen Roundtree, 5-10, g; Marky Marlatt, 5-11, g; Connor Smith, 5-11, f; Tyler Bremer, 6-2, f. Sophomores: Jay Benard, 6-2, f; Hayes Lawson, 6-0, g.

Murphysboro The Red Devils had an off year last season, but Daryl Murphy, the team’s head coach, is expecting an ultra competitive and quick squad this year. Steven Eldridge is a tremendous athlete and should do plenty of damage all over the court for Murphysboro. “It really hurt us last year losing him to an injury, and we struggled scoring,” Murphy said. “He is a very talented offensive player. He will help us out quite a bit.” Anthony Hibbler is a versatile player who shoots well from outside. He will also guard a lot of the best players on opposing teams. “He is definitely one of my best defensive players,” Murphy said. “He can really rebound well for us, and does so many different things well.” Nanshon Gibbs has great quickness and should help out the Red Devils in a variety of ways. “He’s a lanky kid, who will rebound well and can score for us, too,” Murphy said. “He is more of a slasher, and he’s very crafty around the basket.” Devante Jones and Daryl Murphy, the coach’s son, should compete for big minutes as well.

The Patriots have three starters back from a 20-win campaign last year, and they’re expected to contend for the conference title this season. “We’ve got a nice mix and a whole lot of experience back,” said Massac County coach Joe Hosman. “We’ve got a little bit of size and some quickness. I think we’ll have really good depth, and hopefully that leads to us getting out and pressuring defensively.” Dalton Mitchell and Davontay Blye return to the backcourt. Jalen Roundtree is also expected to make an impact this season. Mitchell can shoot it from anywhere and averaged 17 points per game last year. “He is just a great competitor, and he can score from deep range and he Coach: Daryl Murphy passes the ball well, too,” Seniors: STEVEN ELDRIDGE, 6-2, f; ANTHONY Hosman said of Mitchell. HIBBLER, 6-1, g; Eric Finders, 5-9, g; Nanshon Gibbs, “He is one of those kids who 6-1, g-f; Austin Reed, 6-1, f. Juniors: Landon Harris, 6-2, f-c; Daryl Murphy, does everything and proba- 5-10, g; Devante Jones, 5-8, g; Dashon Battles, 5-10, bly has not reached his full g; Anthony Henry, 6-0, g; Austin Helfrich, 5-8, g; potential in any one sport.” Jacob McCall, 5-10, g. Austin Kendall, a versatile post player, could end up West Frankfort being a force for the After winning single digPatriots. its in games for several years, the Redbirds showed Coach: Joe Hosman Seniors: DALTON MITCHELL, 6-0, g; AUSTIN KENDALL, 6-6, f-c; Kyle Reinwald, 6-0, f; DAVONTAY


2013-14 High School Basketball Preview

Benton The Rangerettes enjoyed a solid campaign last year in Andy Sloan’s first season as head coach. The team won 20 games, but it will have to replace Morgan Corn, among others, heading into the new season. “We hope the leadership from the older kids last year rubbed off on the kids we have coming back,” Sloan said. “They know what we want to do and what I expect. We shouldn’t have to spend a lot of time going over that this year.” Cali Carney, an All-South guard, will be relied upon to carry quite a bit of the scoring load. She burst onto the scene as a freshman, but suffered a serious knee injury. Carney should be back to 100 percent after a solid sophomore year. “The challenge for Cali is that she’ll get the other team’s best every night,” Sloan said. “She’ll have to learn to play through some of that stuff, and I think she got frustrated at times last year. She is usually one of the best athletes on the court.” Sami Minor also returns to the backcourt. She has been one of the team’s most versatile and energetic players for a few years. Coach: Andy Sloan Seniors: SAMI MINOR, 5-7, g; Ashtyn Ward, 5-10, f; Kaitlyn Biddle, 5-7, f; Juniors: CALI CARNEY, 5-9, g; Cassie Johnson, 59, f; Alaina Gibbs, 5-6, f. Sophomores: Haley Ing, 5-6, g; Marcy Mendez, 5-7, g; Taylor Mosley, 5-8, g; Hannah Wilder, 5-6, f. Freshmen: Ally Gischer, 5-5, g; Alexis Abney, 6-

Girls: SIRR Ohio Division 0, c; Makala Abney, 5-10, f; Kaylee Pedigo, 5-10, f; Cristen Shaw, 5-7, f; Lauren Zinziletta, 5-6, g.

Harrisburg There are high expectations for the Lady Bulldogs with four longtime starters returning from a 21-win season last year. “We were 8-20 my first year, which was a lot of these girls sophomore years, but we lost a lot of close games,” said Harrisburg coach Jake Stewart. “We learned how to win those games last year. I think we grew up.” Ashley Ferrell and Lindsey Murray return at the guard spots. Both players were all-conference selections a year ago. The duo combined to average 26 points per game. “As our point guard, Ashley does a good job of helping me on the floor and being a leader, and we need that,” Stewart said. “She has meant a lot to our team and our program. She has helped us turn things around.” Murray, one of the school’s best track and field athletes, should be able to rack up a lot of points at shooting guard. “We play a fast style of offense, and Lindsey can create her own shot at any time,” Stewart said.

“Lindsey and Ashley are who also plays well on the like two peas in a pod. defensive end. They’re like twins, and we “Gabby isn’t as quick as expect a lot of them.” Whitney, but she has real good foot work and she can Coach: Jake Stewart Seniors: ASHLEY FERRELL, 5-5, g; HANNAH shoot,” Green said. “She’ll JONES, 5-9, f; LINDSEY MURRAY, 5-7, g; MALAYNA DOUGLAS, 5-6, g; Brittany Reynolds, 5-3, g; Hannah need to put the ball on the floor a little bit more, and Walker, 5-9, f; Hayley Thompson, 5-8, f. Juniors: Whitney Younger, 5-9, f; she’ll increase her scoring Sophomores: Devan Jones, 6-0, c; Alexa Burtis, 5-8, g; Kelsey Hobbs, 5-9, f; Lilee Robinson, 5-4, g; this year, too.” Red McGuire, 5-4, g; Hannah Bartok, 5-4, g. Tori Johnson has made an impact at point guard and Herrin shooting guard since her The Tigers won 20 games freshman year. a season ago and made it to Coach: Bill Green Seniors: WHITNEY WOODIS, 5-11, g-f; GABBY a Class 3A regional final. WOODIS, 5-10, g-f; TORI JOHNSON, 5-7, g; Micaela The team lost post player, Cerutti, 5-11, c; Abby Horn, who was The Juniors: Haley Hunter, 5-11, f; Sophomores: Madison LeQuatte, 6-0, c; Southern’s Player of the Freshmen: Makayla Smothers, 5-8, g; Hannah Year. Groutage, 5-11, f-c. However, Bill Green’s squad returns three starters Massac County and should contend for a Keith Shelton’s Lady conference title this year. Whitney Woodis, a tall Patriots won 22 games last guard-forward combo, season and made it to a 3A averaged 11 points and eight sectional final as well. The team should be good once rebounds a year ago. “Whitney will probably again this season, and there be like our Abby Horn this is plenty of talent coming year,” Green said. “She is back. Three starters return, and not as physical, but she is much quicker than a lot of they’re all junior guards big people. She has really who excel at multiple improved handling the bas- sports. “It was a testament to our ketball, and I may even put her out on the wing a little seniors last year, and we had some really good ones,” bit.” Green believes Whitney Shelton said. “I’ve been Woodis is the team’s best preaching to our juniors this defensive player. Her twin year. They know what it sister, Gabby Woodis, is a takes to play and win in big good long range shooter, games.”

Emily Hoard, the team’s leading scorer last year, is one of the best athletes in the school. She can jump out of the gym and will likely create matchup problems for opposing teams. Coach: Keith Shelton Seniors: Summer Clapp, 5-6, g; Natalie Bailey, 5-6, g; Juniors: EMILY HOARD, 5-9, g; JESSIE DOUGLAS, 5-10, g-f; GRACYN MCBRIDE, 5-6, g; Jordan Oliver, 57, g; Haley Williams, 5-6, g; Sophomores: MacKenzie Cowgill, 5-5, g; Jessica Coakley, 5-11, f; Alexxus Thompson, 5-11, c; Sydney Boyd, 5-6, g. Freshmen: Natalie Hosman, 5-5, g.

Murphysboro Jon Marston’s first season as head coach of the Lady Red Devils only produced seven wins, but that was expected. Multiple coaches in the conference noticed a difference in Murphysboro last year, and it was a positive one. “We’ve got players now that want to be here and are excited to be playing basketball,” Marston said. “We’re trying to change the culture here. I want girls who want to be here, and who will sell out and spend the offseason getting better. That’s been my philosophy wherever I’ve been, and we have girls here now who are doing that.” Bria Ciganovich, Aimee Rafael and Jasmine Frazier all played well for Murphysboro, especially

late in the season last year. “We need more consistency overall,” Marston said. “One night they’ll score 15 and the next night they’ll score four. They understand if we’re going to be successful they’ve got to make shots.” Frazier started as a freshman last year, and Marston believes she can be a good player in the future. “She is quick and strong and has the mentality to score,” Marston said. “She’s going to get better each year, but she is still just a sophomore so she will make some mistakes.” Ciganovich will have to be Marston’s rock this year as one of only two seniors. Coach: Jon Marston Seniors: BRIA CIGANOVICH, 5-4, g; Ebony Harris, 5-7; g. Juniors: JOHNNA HINES, 5-7, g; REBECCA SHIELDS, 5-11, f; Kerry Flanagan, 5-7, g-f; AIMEE RAFAEL, 5-11, f; Emily Stanton, 5-11, f. Sophomores: Caylee Jarrett, 5-0, g; JASMINE FRAZIER, 5-6, g; Abby Vaughn, 5-7, f; Heather Cross, 6-0, c; Amber Reiman, 5-6, g. Freshmen: Mikayla Brasel, 5-5, g; Angel Jones, 5-7, g.

West Frankfort After a rough campaign last season, the Lady Redbirds could be quite a bit better this year. The team returns two starters, both guards, in Kiarha Wilce and Lindsey Williams. Wilce was an All-South player last year, and she can light up the scoreboard. “She is a gamer, and there is no question who needs to have the ball for us late in SEE OHIO GIRLS / PAGE 18

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The Southern Illinoisan Friday, November 22, 2013 Page 7

2013-14 High School Basketball Preview

Belleville Althoff Last year, the Belleville Althoff Crusaders (15-15) bounced back from being second to last in the South Seven and losing in the regional semifinal to being tied for third (5-5) and losing to eventual No. 2 Cahokia in the Class 3A regional finals. “The conference is really strong this year,” said coach Greg Leib. “It will be a battle every night you step out there, so we hope we’ll be better.” Leib lost two starters in wing guard Ryan Marcum and center Erik Furmanek, but returns three in senior first-team all-conference point guard Kevin Renner and two sophomores, Brendon Gooch, who led the team in rebounding, and second-team all-conference combo guard Keenen Young. Eric Mertens, Erik Krause and Rick Edwards will battle it out for the post position. Coach: Greg Leib Seniors: KEVIN RENNER, 6-0, g; Eric Mertens, 6-4, f; Dennis Jackson, 5-10, g; Erik Krause, 6-7, f. Juniors: Rick Edwards, 6-4, f. Sophomores: BRENDON GOOCH, 6-5, f; KEENEN YOUNG, 6-2, g. Freshmen: Jordan Goodwin, 6-3, g/f.

Cahokia The Cahokia Comanches (35-3) are coming off an excellent season, advancing to the Class 3A championship game after winning their second straight South Seven Conference champi-

Boys: South Seven Conference onship (9-1). Coach Darian Nash lost two starters in All-State guard Keenan Minor and all-conference center Vincent Jackson, and his sixth man, all-conference guard Derenzo Jennings. “It’s going to be hard to replace those guys, but I think we have some guys that will step up and play a big role, so we’ll be very competitive,” Nash said. “The returning guys show a lot of fight and I look forward to this year.” Nash has three senior starters back in 6-foot-7 guard/forward Darius Austin, 6-5 point guard Carlton Rivers Jr. and 6-4 power forward Gary Hickman. Junior 6-9 center DeVonte Williams is in the mix to replace Jackson. Coach: Darian Nash Seniors: DARIUS AUSTIN, 6-7, g/f; CARLETON RIVERS, JR., 6-5, g; GARY HICKMAN, 6-4, f. Juniors: Tramon Jackson, 6-5, g/f; DeVonte Williams, 6-9, c; Montez Crumble, 5-11, g.

Carbondale Last year, the Carbondale Terriers improved from 7-21 to finish with a 19-10 record and a regional title. The Terriers improved to fifth in the conference (4-6). This year, coach Jim Miller returns all five starters with the hope his Terriers are ready to make a

serious run for conference for the first time since the 2006-07 season. “I think it’s within our grasp to compete for the conference,” Miller said. “What I like about this team is its versatility and chemistry and I think our depth is going to be pretty good. I think it could be a very exciting year.” Leading the list of returning starters are senior coMVPs, shooting guard Devontavius Payne and small forward Shamarc Bursey. “Devon led us in scoring last year and I think his presence will put a lot of pressure on defenses,” Miller said. “His game has evolved where it’s more than just a spot up shooter. Shamarc usually draws the best offensive performer to defend and he’s going to be a more integral part in our offense this year.” The other returning starters are senior wing guard/forward Elijah Bidinger, junior point guard Allen Billinger and junior center Jordan Kelly. Also back is senior center/forward Anthony Day. “Elijah has vastly improved over the course of the last eight months as far as his consistent perimeter game goes,” Miller said.

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“Allen has some gifts. He can shoot the ball, get to the basket, distribute the ball and defend. I thought Jordan made the most progress of anybody last year. He earned a starting spot by the middle of the year.” Coach: Jim Miller Seniors: DEVONTAVIUS PAYNE, 6-3, g; SHAMARC BURSEY, 5-11, f; ELIJAH BIDINGER, 6-1, g/f; Anthony Day, 6-3, c/f. Juniors: ALLEN BILLINGER, 6-0, g; JORDAN KELLY, 6-6, c.

Centralia The Centralia Orphans have either won or finished second in the South Seven Conference the last six seasons under coach Lee Bennett, including finishing second at state in 2010. Last year, the Orphans (21-9) finished second in the conference (6-4) for the second straight year before winning their fourth straight regional championship. “Like a lot of teams we have a lot back,” Bennett said. “We are going to be pretty balanced in scoring like last year. Night to night we’re going to have multiple players capable of being the scorer.” Bennett lost only three reserves and returns all five starters, including leading scorer, senior forward Jake Wood. He also has back two sophomores who played significant minutes as freshmen in guard D’Aaron Owens and forward/guard Tyriq Billberry. “We have seven guys coming back that played a lot and all may have started at times,” Bennett said. “Our last game of the year, we started on the front line Wood, Chase Alcorn and Jerod Simmons-Young. At one guard we had De’Ontre’ Cunningham and at the other we had Ryan Overmeier.”

Coach: Lee Bennett Seniors: JAKE WOOD, 6-1, f; CHASE ALCORN, 63, f; JEROD SIMMONS-YOUNG, 6-1, f; DE’ONTRE’ CUNNINGHAM, 5-10, g. Juniors: RYAN OVERMEIER, 6-0, g. Sophomores: D’Aaron Owens, 5-7, g; Tyriq Billberry, 6-0, f/g.

Marion The first year of Shane Hawkins’ reign as the Marion Wildcats’ head coach was a rude awakening — a last-place finish in the South Seven (13-16, 1-9). “We had a good year, but we found out how good the conference is,” Hawkins said. “We spent a lot of time teaching fundamentals and laid the groundwork for what we want to do offensively and defensively and we made steps in the right direction. This year we need to be more consistent.” Hawkins has two starters returning with senior Brant Hill back at small forward and senior Carson Cash at power forward. In addition, senior Colton Carter, who played significant minutes, is also back at shooting guard. “We had a very productive summer and they are ready for the season to get started,” Hawkins said. In the mix to replace Malik Stuckey at point guard is junior Miguel Jackson. Robby Dosier, who transferred from Carbondale, is in the battle to replace Jawan Tucker at shooting guard. “Dosier shoots the ball well and will play a lot whether he starts or not,” Hawkins said. “R.J. Manfredo had a really good summer and we could play him at center (to replace Gabe Murphy) or we could go small and put Cash there to go a little more athletic.” Coach: Shane Hawkins Seniors: BRANT HILL, 6-3, f; CARSON CASH, 64 1/2, f; Colton Carter, 5-9, g; Nick Malone, 6-1, g; Chase Hughart, 6-1, f.

Juniors: Layne Alexander, 5-10, g; Trenton Dierkes, 5-11, f; Brandon Osborne, 6-2, f; Zach Nave, 5-10, g; Braden Reeves, 5-11, g; R.J. Manfredo, 6-3 1/2, f; Miguel Jackson, 5-6, g; Robby Dosier 6-3, g. Sophomores: Adam Newman, 5-11, g; Dylan Baxter, 6-1, f.

Mount Vernon The Mount Vernon Rams slipped last year, finishing with a 15-13 record after topping 20 wins the previous two seasons and dropping from second in the South Seven to a tie for third at 5-5. “We had a lot of tight games last year where we ended up on the short end,” said coach Scott Gamber. “We beat Cahokia and Centralia early to show we could play with anybody, but faded at the end.” Gamber has three players returning who either started or had major playing time. Senior Jake Pike moves from forward to take over for leading scorer Trevor Flota at shooting guard and senior Shakari Hawkins moves from forward/wing guard to replace Micheal Feezer at center. “We are a little more athletic this year, but we’re not very big, so we have to find a post presence,” Gamber said. “Dylan Reeves is athletic and I think he can give us a lot on the defensive end. Tyrez Moore has never play organized basketball before so he is a question mark.” Braden Fitzjerrels averaged nine points a game at shooting guard, but the sophomore will move to point guard to replace Jarron Liddell. “Scoring we have more weapons,” Gamber said. “Bryce Hunter can really shoot the ball. Luke Wilson is very scrappy and Gilwan Nelson has really grown over the summer.” Coach: Scott Gamber Seniors: JAKE PIKE, 6-0, g; SHAKARI HAWKINS, 6-2, c; Doug Gardner, 5-9, f; Tyrez Moore, 6-3, f/c. Juniors: Luke Wilson, 6-3, g/f; Shauntez Taylor 6-2, g; Gilwan Nelson, 6-1, g; Bryce Hunter, 5-10, g, Dylan Reeves, 6-2, c. Sophomores: BRADEN FITZJERRELS, 5-7, g; Blake Jones, 5-11, g. Freshmen: Jake Jines, 6-3, f/c.

— Geary Deniston

2013-14 High School Basketball Preview

Belleville Althoff The Belleville Althoff Crusaders (10-15) dominated the South Seven with seven straight titles, but has slipped the last two seasons, finishing second two years ago and falling to fifth last year (3-7). “We played a lot of young kids last year mainly because we lost center Whitney Harris and guard Jazmine Stubblefield before the season to injuries,” said coach Todd Hill. “That put a lot of weight on Kymber Hill to replace Harris and she also missed some time with an injury. So we had to play some girls who might not have been totally ready to play at the varsity level.” Hill has three returning starters in senior shooting guard Rachel Kaltwasser, junior wing guard/forward Madison Weilbacher and sophomore point guard Anna Hanger to build around, but he must find replacements for Hill and small forward Mary Cardenas. Coach: Todd Hill Seniors: RACHEL KALTWASSER, 5-7, g. Juniors: MADISON WEILBACHER, 5-10, g/f; Mary Jackson, 5-9, g; Kylie Sullivan, 5-7, g; Amari Fennoy, 5-7, g/f. Sophomores: ANNA HANGER, 5-6, g; Alanna Bramwell, 6-2, c; Danielle Hawthorne, 5-8, g; Rachel Mertens, 5-10, f/c. Freshmen: Kyliegh Vaught, 5-7, g; Maggie Riemer, 5-11, f; Rachel Collins, 5-3, g; Emily Myapp, 5-11, f/c.

Cahokia The Cahokia Comanches (12-13) have been stuck in the middle of the South Seven Conference for the past four seasons, finishing fourth last year at 4-6. “This year I think we’re going to be better,” said coach Fred Dancy. “With the help of some of the younger girls we’ve got some pretty decent guards who can handle the ball.” Dancy lost his leading scorer, all-conference guard/forward Teykia Cooper, second team allconference selection Deairelle Ivy, who played every position last year, and

Girls: South Seven Conference wing guard Ronajha Denzmore. Returning to the starting lineup is senior secondteam all-conference center Lashonda Brewer, junior forward Dominique Jennings and senior point guard J’Ava Brock. Sophomore Ronesha Lewis will take over for Ivy at the guard position. “Brewer has really improved a great deal,” Dancy said. “We lost Denzmore in January to an injury and Jennings stepped right in. She’s a banger. It looks like not one girl is going to replace Cooper, but it’s going to be spread around.” Coach: Fred Dancy Seniors: LASHONDA BREWER, 6-2, c; Taylore Burton, 5-5, g; Kiearra Herron, 5-10, c; Marshay Morton, 5-8, g; McKayla Oliver, 5-8, f; Tiera Higgins, 5-7, g. Juniors: J’AVA BROCK, 5-5, g; DOMINIQUE JENNINGS, 6-0, f; Earlicia Shaw, 5-6, g. Sophomores: Ronesha Lewis, 5-11, g.

Carbondale Last year, for the second straight year, the Terriers finished third with a 5-5 conference record. The Terriers were 12-13 overall. Last year, the Terriers got off to a bad start with just two wins in their first 11 games, but came on strong, winning 10 of its last 13 games before being eliminated in the regional semifinals by regional champion Massac County. “We have some length and height this year,” said coach Marialice Jenkins. “We’ve also got guards who can get up and down the floor, so for us to be successful we’re going to have to be up-tempo and score getting to the basket.” Jenkins has three returning starters led by South Seven Player of the Year, senior guard/forward McKena Miller. Also returning is junior center

Kaili Bacon and sophomore point guard Skylar Miller. Last year, Jenkins had to use Skylar Miller to replace Sarah Goodale, who missed the season with an injury. This year she will have to replace shooting guard Zamorrow Glispie and forward Bobbie Harris. “Sophomores Achsah Greer and Kandace Jones have over the summer risen to the top for the open starting jobs,” Jenkins said. “Greer is a good 3-point shooter and has a nice handle and Jones can be a good player.” Coach: Marialice Jenkins Seniors: MCKENA MILLER, 5-11, g/f; Bryonne Williams, 5-9, f/c. Juniors: KAILI BACON, 5-10, f/c; Atley Green, 55, g. Sophomores: SKYLAR MILLER, 5-8, g; Alex Jackson, 5-8, f; Taja Dedecker, 5-8, f; Chasytie Harris, 5-8, g/f; Achsah Greer, 5-6, g; Kandace Jones, 5-9, f/c; Danielle Lorentz, 5-9, f/c.

Centralia The Centralia Annies (14-14) fell back to second (7-3) last year in the South Seven after snapping Belleville Althoff’s streak of seven straight championships in 2011-12. “We played a pretty strong nonconference schedule last year, so that prepared us for the conference,” said coach Roger Stieg. “We struggled against teams that were bigger and stronger than us, so we’re hoping that we have some stronger girls this year.” Stieg has only two returning starters in seniors Abbey Holtkamp at center and Erika Starr at power forward. He will have to replace point guard Maddie Wernsman, shooting guard Jordyn Looman and small forward Danielle Meadows. “We’re lost a lot of our scoring with Meadows and Looman, so we have to find some girls to pick up the

scoring slack and with losing Wernsman and Looman we’ll also have to pick up our guard play,” Stieg said. “I’ve got five seniors and all have played varsity, so I’m looking for some leadership.” Seniors Raigen Schwartz and Cassie Kwiatkowski are the leading contenders at point guard and shooting guard, respectively. Coach: Roger Stieg Seniors: ABBEY HOLTKAMP, 6-0, c; ERIKA STARR, 5-6, f, Raigen Schwartz, 5-4, g; Cassie Kwiatkowski, 5-7, g; Lauren Smith, 5-9, f/c. Juniors: Tressa Cunningham, 5-9, f; Abby Ingenrieth, 5-0, g; Holly Mays, 5-7, g. Sophomores: Reanna Hutton, 5-10, f.


the second year of having a freshman schedule again, and that’s big.” Roberts is beginning his second season at the helm and will have to replace three starters in guards Dailey and Cortney Williams and center Katie Comp, but he has junior All-South guard Alyson Gwaltney and junior wing guard Marquisha Edwards to build around. “We play more of a fast, up-tempo game and Gwaltney, Edwards and our sixth girl last year Haley Rushing will handle the ball for us,” Roberts said. “All three are leaders and the way they go is how our team goes.” Senior Bethany Pickens is in the mix to replace Comp at center. Sophomore Danye Faust at forward and junior Summer Fletcher at point guard will also be in the mix for starting jobs.

The Marion Wildcats (916) have gone through a rough patch the past five years, finishing last in the South Seven Conference four times and fifth once while compiling a combined conference record of 5-45, including finishing last at 2-8 last season. Coach: Chris Roberts “Last season, we beat Seniors: Bethany Pickens, 5-10, c; Allee Wilson, Cahokia at Cahokia and 5-9, f. Juniors: MARQUISHA EDWARDS, 5-7, g; ALYSON then beat Althoff on our GWALTNEY, 5-8, g; Haley Rushing, 5-8, g; Summer senior night and we’d never Fletcher, 5-6, g; Jenna Hurst, 5-5, g. Sophomores: Azariah Riley, 5-5, g; Jordin beaten them before, so we Foster, 5-6, g; Sheyanne Stacy, 5-5, g; Madison played better down the Wilson, 5-8, c; Danye Faust, 5-8, f. stretch,” said coach Chris Roberts. “The numbers are Mount Vernon up. We had 34-37 (kids) try Last year, the Mount out, and a few years ago, we had only 10 to 15 girls in the Vernon Lady Rams (9-1) whole program. This will be won the South Seven title

for the first since 2004. Lonnon lost all-conference guard Aaliyah Palmer, honorable mention allconference forward Kelby Kujawa and his sixth player center Natalie Williamson. “I’m not sure we would have been picked to win the conference last year, so the target will be on our back for the first time in a long time,” Lonnon said. “We have four seniors who really contributed a lot and I’m confident we have kids who can fill the voids.” The three returning starters are led by junior All-South center Hannah Owens, who averaged 12.1 points a game. Also back are honorable mention allconference point guard Claire Ryan and shooting guard Courtney Scarbrough. “Last year, we set a school record for team defense by holding teams to just 38 points a game,” Lonnon said. “For the first time we’re rich in post players and that will help us score more points because we’re stronger around the basket.” Pushing for playing time are senior Ieisha Sanders and junior Miriam Hester down low and junior Makiah Rush at guard. Coach: Jeff Lonnon Seniors: CLAIRE RYAN, 5-8, g; COURTNEY SCARBROUGH, 5-8, g; Colleen Skobel, 5-6, f; Vicki Skobel, 5-7, g/f; Ieisha Sanders, 5-10, c. Juniors: HANNAH OWENS, 6-1, c; Kenzie Rankin, 5-7, g; Miriam Hester, 5-10 1/2, c; Makiah Rush, 5-5, g.

— Geary Deniston

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2013-14 High School Basketball Preview

Carmi-White County Even though the Bulldogs finished third in the conference with a 6-4 record, coach Eric Dixon wasn’t pleased with the regular season mark of 11-17. “Overall, we were disappointed in the outcome of last season,” said Dixon. “Fortunately, this year I’ve got four starters back from last year, along with several kids who came off the bench.” Those seniors returning for the Bulldogs will be four-year starter Chase Sailer, three-year starter Andy Vaughan, Brodie Brown and Jamey Steed, who will serve as the anchor in the paint at 6-foot-5. Dixon says his team has several skilled shooters. A key for the Bulldogs’ offense will be slowing down and patiently moving the ball until the right shot is found. Defensive improvement is also critical. “Our biggest weaknesses last year was defense,” said Dixon. “If we improve on that the most, along with our shot selection, that could lead to a lot of success with this group.” The Carmi-White County Bulldogs will begin their season at home against West Frankfort on Nov. 26. Coach: Eric Dixon Seniors: JAMEY STEED, 6-5, f; CHASE SAILER, 60, g; ANDY VAUGHAN, 6-2, g; Brodie Brown, 5-11, g; Seth Gross, 6-0, f. Juniors: Clay Vaught, 6-1, g; Joe Matz, 6-4, f;

Boys: Black Diamond East necessary steps to compete and find success, I think it will just be a matter of time before we’re where we need Eldorado to be.” Eldorado will open their Joe Clark has already been around the Eldorado Eagles season when they visit for several years, so as a Gallatin County on Nov. 29. first-year head coach, he Coach: Joe Clark Seniors: TYLER DEATON, 5-8, g; Ben Partridge, knows what needs to be 6-3, c; Derek Mayberry, 6-2, c; DYLAN LAWRENCE, done for the team to have its 5-9, g. Juniors: Nathan Burnett, 6-0, f; Richard first winning season since Grecuffa, 5-11, g; Skylar Shaw, 5-10, g. 2010. Sophomores: Alex Molinarolo, 6-0, f: Clay “We have a mix of players Boulds, 6-3, c: Adam Partridge, 6-2, f: Drew with different talents,” said Woolcott, 5-9, g. Freshmen: Ethan Partridge, 6-2, f Clark. “We’ve been working hard to improve their skills Fairfield and put the pieces of the After winning at least a puzzle together to see how share of the Black Diamond we can compete.” Eldorado will be led by Conference East the past the backcourt tandem of three years, Fairfield will Dylan Lawrence at point feel the pressure as they try guard and Tyler Deaton at for number four in a row. “Last year’s group surthe wing. Deaton averaged 18 points per game last year. prised us,” said coach Scott Clark also noted “several McElravy. “They really new faces,” including came together, and this year Richard Grecufsa, Eric we have the majority of our Mayberry, and Adam and scorers back, so I’m looking Ben Partridge. forward to that.” With his immediate goal The Mules lost three sento coach Eldorado to an iors to graduation, but will improved season, Coach bring back a deep roster Clark is also hoping to set that includes senior Joseph the stage for the Eagles to Rodgers and junior enjoy long-term success. Nathaniel Lackey. Rodgers “We want to try to lay the served as Fairfield’s point foundation for a strong guard and earned allprogram,” he said. conference honors last “Unfortunately, we’ve year, while the 6-6 struggled these past few Lackey is a returning years, and if we can take the co-captain of the Black Jorgan Large, 6-6, c; Logan Weller, 5-9, g. Sophomores: Tucker Gray, 6-4, g/f; Tyler Barbre, 5-10, g; Zach Vaught, 6-0, g; Drew Lucas, 5-10. g; Josh Potter, 5-10, g


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Diamond Conference. Rounding out the starting five will be Cody Simpson, Tristan Fry and Andrew Gifford, all three of whom McElravy believes have improved. “With this group, we’re big, but we can also be mobile,” said McElravy. Fairfield will look to up the tempo early on both sides of the floor. “We’re going to push the pace more than we have in the past,” he said. “These kids can all run up and down the floor, but we can also play at a slower pace if we need to. This is a very versatile group.” McElravy wants the fourth straight conference title, but is also hopeful for a run in the postseason, and a first regional championship since 2007. “We would love to put our seniors in a position to win the conference throughout their high school careers. We’d also like to place high in our tournaments this year, and it’s going to be tough, but we would also love to have that opportunity to win a regional championship and see what we can do from there.” Coach: Scott McElravy Seniors: Austin Russell, 5-8, g; Colton Simpson, 5-11, g; Nate Coomer, 6-3, f; Derek Greifzu, 5-9, g; Tristan Fry, 6-3, f; JOSEPH RODGERS, 5-10, g; Cody Simpson, 6-3, f. Juniors: Andrew Gifford, 5-10, g; Connor Scott, 6-0, f; Dakota Scott, 6-0, f; NATHANIEL LACKEY, 66, c. Sophomore: Colton Land, 6-0, f; Sky Kollak, 62, f.

Hamilton County Despite five conference wins, the Hamilton County Foxes were only able to pick up one additional victory on their schedule, and finished their season at 6-21. “Last year we had a lot of starters in new roles,” said coach Keith Welch. “This year, we have more experience coming back, so hope-

fully that will help us add more to our win total. We have a lot of depth.” That depth will include four returning seniors, all of whom have started for the Foxes in the past two years. The Foxes will feature Balee Gay and Travis Stevens in the frontcourt, with Nathan Anselment and Logan Billington serving as guards. ”We have our seniors coming back, but there will also be several juniors that will be challenging their playing time,” Welch said. In order to give everyone proper playing time, Welch will look for the Foxes to push the ball and utilize quick screens for open shots. They will also look to apply heavy pressure on the defensive end of the floor. “We’re going to try to press the tempo early and create a lead to let those guys get some varsity playing time,” he said Hamilton County will open its season Dec. 2 at the Du Quoin Tip-Off. Coach: Keith Welch Seniors: LOGAN BILLINGTON, 5-11, g; BALEE GAY, 6-0, f; NATHAN ANSELMENT, 5-11, g; TRAVIS STEVENS, 6-3, f/c Juniors: Tucker Braden, 6-1, f; Brandon Craddock, 6-4, f/c; Jake Scattone, 6-0, g; Landon Vaughan, 5-10, g; Joey Rebstock, 5-10, g; Tyler Kelly, 5-9, g; Eli Lueke, 6-0, f; Daniel Rapp, 5-10, g; Lucas Stover, 5-9, g Sophomores: Holden Dodson, 5-11, g; Sawyer Lueke, 5-9, g; Chad Barnard, 6-0, f; Zack Page, 5-10, f

Johnston City Last year, the Johnston City Indians were Black Diamond East co-champions. This year, they will be looking for more. “We’ve got a good group this year,” said coach Wade Thomas. The Indians will be without Austin McPheron, but he is the only player lost from last year’s squad. McPheron scored 1,000 career points for Johnston

City and earned honorable mention all-state honors. The Indians will have an advantage with their deep rotation that returns six seniors, including four-year starter Hunter Zeigler. Also returning will be guards Luke McCormick, Colson Myers and Jordan Blankenship. Jake Davidson and Derek Smith will return in the post for the Indians, with 6-7 Caleb Burns returning to the team for the first time since his sophomore year. Thomas called the team “high-energy” and “very coachable.” “We’ve got some very good athletes on this team, guys who can really shoot and play defense,” he said. Johnston City will begin its season at the Goreville Invitational, facing AnnaJonesboro in the opening game. Coach: Wade Thomas Seniors: JAKE DAVISON, 6-3, f; Caleb Burns, 67, c; Derek Smith, 6-2, g/f; LUKE McCORMICK, 6-2, g; Colson Myers, 5-8, g; Levi Tanner, 6-1, g; HUNTER ZEIGLER, 5-10, g Juniors: Jordan Blankenship, 6-0, g; Brandon Brunk, 6-4, c; Dylan Jeffords, 6-0, f Sophomores: Andrew Friess, 6-0, f; Darick Davis, 6-1, f; Nathan Payne, 6-3, c Freshmen: Wyatt Rix, 5-10, g; Gage Hall, 6-0, g; Caleb Holtzclaw, 5-10, g; Clayton Selby, 5-10, f; EJ Thompson, 6-1, f

Vienna After two consecutive three-win seasons, including just one conference win, Vienna coach Cory Waters is hoping to turn things around. “Last year was more of a learning year,” said Waters, entering his fourth year with the program. “We were very young, but I thought they all competed well.” Vienna lost graduating forwards Richard Kindhart and Dominick Tedeschi, but will return several key players including junior Quinnton Bent, who served as team captain and led the Eagles in scoring. “Quinnton is a very hard worker,” Waters said. SEE BDC EAST / PAGE 11

2013-14 High School Basketball Preview

Carmi-White County After a string of successful seasons in the early 2000s, the Lady Bulldogs have recently fallen on hard times. However, coach Scott Conner is confident he can effectively balance his talented group of returning players with six freshman who finished third in the SIJHSAA Class L state tournament earlier this year. “Last year we finished below .500 and it wasn’t the result we were looking for,” said Conner. “But with our returning players and the incoming freshman, hopefully they can mesh and give us a better outcome this year.” Carmi-White County will return three starters in guards Kelsey Rogers and Alexa Combs, as well as forward Jerrica Money. Senior Briley Attebury will look to step up in her role in the post this season, after leading the Lady Bulldogs in rebounds last year. Junior guard Claire Blankenberger, who missed all of last year, will also look forward to serving a big role. Carmi will look to improve this year by allowing their opponents minimal shots on defense. “We’re looking to just play back and protect the basket with help defense,” said Conner. On the other end of the

Girls: Black Diamond East floor, the Lady Bulldogs will look to run a motion offense that focuses on putting the ball inside the paint. Coach: Scott Conner Seniors: KELSEY ROGERS, 5-6, g; Bailey Winters, 5-6, g; JERRICA MONEY, 5-7, f; Briley Attebury, 5-8, f. Juniors: ALEXA COMBS, 5-7, g; Claire Blankenberger, 5-2, g; Jessica Woods, 5-4, f. Sophomores: Paige Winter, 5-8, g. Freshmen: Morgan Combs, 5-9, f; Maggi Ackerman, 5-7, f; Graci Ackerman, 5-6, g; Lixi Wheeler, 5-10, c; Lexi Wheeler, 5-7, f; Maddi Wenzel, 5-5, g.

Eldorado With their 8-2 mark, Eldorado was able to claim a share of the Black Diamond East last year. Coach Josh Bradley is hoping for similar success this season. Among the seniors lost from that team will be Ashton Unthank, who averaged 14 points per game. However, Eldorado will still return most of their starters, as well as add new faces. “We’re going to have kids starting this year who didn’t last year,” said Bradley. “Some of our bench has never played at this level, but we do have some experience returning.” Among those returning for the Lady Eagles will be Kourtney Phillips and allconference selection Taylor

BDC EAST: Boys preview FROM PAGE 10 “Hopefully he can continue to improve and lead this team.” Joining Bent in the backcourt will be Blake Crain. Junior Nathan Gearing will look to play this season after suffering a torn ACL last year. Sophomores Zachryn Moore and Jarrod Wiggs will round out the starting five. Coach: Cory Waters Seniors: BLAKE CRAIN, 5-7, g; Lucas Wright, 6-1, g; Trenton Lowery, 6-3, c; Tyler Sullivan, 6-0, f. Juniors: QUINNTON BENT, 5-11, g; NATHAN GEARING; 5-9, g; Austin Krelo; 5-10, g; Wyatt Robinson; 5-10, g; Kevin Penrod, 5-10, g. Sophomores: Ryan Bradley, 5-10, g; Jarrod Wiggs; 5-10, g/f; Zach Moore; 5-10, g.

— Michael Ashby

Goodley, both of whom averaged over 10 points last season. Erica Graczyk is the third of the trio who Bradley will rely heavily on early in the season. The Lady Eagles will gain some additional depth when junior guard Paige Zertuche returns from an injured ACL. Bradley said the team’s goal last year was to win 20 total games. Eldorado posted a 19-9 record that included four losses by a single point. He believes this year’s team can reach their desired milestone, repeat as conference champions, and compete for a regional championship. They opened their season Nov. 18, hosting Gallatin County.

scoring and will return as Fairfield’s point guard. “Having her back is a big plus,” said Conrad. “Hopefully now we can get everybody else to fit in their positions and figure out their individual roles.” Other returning juniors include guards Alyssa Kollak and Lacey Sams. At forward, Fairfield will have Caelyn Musgrave and Kendra Cessna returning, and Julie Jones will work the paint as Fairfield’s center. Fairfield will also have seven sophomores on the roster. “Hopefully, some of our girls with varsity experience from last year will help them out and help them adjust to the varsity level,” Conrad said.

Coach: Josh Bradley Seniors: ERICA GRACZYK, 5-10, f; KOURTNEY PHILLIPS, 5-6, g. Juniors: 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 Sophomores: 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.

Coach: Tonya Conrad Juniors: ALLISON TULLIS, 5-6, g; Lacey Sams, 5-7, f; ALYSSA KOLLAK, 5-9, f; CAELYN MUSGRAVE, 511, g/f; Julie Jones, 6-0, c; Kendra Cessna, 5-8, g/f. Sophomores: Morgan Gregory, 5-10, f/c; Christina Walker, 5-7, g; Whitney Baker, 5-7, g/f; August Martinez, 5-5, g; Stevie Wolf, 5-7, g/f; Josie Garrett, 5-11, f/c; Amber Shelton, 5-5, g.

Fairfield Despite losing their team leader to graduation, coach Tonya Conrad is confident in this year’s Fairfield Lady Mules. “I’m excited about this group,” said Conrad. “They work hard and they want to compete, and that’s what I really like about them.” McKenna McWilliams was the leader of a young Fairfield team that went 1217 and 5-5 in the Black Diamond Conference. “She was our only senior with any significant varsity experience,” said Conrad. Fairfield will have another young team this year, as the Lady Mules will not have any seniors on the roster. Conrad has six juniors, including Allison Tullis, who led the Lady Mules in

Hamilton County After a conference-best regular season record of 23-8, the Hamilton County Lady Foxes are hoping to make their mark in the postseason. Coach Clint Winemiller, entering his sixth season, Hamilton County has won at least 17 games in each of the previous four seasons, and surpassed the 20-win mark in each of the past two. Returning from last year will be senior forward Alicia York, as well as guards Lucendia Adams and Dana Rubenacker. Other seniors will include Erin Bonner, Nicole Rubenacker, and Jordan Scrivner, all forwards. “We are extremely young after our starters,” said Winemiller. “There’s not a

this season,” Lenon said. The Lady Indians began their season against Woodlawn in the Du Quoin Tournament on Nov. 21.

Coach: George Lenon lot of experience at the varSeniors: Kaitin Giminez, 5-6, g; MOLLY PRICE, sity level.” 6-0, c. Juniors: Bethanie Burns, 6-0, f; Tiffany Lamp, Despite the inexperience f. of Hamilton County’s 5-7,Sophomores: Madilyn Billington, 5-6, f; Nicole bench, Winemiller is opti- Johnson, 5-7, f; BAILEY MINGS, 5-7, f; BAILEE PULLEY, g; Paige Rich, 6-0, f; Darcey Stanley, 5-6, f . mistic that his starters will 5-5,Freshmen: Jeana Devening, 5-6, f; Jerra rise to the occasion. Edwards, 5-7, f; Maddie Johnson, 5-7, f; Alora “We have a chance to be Mauyard, 5-4, g; Maggie Price, 6-1, c good at the end of the seaVienna son if the girls will work The Vienna Lady Eagles hard and try to get better lost six seniors to graduaeveryday,” he said. tion, but first-year coach Coach: Clint Winemiller Seniors: ALICIA YORK, 5-10, c; LUCENDIA Jim Prevallet is prepared for ADAMS, 5-7, g; Jordan Scrivner, 5-8, f; Nicole the pressure to match Rubenacker, 5-7, c. Vienna’s success from last Juniors: DANA RUBENACKER, 5-10, g; Breya Cooper, 5-9, f; Kara Biggerstaff, 5-5, g; Brianna year. Forrester, 5-8, g. “Right now the big thing Sophomores: Leslie Drone, 5-5, g. we have got is our system,” Freshmen: Jayci Reyling, 5-7, g; Sydney Williams, 5-6, g; Megan Mitchell, 5-4, g; Emily said Prevallet, whose Blades, 5-8, f; Kaitlyn Flannigan, 5-10, c; Adrienne coaching career includes Winemiller, 5-6, g 331 career victories and a .700 winning percentage as Johnston City the girls’ coach at Massac Coach George Lenon is County. “When you play hopeful this is the year the other teams, you play Lady Indians put their against their systems. Right now we’re trying to put ours struggles behind them. “We struggled a little last together and see what we year,” said Lenon, entering can do with that.” Prevallet was hired as the his fourth year with the program. “We started out coach near the end of the well, but things went summer, so he has not had downhill after a few much of a chance to get to know his team, but he is injuries.” Among those injured confident that will get to were sophomores Bailee know a Lady Eagles squad Pulley, ankle, and Bailey that will include returning Mings, rib. Both are expect- seniors Maranda Chance ed to miss the beginning of and Haley Edwards. “Right now it’s just a this season. With Pulley and Mings process,” said Prevallet. temporarily out, the Lady “We’re changing a lot of Indians will rely on their things from last year, so height in the post, with right now it’s just a learning three starters standing at 6- curve.” Prevallet added that even 0. Among them will be Molly Price and Paige Rich, if the beginning of the season is rough, he hopes who anchored the defense Vienna will have the hang of and led the team in scoring things later on in the last season. Also starting season. will be junior Bethany Coach: Jim Prevallet Burns. Seniors: Desiree Walter, 5-5, g; Cassidy Stout, 5“Coming into this year, 4, g; MARANDA CHANCE, 5-7, g; HALEY EDWARDS, 5-7, g; Allison Penrod, 5-5, f; Allison Browning, 5-10, we’re still going to be c; Jami Shipley, 6-0, c. young,” said Lenon. Juniors: Courtney Sanders, 5-10, f; Becky The only senior expected Reeder, 5-10, f; Megan McCuan, 5-10, f; Meighan Smith, 5-6, g. to start is Price. Sophomores: Natalie Keeling, 5-6, g; Audra “Hopefully we can stay Bullock, 5-10, f. healthy and have better luck — Michael Ashby

The Southern Illinoisan Friday, November 22, 2013 Page 11

2013-14 High School Basketball Preview

Chester Chester coach Brad Norman has only one returning player who logged serious varsity time last year. Luckily for Norman, he’s a good one. Jake Lochhead, a 6-foot3 shooter, will step into more of a leadership role — one that he also shouldered during Chester’s recent football success. “He might be the biggest leader in the entire school,” Norman said. “He was the quarterback on the football team. He’s a straight A student. I don’t know that I’ve ever coached a better kid.” Chester finished 21-9 last season, 10-2 Black Diamond West, just two games behind Goreville for the top spot in the conference. But losing seniors like Kyle Landon, Reed Koenemann, Link Cushman and Alec Weir will hurt in the leadership department. “We’ve got high hopes for Cody Mileur from the point guard spot,” Norman said. “We really think he can be a strong leader for us on the floor.” Coach: Brad Norman Seniors: JAKE LOCHHEAD, 6-3, g; Cody Mileur, 6-1, g; Austin Redeker, 6-2, f; Austin Gendron, 6-2, f; Garret Alms, 5-9, g. Juniors: Hunter Howie, 5-10, g; Issac Wingerter, 6-0, f.

Christopher Christopher didn’t just graduate three starters from last season’s 15-13 squad, it graduated some substantial

Boys: Black Diamond West size and quickness. Size in the form of Kevin Mercks and quickness from shifty point guard Tyler Atchison will have to be compensated for this winter. The Bearcats lost in their regional title game in overtime to Steeleville, a disappointing end to a strong season. “Hopefully we can compete at that level again,” said coach Eric Stallman. “I think some of the kids got a taste of it and we have high hopes of getting back.” One player leading the charge will be senior guard Eric Young. Set to pass 1,000 points this season, Young averaged 11.6 points per game last season and has garnered two solid years of varsity playing time. “He has looked really good and worked very hard to improve,” Stallman sad. “He is much more physical and looking to score the ball.” Young will be complemented by senior point guard Jacob Towers, as well as junior Luke Saeger, and sophomores Josh Calloni and Hunter Wheeler. Stallman is hoping that his younger players are up to the challenge in the tough Black Diamond West. “We’ve put together a really good summer,”

Stallman said. “We’ve had some kids in some different tournaments and shootouts. Hopefully it pays off for the season.” Coach: Eric Stallman Seniors: ERIC YOUNG, 6-2, g; JACOB TOWERS, Maurice Brown, 5-10, g; Ethan Conner, 6-3, f. Juniors: Luke Saeger, 6-2, g. Sophomores: Josh Calloni, 6-2, g; Hunter Wheeler, 5-9, g.

Elverado New Elverado coach Eric Yearian inherits a team that won two games last season and finished 0-12 in the conference, and he’s up for the challenge of turning things around. “We’re pretty much starting from scratch,” said Yearian, who was an assistant at Shawnee last season and takes over for Mark Riley. “We’ve only got two seniors coming in and don’t really have a whole lot of height.” Yearian has spent the summer and early season practices stressing the fundamentals. “We’re basically going to be focusing on perimeter skills,” Yearian said. “Shooting, driving the basketball, speed and quickness — that is what we’re working on.” The Falcons’ two seniors are Eli Fennell and Anthony Kirk. Coach: Eric Yearian


Falcons! Page 12 Friday, November 22, 2013 The Southern Illinoisan

Seniors: Eli Fennell, 5-11, g; Anthony Kirk, 5-8, g. Juniors: Luke Jones, 5-10, g; Ethan Keller, 5-8, g. Sophomore: Alex Valerius, 6-0, f.


Garner is losing several key players to graduation for his rookie campaign, but returns Nick Marlo, Tyler Baxter and Jordan Gunter, who all started at different points during last season. “Nick is our rock,” Garner said. “He is a true leader in everything he does. Other kids look up to him and feed off of him.” Jacob Vanway saw some spot starts as a sophomore last year’s team, which finished 13-16 and 6-6 in conference. Also back is 6-5 senior Nick McCarty to give the Red Devils some size inside to complement their speedy perimeter players. “We’re built for speed and really looking to push it this year,” he said. “The kids are excited. The coaches are excited. The fans will be excited to watch them. We’re putting some trust in them to play with a little more freedom.”

Goreville welcomes back conference MVP Zeke Snell this season. It also welcomes back high expectations for another conference title. The Blackcats finished 26-5 (12-0) last season, earning the most singleseason victories in school history. They beat ZeiglerRoyalton, 75-43, in the regional championship game before falling to Meridian in the first round of sectionals. “We are excited about what we’ve got coming back,” said coach Todd Tripp. “In Zeke and Kyefer Cavins, we’ve got two of the best players in the conference returning.” Goreville lost Dayton Tripp and Alex Andros to Coach: Shane Garner graduation, leaving open Seniors: Jordan Gunter, 5-10, g; Tyler Baxter, 60, g; Nick McCarty, 6-5, c, Clayton Hoffard, 5-10, g. competition for their spots. NICK MARLO, 5-10, g; Jacob Vanway, 6A host of seniors and jun- 0, f;Juniors: Logan Barrett, 6-6, g; Luke Thompson, 6-0, f; iors figure to vie for the Kaleb Miller, 6-0, f. starting positions. “We’re not rebuilding by Trico any means,” Tripp said. It’s not often that a “We do have a little bit more limited experience than in Southern Illinois high the past but that just means school team graduates three there is more competition 6-5 players. That’s exactly what coach for those spots.” Trico coach Mike Denault is Coach: Todd Tripp Seniors: ZEKE SNELL, 6-5 f; KYEFER CAVINS, 6- facing this season. Gone are 1, f; Daniel Lanham, 5-10, g; Shon Messmer, 5-9, g. Blaine Lepere, George Juniors: Dallas Melot, 6-2, f; Noah Schuetz, Kuhlman and Luke Watson Tyler Bishop. — all 6-5 presences from Sophomores: Jared Vaughn. last year’s team that finished 18-12 and 7-5 in the Sesser-Valier conference. Shane Garner, a 2002 “We are going to be a lot graduate and multi-sport quicker than we were last standout at Sesser-Valier year, that’s for sure,” High School, takes over the Denault said. “We’re really reins of the Red Devils this depending on some guys to season. He replaces Chip step right in and give us Basso, who stays on as a good chemistry.” teacher and athletic Denault is also replacing director. three other seniors from

last year’s team. Returners Chase Rednour and Kyle Hammel started last season and will be joined by senior Jordan Jones, who also accrued a lot of starting experience. Junior Jake Chapman will start at point guard. “He played some big minutes for us in our regional semifinal win over Murphysboro,” Denault said. “So he has had some experience in a big spot.” Coach: Mike Denault Seniors: Ryan Strohmeyer, 6-2, f; KYLE HAMMEL, 5-9, g; Jordan Jones, 5-11, g. Juniors: CHASE REDNOUR, 6-5, f; Jake Chapman, 5-10, g; Ryan Myers, 6-0, g. Sophomore: Grant Kelly, 5-9, g.

Zeigler-Royalton What a difference a year makes. Last season, Z-R’s roster featured only one returning senior with varsity experience. This season, coach Matt Morgan has a slew of seniors at his disposal. Spearheaded by Nick McPhail, Brandon Stubblefield and Baily Schimpf, the Tornadoes are primed and ready for a big season. McPhail was the leading scorer (13 points per game) for a team that finished 17-14 and 3-9 in the conference last winter. “We have a very deep team,” Morgan said. “Most of this senior group is in its third year starting and we are looking forward to having all of that experience coming back.” Z-R’s coaches have had this year circled on their calendars for a while. “Yeah, we knew this would be the year that we’d have a chance to do something special,” he said. “These kids have great work ethics and have put in a lot of time.” Coach: Matt Morgan Seniors: NICK MCPHAIL, 5-9, g; BRANDON STUBBLEFIELD, 5-11, f; BAILEY SCHIMPF, 5-9, g; Timmy Brooks, 6-0, f; Nick Eisenhaur, 5-9, g; Trevor Fitch, 5-9, g; Brandon Jones, 5-11, f; Boris Moskoff, 5-10, g; Andrew Reece, 5-9, g; Jeremy Weddle, 5-8, g. Juniors: Austin Risley, 6-0, f; Jeffrey Sadler, 58, g.

— Joe Szynkowski

2013-14 High School Basketball Preview

Chester Connie Clendenin takes over her first head coaching position for a team that finished 0-10 in the Black Diamond last year and 6-20 overall. And, she couldn’t be more excited. “We aren’t just trying to build a oneor two-year team here,” she said. “We are working on creating a program that can be successful for four, five years, and even beyond.” Clendenin enters the season with more than 10 years of coaching experience, including the past few under former Chester coach Pat Knowles. She returns senior Alexandria Fedderke at the center spot and junior point guard McKenzi Rucker to form a strong 1-2 punch. Other returners include seniors Sarah Bindel, Maribeth Lawrence, Kaley Ludwig and Rachel Clendenin, Connie’s daughter. In trying to rebound from a winless conference season, Clendenin is centering her focus on accentuating her team’s strengths. “We will have a lot of speed on the floor,” she said. “And with this senior group so familiar with the system, we are working on expanding the offense to give them more opportunities.” Clendenin hopes to open things up for her upperclassmen, but will still remain invested in developing her strong group of sophomores and incoming freshmen. Coach: Connie Clendenin Seniors: ALEXANDRIA FEDDERKE, 6-0, c; Sarah Bindel, 5-8, f; MARIBETH LAWRENCE, 5-3, f/g; Kaley Ludwig, 5-6, f. Juniors: MCKENZI RUCKER, 5-7, g; Rachel Clendenin, 5-6, f/g.

Elverado With only one senior returning from last season’s squad, Elverado is definitely going young. And that’s OK with new head coach Rasheeda Love,


Girls: Black Diamond West who looks forward to growing right alongside her players. “The girls are excited,” Love said. “We are going to play an up-tempo game.” A new fast-paced offense, as well as a versatile defensive system are the major alterations being instituted by Love. During the early parts of practice this season, her players have shown excitement for the changes. “They’re asking me every day, ‘Can we press today, can we play man-toman?’” Love laughed. “There is a lot of enthusiasm for the season.” Allecia Cross returns as the Lady Falcons’ only senior. The post player has worked on improving her shots from 15-feet in and tightening up her defensive approach. “She has been through the program for four years now,” Love said. “She is one of those vocal leaders who understands exactly what we need her to do.” Likewise, says Love, about her solid class of returning juniors. Kylee Bedar will run the point for Elverado, while Cheyenne Abbadusky will also provide some experienced guard play. Love will look to junior Paige Newfarmer, 5foot-7 to provide some size down low. Coach: Rasheeda Love Seniors: ALLECIA CROSS, 5-8, f. Juniors: Cheyenne Abbadusky, 5-9, g; Kylee Bedar, 5-6, g; Paige Newfarmer 5-7, f. Sophomore: Brooke Whittington, 5-5, g.

Goreville Coming off another special season, Goreville looks to continue its Black Diamond dominance this season. The Lady Blackcats lost a nail-biter in overtime to Cowden-Herrick-Beecher City in the Elite 8 last sea-

son. Their 31-2 record was a school-best mark. “Last season everything just kind of lined up perfectly,” said coach Mike Helton. “It was a rarity to have that much senior leadership coming back.” Those seniors – Alison Webb, Taylor Odom, Allison Sullivan and Jessica Wright – went 112-11 in their four-year careers and led the Blackcats to four conference titles. Hayley Darnell has also put together a solid Goreville career, and returns in the guard position for this year’s team. “Anytime you’ve got an All-South kid coming back, you like your chances,” Helton said. “We’ve got a great core of experienced players coming back.” Darnell and Kayla Webb have showed strong leadership over the offseason, Helton said. “They have both been talking to the younger players about how we do things and have shown great leadership,” Helton said. “They both put in a lot of work over the summer, as did a lot of the kids with travel basketball and different camps.” Brittany Pritchett and Marbia Martin played a lot of minutes in Goreville’s JV program and are ready to contribute full-time. Helton said with some contributions from his underclassmen, his team will be solid again. “We’ve got an excellent young group of sophomores and freshmen who will slowly be able to provide us with some scoring,” he said. Making it back to Salem for a fourth consecutive season isn’t out of the question, Helton said. Coach: Mike Helton Seniors: Brittany Pritchett, 5-9, f; HAYLEY

Sparta Tournament, and are looking to get off to a quick start against some tough Sesser-Valiercompetition. “It won’t take us long to Waltonville figure out what we have,” By now, Rick Metcalf Metcalf said. knows the drill. Some seaCoach: Rick Metcalf sons come with a solid Seniors: RACHEL MARLO, 5-8, f; Mikala group of returning starters, Williams, 5-7, f; Maty Garner, 5-7, g; Bailee Jones, 5others do not. 8, f. Juniors: Katie Metcalf, 5-8, f; Cheyenne This season is the latter Pitchford, 5-9, f. for Metcalf and his Lady Red Devils, who lose four starters and a solid sixth Trico contributor from last seaRecent SIU graduate son’s record-setting team. Heather Hochmuth takes “There is definitely more over a Trico program that competition for playing showed definite flashes of spots this season,” he said. improvement last season. “We are losing a lot.” The Lady Pioneers bounced The longtime coach of the back from a tough season by Red Devils boys’ team won finishing 15-14 last year, 413 games in 26 years with 4-6 in the conference. Sesser and Vienna. He was Hochmuth liked what she inducted into the Illinois saw in the early practices. Basketball Coaches Hall of “This being my first year, Fame in 2009, and was in I’m still trying to figure out charge of a teen outreach what we have,” she said. program at the high school “But the girls are excited.” for three years before being Kourtney Bunselmeyer asked to take over the girls and Paige Ebers return in program in 2011. the guard spots, and along “It’s definitely a different with juniors Morgan Vogt, experience to get used to,” Brooke Higgerson and Metcalf said. “But I’m hav- Jessica Prange, form a solid ing a great time.” group of experienced playS e s s e r - V a l i e r - ers. Waltonville finished 24-4 “That group is really last season, setting the quick and athletic,” school record for wins. Hochmuth said. “We’re They also went 8-2 in the focusing on defense, too, conference and are return- and trying to stop people.” ing a solid group of returnSix-foot-one sophomore ers. Kelly Hamilton will start at Rachel Marlo returns at center for the Lady the head of a deep senior Pioneers, who kick off their class that features three season at the Sparta other players who possess Invitational. significant varsity experiHochumth said her team ence. Mikala Williams, can improve its chances this Maty Garner and Bailee year by improving its Jones will all be expected to defense and cutting down play a lot of valuable min- on the turnovers that set it utes this year. Cheyenne back in a few games. Pitchford and Katie Metcalf Coach: Heather Hochmuth also hope to follow-up on Seniors: Kourtney Bunselmeyer, 5-7, g; Paige successful sophomore sea- Ebers, 5-5, g. Juniors: Morgan Vogt, 5-5, g; Brooke sons. 5-9, f; Jessica Prange, 5-8, f. The Lady Red Devils will Higgerson, Sophomores: Kelly Hamilton, 6-1, c; Emily open the season at the Bauersach, 5-7, f.

DARNELL, 5-5, g; Kayla Webb, 5-1, g; Madison Walters, 5-2, g; Marbia Martin, 5-10, c.

Youth and energy. That is what Z-R-C coach Jeremy May expects to see this season from his roster. May graduated five seniors from last year’s squad that finished third in the Black Diamond West. The Lady Tornadoes ended up 19-8, 6-4 in conference. “We had 23 girls come out this year, which is a good sign,” May said. “Not very many of them have much playing experience, especially at the varsity level.” May is hoping that a couple of his younger additions can break through. “We are extremely young,” he said. “We’re looking for leadership out of our more experienced players.” Even May’s veterans are young. Guard Autumn Gunter was second-team all-conference as a freshman last year, and along with forward Brittany Brooks, are a solid sophomore nucleus for Z-R-C. Junior Alysha Rodgers also returns, as all three try to replace the production from graduated standouts Brandy Mifflin and Maddy Caruso. “Autumn is such a good leader for us,” May said “Brittany is very athletic, can handle the basketball and does a great job on defense. Alysha does a good job of spotting up and hitting the open shot. “We will definitely be counting on those three throughout the season.” May expects a good mix of seniors and juniors to fill in the rest of his starting five and bench spots. “As a coach, you know you’re going to have turnover,” May said. “This year we actually lost quite a bit, so we’re still figuring out what we’ve got.” Coach: Jeremy May Seniors: Ashton Beaver, 5-9, c. Juniors: Alysha Rodgers, 5-6, g. Sophomores: AUTUMN GUNTER, 5-6, g; Brittany Brooks, 5-8, g.

— Joe Szynkowski

The Southern Illinoisan Friday, November 22, 2013 Page 13

2013-14 High School Basketball Preview

Carrier Mills Entering his 30th season as a head coach, Mark Motsinger boasts 602 wins between high school and women’s college basketball. With three starters back from last year’s 14-12 team which finished second in the GEC, figure the Wildcats for another 15 to 20 victories. They aren’t tall — 6foot-2 junior Gabe Motsinger, the coach’s son, passes for a skyscraper on this roster — but they can score and pressure the ball well against most opponents. That will be enough to make them a threat most nights. Slayden Figg, a 5-9 junior, is the top returning scorer at 12.2 points per game, while Darren Betz, a 6-0 junior, tacked on 10.3 a night. Dalton Summers, the team’s only senior, a 5-6 guard, was good for 8.7 ppg. “The season depends on how the younger players step up,” Mark Motsinger said. Loren Whiting, a 6-1 junior, could join the younger Motsinger up front. Other roles off the bench are yet to be determined and figure to remain fluid until at least the New Year. It would really help if Carrier Mills had three adequate players off the bench so that it can take full advantage of its quickness and not have to play a slower tempo. Like some other teams in the GEC, lack of size could hamper Carrier Mills. How it replaces 6-2 Cameron Taborn, its leading scorer and rebounder last year, will determine whether it contends or settles for a spoiler role. Coach: Mark Motsinger Seniors: DALTON SUMMERS, 5-6, g. Juniors: Gabe Motsinger, 6-2, f; SLAYDEN FIGG, 5-9, g; DARREN BETZ, 6-0, g; Loren Whiting, 6-1, f; Anthony Kalodner, 5-5, g; Jordan Mitchell, 5-9, g; Jonah Crowder, 6-1, f; Tyler Cantrell, 5-11, g. Sophomores: Rahman Fann, 5-8, g; Micah Childers, 5-9, g; Blake Parks, 5-9, f. Freshmen: Brody Walker, 5-6, g.

Boys: Greater Egyptian Crab Orchard After losing almost every starter from a regional championship team, last year was going to be a rebuild for the Trojans. When Caleb Perry and his 21 points per game left the lineup after seven games because of a season-ending broken leg, rebuilding turned into surviving. With the 5-foot-10 Perry back for his senior season, Crab Orchard and veteran coach Jon Brown are hopeful of a significant rebound from its 2-5, 6-21 mark of 2012-13. “We will be a strong perimeter-oriented team with several outside shooters,” Brown said. “But we must work very hard on defense and rebounding the basketball to offset a lack of size.” How small are the Trojans? Their only returning starter over 6-0, Gunnar Galloway, stands a mere 61. Galloway proved he could score last year, pumping in 15 per game, but the junior must improve his rebounding for this team not to be annihilated on the glass. Crab’s other three starters are 5-9, although sophomore Lane Hutson, who averaged eight points per game, could be in for a big spike after an offseason which left Brown dubbing him as the team’s most improved player. Forward Tyler Deaton averaged eight points and guard Josh Emery hit for seven as starters last year. Senior Zach Ray, along with juniors Jonathan Stephens and Travis Tarlton, figure to battle for playing time. Coach: Jon Brown Seniors: CALEB PERRY, 5-10, f; JOSH EMERY, 59, g; TYLER DEATON, 5-9, f; Zach Ray, 5-10, f. Juniors: GUNNAR GALLOWAY, 6-1, f; Jonathan Stephens, 5-11, f; Travis Tarlton, 5-9, f. Sophomores: LANE HUTSON, 5-8, g; Billy

Treat, 5-8, g; Ethan Anderson, 5-11, c. Freshmen: McKager Ferrel, 6-2, c.

Galatia It’s been a rough two seasons for the Bearcats, losers of 46 of 53 games in that span. Last year, they were 3-24 overall and 0-7 in the GEC. Revenge of sorts could come this year with the return of four senior starters and the addition of freshmen that could give this team some muchneeded depth, if not the height which would make them a tougher matchup. “The speed of the game has picked up for them,” Galatia coach Kendall Hankins said. “They are extremely quick and defend real well. We’re going to focus on our defense and try to force turnovers, then turn those into transition buckets with our speed.” Michael Mondino, a 5-10 senior, is the team’s best bet to score in transition or off the dribble, averaging around 10 points per game last year. The top option in half court sets is Bodie Beckman, a 6-2 senior, who led the Bearcats with 13 points per game last year and has grown six inches since then. Adam Brothers, a 5-9 senior, may be the team’s best shooter, while Zane Stanley, another 5-9 senior, can make the Bearcats a tougher out with more consistent play. The key could be Eric Emery, a 5-8 senior, who’s out for the first time since his freshman year and could win the point guard job. Off the bench, Austin Stricklin, a 6-1 sophomore, and Sean Mondino, a 6-0 freshman, could add some strength inside. Another freshman, 5-8 guard Luke Lawrence, has a shot for

Page 14 Friday, November 22, 2013 The Southern Illinoisan

playing time.

Hardin County

Coach: Kendall Hankins Seniors: BODIE BECKMAN, 6-2, f; ADAM BROTHERS, 5-9, g; MICHAEL MONDINO, 5-10, g; ZANE STANLEY, 5-9, g; Eric Emery, 5-8, g; Dalton Grubbs, 6-1, f. Sophomores: Austin Stricklin, 6-1, f; Hayden Mitchell, 5-10, c. Freshmen: Sean Mondino, 6-0, c; Luke Lawrence, 5-8, g; Cody Mathews, 5-6, g; Devin Berbach, 5-5, g.

Veteran coach Robert Patton put it succinctly. “I go from one of the biggest teams to one of the littleist teams in Southern Illinois,” he said. So long, Andrew Drone and Patrick Lowe. but if Patton’s right, the Hawks aren’t waving goodbye to playing important basketball games in late February and March, either. While he has to replace more than 4,200 points from a lineup which went 27-4 and made the Class 1A super-sectionals last March, Patton still feels like he’s got a team which will challenge for the GEC title. The only returning starter is Mitchell Ramsey, a 5-10 senior, a role player who must take a leadership role. Jared Jackson, a 5-11 senior, Zach McGuire, 5-11 senior, Chandler Scates, a 6-3 junior, and Marcus Wargel, a 6-0 senior, are other possibilities to start. Seth Ramsey, a 5-9 freshman, Austin Russell, a 5-7 senior, and Tyler Oldham, a 6-1 junior, will also get plenty of playing time. Patton likes how athletic and coachable his team is, but says they’ll have to overcome their lack of varsity experience and size to contend in the GEC.

What Rodney Lane presided over last year with the Cougars wasn’t just rebuilding. It was a total reconstruction project, all the way down to the foundation. They returned just two players with varsity experience and only one had started at any point in his career. So a 6-20 season with just two GEC wins couldn’t have been terribly surprising to anybody. With that mess out of the way, Hardin County could be a sleeper of sorts this winter. It returns three starters, including leading scorer B.J. Austin, a 6-1 junior, and his 15 points per game, and has added depth with the help of seven freshmen. “Our JV team was playing on the varsity level last year,” Lane said. “We often had five sophomores on the floor. One year makes a huge difference. If we can take care of the ball, that’s the big key. We have a pretty decent shooting team.” Jeremy Hicks, a 6-2 senior, chipped in 10 points a game a year ago and point guard Logan Conn, a 5-10 junior, who scored six a night, is back to run the offense. Skyler Smith, a 510 senior, should add another good shooter to the lineup. Tanner Dutton, a 5-11 junior, will also get playing time in the frontcourt. Freshmen Austin Marler, a 6-2 center, and 5-8 guard Tyler Winters offer muchneeded depth for now and could start sooner rather than later.

Coach: Robert Patton Seniors: MITCHELL RAMSEY, 5-10, g; Jared Jackson, 5-11, g; Zach McGuire, 5-11, g; Marcus Wargel, 6-0, f; Austin Russell, 5-7, g. Juniors: Chandler Scates, 6-3, c; Tyler Oldham, 6-1, f. Freshmen: Seth Ramsey, 5-9, g.

Coach: Rodney Lane Seniors: JEREMY HICKS 6-2, f; Skyler Smith 510, g. Juniors: B.J. AUSTIN 6-1, f; LOGAN CONN 5-10, g; Tanner Dutton 5-11, c. Sophomores: Taze Paskon 6-1, c; John Rose 58, g.

Gallatin County

Freshmen: Austin Marler 6-2, c; Tyler Winters 5-8, g; Austin Seavers 6-1, f; Cameron Shaw 5-7, g; Kenny Barnes 6-0, f; Craig Hudson 6-0, f; Brandon Smith 5-5, g.

NCOE Year one of Bryon Graven’s tenure with the Cardinals went pretty well. They posted a 17-11 record and should contend for the GEC title this winter with the return of three starters. Dakota Wheeler, a 6-4 senior, is the marquee name returning after averaging 10.4 points and 6.2 rebounds while hitting 58 percent from the field. Guards Cole Tucker, who averaged 9.8 points, and Blake Karnes, who averaged 9.3, should become double-figure scorers this winter. “I believe we will be a more aggressive and physical team than we were last year,” Graven said. “Our program and strength and conditioning program are helping our players play the game the way it should be played, intense and physical with our defense leading to good offense. “Our players believe in our system and our coaches believe in our players.” Chase Sutton, a 6-0 sophomore,should move into a more prominent role after canning 50 percent of his 3-pointers and scoring 5.5 points off the bench. How much NCOE improves might depend on how they can replace leading scorer Dylan Martin’s 11.3 points per game. The Cardinals are carrying just nine men on the roster for the second straight year. Any injury or illness will seriously cut into this team’s chances to win. Coach: Bryon Graven Seniors: Briar Short, 5-6, g; Jacob Taylor, 6-2, g.; Tyler Lamb, 5-11, f; COLE TUCKER, 5-11, g; DAKOTA WHEELER, 6-4, f. Juniors: BLAKE KARNES, 6-0, g; Kyle Sell, 6-3, f. Sophomores: Chase Sutton, 6-0, g; Jacob Delap, 6-4, f.



2013-14 High School Basketball Preview

With four starters returning from a regional championship team, Galatia is looking to make a deeper run into the postseason this year. Back from last year’s 13-7 squad are senior guards Emily Reed and Seneca Tso, as well as junior forwards Elizabeth Sloan and Ayshia Mitchell. Sloan has been the team’s leading scorer for the past two years. “I’m losing about four points off that team last year,” said coach Josh Summers. “We’re well rounded. Liz is our leading scorer usually, but we don’t really run any sets for any one person.” Two other players, Lexi Johnson, a sophomore guard, and Kaelyn Watson, a 5-8, junior, could work their way into the starting lineup. Others in the rotation will be senior guard Casey Bowlin, sophomore Becky Gregory and freshman Kassidy Rizor. Rizor, the leading scorer at Thompsonville Junior High, could work her way into the starting lineup by the end of the season. “This is the most depth I’ve ever had,” Summers said. The Bearcats will be

Girls: Greater Egyptian looking for a new point guard this season. “That’s the big hole I have to fill this season,” Summers said. Coach: Josh Summers Seniors: SENECA TSO, 5-7, g; EMILY REED, 5-3, g; Casey Bowlin, 5-7 g. Juniors: ELIZABETH SLOAN, 5-9, f; AYSHIA MITCHELL, 5-10, f; Kaelyn Watson, 5-8, f. Sophomores: Lexi Johnson, 5-1, g; Becky Gregory, 5-6, g. Freshman: Kassidy Rizor, 5-8, g/f.

Gallatin County Before last year, Hawks coach Chuck Ingram worried that his team wouldn’t be able to score consistently because of poor shot selection. Turns out he was right as they struggled to get out of the 30s most nights and endured a losing season. Ingram is hoping for improvement from his senior-less roster this year because the core of his squad are now juniors with a taste of varsity experience. “They were all sophomores last year, trying to play varsity ball,” he said. “We’ve got some nice size and quickness. It’s just a matter of getting the right combinations going, getting the kids to believe in

themselves.” Sidney Ahrens, a 5-11 junior, will be the name of the game here. Ingram said that Ahrens has the versatility and athletic ability to be the team’s top option on the offensive end. The other returning starter is guard Kristyn Jester, a 5-7 junior. Brooke Van, a 5-11 junior, Shay Woods, another 5-11 junior, and Hannah Logsdon, a 5-9 junior, will give Gallatin County depth and good athleticism on the front line. A trio of 5-9 sophomores, Jordan Prince, Makalyn Smith and Mariah Ledbetter will also earn plenty of minutes. Kaylee Foster, a 5-9 freshman, is one of five freshmen hoping to pick up playing time.

Cougars this winter as they resume a girls basketball program after not playing last year. Coach Dan Taylor will have one of the state’s youngest rosters with no seniors and six freshmen among his nine players. “It has been interesting in practice so far trying to incorporate the skills of our three upperclassmen with all of the freshmen we have on the team,” Taylor said. “I’m looking forward to see how we progress throughout the year and which players will emerge as team leaders.” Taylor offered a bit of a hint in his email as to the latter, saying to watch for Jasie Owen, a 5-8 junior, Jaicee Daymon, a 5-5 junior, and Megan Williams, a 5-4 freshman. Hardin County is small and guard-oriented, Coach: Chuck Ingram Juniors: Hannah Logsdon, 5-9, f; Brooke Van, 5- but Taylor says his team 11, c; KRISTYN JESTER, 5-7, g; Shay Woods, 5-11, c; may be dynamic enough in SIDNEY AHRENS, 5-11, c/f. Sophomores: Jordan Prince, 5-9, g; Makalyn the backcourt to remain Smith, 5-9, f; Lexi Rhinesmith, 5-7, f; Mariah competitive. Ledbetter, 5-9, f/g. Jayci Vaughn, a 5-7 junior, Freshmen: Kaylee Foster, 5-9, f; Harlie Turner, 5-9, f; Morgan Roderich, 5-7, g; Caitlin Lynch, 5-8, Tanner Owen, a 5-5 freshf/g; Kaylee McGuire, 5-8, g. man, Emily McClusky, a 56 freshman, and Brittaney Hardin County Williams, another 5-6 freshman will offer depth in New coach, new team. That’s the scenario for the the frontcourt. Freshmen

Karsyn Holmes, 5-4, and Jacey Winters, 5-5, are candidates to play at guard. With so many freshmen on his roster, Taylor has a chance to lay a nice foundation this winter. But the present might include some difficult nights. Coach: Dan Taylor Juniors: Jasie Owen, 5-8, c; Jayci Vaughn, 5-7, f; Jaicee Daymon, 5-5, g/f. Freshmen: Megan Williams, 5-4, g; Karsyn Holmes, 5-4, g; Tanner Owen, 5-5, f; Emily McClusky, 5-6, f; Jacey Winters, 5-5, g/f; Brittaney Williams, 56, f.

Pope County With four returning starters, including a 1,000point scorer and an experienced point guard, the Pirates figure to be the GEC’s best team. But veteran coach Kelly King cautions there’s plenty of work to do. “We’ve got to play a bit better defense than what we’ve been doing in practice,” he said. “I think we’ll be able to score enough, but we just have to work a little harder. We’ve got to cut people off on defense and not give up the easy shot.” King also wants to see Pope County develop some

depth. While he’s certain that his starting lineup can provide solid play, he wants two or three of his younger players to step into reserve roles so that the starting five doesn’t have to log 80 percent or more of the minutes. The top returnee is senior Victoria Vaughn, a 5-9 guard who averaged a teamhigh 14 points per game last year, reaching four figures for her career. Brittany Noel, a 5-6, senior, is back for her second season as the point guard. Emily Powles, a 5-8 junior, averaged 10 points and nearly eight rebounds per game last season, while McKenzie Schutt, a 5-7 senior, also started last year. Stephanie Davis, a 5-8 senior, and 5-7 juniors Ashley Crumley and Amy Robards will all get minutes up front. Kirsten Tomes, a 5-7 sophomore, Madison Murphy, 5-5 freshman, and Courtney Vickery, 5-4 freshman, are among the candidates to get playing time off the bench at guard. Coach: Kelly King Seniors: VICTORIA VAUGHN, 5-9, g; BRITTANY NOEL, 5-6, g; MCKENZIE SCHUTT, 5-7, f; Stephanie Davis, 5-8, c. Juniors: EMILY POWLES, 5-8, g; Ashley Crumley, 5-7, c; Amy Robards, 5-7, c. Sophomores: Kirsten Tomes, 5-7, g; Olivia Weaver, 5-5, g; Olivia Collier, 5-5, g. Freshmen: Madison Murphy, 5-5, g; Courtney Vickery, 5-4, g.

— Bucky Dent

GEC: Boys basketball race figures to be wide-open this season in Greater Egyptian Conference FROM PAGE 14

Pope County In a league which mostly boasts experienced teams, the Pirates join Gallatin County as the exceptions to the rule. Pope County graduated all five starters off an 18-win outfit and has just two seniors on a 16-man roster, but coach Jim Simmons says all hope isn’t lost in Golconda. “If we put people in the right spots, stay healthy and bond as a team, I think we’ll be OK,” he said. “It all comes with team chemistry, I think. We’re going to

have to grow up fast. The ones who grow up will play.” J.D. Ward, a 6-0 senior, Xavier Bramlett, another 6-0 senior, Justin Ferguson, a 6-3 junior, and Cody Harris, a 6-0 sophomore, did pick up some playing time last year. The 200-pound Ferguson has the height and bulk to do some damage inside. The Pirates will dress a whopping 11 sophomores and freshmen, so their lineup and playing rotation might be a work in progress until January. Simmons hinted that he’ll ride hot hands. Coach: Jim Simmons Seniors: J.D. Ward, 6-0, g/f; Xavier Bramlett, 6-0, f.

Juniors: Justin Ferguson, 6-3, c; Gibril Lumpkin, 6-1, f; Isaiah Bramlett, 5-11, g. Sophomores: Isaiah Bramlett, 5-11, g; Cody Harris, 6-0, g; Zach Sasolo, 5-10, g; Darius Hackett, 5-11, g; Noah Stalions, 6-2, c. Freshmen: Bobby McMahan, 5-8, g; Dylan Worghan, 5-11, g; Ty Lawson, 5-10, g/f; Caleb Rawlings, 5-10, g; Dakota Richardson, 5-11, f; Aaron Lakus, 5-10, f.

Thompsonville In a conference which as a whole doesn’t possess a lot of height, the Tigers are by far the biggest outlier. Meet 6-7 Ryan Darnell. Then look up at 6-6 Quentin Henson. And while you’re at it, say hello to some of the smaller guys, such as 6-4 Hudson Garrison and 6-3 Lance Darnell.

“We’ll try to get the ball inside,” said first-year coach Mike Henson. “We’re a big team. It’s self-explanatory.” But for all that height and experience inside — Quentin Henson and both Darnells started for last year’s 18-win outfit — it might come down to guard play. And Thompsonville has to replace one of the best in Brady Houseright, a 20-plus point per game scorer who’s playing baseball these days at Greenville College. Kiefer Payne, a 5-11 senior, will get a lot of playing time in the backcourt, but the other starting

spot is up for grabs, and might stay that way as Henson tries to figure out roles for his team. Henson and Ryan Darnell both averaged double-doubles last year, combining for about 22 points and 22 rebounds a night. If the Tigers can adequately replace Houseright, all that height might just make things right. Coach: Mike Henson Seniors: QUENTIN HENSON, 6-6, f/c; RYAN DARNELL, 67, f; LANCE DARNELL, 6-3, f; Kiefer Payne, 5-11, g; Tyler Parkhill, 6-1, g; Tate Kerley, 5-10, g. Juniors: Jaret Murphy, 6-2, g; Hudson Garrison, 6-4, f; Kyle Shimkus, 6-1, g; Kodey Costello, 5-9, g. Sophomores: Jesse Darnell, 6-3, f. Freshmen: Timmy Henson, 6-2, g; A.J. Payne, 5-10, g; Corey Wilce, 5-10, g.

— Bucky Dent

The Southern Illinoisan Friday, November 22, 2013 Page 15

2013-14 High School Basketball Preview

Century Ethan Stringer has three starters returning in his first season at Century. Seniors Devantay Pullet, Zachary Sauerburnn and junior Caden Hight all return from last season. “I’m kind of excited,” Stringer said “We’re not really young. We’re not too talented, but we’ll work hard. We are hard workers. We should do things right.” Senior Aaron Jones is likely to get playing time, along with juniors Collin Jones and Blake Crane and sophomores Adam Jones and Malik Hagler. All range in height from 5-foot-10 to 6-2. “We lost a starter to Meridian, but every one of those boys played varsity last year,” Stringer said. “Every one of them has at least a few varsity moments. I don’t think any freshmen will get any big playing time.” The Centurions should be a good shooting team. Stringer also sees Century has being a strong rebounding team.

Boys: South Egyptian


were 15-18 last year. The team’s lone returning starter is the coach’s son, Kyle Cox, a 6-1, sophomore guard. Cox will play a lot of sophomores this year. “They’re just good ballhandlers and good threepoint shooters,” Cox said. “We’re not real strong underneath. We’re going to press hard and play manto-man. “A lot of them ran cross country, so we’ll be strong on the court.” Joining Cox on the floor will be Alex Zeske, Dillon Gillard, Jordan Rhymer, Jessie Terbrak, Dalen Treat and Caleb Theis, all sophomores. “I think we’ll be able to transition well,” Cox said. “We’ve got a lot to post up well. They’re a well-rounded team. We just don’t have the 6-8 and the 6-5 guys.” Despite the youth, Cox thinks the team can compete. “We played summer ball against teams that were older than us,” he said. “Lack of experience is really not going to bother us, I don’t believe. I may change my mind once we get started.”

It will be a fresh start at Dongola with a new coach, Kevin Cox, and a roster of youngsters. The Demons

Coach: Kevin Cox Sophomores: KYLE COX, 6-1, g; Alex Zescke, 60, g; Dillon Gilland, 6-2, f; Jordan Rhymer, 6-0, f; Jessie Terbrak, 5-11, g; Dalen Treat, 5-11, g; Caleb Theis, 5-8, g.

Coach: Ethan Stringer Seniors: DEVONTAY PULLET, 6-5, f; ZACHARY SAUERBURNN, 6-1, f; Aaron Jones, 5-10 f. Juniors: CADEN HIGHT, 5-10, g; Collin Jones, 62, g; Blake Crane, 6-0, g. Sophomores: Adam Jones, 6-1, f; Malik Hagler, 5-11, g.

Egyptian Egyptian advanced to the regional finals last season before losing to Meridian. The Pharaohs finished the season 18-9. However, no starters return for veteran coach Matt Mandrell. “We’ve had a pretty good run,” Mandrell said. “Three of our top seven graduated and the other three transferred, two of them just went back where they came from. The other starter from last year didn’t come out. “If we were a car we’d be stripped and sold for parts.” Two players, Manny Fox, a 5-11 junior and Deanthony Pruden, a 6-1 sophomore, did see considerable playing time last year. “It’s quite a change,” Mandrell said. “We’ve done pretty well the last six years. It’s going to be a rebuild. Last year at this time I would have figured we’d have four of our top seven players, and maybe down the line it might happen, but not this year.” The team will be young and short. Other players likely to be in Mandrell’s rotation this year are junior guard Cameron Masterson, sophomore Tim Sams and fresh-


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Page 16 Friday, November 22, 2013 The Southern Illinoisan

men Samuel Hale and Cameron Curtis. “We just to improve from the start of the year to the end of the year, to see some of the younger players develop,” Mandrell said Coach: Matt Mandrell Juniors: Manny Fox, 5-11, g; Cameron Masterson, 5-9, g. Sophomores: Deanthony Pruden, 6-1, f; Tim Sams, 6-0, f. Freshmen: Samuel Hale, 5-11, f; Cameron Curtis, 5-9, g.

Joppa Tyler Castleman, one of the region’s top scorers returns for the Joppa Rangers this year. Castleman averaged nearly 27 points per game last year. “He can shoot from anywhere,” said Joppa coach Kenny Harris. “He can take the ball to the hole. Last year the three games we won were basically because of him.” Castleman got plenty of help last year from 6-3 junior Michael Starks who averaged 15 points per game. Justin Harval, a senior, guard is the other returning starter for the Rangers. “The kids I have so far are hard working,” Harris said. “I think we’ll surprise some people if we all play together. I think we’ll have a lot better record than we had last year.” Other players in the rotation this year will be Trenton Lewis, Austin Naegar, and Hunter Johnson. Lewis, a point guard, saw a lot of varsity action as a freshman last year. The Rangers will also get a boost at the end of the first semester when 6-5 transfer student Chris Brown becomes eligible. Brown will provide a much needed inside threat. “Our concern would strictly be rebounding,”

think we’ll have some kids that can post up and get some scores that way.” He added that the Bobcats have enough depth to play a pressure defense.

Harris said. “We have to Coach: Jeff Mandrell play defense and rebound, Seniors: MICHAEL SHOFFNER, 6-1, f; Justin that’s what hurt us last year. Prewitt, 6-3, f. Juniors: DAVID DAVIS, 6-0, g; D.J. WELDON, 5We only had eight guys last g; Khouri Powell, 5-11, g; Caylen Stewart, 6-6, f; year. We had to play zone all 8,Davaere Edwards, 6-1, f. last year.” Last year, there were so few players in the program Shawnee the Rangers couldn’t field a Now in her third year as junior varsity squad. Harris coach at Shawnee, things said he has nine freshmen have reached an equilibriout this year. um for coach LaDonna Bachmann. Coach: Kenny Harris “Now it’s just kind of like Seniors: TYLER CASTLEMAN, 6-0, g; JUSTIN HARVAL, 5-8, g; Austin Naegar, 6-0, f. old hat,” she said. “They’re Juniors: MICHAEL STARKS, 6-3, f; Sophomores: Chris Brown, 6-5, f; Trenton used to me. I haven’t had Lewis, 5-8, g. any calls, nobody is taking Freshman: Hunter Johnson, 6-2, f. my picture anymore. It’s where I wanted it a long Meridian time ago.” The only female boys With three starters basketball coach in the returning and two quality region has three starters transfers, the Mounds returning from last year’s Meridian Bobcats figure to 9-15 team in Aiden be strong again this season. McMahan, Michael Crane Jeff Mandrell’s team and Dylan Boston. compiled a 22-5 mark last “They are a good group of season before losing to kids,” Bachmann said. Gallatin County in the sec“They’re willing to work tional finals. Michael together. It’s really going to Shoffner, a 6-foot-1 guard, be a fun season. I think David Davis, a 6-0 guard you’ll see Aiden McMahan and D.J. Weldon, a 5-8, take over. guard, all started for the “Aiden McMahan is a Bobcats last year. great leader, he’s a great Khouri Powell, a 5-11 athlete. He palyes every guard-forward, saw congame like it is the last 10 siderable action off the seconds he will play. Once bench. he gets going I think everyIn addition, 6-3 Justin one will feed off him.” Prewitt transferred from In addition to the three Egyptian and 6-1 Davaere returnees, Bachmann has a Edwards transferred from quartet of sophomores, Century. Daniel Parris, Lucas “The new kids have Matlock, Ryan Ochoa, and mixed in,” Mandrell said. “I Nick Crane who will see a think it’s a group that is lot of action. pretty focused. They have There is no one on the their goals. They will do roster over 6-2. what it takes to achieve “We are short,” their goals.” Bachmann said. “We don’t Caylen Ballard, a 6-6 have the height. We won’t junior, will also be added to have as deep a bench. We’ll the mix. have to spend a lot of time “We ought to have 2-3 conditioning and we can spots with pretty good play all four quarters. That’s quickness,” Mandrell said. where struggled last year. “I think we’ll be versatile, We’d put a couple good interchangeable, which is SEE SEC / PAGE 17 pretty common for us. I

2013-14 High School Basketball Preview

Century With four starters, including a pair of AllSouth performers from a 21-7 club, Century has to be considered one of the favorites for the conference title. All-South picks Morgan Atherton, a 5-foot-10 senior, and Amanda Cheek, a 5-8 senior, are back along with Amber Davis and Jordan Clark-Holcomb. “We should be OK,” Dexter said. “Atherton is our leading scorer. If she stays healthy, she’ll have over 2,000 points before Christmas and over 1,000 rebounds early. She’s got a chance to put up some pretty big numbers.” The Centurions have good size. Davis is 5-11 and three freshmen that range from 5-9 to 5-11. Finding a point guard will be the key. Dexter thinks he has the answer in Clark-Holcomb. “She’s going to be the girl,” he said. “She played it this summer for us and she did a good job. The thing that helps us to is our big girls can handle the ball too. If we can handle that we can be all right.” In addition to the returning starters, expect junior Makayla Sickling, sophomore Alysha Giltner, and freshmen Kiara Houston and Natalie Taake to see plenty of playing time.

Shanice Wiggins.

Girls: South Egyptian Although the Centurions are counting on some young players for depth, Century has an experienced team. “Three of those seniors have started for four years and the junior has started for three years,” Dexter said. “We’ve sort of been building up to this. Hopefully this will be a good year.” Coach: David Dexter Seniors: MORGAN ATHERTON, 5-10, c; AMANDA CHEEK, 5-8, g-f; AMBER DAVIS, 5-11, g. Juniors: JORDAN CLARK-HOLCOMB, 5-7, g; Makayla Sickling, 5-4, g. Sophomores: Alysha Giltner, 5-7, g. Freshmen: Kiara Houston, 5-11, f; Natalie Taake, 5-9, f.

Dongola With all five starters returning, Rob Shepard expects his Dongola squad to improve on last year’s 518 mark. Three seniors return in Reba Robinson, Stephanie Shepard and Victoria Shirkey. Brenna Newman and Kyeli Flores started as sophomores last year. “The girls never quit,” Shepard said. “They hustled to the end. We struggled with shooting at the start of the season. The two juniors became the leading scorers. They started playing team ball real well.” The Demons had just six

varsity players this year. The team will be deeper this year. Ashlyn Schuiltz, a senior, is returning from a knee injury. Other players expected to see varsity time are junior Cassondra Gorst, sophomore Callier Mowery and freshmen Tiffany Shirkey, Barbara Gorst, Megan Michaels and Casey Johnson. “We only had six varsity players,” Shepard said. “We just couldn’t hang with teams to the end. This year we’ve got some freshmen that will get some varsity time. I think that is going to change, we have a lot more depth.” Scoring could still be an issue for the team. “We should be a good challenge for the conference,” Shepard said. “Last year we weren’t a pushover, and this year I think my girls have matured. I think we’re going to step up.” Coach: Rob Shepard Seniors: REBA ROBINSON, 5-7, f; STEPHANIE SHEPARD, 5-7, f; VICTORIA SHIRKEY, 5-5, g; Ashlyn Schuiltz, 5-7, f-c. Juniors: BRENNA NEWMAN, 5-7, g; KYELI FLORES, 5-5, g; Cassondra Gorst, 5-4, g. Sophomores: Callie Mowery, 5-8 g. Freshmen: Tiffany Shirkey, 6-0, c; Barbara Gorst, 5-2, g; Megan Michaels, 5-4, g; Casey Johnson, 5-6, g.


SEC: Boys 2013-14 preview FROM PAGE 16 quarters together, and then came the dreaded third quarter.” Shawnee will also be a young team, but most of the sophomore saw playing time as freshmen last year. “As freshmen it was a little bit of a shock to them, but they did well in their JV games,” Bachmann said. “I think they have a little more experience than some of the kids they’ll be playing against.” Coach: LaDonna Bachmann Seniors: AIDEN MCMAHAN, 5-11, g Juniors: MICHAEL CRANE, 5-11, g. Sophomores: DYLAN BOSTON, 5-10, g; Daniel Parris, 6-2, f; Lucas Matlock, 6-2, f. Nick Ochoa, 5-9, g; Nick Crane, 5-9, g.

— Les Winkeler

With four starters returning, things should be looking up in Egyptian. Egyptian finished just 316 last year, but experience should pay off this season. “We run the floor,” said coach Erin Jackson. “If we can get it out in transition, we’ll do OK. I think we can rebound this year, more so than ever. That’s what we’ve been focusing on. That was kind of our weak suit last year. “This year I think they know their roles. I think this year our forwards are going

to help us.” Returning starters are juniors Cambria Bigham and Ashanti Wade and sophomores Valencia Holloway and Keilah Massie. Bigham is the shortest returnee at 5-7 while Massie is the tallest at 5-10. “Man, we’re taller than I thought,” Jackson said. “We’re usually pretty small. I think our outlook this year is better than last year. They’ve kind of jumped on board. They worked over the summer.” Raven Grundy and Kayde Wood will also get plenty of playing time this season. Grundy will probably run the point. Last year Egyptian relied heavily on Massie for scoring. Jackson said she foresees more balance this year, but, perimeter scoring could be an issue. On the other hand, only one senior is expected to see a lot of playing time. “We’re very young,” Jackson said. “This year is probably our stepping stone to the next couple years.” Coach: Erin Jackson Seniors: Kayde Wood, 5-8, f. Juniors: CAMBRIA BIGHAM, 5-7, g; ASHANTI WADE, 5-8, f; Raven Grundy, 5-7, g. Sophomores: VALENCIA HOLLOWAY, 5-8, g; KEILAH MASSIE, 5-10, f.

Joppa Hunter Kreuter is in his first year as coach of the Joppa Rangers, but he isn’t starting from scratch. He coached most of the players on the junior high level. Kreuter has three starters returning in sophomores Haley Martin and Gabby Wrey as well as junior Katie Bennett. In addition, Sara Burnett, another junior, saw considerable varsity action last year. “That is a good place to start,” Kreuter said. “I think

we will be competitive in our conference this year. I have an incoming freshman that as an eighth grader (Haley Kendall) averaged 28 points per game. I coached eighth grade last year.” In addition to Kendall, Ari Kendall, another freshman, and Paige Sharp, a senior who hasn’t played since her freshman year, should also see playing time. Coach: Hunter Kreuter Seniors: Paige Sharp, 5-6, g. Juniors: KATIE BENNETT, 5-6, f; Sara Burnett, 57, c. Sophomores: HALEY MARTIN, 5-7, g; GABBY WREY, 5-6, f. Freshmen: Haley Kendall, 5-8, g-f; Ari Kendall, 5-6, g.

Meridian If the Bobcats can overcome issues with depth, this could be a big year at Meridian. Jerry Johnson has all his starters back from last year’s 12-11 team. The team is quick and willing to play solid defense. “Our goal is to be over .500,” Johnson said. “We always want to win more than we did last year, and most of them are ready to go.” The Bobcats are returning Marie and Quanshae Johnson at the guard positions, Cierra Ballard and Asia Wade at the forwards and Amari Acree at center. Meridian does not have much size, the girls range from 5-6 to 5-8. But, speed and balance could offset that liability. “I get a lot of points in transition,” Johnson said. “They were used to one or two people doing the scoring, we got away from that. Now we have everybody. “They know the program. They know how we play.” Two other players sure to get plenty of playing time are freshman guard India Wade and junior guard

Coach: Jerry Johnson Seniors: MARIE JOHNSON, 5-7, g; CIERRA BALLARD, 5-6, f; QUANSHAE JOHNSON, 5-6, g; ASIA WADE, 5-7, g. Juniors: AMARI ACREE, 5-8, c; Shanice Wiggins, 5-4, g. Freshman: India Wade, 5-5, g.

Shawnee Shawnee is on the other end of the spectrum. Chad Pitts doesn’t have a single starter returning from last year’s 13-13 club. Complicating matters further is the fact that only seven players came out for the team and one, Kayla Treece, is nursing a knee injury, and probably won’t be available until about Christmas. Treece saw considerable action last year along with sophomores Morgan Stevens and Lexis Charles. He will add freshmen Drew McLane, Madi Ellet, Abbey McMahan and Taylor Trammel to that mix. Stevens was the team’s sixth player last year. McLane is coming off a successful stint as point guard at the junior high level. “We’re going to see what we have,” Pitts said. “We’re going to try to be an outside oriented team. We’re not going to score too much on the inside. We’re hoping Madi and some of the freshman girls can open up the inside by hitting some 3s.” Defensively, the lack of depth will create problems. “In the past we’ve played a 1-3-1,” Pitts said. “This year we’re really going to be strategic in our defense. Our height is limited, so we’ll have to try to put some pressure on the ball. If we get in foul trouble, we can’t really afford to get in foul trouble. Some people may have to be playing with three fouls in the first half.” Coach: Chad Pitts Sophomores: Morgan Stevens, 5-6, g; Lexis Charles, 5-3, g; Kayla Treece, 5-9, f. Freshmen: Drew McLane, 5-6, g; Madi Ellet, 5-6, g; Abbey McMahan, 5-4, g; Taylor Trammel, 5-9, f.

— Les Winkeler

The Southern Illinoisan Friday, November 22, 2013 Page 17

OHIO BOYS: 2013-14 preview FROM PAGE 6 significant improvement last year. The team has a chance to improve on its 10-win season with a pretty good lineup. “Last year we had a good combination of some seniors with experience,” said West Frankfort coach Dan DeWerff. “They were kind of lunch pail guys who worked really hard. The guys kind of learned how to win some close ball games. Hopefully, it will translate to more wins this year.” Christian Dunning and Braxston Koehl return to the starting lineup, and DeWerff will rely heavily on the duo. “Dunning brings some

scoring and rebounding for us,” DeWerff said. “He scored a lot in the paint last year, but this season he’ll play more on the wing. We just need him to be more consistent, and he can be really good if he does that.” Koehl will run the point once again after a solid year as a sophomore. “He is definitely the straw that stirs the drink, without a doubt,” DeWerff said. “He had some big games for us last year.” Coach: Dan DeWerff Juniors: BRAXSTON KOEHL, 5-10, g; CHRISTIAN DUNNING, 6-4, f; Jacob Bartoni, 6-3, c; Garrett Karoski, 5-11, g; Aaron Twist, 6-10, c; Hunter Johnson, 6-5, f; Logan Hartley, 6-3, f; Jordan Schach, 5-11, g. Sophomores: Keegan Easley, 5-9, g; Brett Reiger, 6-3, f; Jason Spears, 6-0, g; Bryce Shadowens, 6-5; Kyle Saillez, 5-11, g; Chase McLaren, 6-0, g; Ty Smith, 5-8, g.

— Scott Mees

OHIO GIRLS: 2013-14 preview FROM PAGE 7 the game,” said West Frankfort coach Matt Hampleman. “She can do so many things for us, and she is a good passer, too. That makes for a pretty good recipe for a player.” Hampleman said that Wilce gets beat up during games on a regular basis based on the opposing team’s focus on her. He expects her to handle the attention well.

The Lady Redbirds will be relying on Jacklynn Calvert to provide some consistent scoring this year, and she can bury some big shots from downtown as well. Coach: Matt Hampleman Seniors: Callie Wyant, 5-8, f. Juniors: KIARHA WILCE, 5-5, g; LINDSEY WILLIAMS, 5-5, g; Courtney Paris, 5-9, f; Bobbie Jo Wegrzyn, 5-9, g; Sophomores: Jacklynn Calvert, 5-5, g; Jaidon Sailliez 5-10, g-f; Emily Stewart, 5-10, f-c; Hannah Melvin, 6-1, f; Terrilynn Summers, 5-9, g; Amanda Fry, 6-0, c. Freshmen: Morgan Griffith, 5-9, g-f.

— Scott Mees

2013-14 High School Basketball Preview

Cairo Coach Brian Brandtner is very excited about his team as the Pilots have a lot of people back from last year’s 11-13 team. “We’ve got a lot of seniors back,” Brandtner said. “This team’s got a lot of heart and grit and I’ve got a good feeling about this group. I have a good group of kids.” Cairo doesn’t have a lot of height. “We’re not real big so we’ll focus on rebounding and ball pressure to kind of take away from our size disadvantage,” Brandtner said. “We’re going to pick people up and guard them.” In the past, Cairo has loved to run up and down the court and score at will against opponents and that doesn’t look to change this season. “We’re going to look to run but be smart about it,” Brandtner said. Coach: Brian Brandtner Seniors: Rayquan Nelson, 5-5, g; JARVIS WOODSON, 5-11; g; Keyonte Graham, 5-8, g; Trevon Houston, 6-0, f; Bryce Gardiner, 6-0, f-c; R.J. Henderson, 6-2, c; Jeffrey DeWitt, 5-8, g; Josh Jordan, 6-0, c Junior: Carlton Jackson, 6-0, g-f. Sophomore: Melvin Duncan, 5-8, g Freshman: Davion Taylor, 6-0, g-f

Carlyle The Indians return three senior starters from a team that went 23-8 last season and fell to Breese Central in the regional final. Forwards Matt Hilmes


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WWW.WEEKSPOLARIS.COM Page 18 Friday, November 22, 2013 The Southern Illinoisan

Boys: Other Teams and John Becker and guard Logan Zachry are the returnees. Hilmes has started since his freshman season. “We have a lot of depth and hope that our experience is a strength,” said coach Andy Palmer. Some keys this year, according to Palmer, are being healthy and if they are, they can be very competitive. The Indians compete in the Cahokia Conference. Coach: Andy Palmer Seniors: JOHN BECKER, 6-2, f; Jared Guenzburger, 6-0, f; Deven Hicks, 5-8, g; MATT HILMES, 6-3, f; Alex Voss, 6-0, g; Wanya Walker, 63, c; LOGAN ZACHRY, 6-0, g; Juniors: Andy Becker, 5-11, f; Gunner Bretz; 5-9, g; Austin Cohoon, 5-8, g; Jordan Foos, 5-9, f; Brent Johnson, 6-2, c; Sophomores: Maverick Taylor, 5-10, g

Cobden The Appleknockers return four starters and three more that started frequently. Rhett Barke’s team finished near the .500 mark. Cobden will have to execute the little things in order to be successful this season. “The key for us is making shots,” Barke said. “That’s what we struggled with last season. We have to keep up the defensive pressure and we’ve got a fair amount of kids out. “They are going to have to step up for us.” Cobden has 24 kids out so depth shouldn’t be a problem for them. “I’m looking forward to seeing how the kids have progressed since their freshman year,” Barke said. “It’s the first year where I’ve had them all through high school.” Coach: Rhett Barke Seniors: Elijah Duckworth, 6-0, f; AUSTIN FLAMM, 6-0, f; TYLER LEWEY, 6-2, g-f; ZACH MOORE, 5-10, g; Keagan Tripp, 6-3, f. Juniors: Sam Cohen, 5-8, g; Parker Flamm, 64, f; Alex Inman, 5-8, g; Guillermo Palmerin, 5-10, g; Cayden Childers, 5-9, g. Sophomores: Justin Moore, 5-11, g-f; Logan

Spalt, 5-8, g. Freshmen: Austin Lewey, 5-11, g.

Okawville The Rockets return only one starter, Jacob Brammeier, from last year’s 25-8 squad that fell to Waterloo Gibault in the regional final. Coach Jon Kraus is depending on Brammeier to help lead his squad. “We’re not big, so we’re going to have to rebound and defend people,” Kraus said. “We’re a very young team. “We’re not very deep so that’s a concern.” Coach: Jon Kraus Senior: JACOB BRAMMEIER, 5-11, g; Alex Rossel, 6-3, f. Sophomore: Alex Wisneski, 6-0, g. Freshman: Noah Frederking, 6-3, f.

Steeleville Fundamentals will be important for a Steeleville team that lost most of its scoring from last year. “We lost a bit of scoring from last year so we’re going to have to take care of the ball and take good shots,” said coach Bryce Bainter. “We’re also going to have to defend and rebound.” Steeleville does return a pair of starters in seniors A.J. Jeffers and Kyle Smith. A strength of the Warriors this year is that they have some good shooters who can put up some points. “We’re going to put 4-5 guys out there that are capable of hitting a perimeter shot,” Bainter said. “We’re losing a lot of scoring from last year but hope to make up for it. Coach: Bryce Bainter Seniors: A.J. JEFFERS, 5-10, f; KYLE SMITH, 5-8, g; Steven Uchtman, 6-2, f; Kenny Garlit, 6-0, f; Justin Asbury, 5-10, g. Sophomore: Nic Hagel, 6-1, g

Waltonville It’s all about rebuilding in Waltonville. The Spartans return no starters from a team that went 19-8 last season. Waltonville fell to Christopher in the regional semifinals. “We’re going to have to have a lot of guys step up for the five seniors we lost from last season,” said Waltonville head coach Brian Gamber. Gamber feels like his team is going to have to execute all of the intangibles that it takes to win every night. “We’re going to have to do all the little things in order to stay in games and compete every night,” Gamber said. Coach: Brian Gamber Seniors: Austin Zahm, 6-2, c; Justin Winchester, 5-11, g; Hunter Coggins, 5-11, g. Juniors: Cody Peterson, 5-9, f; Jacob Hunsell, 511, f Sophomores: Dylan Miller, 5-8, g; Ryan Majewski, 6-0, f; Taylor Coggins, 5-9, g; Jacob Lewis, 5-10, f. Freshmen: Dalton Banach, 5-11, f; Cole Griffith, 5-7, g.

Woodlawn The Cardinals return only one starter from a team that went 26-4 and lost in the sectional semifinals. “We’re going to have to defend well, rebound, and take care of the ball,” said coach Shane Witzel.” They are keys for every team.” A key component this year for Woodlawn will be its their bench. “We need to develop our bench, which will develop as the season progresses,” Witzel said. Witzel feels that continued improvement from his starters and balanced scoring are also going to be keys for his team. Coach: Shane Witzel Seniors: JAYSON HAPEMAN, 5-11, g; Jake Robinson, 6-2, c; Chase Phelps, 6-3, f; Logan Wollerman, 5-11, g. Sophomore: Ross Owens, 6-3, g

— Chuck Highland

2013-14 High School Basketball Preview

Cairo The Co-Pilots look to build on last season’s success, when they finished 118 and won a regional title. “Some keys for us will be taking care of the ball and playing as a team,” said coach Kelly Shepard. Cairo returns four junior starters, Takena Taylor, Joyce Nelson, Koree Simelton and Makayla Hick. Shepard feels that is going to be another key. “How well our underclassmen develop will be key,” said Shepard. Coach: Kelly Shepard Seniors: Jordan Holder, 5-5, f. Juniors: JOYCE NELSON, 5-9, f; MAKAYLA HICKS, 6-0, c; TAKENA TAYLOR, 5-6, f; KOREE SIMELTON, 56, g. Sophomores: Shakaela Jangjirawat, 5-5, g; Ashley Connor, 5-8, f. Freshmen: Ukari Posey, 5-6, g; Monique McGoy, 5-2, g; Lauren Howard, 5-5, g; Taylor Laos, 5-3, g; Sharelle Woods, 5-7, f; Eshanae Taylor, 5-7, f; Datoria Allen, 5-5, g.


Kaylee Wagner, 5-5, f

Girls: Other Teams not lack for talent,” said Carlyle coach Randy Voss. The Indians will have to replace Paige Rakers, who is now at the University of Michigan. “The juniors played with the junior varsity to play with their prospects to prepare them for this year,” Voss said. “A lot of kids are getting their first taste of varsity action this season.” The Lady Indians are a work in progress. “There are a lot of question marks,” Voss said. “We’re trying to put the puzzle together and are looking forward to this season.” Coach: Randy Voss Seniors: Hannah Rueter, 5-7, g; KYLEE LEDBETTER, 5-7, g; Brie Paulsmeyer, 5-6, g; Britlyn Tyberendt, 5-10, f; BRIANNA SMITH, 5-9, g/f; LORI WHISENAND, 5-10, f; MacKenzie Magnus, 5-11, c Juniors: Ashley Huels, 5-8, g; Breanna Smith, 59, f Sophomores: Claudia Owens, 5-5, g; Ashlen Cohoon, 5-6, g; Ashton Pieron, 5-8, g; Bailey Hilmes, 5-8, f; Molly Isaak, 5-7, f

There are high hopes in Carlyle this season as the Lady Indians return three starters from a team that finished 22-7 last season and fell to rival Breese Cobden Central in the regional. “We may lack a lot of varRichard Howell enters his sity experience but we will first year as coach of the

Appleknockers with some challenges ahead of him. Cobden lost its leading scorer from last year in Taylor Ellis. “We lost two seniors last year and we’ve got some shoes to fill on the perimeter,” Howell said. Cobden returns three starters in seniors Ashley Millis, Haley Tomazzoli and Laurelin Pitts. Howell feels that his team has to play smart and patient this year in order to be successful. “We’re going to have to have someone step up at the post position,” he said. “We have to learn how to play smart as a team, be patient on offense, move the ball around, and not rush shots.” Coach: Richard Howell Seniors: ASHLEY MILLIS, 5-6, g; HALEY TOMAZZOLI, 5-6, g; LAURELIN PITTS, 5-6, g Juniors: Sandra Hartline, 5-7, g-f Sophomores: Keileigh Britt, 5-7, g-f; Taylor Tomazzoli, 5-8, c; Dayana Uribe, 5-4, g; Vanessa Hernandez, 5-0, g Freshmen: Makynzie Peterman, 5-2, g; Addy Aspen, 5-6, c; Inna Kinsey, 5-7, g-f; Elena Kinsey, 50, g




This season figures to be a rebuilding year in Okawville. The Lady Rockets return just one starter, Allison Koch, from last year’s Elite Eight squad. “We have a rebuilding year for sure,” said Okawville coach Michelle Burianek. “There’s a total of 15 kids on the team and seven of them are freshmen.” Burianek said the Lady Rockets will have to play good defense and take care of the ball to be successful. “We are extremely inexperienced but we’ll get better as the year goes on,” said Burianek.

The Lady Warriors look to get better after finishing below .500 last year. Coach Darryl Winkelman has four returning starters in Sara Potter, McKenna Lalis, Lindsay Hammel, and Chloe Gerlach at his disposal,and is excited about this season. “We’ll have some athleticism and we’ll gel as a unit,” Winkelman said. He said rebounding and defense are points of emphasis. “We’re going to have to rebound,” Winkelman said. “The girl we lost, Alex Gale, was our leading rebounder and scorer from last year. “We’re going to have to play defense.”

Coach: Michelle Hasheider-Burianek Senior: Christina Hill, 5-7, f; Rachel Holm, 5-10, f; ALLISON KOCH. 5-7, g; Juniors: Amanda Durr, 5-11, c Sophomores: Meaghan Daiber, 5-2, g; Macailah Fulton, 5-4, f; Jessie Klasing, 5-5, g; Alyssa Thompson, 5-4, f Freshmen: Stephanie Friederich, 5-7, f; Morgan Kampwerth, 5-4, g; Elayna Santel, 5-9, f; Meg Schnoeker, 5-3, g; Mallory Unverfehrt, 5-2, g; Laura Weber, 5-0, g; Amber Weeke, 5-8, f

Coach: Darryl Winkelman Seniors: SARA POTTER, 5-8, f; MCKENNA LALIS, 5-8, c Juniors: LINDSAY HAMMEL, 5-4, g; Justine Knop, 5-10, f Sophomores: CHLOE GERLACH, 5-4, g; Sidney Eubanks, 5-9, c; Bailey Gale, 5-10, f; Morgan Bockhorn, 5-9, f; Alyssa Landman, 5-5, g Freshmen: Dani Parker, 5-5, f; Madalynn Gordon, 5-5, c; Sidney Forman, 5-6, g; Madison Zweigert, 5-6, c; Taylor Hepp, 5-5, f;

The Lady Cardinals have a new person in charge as softball coach Matt Patterson takes over the reins of a team that finished 7-22 last season. Woodlawn returns just two starters in Carly Ethridge and Makaila Ballard. “A key for us is how well we play defensively,” Patterson said. “We’re a little challenged offensively so we need to keep the games low-scoring to have a chance.” Patterson feels that his young team is going to have to mature fast this season in order to be successful. “Another key for us is how quickly our young kids acclimate themselves to the varsity level,” Patterson said. Coach: Matt Patterson Seniors: Allison England, 5-2, g. Juniors: MAKAILA BALLARD, 5-7, f; Catherine Coleman, 5-6, f; CARLY ETHRIDGE, 5-8, g/f; Alanah Chelf, 5-6, g/f Sophomores: Kerstie Harlow, 5-5, g/f; Kaci Hails, 5-0, g Freshmen: Lexy Knox, 5-5, g/f; Kiara Lueking, 5-5, g; Taytum Murdock, 5-2, g; Holly Burretta, 5-6, f; Makayla Crawford, 5-4, g; Ashton Palmer, 5-5, g.

— Chuck Highland

MISSISSIPPI: 2013-14 boys basketball preview GIRLS: SIRR Mississippi 2013-14 preview FROM PAGE 4



“They can all dribble, pass and shoot,” Waggoner said. “I like the fact that we have a little more quickness and length than what we’ve had in the past. “It’s a fun group to coach, they enjoy basketball.” Rebounding is a bit of a question mark, as Pinckneyville has no one taller than 6-3, but Waggoner is hoping added defensive prowess can address any shortcomings under the basket. “We take pride in our ability to rebound the basketball, but we’ve got to get good at it,” Waggoner said. “We should be able to extend our defense a little bit more and as long as we play together and stay healthy, we’ll be fine.”

After a 20-10 campaign in 2012-13, Sparta coach Rick Powley has one returning starter in senior Brenden Wilson to build around this season. With 6-8 All-South forward/center Aaron Rushing currently playing at Morthland College and six other seniors graduated, the Bulldogs are hoping juniors Tra Edmondson (6-1 forward), Titus Clay (5-10 guard) and senior Dayton Oliver (6-2 center) can help Wilson build on last season’s success. “I think we may be a better shooting ballclub than we were last year,” Powley said. “Our JV team was pretty successful, but we don’t have a lot of size.”

Megan Bagley will run the show at point guard, while the team has some decent size in five players 5-8 or taller in the varsity rotation.

Coach: Bob Waggoner Seniors: Brayden Cowley, 5-10, g; Henry Dudek, 6-1, f. Juniors: TRISTAN FISHER, 6-0, g; Nolan Luke, 6-1, g; Caleb Dahn, 6-3, f; Bryan Taylor, 6-0, g; Adam Banach, 6-2, f; Jacob Downard, 5-10, g. Sophomores: Sam Simpson, 6-3, f; Clayton Hoghland, 6-2, f.

Coach: Rick Powley Seniors: BRENDEN WILSON, 5-7, g; Devante Garrett, 5-10, g; Dayton Oliver, 6-2, c. Juniors: Titus Clay, 5-10, g; Tra Edmondson, 6-1, f; Seth Ferguson, 5-8, g. Sophomores: Devin Brown, 6-0, g/f; Gabe Yearian, 6-1, f; Drew Kordys, 510, g.

— Pete Spitler

Coach: Alan Engelhardt Seniors: KATELYN MAYER, 5-10, g; Alyssa Hirsch, 5-5, g. Juniors: KEELYN STEIN, 5-8, f; Megan Bagley, 5-6, g; Taylor Griffin, 5-5, g; Caitie Opp, 5-8, f; Kearsten Opp, 5-6, f. Sophomores: SOPHIE KEITH, 5-8, f; Taylor Smith, 5-2, g. Freshmen: Raygan Yates, 5-8, g; Caitlyn Anderson, 5-10, f.

Sparta Former SIU Edwardsville track and field thrower Jennie Satterlee picks up where former coach April York left off last season and has four returning starters to build her program around this season. Satterlee, who was a three-year basketball starter at Staunton High School, has a guard-heavy team with only one senior in Las’Hae Eunn. “Defensively, I think we’ll be pretty good

with a guard-heavy team,” said Satterlee. “We don’t have many posts, so I want to try and keep the ball out of the inside with a zone.” With 10 freshmen and four sophomores, it will be a year of teaching for the Lady Bulldogs. “I have several freshmen who are going to be sitting on the varsity bench and they haven’t been in that scenario yet,” Satterlee said. “Overcoming that inexperience will be a big challenge, but it will get better as the season goes along. “We’re definitely working toward the future.” Coach: Jennie Satterlee Senior: Las’Hae Eunn, 5-7, g. Juniors: JULIANA FRENCH, 5-5, g; ALEXIS KEMPFER, 5-7, f; Ashley Birchler, 5-10, f/c. Sophomores: ASHLEY BRENNING, 5-5, g; Savannah Oliver, 5-5, f; Brooke Kortys, 5-4, g; OLIVIA BEATTIE, 6-2, c. Freshmen: Brooke Craig, 5-5, g; Danielle Dodson, 5-2, g; Kera Kiner, 6-3, f; Nikki Kempfer, 5-6, g; Aziah Clark, 5-2, g; Deshantae Martin, 5-5, g; Lauren Webber, 5-8, f; Kayla Hoskin, 5-9, f; Cathleen Townley, 5-5, g; Bailey McMurtry, 5-7, f.

— Pete Spitler

The Southern Illinoisan Friday, November 22, 2013 Page 19



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