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Index Page Steubenville 4 Toronto Weir High 6 Harrison Central Catholic Central 8 Buckeye Local Weirton Madonna 10 Oak Glen Indian Creek 12 St. Clairsville Brooke 14 Wheeling Park Edison 18 Martins Ferry WEDNESDAY, DEC. 4, 2013

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WEDNESDAY, DEC. 4, 2013

Steubenville Big Red

2300 Sunset Blvd, Steubenville, Ohio

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Haney wants every game ‘a full-court game’

By ED LOOMAN

Sports correspondent

mytargetshop.com Big Red Boys

STEUBENVILLE — Mike Haney’s hoping (JV games at 6 p.m. unless noted) the mode of operation established by his 2012Dec. 10 at John Marshall 2013 Big Red boys team Dec. 13 East Liverpool will continue this seaDec. 17 Cardinal Mooney son. Dec. 27 at East Liverpool Holi“They set a standard day Tournament, tba (V) I’d like to see continue,” Dec. 28 at East Liverpool HoliHaney said. “Different day Tournament, tba (V) guys would take turns Dec. 30 Martins Ferry Jan. 4 Catholic Central coming through for us Jan. 7 at Weir in each game. They all Jan. 8 at Indian Creek played consistently but Jan. 10 Brooke one guy would step up Jan. 14 Buckeye Local and carry us through Jan. 17 at Catholic Central the game. I hope the Jan. 18 Minerva, 3 p.m. four guys we have back Jan. 21 John Marshall from last year can keep Jan. 22 St. Clairsville that going.” Jan. 24 at Beaver Local Big Red went 17-7 a Jan. 28 Weir Jan. 31 at Wheeling Park, 5:45 p.m. season ago, losing to St. Feb. 4 Cambridge Clairsville in the DiviFeb. 7 at Brooke, 5:45 p.m.

sion II sectionals and also falling to the Red Devils in the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Class 4A title game. Haney is entering his sixth season as Big Red’s coach. Gone from the 20122013 club are outstanding point guard Periogn West, Mylik Young, John Linn, Tajuan Lawson, Dashon Redman and Glenn Purdue. West averaged 14.4 points, 3.7 assists and 2.7 steals to earn first team all-district honors. Lawson and Linn were honorable mention choices. Haney has four letter winners returning in seniors Brandon Herring-Hill, Chris Smith and Adam Sterling along

with junior Lucas Herrington. “The four lettermen definitely are the core of this team,” Haney explained. “The seniors have back played a lot last year and rotated in and out of the starting lineup. I’m happy with their experience and I believe we have nice nucleus coming back. “Herring-Hill looks like he will be our point guard, and we have a couple of talented off guards. But everyone who gets a rebound is skilled enough to dribble the ball on the fast break and get it up court.” Herring-Hill and Herrington are both listed at 6-1 while Smith

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goes 6-2 and Sterling 65. Charles Reeves, a 6-4 freshman, is in contention for the final starting spot. “We have good size,” Haney pointed out. “We are long and lean. We don’t have the typical big guy in the post. With our press, we hope our long arms can deflect some balls and make it hard for teams to throw over us.” Other players vying for varsity playing time include sophomore Dionee Wallace, junior Rackwon Williams, junior Shakur ThomasMiller and senior Khalig Bougard, a newcomer to the basketball program. Haney said several members of the Big Red football program will join the team now that the season has ended. Possible candidates are senior Bryan Pierro, juniors Devin Smith, Travis Wolfe and Bradley Newburn along with sophomores Johnnie Blue and Dimitri Collaros. “The guys have been working hard from the first day of practice,”

Haney noted. “They’re getting after it. We’ve had a few scrimmages and we have to work on the mistakes we are making. The guys are aggressive and playing good defense.” One aspect of the Big Red attack that will go unchanged again this season is Haney’s desire to make every game a “full court game.” “We want to be aggressive defensively and look to run,” he said. “We want to get up and down the court a lot. We’ll to push the ball and press when we can.” Haney also noted this season’s squad has solid shooting skills. “Most of the guys on the court will be able to shoot the three,” he stated. “We don’t want to live or die by the three, but if our guys are open or teams zone us and pack it in, we should be OK. We think we can shoot it pretty well and we haven’t done that in the past.” Due to the football team’s extended stay in See BIG RED Page 31 ➪

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Steubenville Big Red

Casinelli has luxury of returning every starter

By ED LOOMAN

Sports correspondent

STEUBENVILLE — For Phil Casinelli and the Big Red girls basketball program, the 2013-2014 season features good news and even better news. The good news is this — Emiley Masloski, a three-year starter, is back for her senior campaign and appears fully recovered from an injury that forced her to miss substantial playing time last season. The even better news is Casinelli welcomes back his four other starters along with three additional letter winners. “That doesn’t happen too often,” Casinelli, who is entering his eighth season as the Big Red head coach, said of returning all five starters. “That definitely makes our job easier as coaches. Our practice kind of runs itself since we have five seniors who have been here for four years. “Our seniors are not only great basketball players but they are

great students and great kids off the court. We’re enjoying every minute of this year.” In addition to E. Masloski, the other returning seniors are Dominque Wilson, Mytia Barker, Brittany Bodo and Abby Taylor. Junior Taylor Young, a starter a season ago, returns along with letter winners Hannah Masloski and Lysiah Rice, both sophomores. As a junior, E. Masloski earned first team Eastern District honors. She averaged 17.6 points per game, 3.7 assists and 3.3 rebounds. She also shot 83 percent from the free throw line. Prior to her knee injury, she scored 23.7 points an outing. Following her sophomore season, E. Masloski was named second team all-district. She has received all-OVAC honors for three years. “She is probably the best communicator I have ever coached,” Casinelli said of E. Masloski. “She talks to her teammates in a very positive manner and always puts them in the

right positions on the court. She is a great floor leader and you need that in a point guard.” “Her leadership on the court is the biggest asset she brings to the team. She does it in the right way. All of our girls have mutual respect for each other. This definitely is going to be a fun year.” Casinelli, who is closing in on 100 career victories, pointed out E. Masloski should score her 1,000th point within the first six games of the season. Barker, who averaged 11.3 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.4 steals as a junior, earned special mention all-district honors as a junior. She filled in as point guard when E. Masloski was injured. “Mytia really worked hard on her game over the summer,” Casinelli noted. “She has really improved her shot.” Young and Taylor were given honorable mention on the all-district team while Rice was the MVP of the OVAC Class 4A champi-

onship game. “With Mytia and Lysiah both improving, we’re hoping that will help take some of the double teams away from Emiley and give her better looks,” Casinelli pointed out. Taylor and Young have “great outside perimeter games,” according to Casinelli while Wilson “comes in and does a lot of defensive work as does Brittany (Bodo).” Casinelli, who again is being assisted by Mark Masloski and Angie Forte, has challenged his team to “get better.” “We challenged them all to getter better in one statistical category and not drop in another in order for us to improve as a team,” he said. “They’re all embracing that challenge. Hopefully, this will help us improve in the win column and advance further in the tournament.” Big Red finished 16-5 a season ago and captured the school’s fifth OVAC championship. “We don’t want our

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success from last year to cloud our judgment on how we are going to prepare for this season,” Casinelli said. “That success means we have to work that much harder because we are going to face a challenge every night. Every team wants to beat the champion. “We are a year older but we have to be a year better because there are other teams that are going to be a year better. That’s what we are stressing to our girls and hopefully they are buying into it.” When it comes to expectations, Casinelli stresses the program has the same goals every year. “We want to get into the top four of the OVAC, get to the championship game and win it,” he said. “We also want to get out of our sectional. We don’t really raise the bar; we pretty much keep it the same. Granted, it would be a disappointment if we don’t get to the levels of last year and exceed them.” Casinelli noted he

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Nov. 25 Shadyside (W) Dec. 2 Linsly (W) Dec. 5 Beaver Local Dec. 9 Weir Dec. 12 at Catholic Central Dec. 13 at Youngstown East (5 p.m.) Dec. 16 Brooke Dec. 18 Edison Dec. 21 at East Liverpool, 11 a.m. Dec. 23 at Buckeye Local Dec. 28 Cleve. Rhodes, 1 p.m. Jan. 4 at Edison Jan. 6 at Brooke, 5:45 p.m. Jan. 9 at Weir Jan. 13 Catholic Central Jan. 15 East Liverpool Jan. 18 at Martins Ferry, 1 p.m. Jan. 20 at Linsly Jan. 27 Youngstown East, 5 p.m. Jan. 29 Imani Christian Academy, 6 p.m. (V)

and his staff have added a “few wrinkles because we have everyone returning.” “We have eight girls in our rotation and could have many different combinations starting every night,” he stated. “We have eight we feel See STARTERS Page 31 ➪

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WEDNESDAY, DEC. 4, 2013

Weir High Red Riders

Granato expecting better things this season

By RALPH COX

Sports correspondent

Red Riders Boys

WEIRTON — After the 2-20 season a year (JV games at 6 p.m. except noted) ago, which was the worst basketball record Dec. 10 Oak Glen in the history of the Dec. 14 at North Marion, 4 p.m. school, there appears Dec. 17 John Marshall to be no way to go but Dec. 23 at Indian Creek up for the Weir High Dec. 27 Madonna boys basketball team. Jan. 2 Indian Creek So coach Mike Jan. 4 at Burgettstown, 8:30 Granato, who is beginp.m. V Jan. 7 Big Red ning his 15th season as Jan. 11 Buckeye Local the Red Rider basketJan. 17 at Madonna (City Champ.) ball boys head coach, is Jan. 21 at Oak Glen upbeat about the Jan. 24 at Brooke, 5:45 p.m. prospects for his Jan. 25 Edison charges in 2013-14. Jan. 28 at Big Red “We’ve been very, Feb. 1 at Edison very fortunate to have Feb. 7 at Buckeye Local the run of winning seaFeb. 8 Harrison Central Feb. 11 OVAC Week, tba sons that we’ve had in Feb. 18 Brooke the prior 10 or 11 seaFeb. 22 at East Fairmont, 4:30 sons,” said Granato, p.m. who has the longest Feb. 25 at John Marshall, 5:45 p.m. tenure as head basketball coach in school history. “We graduated four outstanding kids from the team last year and a lot of younger kids gained valuable experience without throwing them into the fire to the point of being detrimental to them. “We don’t want to

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ruin kids. We want them to gain experience without doing that, so I’m positive about this year and we’re not going to change our whole philosophy because of one season in which we had a less than desirable winning record. “I’ve never had a team go 2-20 before, so I don’t know how we’ll bounce back, but I like what I see as far as attitude and attentiveness and willingness to learn. “I got a chance to witness a University of Kentucky workout under Coach Calipari about a month ago and it opened my eyes not only about basketball knowledge, but seeing how a great staff works. “They put a strong emphasis on teamwork and togetherness. I’m going to adopt some of their practice techniques because Calipari and his staff were working with a large group of freshmen without college basketball experience and that is sort of what we have here at Weir High on the high school level.” The seniors on the squad a year ago were Dylan Cassiadoro, Josh Groves, Shane Davis and Nate Masters. Cassiadoro and Groves were starters while Davis and Masters saw limited playing time off the bench. Granato greeted

four lettermen when pre-season drills began. Junior Mike Curtis (511) and senior Mitch Viakley (6-2) started a lot of games while junior Chris Wood (6-2) and senior Kody Knight (5-9) got more playing time as the season wore on. Curtis and Wood averaged about 5 points a game and Viakley checked in with 4 a game. “I think the experience they got will help us in the next few years as we grow,” said Granato, who pointed out that the Weir Middle eighth grade basketball team was unbeaten as 7th graders last year and he has a good crop of freshmen. “We also have a good group of sophomores that got experience at the junior varsity level as freshmen. “My hope is that our upper classmen will be able to carry us through the early part of the year while the younger kids get their feet wet at the varsity level. They have shown great leadership skills during the off-season summer program, in the weight room and the pre-season conditioning and practices. “One of the things that will occupy us in the early practices, scrimmages and first few games will be our search for combinations. I plan to play 8 to 10 kids in the early

games and stick with that philosophy.” Granato’s team will be missing a third starter from a year ago because Andre Simms decided to pursue other educational options for his senior season of eligibility. However, a promising senior, Kamari Washington (6-2), is out for basketball for the first time and Granato thinks he could add speed and possibly rebounding help for Curtis and Viakley. Granato also will call upon juniors Vince Gaudio (5-10) and Dylan Keyes (6-2) as well as a group of what he termed “outstanding” sophomores in Jonathan West (6-0), Ryan Kirk (5-11), Ethan Gilbert (5-10), Marcus Smith (5-10), Matt Thompson (5-11) and Brandon Taylor (6-1), who transferred to Weir High from Midland, Pa. “These sophomores will give us speed and scoring and I’m hoping Thompson, who is about 240 pounds and Taylor, who goes about 260 will be wide bodies in the paint,” Granato explained. “We’ll be a lot quicker than last year, so we’ll be able to play more up-tempo basketball.” Granato said this team will be similar to some of the teams he had when he first took over the Red Rider program 15 years ago in

that they don’t have a true post player, but they will play the uptempo style, push the ball down the court and play pressure defense. We’ll play to the strength of our personnel.” “We’re still going to be young and inexperienced, but what I’ve seen so far it looks like we’ll be able to score more than we did last year,” Granato continued. “One of the most frustrating things a coach has to deal with is when a team can’t put the ball in the basket. When kids are able to score more they are more apt to play better defense, so we are spending a lot of time working on rebounding, getting the outlet pass and using our speed down the floor. “And I think the kids are enjoying playing that up-tempo style. However, the kids need to understand the difference between a forced shot and one that is under control. At the end of the day, though, if a team isn’t rebounding, they aren’t winning.” Granato said he thinks this team can make up for the lack of height with improved 3-point shooting. He said Wood is an outstanding shooter from the perimeter along with several other guards such as West, Kirk and Smith.


WEDNESDAY, DEC. 4, 2013

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Weir High Red Riders

GOOD LUCK!

Smith has luxury of returning experience

By RALPH COX

Sports correspondent WEIRTON — The lady basketball Red Riders of Weir High School lost all of their inside players when the season ended last February with the sectional loss to Fairmont Senior, so coach Bill Smith is relying on two veteran guards to carry a lot of the load at least in the early going this year. The good news is that the two guards, Alyssa Shingle and Raegan Stead are the first and second leading scorers, respectively, from a year ago and they are back. Shingle, a fouryear letter winner, averaged 13 points a game while Stead checked in with 12 a game. “Everyone has to work hard on rebounding to fill in for the loss of Shelva Burns,� Smith said. “All our players will have to step up a notch or two if we are to

be successful.� Burns was a fouryear veteran who averaged 8 rebounds a game last year. Burns also added 11 points a game to the Lady Riders. Smith also will miss Raven Young, a quick guard who led the Riders in steals, and Kayla Lemley, the second leading rebounder and a good defensive player, along with Taylor Long. “I know that our girls all will play hard from start to finish,� Smith said. “And we’ll have pretty good speed this year so hopefully we can push the ball up the floor and get some easy baskets. “Shingle, who began starting on the varsity team about midway through her freshman year, is being counted on to lead this team,� Smith explained. “She has a solid work ethic and has scored more than 600 points. If she can average about 15

points a game this season, she’ll have 1,000 points in her career. “She is an excellent ball handler, but we need her to look more toward shooting, especially from the outside. I think she’s smart enough and has enough experience that she knows when she has a shot and not to force shots. “We’re counting on both she and Stead, who also needs to look more for the good shot. I’m confident both will get the job done for us. Stead also is one of our bigger girls so I’m looking for her to play a bigger role in the rebounding this year.� In addition to Shingle and Stead, Smith has seniors Madison Dalrymple and Lindsey Robinson returning with varsity game experience. Each earned a letter last year in substitute roles. Smith is hoping that

Dalrymple, the tallest of the Lady Riders, can fill the rebounding void and the offensive post play that left with Burns. She’ll play in the paint and did a good job giving Burns breathers last year, according to Smith. Another plus for the Lady Riders is the return of two girls that passed up playing basketball last year. Ashlynn Drizake will add quickness and athleticism to the Lady Riders and Smith hopes that Selena Wolverton can add some outside scoring help for Shingle and Stead. Both are seniors. “Drizake hasn’t played basketball since her freshman year, but she has starred in other sports so I know she can help us,� Smith continued. “She is quick, can jump and is a good ball handler. Wolverton played as a freshman and sophomore but mostly on at the junior

varsity level. I know she is a good shooter.� Smith also has two other seniors — Robinson, who got a lot of playing time at the varsity level last year, and Chantelle Harper. Jessica Davis joins Stead as the only juniors on the team. Sophomores that Smith is counting on to provide depth are Alyssa Kelly, Asharay Smith and Rachel Zapotoczny. In addition, Smith has nine freshman out for basketball and he expects that a couple of them could end up dressing for varsity games at times. Last year was the first time ever that the Lady Red Riders were able to dress a freshman team in the school’s history. “Our girls played in the summer league in Wellsville and lost only one game,� Smith said. “We also did well against some pretty

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Red Riders Girls

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Dec. 3 Oak Glen Dec. 5 Brooke Dec. 7 at Linsly, 10:30 a.m. Dec. 9 at Big Red Dec. 12 at Magnolia Dec. 14 at North Marion, Noon Dec. 16 at Catholic Central Dec. 18 at East Liverpool Jan. 4 at Burgettstown, 1 p.m. Jan. 6 East Liverpool, 5 p.m. Jan. 9 Big Red Jan. 14 Catholic Central Jan. 16 Madonna (City Champ.) Jan. 18 at Bishop Donahue, 10 a.m. Jan. 20 Magnolia, 5 p.m. Jan. 23 at Oak Glen Jan. 25 Linsly (Noon) Jan. 30 Bishop Donahue Feb. 3 OVAC Week, tba Feb. 10 at Madonna Feb. 13 Brooke, 5:45 p.m.

good competition in the shootouts in Steubenville and Wheeling. The girls got some good experience this summer.�

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WEDNESDAY, DEC. 4, 2013

Catholic Central Crusaders Tucker will lean on senior leadership

By ED LOOMAN

Sports correspondent Crusaders Boys

(JV games at 6 p.m. unless noted)

Dec. 10 at Toronto Dec. 13 Beaver Local Dec. 17 at Oak Glen Dec. 20 Madonna Dec. 23 at Tuscarawas Central Catholic Dec. 27 at Undoʼs Tournament Dec. 28 at Undoʼs Tournament Jan. 3 Bishop Donahue Jan. 4 at Big Red Jan. 7 Toronto Jan. 10 at East Liverpool Jan. 11 at Bridgeport Jan. 14 Wheeling Central Jan. 17 Big Red Jan. 18 at Conotton Valley Jan. 23 vs. Madonna at FUS Jan. 25 at Strasburg Feb. 1 Malvern Feb. 4 Bridgeport Feb. 7 Oak Glen Feb. 11 OVAC Week, tba

STEUBENVILLE — The 2013-2014 Catholic Central boys basketball team will go as far as “our seniors want us to go.” So says Sean Tucker, who is entering his sixth season as the CCHS coach. Tucker’s 2012-2012 Crusaders finished 17-7, played for a Division IV sectional championship and reached the OVAC Class 2A title game. “If this group of seniors realizes they are very special and can do a lot more than they know, their expectations are going to be high,” said Tucker, who was named the Eastern District Division IV coach of the year last season. “If they allow it to hinder what they want to be, then I don’t want to put any expectations on them. “We will go as far as our seniors want us to go and allow us to go. I’ll put it on the seniors. They’ve been playing together for a long time, they stuck it out and

they are fighters. I want our expectations to be set by them.” Tucker’s seniors include Michael Barber, Matt Martello, Brenton Colabella, Ryan Fletcher, Michael Manfresca and 6-8 John Paul Dombrowski. A seventh senior who played a key role last season, Aleks Porreca, has decided not to rejoin the team. Fletcher, a second team all-district pick as a junior, averaged 15 points and 9.5 rebounds per game last season. Barber, the Central point guard, earned special mention all-district while Martello was an honorable mention pick. The 6-2 Colabella started inside for Tucker. Manfresca came off the Crusader bench. Dombrowski saw some varsity action but did most of his playing at the junior varsity level. He is expected to strengthen the Central inside game. Gone from the 17-7 season squad are Zack Herrington, now a member of the football team at Mount Union University, sharp-shooting

Michael Carapellotti and Steven Kotur, who contributed off the bench. Herrington was a first team all-district selection with his 14.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per outing. “This year, we have a couple of guys who started at the guard spot but moved to the big man spot last year,” Tucker noted. “Now, they can move back to the spot where they came from. These guys are so versatile. We have a guy who played the four spot last season but this year he can play inside or outside. “The great thing about Zack was he knew the game and could go inside or out. We have a senior this year we hope can fill the same role Zack played for us last season.” Sophomore Tony Barber will join the seniors to form the nucleus of the Central varsity squad. Brandon Sveck, another 10th grader, also could see varsity time. James Howard, a promising 6-3 sophomore, will miss the season due to an injury suf-

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fered during the football campaign. Other sophomores who could earn some varsity time are Matt Fisher and Jacob Rigaud. Central had no juniors out for basketball but there are 10 freshmen participating. “It’s a great thing to have varsity guys returning who have a lot of floor time together,” Tucker noted. “This is a great group and a very exciting group to be around. Our seniors provide a lot of leadership and we saw that in our football program with the seniors they had. They won in football and winning breeds a lot of good things. We hope that carries over into our winter sports and on into our spring sports.” Joe Ribar and Mike Barber again will join Tucker on the Central bench. Tucker’s teams are known for their prowess on the defensive end and the 2013-2014 version will be no different. “We hope to always play good defense,

that’s our number one thing,” he stated. “We want to keep the scores low for opposing teams. “The good thing about this group offensively is at any point they can run or they can slow it down. They can do play it both ways. These guys are versatile and can do a lot of different things depending on who they are playing. We may have a slow start because of our success in the football playoffs (Colabella, Fletcher and Tony Barber were members of the 9-3 Central gridiron team).” Tucker pointed out his squad “had a great summer camp this year.” “Coach Ribar and I were talking and we discussed how it was on the best the camps we’ve ever had since I’ve been associated with the program,” he commented. “The kids grew individually and a team. “This group is never sitting around. They are always doing something See CCHS Page 31 ➪


WEDNESDAY, DEC. 4, 2013

BASKETBALL 2013-14

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GO KNIGHTS GO!

Catholic Central Crusaders ANTHONY Winland returns six letterwinners

By ED LOOMAN

Sports correspondent

STEUBENVILLE — Tom Winland has a simple goal for his Catholic Central girls basketball team — get better every day. “It (the preseason) has been like a roller coaster,” Winland, who is entering his third at the Crusaders helm, said. “We have our great days and then we have our down days. We continue to preach get better every day and learn every day. “As long as they play hard, learn and demonstrate a lot of energy, we should be OK.” Winland’s 2012-2013 squad went 6-14. Gone from that unit are post players Rachel Rigaud and Rachel Irvin along with guard Tori Knight. Six letter winners return including seniors Micca Mirabella, who earned honorable mention all-district honors as a junior, and Renee Dziewatkoski. “Micca is our athlete and she can play inside or out,” Winland noted. “Renee can do the same

and she has done wonders with her jump shot. She worked really hard during the summer and we are expecting her to score some for us.” Juniors Miranda Parkinson and Michaela Torrance earned letters as sophomores. “Miranda is back at point guard for us and Michaela is our post player,” Winland commented. “We are looking for major contributions from both of them this season.” The remaining 12 players on the Crusader roster of 16 are either sophomores or freshmen. Lauren Hunt and Hannah Ondos were letter winners as ninth graders. “We have two sophomores who saw considerable playing time for us last year,” Winland noted. “We are really expecting a lot out of our entire sophomore class.” The Central coach noted one sophomore (Haley Hartzell) broke her foot and will miss the entire season. She was in line to see time in the post. Ondos is coming off an injury as is

Nicole Virtue. The other sophomores are Rachel Dziewatkoski and Alex McComb. Six freshmen are on the roster including Brittany Bertoia, Gabby Capaldi, Shayna Mirabella, Natalie Mastroianni, Emily Stevens and Samm Simmons. “Anyone of them could see some playing time for us,” Winland, who again is being assisted by Dave Winland and Kelli Petchal, said. “They could come in and give us some varsity minutes. On nights when we may not have a junior varsity game, anyone of them could come off the bench. “That is a very athletic freshmen class. We also have a really good sophomore class and good juniors so I’m looking forward to the future. And, we have great senior leadership to propel them forward.” Central begins what Winland describes as “the toughest schedule we’ve had since I’ve been around the program,” on Saturday when visits Tuscarawas Central Catholic. The Crusaders have

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two games scheduled with Wheeling Park and also will compete in the Undo’s Tournament during the holiday break. Two defending OVAC champions (Big Red and Conotton Valley) are on the slate along with two teams that fell in the OVAC finals (St. John and Wheeling Central). “Considering the returnees some of our opponents have and the addition of Wheeling Park, we don’t have a day off,” Winland pointed out. “We have to be ready to play every night and we’ve been preparing them that way. “Our practices have been harder than they ever have been and we lined up some really good teams for scrimmages. We’ve been trying to prepare them for what they are going to see every night.” Winland admitted the schedule poses a “big challenge” for his young team. “Through that challenge, hopefully they are going to grow and learn from it,” he added. “Hopefully, the challenge prepares them for

not just this year, but next year and on into the future.” Success for the Lady Crusaders, according to Winland, will come from their ability to “scrap, play together and play smart basketball.” “We’re not the biggest team and we’re not the most athletic,” he pointed out. “But if we can play as a whole, scrap and fight every night, we have a chance to compete with everyone on our schedule. At the same time, given the quality of our opponents, they can blow us out if we don’t show up and play. “The sophomore class still has to grow but it’s going to be a key for us. We look young and we are going to have bad days. It might take us a little bit early on to put it all together. If we can perform like we have in our scrimmages, I’ll be happy.” As he prepares for his third season, Winland admitted he is “happy with where the program is heading. “It’s been nice,” he indicated. “Even though we are young, every-

MINING COMPANY Crusaders Girls

(JV games at 6 p.m. unless noted)

Nov. 23 at Tuscarawas Central Catholic (W) Nov. 25 at Bridgeport (L) Nov. 27 Toronto (L) Dec. 2 at Conotton Valley (L) Dec. 4 at St. John, 5:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at Oak Glen Dec. 12 Big Red Dec. 14 Wheeling Park, Noon Dec. 16 Weir High Dec. 18 Conotton Valley Dec. 27 at Undoʼs Tournament Dec. 28 at Undoʼs Tournament Dec. 30 St. John Jan. 6 Bridgeport Jan. 9 at Madonna Jan. 13 at Big Red Jan. 14 at Weir Jan. 20 at Wh. Park, 5:45 p.m. Jan. 27 Oak Glen Jan. 30 Toronto Feb. 3 OVAC Week, tba

thing is flowing so nice. I love where we are heading for the future. I’m very optimistic and very excited about what is to come.” The Crusaders will move down to Division IV for Ohio tournament play this season. However, as far as the OVAC goes, they will move up to Class 3A.


BASKETBALL 2013-14

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from your fans at

140 Walnut Street Weirton, WV Blue Dons Boys

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 4, 2013

Madonna Blue Dons

Vargo welcomes a senior-laden contingent

By RALPH COX

Sports correspondent

WEIRTON — The Madonna boys basket(JV games at 6 p.m. unless noted) ball team struggled at times last year en route Dec. 18 Bellaire St. John to a 14-9 record because Dec. 20 at Catholic Central veteran Blue Don coach, Dec. 21 Valley at Cameron George Vargo, had diffishootout, tba culty finding a permaDec. 27 at Weir High nent point guard at least Dec. 28 at Bridgeport, 5 p.m. until the broken bone in Jan. 4 at Oak Glen junior Ross Comis’ hand Jan. 8 Clay-Battelle healed in time for him to Jan. 10 Toronto Jan. 17 Weir High (City Champ.) play in the final four games. Jan. 22 at Morgantown Trinity Jan. 23 Catholic Central at FUS Comis is perhaps the Jan. 25 Williamstown at Magno- centerpiece among the lia shootout, tba great athletes in the Jan. 28 at Toronto Madonna senior class. Jan. 30 Bridgeport He’s the guy that makes Feb. 1 Wheeling Central the school’s unbeaten Feb. 4 Oak Glen football team go at quarFeb. 5 at Clay-Battelle terback and he’ll be the Feb. 11 OVAC Week one that makes the basFeb. 18: at St. Marys ketball team successful Feb. 21: Bishop Donahue at point guard, accordFeb. 26: at Magnolia ing to Vargo. He broke a bone in his left hand during the 2012 football season, had surgery on it after the season and wasn’t cleared to play basketball till the hoopsters had nearly completed the season. “I just hope he or any of the other football players don’t get hurt in the football playoffs and

not be available to play basketball like what happened last year,” said Vargo, who heads into his 20th season as the Blue Don basketball head coach. Comis and eight of his football teammates will comprise most of the Blue Don club during the 2013-14 season. There were no seniors on the Madonna basketball team a year ago, so Vargo has all but one player returning. The lone nonreturnee, James Carnes, remains a student at Madonna but decided not to play basketball this year. The 6’-5” junior played basketball at Weir High as a freshman, transferred to Madonna for his sophomore year and started for Vargo in all 23 games. “If none of those guys that play on Madonna’s No. 1 ranked football team get hurt, we’ll be a pretty good basketball team this year,” Vargo said. Others transferring from football to basketball are seniors Nate Guio, Anthony Antinone,

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Will Bowser, Tyler Ewusiak and Josh Martin along with juniors Marquise Jeter, Grant Retton and Levi Shreve. Madonna could have the biggest Class A front line in West Virginia with Martin, at 7-feet, Guio and Ewusiak at 6-3, and Retton at 6-2. “Martin takes up a lot of territory in the paint area and with any one of the other three on each side, we’ll have a solid front line,” Vargo exclaimed. “Bowser and Comis will give us a great back court and we’ll have plenty of experience coming off the bench as we’ll have the capability of running as much as a 12-man rotation at times. We prefer an 8 or 9-man rotation, so that’s a coach’s dream.” In addition to Comis, Guio, Ewusiak and Bowser returning as starters, Vargo can call upon seniors Martin and Antinone and juniors Kaleb Baire, Jeter, Retton, and Nick Mazur, all of whom got their chances at being a starter a year ago. Then, Vargo will also have

Andrew Higgins, George Stakias, Matthew Lyons and Dominic Silvestri as capable role players. It all adds up to this being a team to be reconed with this year. “I’m excited over this team. Heck what coach wouldn’t be with just about your entire squad returning and with the kind of athletes we have,” chuckled Vargo. “Our strengths will be in our height, speed and maturity. We should have one of the better point guards in the Ohio Valley in Comis and we’ll have a seven-footer in the lineup. “I hope our basketball program can capitalize on the winning attitude and maturity that most of the players have gotten from the outstanding football program. “The football players, especially, have gained strength and maturity and more importantly learned what it means to be winners through their work in the football program. “Height and speed will be among our strong points. With this team, we’ll have the

ability to go big, rebound, release and get into our transition game, but also play a lot of half court offense. Or we can go smaller, be quicker, play more pressure defense and push the ball up the floor.” The Blue Dons have added Wheeling Central to the regular season schedule for the first time in several years along with Williamstown. Also, Vargo pointed at the the Jan. 23 Madonna home game with Steubenville Catholic Central that will be played at Franciscan University of Steubenville as a charity event. Each team will select a charity and split the game receipts evenly to each. Vargo said the battle for seeding in the sectional tournament will be a dogfight this year between at least four of the five teams in Section 1, Wheeling Central, Bishop Donahue, Magnolia, Cameron and the Blue Dons. Vargo thinks Hundred could be a dark horse. The Blue Dons won’t open the regular season until Dec. 18 at home with Bellaire St. John because of the anticipated success the football team would have a long run into the playoffs that might not end till the championship game on Dec. 7. Even with that, the Blue Don football players will have only about 11 days to get their basketball legs.


WEDNESDAY, DEC. 4, 2013

By RALPH COX

BASKETBALL 2013-14

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Madonna Blue Dons

Ogden has a roster without a senior

Sports correspondent

WEIRTON — Most high school girls basketball coaches would be overjoyed to look at the roster and see eight letter winners six of whom started at one time or another. Madonna’s Don Ogden starts his sixth season with that kind of roster, but he is a little apprehensive because another glance at the roster shows no seniors. Despite having a returnee that led the 2012-13 Lady Blue Dons in scoring, rebounding and assists returning, Ogden is wondering where the leadership will come from. “We only had two seniors last year and we have none this season. There’s an adage that says ‘next up, step up’ and that was true for us last year with all the injuries we had and I hope it rings true again this year,” Ogden remarked. The good news is that Ogden has a talented and plentiful group of sophomores. Many of them got their feet wet last year being forced into action as freshmen because of injuries to Nicollette Sellitti and Amy Davis, his only two seniors, along with several other players. Sellitti took a nine points per game scoring average with her when she picked up her diploma last May. Davis was strong in the middle for the Lady Dons and while

her statistics didn’t stick out she provided the senior leadership and intangibles that didn’t show up in the score book. In a lot of ways, this group is similar to the team that Ogden took over in 2008 that had a talented group of freshman. By the time they became juniors and seniors, the Lady Blue Dons were a tough game for any opponent. “The difference is that this team doesn’t have the upper class experience and leadership that the 2008-09 team had,” Ogden explained. “These girls have to grow up quick and as coaches we have to be patient with the inconsistency that youth brings.” The nucleus that Ogden has to build upon starts with sophomore Monica Bragg. She led the team last year with 10 points a game and pulled down 7 rebounds per outing. She also had the highest free throw percentage and led the team with two assists a game. “Monica is a sopho-

more, but she’s also a veteran,” Ogden said. Bragg played outside of the key a lot last year, but Ogden will expect her to go inside a lot more. She is the tallest of the Lady Blue Dons. Bragg and some of the other girls played AAU basketball during the off season and went to basketball camps to gain skills and experience that will help them through this high school season. “Our whole team is athletic,” Ogden continued. “We have to turn that athleticism into basketball skills. The negative is our inexperience, but the plus is that we get two and three years to work with them.” Others that were part of the Lady Dons 11-12 season of a year ago and a trip to the OVAC tournament as the No. 3 seed are Katie Lammers, Rachael and Leanne Grubbs, who are twin sisters, Cameron Dowiak, Rebecca Holt, Isabella Rosso and Aubrey Platek. The Grubbs sisters, Dowiak and Platek are juniors and the others

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are sophomores. All but Lammers and Leanne Grubbs got a taste of what it means to be in the starting lineup either on a regular basis or in spot starts. Ogden is counting on Rachael Grubbs, who was the leading scorer on the Lady Blue Don soccer team earlier this fall, to be an integral part of his team. “What she lacks in size, she makes up for in quickness and determination,” Ogden said. He noted that Dowiak is showing improvement at the point guard slot and Rosso can shoot from anywhere. Rosso will be the main outside shooting threat for the Blue Dons. Ogden said he’s looking for Holt, who started last season as point guard, but an injury kept her out for a portion of the season, to move to a wing and be more aggressive taking the ball to the bucket. Lammers is another player that Ogden is looking to for help on the inside. He said Leanne Grubbs brings good ball handling skills

and Platek is athletic, but still learning the game. Ogden also is hoping the remainder of his club will be ready to help when called upon. They are juniors Gabby Kotten and Amanda Pulice, sophomsores Gabriella Anile, Megan Boniti, Mikaela Lenart, Courtney Kaczmarek, Sarah Travaglino and freshment Lea Colantonio and Rebecca Garan. Ogden said Boniti already is out with an injury, but has a chance to get back to the squad in February. “We should have a strong junior varsity team and a number of these girls will dress for the varsity,” Ogden said. “We have a good nucleus with overall good team speed, enthusiasm and competitiveness. We have good team chemistry and the girls have a deep desire to compete. “We just need to find girls that want to be aggressive and take the ball to the rack. We have to get more girls to score along with Bragg.” The veteran coach

from your fans at

140 Walnut Street Weirton, WV Blue Dons Girls

(JV games 6 p.m. unless noted)

Dec. 5 at Bridgeport Dec. 9 Toronto Dec. 12 Bridgeport Dec. 14 at Bishop Donahue Dec. 16 Clay Battelle Dec. 21 Jefferson Christian, 1 p.m. V Dec. 27 Undoʼs Tournament, 4:30 p.m. V Dec. 28 Undoʼs Tournament, tba Jan. 4 at Oak Glen, 2 p.m. Jan. 8 at Brooke Jan. 9 Catholic Central Jan. 13 at Linsly Jan. 16 at Weir High Jan. 18 at Bellaire St. John, Noon Jan. 20 Trinity Jan. 23 Linsly Jan. 27 at Toronto Feb. 4 OVAC Week Feb. 10 Weir High Feb. 13 Oak Glen Feb. 17 St. Marys

said his style is to play pressure defense and run the fast break, but sometimes he has to look at the material he has and don’t let his style be cast in stone. “The girls know me and the staff and they know what is expected of them,” Ogden concluded.

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BASKETBALL 2013-14

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WEDNESDAY, DEC. 4, 2013

Indian Creek Redskins

The BARBER • STYLIST 125 Canton Road, Wintersvil e Call Tom or Chris For Your Appointment Redskins Boys (JV games at 6 p.m.)

Dec. 6 St. Clairsville Dec. 10 at Buckeye Local Dec. 13 at Harrison Central Dec. 17 Bellaire Dec. 20 at Union Local Dec. 21 at Brooke Dec. 23 Weir Dec. 27 Edison Dec. 28 at Carrollton Jan. 2 at Weir Jan. 7 Brooke Jan. 8 Steubenville Jan. 10 Martins Ferry Jan. 14 at St. Clairsville Jan. 17 Buckeye Local Jan. 21 Harrison Central Jan. 24 at Bellaire Jan. 28 Union Local Jan. 31 at Edison Feb. 4 at Martins Ferry Feb. 11 OVAC Week, tba

Dunlevy will have another guard-oriented team

By MIKE MATHISON Sports editor

WINTERSVILLE — When the Indian Creek boys basketball team opens the season Friday as St. Clairsville comes to town, veteran head coach Joe Dunlevy will be looking at a typical Redskins team. “The strength of our program has always been our guards. This will be a typical Indian Creek team,” he said. “We have good senior leadership with four of them coming off the football team.” A typical Dunlevy team is led by guards and led by seniors. What is not typical of a Dunlevy team is the lack of scoring production that is returning to the starting lineup. The Redskins graduated 88.7 percent of its scoring. Gone to graduation are Alex Young, Frank Kamarec, Shane Winland, Matt Furda and Drew Sullivan. “Yes, we lack some experience on the varsity level,” said Dunlevy. “We will definitely look

Roar toward Blake for leadership. “We are in the process of developing some depth.” That is 5-8 senior Blake Roar, the lone returning player who saw massive amounts of playing time a year ago. He is a three-year starter and four-year letterman. “He understands what we want to do,” said the coach. Senior Johnny Haught (5-10) is back as

the only other player seeing varsity time a year ago. The other one, junior Zach Connor, will miss the season due to foot surgery. “We have some tough kids, but we will definitely miss his toughness,” Dunlevy said. The coach also has seniors Jonathan Woodbury (6-1), Tran Huynh (5-8), Cody Durbin (6-3) and Andrew Anderson (6-2) and sophomore Aaron Foldi (5-10).

“What’s not going to change is the way we play defense,” said Dunlevy. “We will still take charges and play tough defense. “This is a good senior class that had to wait their turn because of the people in front of them. Now, it’s their time. “We have skilled kids who have been leaders before.” The original opener with Steubenville Big Red has been moved to Jan. 8. Dunlevy will start Roar, Haught, Durbin, Woodbury and Foldi with Huynh and Anderson coming off the bench. “Like I said, no one really knows this senior class because of who was in front of them,” said the coach. “We have had four scrimmages and we are trying to develop confidence and depth. “We are going to be alright. We don’t have an Alex Young or Niko Otto, but we have seven kids who can handle the ball, play defense and shoot the ball. And,

when you have seven kids who can do those three times, you can be a scary team. “We could also go 022, but every one will be a dog fight. “I think we are going to be a really good shooting team. There is not a kid who can’t shoot. It will be our strength. We can shoot it and we can handle it. “If you don’t turn the ball over, you don’t get beat by 15 or 20 points. We will always be in the game. “Blake was a reluctant shooter the last two years, but now he has the green light. “We don’t change much. Everyone knows what they are going to get when they play us. “I am optimistic on the season. We’ve worked hard, have good team players and good guys off the bench. The seniors on this team helped the kids in front of them and now it’s their time. “When you have six seniors on your team, you are supposed to be competitive.”

Good Luck Creek! Have A Great Season!

Indian Creek Athletic Boosters


WEDNESDAY, DEC. 4, 2013

BASKETBALL 2013-14

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Indian Creek Redskins

DeSantis returns every player from a year ago

By FRED YOUNCE

Sports correspondent

WINTERSVILLE — Indian Creek girls basketball coach Erin DeSantis has a luxury this year not seen in the past few years — a junior varsity team. That translates into more competition at practice and more opportunities to play. “We will have enough to have a JV team and that is a big plus. I believe we can be competitive for our area and hope to be as successful as we were last season,” said the coach. And, early in preseason, the Redskins were also dealing with injuries. “Because of our injuries it’s possible that some freshman will get the opportunity to step up and help,” said DeSantis. Starter Bethany Davis had been out, but made her return to the lineup in Monday’s win at Edison. “It was good to have her back,” said DeSantis. The Redskins played

Berryman back-to-back nights and visit Bellaire Thursday, giving them three games in four nights. “That is why you have a bench,” DeSantis said. “We have a bench,

but the girls are really, really young. “They did a nice job (against Edison). They listen. They work hard. They can be frightened with the speed of the

varsity game. They have to put something on their passes. “They can’t make eighth-grade passes anymore. They have responded well. They are young, but hopefully with them getting experience early that will pay dividends down the road.” What Indian Creek also has is experience. “We return the entire team from last season plus 10 freshman,” said DeSantis. That team claimed a sectional championship and eventually lost to state runner-up West Holmes. Leading the way for the Redskins is 6-foot-5 Division I prospect Bre Berryman at center. Berryman, a junior, is a preseason all-state pick has nearly averaged a triple-double over her first two seasons. Joining Berryman in forming one of the most imposing post presences in the state is 6-2 senior and Wheeling Jesuit commit Kiarra Kamarec. “Our strength will be our inside game,” said

DeSantis. Senior Brooke Mains returns to hold down the point guard slot. Mains ability to break the press throughout the season was a huge part of last season’s success as well as her ability to hit the outside shot. Fellow senior Kristen Shimko returns to provide leadership and a spark on the defensive end. Davis was a welcome addition as a freshman last season, providing a talented backcourt mate for Mains. “All nine returners will see a great deal of playing time,” said DeSantis. In the win over Edison, four players scored in double figures for Indian Creek — Berryman had 21, Kamarec 18, Davis 15 and Mains 13. That can be a scary proposition for the Redskins’ opponents. The remaining four returners consist of a junior and three sophomores in Jenna Callahan, Ashley Durbin, Cassidy Ruckman, and Alaina Taylor.

The BARBER • STYLIST 125 Canton Road, Wintersvil e Call Tom or Chris For Your Appointment Redskins Girls

(JV games at 6 p.m. unless noted)

Nov. 25 Carrollton (L) Dec. 2 at Edison (W) Dec. 3 Minerva Dec. 5 at Bellaire Dec. 9 Buckeye Local Dec. 12 at Martins Ferry Dec. 16 Harrison Central Dec. 19 Union Local Dec. 23 at Cambridge Dec. 30 at St. Clairsville Jan. 2 at John Marshall Jan. 6 Edison Jan. 9 Bellaire Jan. 13 at Buckeye Local Jan. 16 Martins Ferry Jan. 20 at Classic in the Country (3 p.m.) Jan. 23 at Harrison Central Jan. 27 at Union Local Jan. 30 John Marshall Feb. 3 OVAC Week (TBA)

Adding even more depth, and providing an opportunity for a JV team, is a deep group of ninth graders consisting of Karli Celestin, Jessica Callahan, Taylor Mazzaferro, Hallie Schmitt, Madison Smith, Juanita Slappy, Rhain Lumpkin, Carlee Lukacena, Peyton Vaughan, and Kaitlyn Whitaker.

HAVE A GREAT SEASON!

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BASKETBALL 2013-14

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Best of Luck Brooke Bruins Basketball Team

Personal Tax Service Angela Pulice

Brooke Boys

(JV games at 5:45 p.m. unless noted)

Dec. 13 Parkersburg South Dec. 14 St. Clairsville, 6 p.m. Dec. 18 Parkersburg Dec. 20 South Charleston, 8:15 p.m. V Dec. 21 Indian Creek Dec. 27 Robert C. Byrd, 7:45 p.m. V Dec. 28 Fairmont Senior at RCB, 6 p.m. V Jan. 3 at Morgantown Jan. 7 at Indian Creek, 6 p.m. Jan. 10 at Big Red, 6 p.m. Jan. 14 at John Marshall Jan. 17 University Jan. 21 at Wheeling Park Jan. 24 Weir High Jan. 31 John Marshall Feb. 4 Wheeling Park Feb. 7 Big Red Feb. 11 OVAC Feb. 18 at Weir High, 6 p.m. Feb. 27: at Oak Glen, 6 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 4, 2013

Brooke Bruins

Reitter feels he has a solid foundation

By RALPH COX

Sports correspondent WELLSBURG — The Brooke boys basketball team went 15-8 in 201213 with the first winning season for the Bruins in several years and while veteran coach Dave Reitter lost seven seniors from that team, he feels he has a solid foundation for 2013-14. About two-thirds of the Bruin scoring from a year ago left when Eric Johnson and Hunter Wallace graduated. Johnson, a fouryear letterman, who was honorable mention All-State and played in

the OVAC All-Star game, took a per game scoring average of 12.1 with him while Wallace, also honorable mention All-State and OVAC All Star game participant, averaged 10 points a game. Others picking up their sheepskins last May are Austin Schambach, who averaged 5.2 points a game, Jessie Gambellin, a 6.5 points a game scorer, and Ryan Heaton, who averaged 6.6 a game. Two other seniors that came off the bench were Alec Buchmelter and Colton Fritz. Returning are a cou-

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ple of starters that can score and rebound, which are two ingredients needed to continue the winning ways. They are leading scorer, Russell Schwertfeger (6-1), a senior who averaged 12.2 points a game and 2.6 assists a game, and sophomore Thomas Cole (6-5), the leading rebounder with 6 a game, who also added 7.8 points a game during his freshmen year. Add to that five nonletter winners who split time with the junior varsity and varsity team last year and Reitter thinks he has enough firepower to fill the holes. Aquil Dameron, 6-0, played in 22 varsity games while Nick DeStefano, 6-1 and Ethan Sole, 6-0, each played in 8 varsity games. Two sophomores, who dressed for varsity games late in the season that Reitter is looking to contribute this year are Justin Loughrie, 6-1 and Nathan Greene 6-6. Also vying for playing time on Reitter’s

25th team as a head basketball coach at Brooke, are senior Noah Teaff and juniors Luc Pannett and Antonio Pizzuti, sophomores Fargo Camerlengo, a transfer from Weirton Madonna, and Brandon Miller. Add to them two seniors who chose to pass up basketball their junior year, Anthony Barnhart, 6-2, and Joey Staffileno. Both are showing some promise, Reitter said. “Our goals are to win and see the kids succeed and improve,” said Reitter, who was head basketball coach at Brooke from 1985 through 2001 and after five years as head coach of the Bruin football team, returned as the basketball mentor in 2004. “Of course, we also have the goals of winning in the postseason all the way to the state title as all teams do.” Reitter, who coached both football and basketball for a couple of years, pointed out that highlights for the Bruins last year was winning two of three games at the KSA Tournament

at Disney World in Orlando, FL. and beating Wheeling Park during the regular season for the first time in awhile. He said four new opponents have been added to the Bruin schedule this year in Parkersburg, South Charleston, Robert C. Byrd and Fairmont Senior. The game with South Charleston will be at the Charleston Civic Center, which is the site of the annual state tournament. The games with Robert C. Byrd and Fairmont are part of the Robert C. Byrd shootout between the Christmas and New Year holidays. “We have some players that have the potential to step up and do well at the varsity level, but we will have much less experience going into this season than we had a year ago,” Reitter said. “Even so, we should have some good senior leadership this year along with some talented sophomores and juniors, who should improve as they get more experience.”

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BASKETBALL 2013-14

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Brooke Bruins

Scherich returns four starters, six total

By RALPH COX

Sports correspondent WELLSBURG — It has been several years since the Brooke girls basketball team posted a winning record, but third-year coach Ryan Scherich is hopeful the 2013-14 edition will halt that streak. Losing just one senior from the club that went 4-17, Marena Cline, Scherich goes into the new season with four starters back along with two other letter winners and that is the reason for such optimism. Leading scorer and second-team All-Stater, Angela Staffileno returns to anchor the Lady Bruins. It will be her third season as a starter. She led the Lady Bruins in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots the last two years. Staffileno scored an 18 points a game clip as a freshman with 10 rebounds a game and five blocks. Last year as a sophomore, Staffileno scorched the nets for 25.6 points a game and she upped the

other two stats as well grabbing 15 caroms a game along with 7 blocked shots. “Angela might be the best player in West Virginia,” Scherich declared. “She certainly is among the top five. We have to play her as a center, but in a program where she wouldn’t be the tallest player on the team she would be a guard/forward where she could showcase her immense skills as an outside shooter. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get her in that situation a little more this year.” Scherich feels that his other returning letter winners will be able to take more of the load off of Staffileno through experience and commitment to an offseason basketball program. Returning with Staffileno are seniors Michaela Hinerman and Ashley Sherman, juniors Isabella Preston and Christa D’Ulisse and sophomore Paige Farmer. “Hinerman boosted her per game scoring

average to about nine during the second half of the season,” Scherich said. “An injury prevented Staffileno from playing in the Oak Glen game last year and Michaela stepped up scoring 25 points and I think that gave her confidence and showed her she could score. After that game, she improved her scoring a lot. “I’m hoping that confidence is even higher and she continues to contribute to the offense. She’s been playing a lot since her sophomore year and is a very good athlete.” Scherich said even though Preston started a year ago he’s still looking for her to take the next step forward. Farmer is another outstanding athlete, who averaged five points a game as a freshman last year. Scherich said Sherman and D’Ulisse came off the bench as role players last year and they should be improved and more consistent with the year of varsity experience.

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Scherich also will call upon juniors Lauren Altobell and Kourtny Koscevic to provide help. Both are back out after skipping basketball their sophomore years. Then, Scherich is excited by a talented group of freshmen. Kelsea Wenszel, who played a year ago at Warwood Middle School, is attending Brooke High School, Gabriella Velegal, Shelby Grizzel and Madisyn Reynolds all have talent, according to Scherich. Two sophomores round out the squad. They are Jessica Gaston and Abbey Jackson. “We should benefit from the extra year of playing basketball by all these letter winners and I believe the kids are getting the message that if they want to compete with the other teams in the triple-A class, they need to play travel ball or some other form of off-season basketball,” Scherich said. “We are well behind of the other schools in that, but

these freshmen and several other players have made the commitment. “They’ve found out they just can’t pick up a basketball from November to February and be successful.” Scherich said he is pleased with his team this year. “I think we’ll improve as the season goes along when these talented freshmen get some experience,” he continued. “I think we are as athletic as any team in the state. We just need to use our athleticism to be more aggressive on defense and create opportunities for ourselves. “I think the other advantage we have is that with the experience, the players know what the coach wants and I know more of what to expect from them. “They all are good kids and with the experience we have now we can begin working more on the techniques we need to be a basketball team so we know what to do with the ball when running the floor.

Best of Luck Brooke Bruins Basketball Team

Personal Tax Service Angela Pulice Bruins Girls

(JV games at 6 p.m. unless noted)

Dec. 3 at Wheeling Park Dec. 5 at Weir Dec. 10 John Marshall Dec. 12 at East Liverpool Dec. 16 at Steubenville Dec. 17 Buckeye Local Dec. 27 at Parkersburg South, Noon Jan. 3 University Jan. 6 Steubenville Jan. 8 Madonna Jan. 13 Wheeling Park Jan. 15 at Linsly Jan. 22 at Morgantown Jan. 25 East Liverpool, Noon Jan. 27 at John Marshall Jan. 30 Linsly Feb. 3 OVAC Week, tba Feb. 13 Weir Feb. 18 Cameron Feb. 19 at Oak Glen

“I think that if the girls can get a few wins early they’ll get more confidence in themselves and I hope that can propel us to take the next step forward.” Amy Serivec returns as Scherich’s varsity assistant and Lori Jackson was recently named the junior varsity and varsity assistant coach.

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BASKETBALL 2013-14

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Edison Wildcats

JERRY GAST

Moses, players ready to move forward

729 MAIN ST., WINTERSVILLE a062062@allstate.com

By MATTHEW PEASLEE Sports writer ©2011 Allstate Insurance Company

Wildcats Boys (JV games at 6 p.m.)

Dec. 3 at Tornto Dec. 6 Martins Ferry Dec. 10 at Beaver Local Dec. 13 St. Clairsville Dec. 17 at Union Local Dec. 20 Buckeye Local Dec. 23 at Southern Local Dec. 27 at Indian Creek Jan. 3 at Bellaire Jan. 10 Harrison Central Jan. 14 at Martins Ferry Jan. 18 Bellaire Jan. 21 at St. Clairsville Jan. 24 Union Local Jan. 25 at Weir Jan. 28 at Buckeye Local Feb. 1 Weir Feb. 4 at Harrison Central Feb. 7 Toronto Feb. 11 OVAC Week, tba

RICHMOND — Edison boys basketball coach Nate Moses feels his team is in the driver’s seat and moving forward from last year’s 3-18 record. “Last year is in the rear view mirror,” he said. “We want to look forward and not look back. Our offseason and practices have been positive, and we want to change the losing culture. “We have some guys who played last year. Our biggest thing last year was lack of experience. It was very trying last year. We played a lot of younger guys. No team, regardless of the sport, wants to go through what we went through last year. “Experience is not an issue this year. We are still young with only three seniors. Our sophomores last year who are juniors this year gained a lot of valuable experience and we look forward to that this year.”

Have A Great Season!

The Wildcats did find a positive during last season’s stretch run winning back-to-back games in the final month of the season — a 59-57 win over Toronto and a 62-55 win over Weir — to start off February. But Moses knows what it’ll take to build on that. It’s about starting small, knowing the goal and finding positives in every workout, game and practice. “We do want to get better daily in practice and in games, our goal is to go 1-0 every game,” Moses said. “Our next game is the biggest game of the year, and we tell our kids that before every game. They are all important and our goal will stay the same.” Like in the 2012-13 season, there are just three seniors and all have gained playing experience over the years. Now, Storm Allese, Dylan Jones and Rich Springer will be looked to for leadership after the rebuilding mode of their junior

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Edison’s Austin Hyndman (floor) and Storm Allese battle Harrison Central’s Cory Yoho for a loose ball in a game last year. campaign. Erik Lee, Austin Horan, Austin Hyndman and Skylar Wilken are juniors who will also be counted on to carry the team. “We are looking to take the next step in this program,” said Moses, beginning his second year at the helm. “Our juniors and seniors have game experience. We are looking for consistency from these guys.” In Connor Bohen, Shane Layman, Brad Springer, Hunter Talkington and Josh Woika, Moses has emerging

sophomores who have a golden opportunity to see what it’s like at the varsity level and furthermore enhance the program’s viability in the not too distant future. “The younger guys will have to contribute,” Moses said. “We have four juniors with experience, sophmores with experience, and also our freshman have been a pleasant surprise and some of those guys will get some playing time throughout the year.” David Kinney, Zac Kramarich, Joey Nave,

Bryce Piatt, Dom Rogers, Michael Speedy and Cody Westling are the freshmen. “We are a much deeper team this year and having that freshman class is really good for our program,” said Moses. “We’ve had much better practices already and those practices are much more competitive than last year. It’s definitely been more upbeat.” Since a winless season in 2009-10, the Wildcats have won 18 games. In 2007-08, Edison had a record of 15-6.


WEDNESDAY, DEC. 4, 2013

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Edison Wildcats

Ensinger looks to improve on 4-win season

By MATTHEW PEASLEE Sports writer

RICHMOND — With anticipation building and excitement lingering, the Edison girls basketball team got off to a rough start even before its first game of 2013. Starting point guard Katelyn Pollock went down with a sprained ankle as the final practice before the Wildcats opening game against Martins Ferry was drawing to a close. “She’s a competitive person,” Edison coach Jason Ensinger said. “Katelyn was our leading scorer from last year and in practice everything was kind of steered towards her. It hurt some of the things we had to do.” The Wildcats opened with two straight losses, but Pollock hopes to return this week back to full strength. In her place was junior Ashley Miller. “It was the first time she started and

she filled in very well,” Ensinger said. “I like where my juniors are at. I plan on them being big contributors as they become more comfortable with their positions and spots in the rotation.” As the underclassmen become more conformable with their roles, Ensigner will as well. For better or worse, the number 19 has been consistent for the Edison girls basketball team the past two seasons. That’s how long Ensigner has been with the program — one year as an assistant, the next as head coach. In 2011-12 the Wildcats went 19-3. Last year, they were 4-19. “It’s been a learning experience,” Ensigner said. “Sometimes you don’t realize the extra things that are needed as a head coach. There’s a junior high program to keep an eye on and you really want to focus on player development to build a

program. All the ideas you have going into the season can sometimes be forgotten when you get overzealous with things. “I scripted practice as an assistant and learned that it’s a lot of trial and error. “I like to keep things fresh and keep building on new drills.” Ensinger took over as head coach in place of the legendary Tony Kovalesky prior to the 2012 season. He already faced a steep setback losing the three top scorers from the previous year in Kayla Prokopakis, Kristin Prokopakis and Savannah Snyder. Edison graduated just one starting player last season in point guard Molly McCoy. “We’ve had shift some players and rotate things around,” Ensigner said. “We want to maximize our talent and put the girls in the best position to succeed.” The Wildcats’ five

seniors will begin the year as the five starters. Pollock, Abby Fonow, Lynsey Morrison, Meghan Scott and Kayli Stewart all saw plenty of action as juniors and will be counted on immensely during their final high school season. “I’m hoping they can end on a high note,” Ensigner said. This years juniors will also be important. There’s five of them, too, and Ensigner plans to use them in any situation. “I’ve stressed over the summer to build our rotation,” he said. “We’d like 10 girls to keep rolling in and out, each playing hard and giving their best for three to four minutes at a time. It’s important to keep everybody fresh because we plan to be in games until the very end.” Ensigner is happy with the development of a new wrinkle in the Edison offense. The Wildcats plan to play

more up-tempo than in years past with a hope that it will equate to more fast-break points. “We want the defense to create more opportunities on offense,” Ensigner said. “We didn’t execute all that well in a half-court set last season, so we’d like to be more aggressive in the transition game.” Fonow and Scott, at 5-foot-9, are the tallest girls on the team and will be counted on in the post for offensive scoring chances and defensive match ups. “They’re a major part of our plans,” Ensigner said. “It depends on the matchups, but we aren’t going to be taller than a lot of teams. “We really want to work on their presence inside. “We’re always trying to scheme to contend with opponents’ size. You just can’t teach size.” In the opening game,

Wildcats Girls (JV games at 6 p.m.)

Nov. 25 at Martins Ferry (L) Nov. 27at Beaver Local (L) Dec. 2 Indian Creek (L) Dec. 5 at Union Local Dec. 6 at Oak Glen Dec. 9 St. Clairsville Dec. 12 at Harrison Central Dec. 16 at Bellaire Dec. 18 at Steubenville Dec. 19 Buckeye Local Dec. 30 Martins Ferry 7 p.m. V Jan. 4 Steubenville Jan. 6 at Indian Creek Jan. 9 Union Local Jan. 11 at East Liverpool, 1 p.m. Jan. 13 at St. Clairsville Jan. 16 Harrison Central Jan. 18 Bellaire Jan. 27 at Buckeye Local Jan. 30 Oak Glen Feb. 3 OVAC week tba

Fonow scored 12 points and Stewart led with 14. “We want to get more shooting out on the floor,” Ensinger said. “Shooting has hurt us early on. “We’ve had a lot of good looks, we just need to start knocking them down.”

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Toronto Red Knights

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TORONTO — When it comes to the game of basketball, Toronto head coach John Leary’s Nov. 29 at Jefferson County philosophies are about Christian (W) as simple as they come. Dec. 3 Edison “There’s really nothDec. 6 at St. John Central ing new that’s been Dec. 10 Steubenville Central invented in basketball in Dec. 13 Bridgeport the last 75 years,” said Dec. 17 at Beaver Local Leary, who has been Dec. 20 Conotton Valley coaching for the past 30 Jan. 3 Cameron years. “The more you Jan. 7 at Steubenville Central Jan. 10 at Madonna make them think, the Jan. 14 at Bishop Donahue less they actually will Jan. 17 at Bridgepoprt think.” Jan. 21 Bishop Donahue The former Brooke Jan. 24 St. John Central High girls coach and Jan. 25 at Cameron longtime middle and Jan. 30 at East Richland high school assistant Jan. 31 Beaver Local Feb. 4 Jefferson County Christian suits up for his third season with the Red Feb. 11 OVACs, tba Knights. “We are hoping to build on the progression we have made the first two years,” Leary said. “We made a huge progression last year.” Toronto finished the 2012-13 campaign with an 11-12 record which followed up a four-win season from the year before. The Red Knights got off to a strong start in

Glenn 2013-14 with a 65-32 win over Jefferson County Christian. Blaze Glenn led all scorers with 29 points and Blake Rawson added 14. The team drained nine 3-pointers in the opener. “I was very pleased,” Leary said. “We shot very well in that game. It was almost an aberration coming out for us in

the first game. We worked on shooting in the preseason and so far it paid off.” Toronto shot just over 40-percent against Jefferson Country Christian after averaging around 34-percent for most of last season. “If we can continue to do that it’ll bode well for us,” Leary said.

The Red Knights plan to be a guard-oriented team with Glenn leading at point guard. Glenn, a sophomore, started as a freshman with four seniors. Tyler Owens, Brad Melville, Joey Chadwick, Dillon Gault and Tyler Andrews have graduated. “Watching us play, how we physically look, you wouldn’t be able to tell Blaze was freshman,” Leary said. “He understands his importance and he’s unselfish. “I never would have dreamed he had 29 points (against JCC). He did not force anything. Everything came to him in the flow.” The best part about Glenn’s play and mindset is that it will be utilized for the next three full seasons. “He’s an old school kid,” Leary said. “He’s the quarterback in the fall and the shortstop in the spring. I’m sure he’s one of the leaders in his class. “Blaze is just a kid that is very competitive and aggressive in his play.”

Blaine Rawson, Hank Clegg and Riley Kiersey will also see time as sophomores. Derrick Lawrence and Josh Roche are seniors, while Nate Stewart and Tyler Roush are juniors. Roush, at 6-foot-4, is the tallest on the team. “He’s worked very hard and made great strides,” Leary said. “He’ll continue to work because he was a great work ethic. Tyler wants to be more of a presence inside and if he continues to improve he’s got a chance.” Off the bench, Kiersey stands at 6-foot2, while the starting lineup checks in at 5foot-7, 5-foot-9 and two players and 5-foot-11. Leary says the offensive sets will be guard-oriented. “I strive for continuity,” Leary said. “We’ll go four-out one in sets, but make it diverse so they have to defend everything. Still, it’s all pretty basic.” On defense, the Red Knights will typically go man-to-man, but throw in a 1-3-1 trap.


WEDNESDAY, DEC. 4, 2013

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Toronto Red Knights

Blanton looking forward to another good year By MATTHEW PEASLEE Sports writer

Berger

TORONTO — Just because the season has started for the Toronto girls basketball team, practices are all about sticking to the basics. “When it comes to practices, we always work on the fundamentals everyday,” said Red Knights coach Mallory Blanton. “And once games start, we prepare for who we play next, break situations down and try to work on things that we need to improve on that may have lacked in the games in the past.” Toronto struggled to open the season but hopes to open December with a strong start as it has five games in 12 days. “I think we are still trying to get the nerves out,” Blanton said. “The girls have responded well at the games in the sense of going hard and not giving up. We just need to get the jitters out a little more. “I’ve seen a lot of positives to start off season.” The Red Knights return four-year starter Lyndsay Bodnar, the leading scorer from the past two seasons. Bodnar was a third-team Division IV Eastern District selection last season as she averaged 11.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game as a junior. “We have good leadership and players with ample amounts of varsi-

ty experience, led by Lyndsay,” Blanton said. Toronto also returns seniors Katie Spadafora and Mykia West. Lexie Berger, Makayla Bauman and Malaysia Harrison are juniors, while Miranda Robinson and Josey Jones may see time as sophomores. Berger was an Eastern District special mention choice and Bauman was an honorable mention selection in 2012-13. “The girls are responding to what the coaches are saying,” Blanton said. “They really help each other out.” Chemistry will most certainly be a key as the Red Knights have an entire season to regroup. They won seven games in 2011-12 and 14 last season in Blanton’s fourth year at the helm. “Some of the girls that have a good idea of what we expect, are grabbing the other girls and catching them up to speed,” Blanton said. “Helping with the plays, showing the proper way to do a drill or even just encouraging each other and building each other back up.” Toronto won six of its last eight games to close out the 2012-13 season. “We were successful last year and look to take the next step this year,” Blanton said. “We learned how to win close games and we must continue to do that this year.”

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Nov. 22 Conotton Valley (L) No. 25 at Wellsville (L) Nov. 27 at Steubenville Central (W) Dec. 2 Bridgeport (L) Dec. 5 St. John Central Dec. 9 at Madonna Dec. 12 Jeff. County Christian, 6 p.m. V Dec. 19 Oak Glen Dec. 21 at Bishop Donahue 1:30 p.m. Dec. 23 at Linsly Dec. 30 Wellsville Jan. 6 Jeff. County Christian, 5 p.m. V Jan. 8 at St. John Central Jan. 13 Bishop Donahue Jan. 16 at Bridgeport Jan. 18 at Oak Glen Jan. 22 at Conotton Valley Jan. 27 Madonna Jan. 30 Steubenville Central Feb. 3 OVACs, tba

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BASKETBALL 2013-14

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Nov. 30 River View (W) Dec. 3 Beaver Local Dec. 6 Bellaire Dec. 10 at Union Local Dec. 13 Indian Creek Dec. 17 Martins Ferry Dec. 20 at St. Clairsville Dec. 28 at Shadyside Jan. 7 Buckeye Local Jan. 10 at Edison Jan. 11 Shadyside Jan. 14 at Bellaire Jan. 17 Union Local Jan. 18 at Beaver Local Jan. 21 at Indian Creek Jan. 24 at Martins Ferry Jan. 28 St. Clairsville Jan. 31 at Buckeye Local Feb. 4 Edison Feb. 8 at Weir Feb. 11 OVAC Week, tba

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 4, 2013

Harrison Central Huskies Clifford has a different look to his club

By SETH STASKEY

Special to the Preview CADIZ — One major change for the Harrison Central boys basketball team comes in the postseason. Harrison Central is in Division III after spending the last several seasons in Division II. “We weren’t really surprised when the numbers came out,” said head coach Justin Clifford, whose team began the season with a 56-42 win over Riverview. “We’re always on the border. We go from being one of the smallest Division II schools to being one of the biggest Division III schools. It really doesn’t matter though because you’re going to have to beat someone good, regardless of what division you’re playing in.” Another major change is who is no longer on the team. For the first time since he’s been in charge of the Huskies program, neither Nick Pelegreen, Rashaen Mitchell nor Fletcher

Watt are anywhere to be found. The backbone of the Huskies program has graduated after brilliant prep careers, including a senior season that resulted in a 16-8 record. “We’ll miss those guys,” Clifford offered. “They all started as freshmen for me, but we’ll move on and it’s time for new guys to step up into new roles and we’re excited to see how they do in those roles.” While the remaining and new players will take on greater roles, Clifford doesn’t want, or expect, them to feel additional pressure. But, instead, he wants them to play within themselves inside the framework of the offense. “Some of the guys aren’t used to being the man and we talk about that all the time,” Clifford said. “They just have to do their part, but their part isn’t going to be exactly what they did last year. It’s that and more.” The Huskies’

approach is going to remain the same in terms of their commitment to the defensive end and desire to play up and down. “Size and scoring are going to be our Achilles heel,” Clifford said. “We had a decent summer, but we were beating teams 25-23, so we didn’t exactly fill it up. We want to get a high number of possessions.” Harrison Central returns two starters from from a club that was bounced in the sectional by Indian Creek and finished 16-8. Junior point guard Austin Kowalski (5-9) will be the leader on both ends of the floor for the Huskies. “Austin’s role will expand significantly,” Clifford said. “He’s going to be the guy we look to to get us a bucket and he’s not been in that role in the past. He’s an intelligent kid, who is a basketball junkie, so I think he’ll do well with that.” The other returning starter is junior Kalub Mitchell (5-10) who will be in the post. He was a

lock-down defender, which Clifford wants to continue, but he’ll also need to take more shots. “Kalub may have taken one shot a game last year,” Clifford joked. “He’s going to increase that number. He’s going to be our inside guy.” Senior David Miser (6-3) will be another on the interior who will be looked upon for rebounding and scoring. Senior Dalton Rutter (5-9), who Clifford thinks the sky is the limit for, is expected to have a big season. He’s a solid ball handler and a talented defender. Senior Nate Olmstead (5-10) will be one of the top perimeter shooters for the Huskies. Senior Cody Evans (5-10) is another adept perimeter shooter, who Clifford said “has never met a shot he didn’t like.” Sophomore Dustin Redish (5-10) is another solid defender, but Clifford needs him to cut down on his aggressive to the point where he’s not hampered by foul trouble.

Junior Cory Yoho (61), sophomore Brandon Mitchell (5-9) and Tison Johnson (5-9) will round out the varsity rotation. Sophomore Brice Walrath (6-3) is another who could work his way into the rotation. Clifford believes the scoring could come around as the players settle into their new roles and realize they need to become ‘scorers.’ “We’re going to have to create offense with our defense,” Clifford said. “Our guys understand the system a little bit more. Understanding how, when and why to score are areas where we’re working hard.” The Huskies will be a relatively deep club, playing no fewer than 10 guys most nights. “We’re making the kids prove it in practice to earn the right to play,” Clifford said. “Our guys are really buying in. They’re all good athletes who’ve excelled in other sports, so we’re trying to build See HUSKIES Page 31 ➪

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BASKETBALL 2013-14

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Harrison Central Huskies

Yourkovich returns 5 letterwinners, 3 starters

By BUBBA KAPRAL

Special to the Preview CADIZ — Harrison Central girls basketball coach Nick Yourkovich, in his fifth season, lost three to graduation, but returns five letterwinners, including three starters. Leading the way will be Katie Ellzy, who has already committed to Robert Morris to play softball. The 5-9 forward is a force in the paint. The rugged junior was a double-double machine last winter, averaging 18 points and 11 rebounds per game. “Katie is a major threat on the interior. She has improved her perimeter game. I

wouldn’t want to defend her once she realizes how dominant she actually can be,” Yourkovich said. “Katie has all the physical tools and athleticism to be great. She could be one of the best to come through Harrison Central.” Kara Dunfee is the Lady Huskies’ floor general. She is a 5-5 savvy senior playmaker. “Kara is our floor leader. She is one of our better defenders and is a capable scorer.” Yourkovich said. “Kara will not see a lot of time off the floor this year. She is like having a coach on the floor.” When Harrison Central needs to dial up a three-ball, Jesse Ledger

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is one of the area’s top deep marksmen. The 5-9 senior letter-winner established a new school mark for treys in a season last winter, draining 55 bonus balls. “Jesse is definitely a three-point threat, but she possesses more skills than just shooting,” Yourkovich noted. “Jesse has really impressed me with her defense and rebounding so far in the preseason. We will rely on her presence on the outside to balance our scoring.” Another battle-tested senior will bring multiple skills to the floor for the Lady Huskies. Ronna Orr is a rugged 5-5 forward waging a spirited battle for a starting berth. “Ronna is a capable mid-range shooter. She is versatile in terms of playing on the inside and perimeter,” Yourkovich said. The Huskies finished 12-12 last season. “Last year ended on a sour note, as we lost at the buzzer in the sectional final. That game has re-energized me in

the off-season and into the pre-season,” Yourkovich said. “It has been a constant reminder at most of our workouts. “We feel this is the group that can take us to the next level of achievement in our program. We look to be in contention for a few championships this season.” Graduation claimed Jess Custer, Shannon Compher and Amber Hatfield. Custer will be an extremely painful loss, as she was a threeyear letterman, starting more than 40 games. Their leadership void will be cushioned by five returning letterwinners, some of whom are prime-time performers. “I am very excited about this group of young ladies. They work hard, are coachable and never miss a workout,” Yourkovich said. “I think that this year could be a special one for Harrison Central. “Depth will be a concern early on in the season, as I am looking at a

seven-player rotation. Hopefully, some of the other girls will accept the challenge we have presented them and push for varsity playing time later in the year.” Harrison Central has a sophomore dandy in the person of Paige Richards. The 5-5 letterman is a combo guard with great upside. “Paige is the most athletic player we have. She is very quick with the ball and has a nice outside jump shot,” Yourkovich said. “We will rely on Paige not only be a defensive stopper but to be a threat offensively, especially getting to the basket. She has put a lot of time in becoming a good all-around player.” The Lady Huskies boast another promising forward in Shianne Nameth. The 5-8 sophomore letterman has the chance to be an inside force. “Shianne is in the mix for a starting position. She has raw athleticism right now,” Yourkovich offered. “She can play both forward and guard.

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Dec. 6 Union Local Dec. 10 Indian Creek Dec. 13 at Martins Ferry Dec. 17 St. Clairsville Dec. 18 at Oak Glen Dec. 20 at Edison Dec. 28 at Minerva Jan. 7 Harrison Central Jan. 10 Bellaire Jan. 11 at Weir Jan. 14 Steubenville Jan. 15 Oak Glen Jan. 17 at Indian Creek Jan. 21 Martins Ferry Jan. 22 at Union Local Jan. 24 at St. Clairsville Jan. 28 Edison Jan. 31 at Harrison Central Feb. 4 at Bellaire Feb. 7 Weir Feb. 11 OVAC Week, tba

By RICK DeLUCA

Haberfield new man on the bench

Special to the Preview RAYLAND — There are a lot of new faces on the Buckeye Local boys basketball team and that starts with the man in charge. Meet Greg Haberfield. The 30-year old spent last season on former head coach Jay Morris’ staff as the reserve coach. It was his second coaching job. He was an assistant previously at Anson High School in Wadesboro, N.C., which is about an hour east of Charlotte, for three seasons. Haberfield comes to basketball coaching honestly. The 2001 Meadowbrook High School graduate is the grandson of the late legendary boys’ basketball coach Earl Haberfield, who had stops at Wheeling Central, Meadowbrook, Wintersville, Crooksville and Amherst Steele just to name a few. The Buckeye Local basketball program has made some great strides over the past three years under Morris and

Haberfield has no plans of taking steps back. “Our focus this year has been to play together as a family,” he said “We’ve continuously stressed the importance of being a good teammate, student, and community member. We believe that these characteristics carry over into the game of basketball and help shape our student-athletes to be accountable to themselves and to one another. Team togetherness is the first step to success and we take pride in how we do things.” Morris left after last season following three years that saw the Panthers go from a 1-20 team to a team that compiled one of just a handful of winning seasons in the school’s 23year history on the court. Buckeye finished at 12-11 and swept its two OVAC postseason pool games for the first time since the conference instituted the championship playoff system. “We’ve lost a lot of our varsity players from last year and we are

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looking for players to step into those roles,” Haberfield said. “Although our players may not have much varsity experience, they understand our mentality of playing hard and being tenacious. If we continue to do the little things, everything else will eventually fall into place.” Buckeye graduated eight seniors off last year’s team including record-setting wing Kyle Michalo, who eclipsed the school’s single-game scoring record last season with a 39point performance against Barnesville. He scored 32 on the next night. Also gone are from that talented group is post Johnny Rozenek, the team’s top rebounder and strong inside scorer, point guard Caleb Agnew, a twoyear starter, Shane Duncan, guard Dylan Williams, post Tommy Hamilton, guard Austin Marshall and wing Braden Martin. “Brennan Czuchran has become the leader that everyone else on the team has looked up to,” said Haberfield. “I cannot say enough good things about Brennan. He leads by example both on and off of the basketball court on a consistent basis. He’s in the gym more than any other player that I know, he’s in the top 3 of his class academically, and he’s active in his community. We’re look-

ing forward to watching him compete and be a leader for our team this year.” Czuchran leads a senior contingent and has been a starter in each of the last three years. The 6-foot-3 guard can play anywhere on the court and is regarded as one of the top returning players in the Ohio Valley. Three other seniors will be counted on heavily by Haberfield are Jonathon Borkoski, Cory Donahue and Devan Pyciak. “Jonathon has a knack for scoring and finds creative ways to do so,” said Haberfield. “I feel that he’ll get a lot of open looks this year and he has the capability to knock them down. “Cory Donahue has become our floor general at the point guard position. If Cory can find ways to get into the lane, I think a lot of things will open up for us offensively.” Five juniors will be seeing plenty of action at the varsity level — Damion Beall, forward Ryan Faulkner, guard Tyler Miller, guard Brendan Bobo and forward Logan Dehnart. “Damion Beall is going to be a key player for us this year,” said the coach. “He is an allout hustler and is always in the right position defensively and can be a scrapper around the glass. He has a major size disadvantage, but his work ethic

more than makes up for it. “We have some guys coming off the bench looking to give us some valuable minutes such as Tyler Miller, Jared Moore, and Dylan Dokes. Tyler has improved during the off-season and he understands his role when he’s in the game. “We regularly discuss his importance of coming off of the bench as another ball handler and put us in our offensive sets. Jared and Dylan are both young guys on our team that have really began to stand out in the last couple of weeks at practice. As they continue to improve, I see more and more time for them into the season in order to give us more depth coming off of the bench.” Haberfield’s varsity roster includes two sophomores in Dokes and Ryan Moffo. One freshman on the varsity roster is Jared Moore. “Ryan Moffo has been our biggest surprise this year,” said Haberfield. “He’s young and works very hard in all of our drills and continues to get better every day. We expect to see him get a lot of time on the floor and become a major contributor to our team. “Devan Pyciak has become our enforcer on both ends of the floor. He’s a physical presence and is willing to pound down low against our opponent’s big men.”


WEDNESDAY, DEC. 4, 2013

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Buckeye Local Panthers Figurski ready after getting the job late

By RICK DeLUCA

Special to the Preview

RAYLAND — Tom Figurski wasn’t supposed to be in the lead chair. But, he’s there now. After a coaching change in late October when head coach Joel Nau abruptly stepped down, Figurski was handed the position one week before the season was set to begin. Nau was hired in April to take over for Willie Luther, who had run the program the previous seven seasons. “I would like to thank

the Board of Education, Mr. Miller, Mr. Sudvary and Mr. Jones for their confidence in me to run the program,” Figurski said in assuming the new position. Of course, Figurski is no stranger to the basketball court. He has served as an assistant in the Buckeye Local system for quite some time and was an outstanding player in his high school days playing at Buckeye West. He was a member of a few very successful teams at West. “I’m really excited about this year,” Figurski said about his 2013-14

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Lady Panthers. “The ladies have been working really hard this year as we have asked them to do some different things when it comes to their conditioning. I really believe that this will help with our overall strength and endurance and allow us to play the type of basketball we will need to play to win ball games. “Overall from freshmen to seniors, I think this is one of the most athletic teams Buckeye has had since I have been coaching. We should be able to score and defend from the post, on the drive and from beyond the three point arc.” Buckeye lost four talented and veteran players from last year’s 4-17 squad including fouryear letter winner Kayla Fillipovich. She returned last season as the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, but saw her senior year hampered by a serious knee injury. Also gone from last year’s team is 5-9 Amy Balk, 5-6 guard Alexis Valuska and Danielle

Smith. This trio also lettered as juniors. This season’s Lady Panther varsity roster will feature four seniors, four juniors and three sophomores. The senior contingent is paced by 5 ft. 9 forward Morgan Fedorko, a two-year letter winner who finished as one of the squad’s top scorers and rebounders. Fedorko will get a lot of help from her classmates that include 5-2 guard Ashley Taylor, 57 forward Karlee Leonard and 5-9 post Chanler Long. This group provides a great deal of experience and leadership that should be a key element in the Lady Panther successes this year. Figurski is fortunate to have a talented junior group that will play a major part in this season’s play as well as the following year. That group is headed by 5-9 guard Lauren Swiger, the team’s top scorer and a highly-respected player throughout the Ohio Valley. Swiger has been a starter since her freshman year.

Adding to the junior talent are 5-8 post Kierstyn Czuchran, 5-3 guard Carly Banal and 5-8 forward Kayla Petrella. The trio brings with them a large amount of talent that shows in their versatility. Buckeye’s three sophomores with the varsity are another group that should contribute a great deal. The young trio has experience behind them as well and they include 5-2 guard Becky Zeroski, 5-6 forward Rachel Zeroski and 5-5 forward Hunter Johnson. “Overall from freshmen to seniors, I think this is one of the most athletic teams Buckeye has had since I have been coaching,” Figurski said. “We should be able to score and defend from the post, on the drive and from beyond the three point arc. “We will be looking for our scoring to come from every player. Of course, we will expect more from some players than others, but I can see the team having a balanced scoring approach in almost

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(JV games at 6 p.m. unless noted)

Dec. 2 Harrison Central Dec. 9 at Indian Creek Dec. 11 Bridgeport Dec. 16 St. Clairsville Dec. 17 at Brooke Dec. 19 at Edison Dec. 23 Steubenville Dec. 30 Bellaire Jan. 6 at Harrison Central Jan. 8 at East Liverpool Jan. 9 Martins Ferry Jan. 13 Indian Creek Jan. 16 Union Local Jan. 18 at Bridgeport, noon Jan. 20 at Martins Ferry Jan. 22 East Liverpool Jan. 23 at St. Clairsville Jan. 27 Edison Jan. 29 at Union Local Jan. 30 at Bellaire Feb. 3 OVAC Week, tba

every game and that will be one of our strengths. “Defensively and with our conditioning, we will be able to apply pressure all over the court.” Buckeye has been fortunate to have large numbers out for basketball this year and with that Figurski will have numbers with the jayvee team as well.

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WEDNESDAY, DEC. 4, 2013

Oak Glen Golden Bears

Smith happy with increased numbers, competition

By RALPH COX

Sports correspondent

Golden Bears Boys

NEW MANCHESTER — The Oak Glen boys (JV games at 6 p.m. unless noted) basketball team won only four of 23 games a year Dec. 10: at Weir High ago, but veteran coach, Dec. 12: John Marshall, 5:45 p.m. Dave Smith, feels the Dec. 14 East Liverpool groundwork was laid to Dec. 17: Catholic Central develop a program that Dec. 18: Buckeye Local will carry the Golden Dec. 27: Southern Local Bears to future victories. Dec. 28: Beaver Local, 7:30 Smith saw graduation p.m. V take Cody Howell, his Jan. 4: Madonna leading scorer in 2012-13 Jan. 11: at Wellsville along with three other Jan. 14: at Beaver Local starters, but he’s countJan. 15: at Buckeye Local ing on five lettermen to Jan. 21: Weir High Jan. 25: Wellsville form the nucleus this Jan. 28: at Brooke, 5:45 p.m. season. Jan. 31: at East Liverpool Another plus for the Feb. 4: at Madonna Golden Bears is the Feb. 7: at Catholic Central return of senior, Bub Feb. 11: OVAC Week, tba Haddox, who lettered as Feb. 18: at Southern Local a sophomore but sat out Feb. 20: at John Marshall, 5:45 last season because of p.m. injuries sustained while Feb. 27: Brooke, 5:45 p.m. playing football, and his youngest son, Brennan, who missed all but the last four games a year ago. Haddox (6-0) started for the Golden Bears as a sophomore and is an outstanding baseball player. He recently signed to play college baseball at West Liberty University.

Brennan Smith (6-3) played about half the time in Oak Glen’s final four games last year and averaged 12.5 points a game. “Having those two back will be very helpful to us,” said Smith, who is in the second year of his second stint as Golden Bear head coach. “However, we’ll still be inexperienced.” In addition to Howell, who averaged 14 points a game last year, Smith lost starting point guard, Matt McLaughlin, a 6 points a game scorer, Taylor Kincaid and his oldest son, Trey. Returning lettermen, in addition to Smith and Haddox, are seniors Jacob Ford, David McGraw and Kyle Woodruff along with junior Tyler Click. “These kids made a commitment to basketball and spent a lot of time playing summer ball,” Smith explained. “That definitely will make a difference. We are much further ahead of where we were at this time a year ago.” Smith feels that the strength of his team will

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be in the guard play. “We’ll be able to force things better defensively, get after the basketball,” said Smith. “Our guards not only will be athletic, but they will be big guards.” Brennan Smith is 6-3, Woodruff is 6-4 and Ford, Haddox and Click are all 6-feet. Smith is concerned that his only true post player is McGraw. The senior is a husky 6-4 and started a year ago. Another strength is in the numbers, Smith exclaimed. “Last year we sometimes had difficulties in practice because we had to play some sophomores and freshmen,” he said. “This year we have a solid group of 12 players all vying for five starting spots. They will push themselves and that is a good thing. “We need to develop a total team toughness to go along with our size. We also need to box out and play physically. If we play that way, we could be a decent team.” Smith said he was frustrated at times with his team’s uncertainty.

“We averaged only about 25 or 30 shots a game and that cuts down on your opportunity to score even if you make 40 percent of the shots,” he continued. “We just never found a good flow on offense. “I want everyone to get involved with the ball and take it to the basket when we can. “I think that will be the mindset of this team. I want to see us take an average of about 50 shots a game and I think we have the kids to do that this year. With the bigger guards, they should be able to get off the screens and get good shots because of their size. I see more team speed and strength than last year. I know we will benefit from being more aggressive.” Smith is looking for depth from senior Matt Stipec, juniors Bryan Congo, Justin Adams, Cole Beaver and Chase Hartley, and sophomore Cyle Perez. “Hartley was quarterback on the football team before breaking his leg in the first game and he

hasn’t played basketball in high school,” Smith added. “But he played in middle school with these kids and is a good athlete. He just needs experience.” Smith rated Click as his most improved player from a year ago. “Tyler simply has a tremendous work ethic,” said Smith. “He has worked hard to make himself into a good player and hopefully he will reap the benefits this year. He struggled a little bit last year as a sophomore because we had to play him at the varsity level.” Smith categorized this edition of Oak Glen basketball as a typical Golden Bear team. “We have a lot of nice kids,” said Smith, who guided the Golden Bears to a 24-1 record and the school’s only appearance in the state basketball tournament back in 200304. “Hopefully they will be able to make our community and school proud. I have high expectations for this group. “I know we’ll be better at the end than at the beginning.”


WEDNESDAY, DEC. 4, 2013

BASKETBALL 2013-14

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Oak Glen Golden Bears

Wiley welcomes nine letterwinners, 4 starters

By RALPH COX

Sports correspondent

NEW MANCHESTER — There is optimism in the Oak Glen girls basketball camp this year, but coach Scott Wiley also has some concerns. Wiley has nine letter winners and four starters returning from a club that went 10-11 a year ago and his team has made it to the OVAC tournament as a fourth place qualifier each of his three seasons at the helm, so he is not lacking for experience. But the Lady Bears are lacking physicality and lacking numbers, which concerns the veteran coach. He’s also hoping his club can get off to a good start early in the season. Wiley greeted nine letter winners when practices began last Nov. 11 and four of them are returning starters, but he also has just 17 candidates and five of those are freshmen.

The dearth of players isn’t something new. The Golden Bears were forced to cancel the junior varsity schedule last year because there weren’t enough players to fully complement both the varsity and jayvee programs, Wiley said. The Lady Bears, who lost just one senior from the team a year ago when Casey Patterson picked up her diploma last May, will be led by senior Vanessa Hissam, who has been a starter since about half way through her freshman year. “Vanessa has led us in rebounding the past two years and should go over the 1,000 career point total this season barring injury,” Wiley exclaimed. “She is strong, has good hands and knows the game.” Hissam goes into the season with 768 points. Wiley has two other senior starters returning in Tori Feicht and his daughter, Karly

Wiley. Feicht is the point guard and rated as a very good defender by Wiley. His daughter is a wing guard and the go-to shooter for outside scoring. Jessica Stivason, a junior, is the fourth returning starter. She’s returning to man the post for the Golden Bears. Wiley will select the fifth starter from among juniors Brie Evans, Kaitlyn Herstine and Alyson Snow and sophomores Logan Andrews and Alex Arnott. All are returning letter winners. “Arnott will spell Tori at the point and there will be many times when both will be on the floor at the same time,” Wiley speculated. “Evans and Snow are post players and Herstine is another guard option.” One of the newcomers that has caught Wiley’s eye is freshman Maisie Witherow. “She should get some varsity playing time as we go along,”

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Wiley said. “She has been playing well and played travel ball during the off season. One thing about Maisie is that she is not timid, and she’s a good ball handler and shooter. “Having nine letter winners doesn’t guarantee anything,” Wiley said. “Hopefully we can start out strong. The Ohio teams, especially, start their seasons earlier than we do in West Virginia and when we play them in December they may already have three of four games played, so getting out to a good start is important. “We’re not real physical yet and that’s what you have to be if you want to compete in today’s basketball,” Wiley explained. “We have begun some drills that I hope will teach them to be more aggressive. “We have pretty good size this year, but they continue to feel that basketball is a non-contact sport. We’ve talked about being a top team, but I

told them that to be a top team we have to be more physical. I hope that the nine returning letter winners learned that last year.” Wiley said his club may have more size than any of the three he previously coached. “We have good size at the guards and Stivason is our tallest player,” the coach said. “Andrews, Arnott, Hissam and my daughter also have good size.” The Lady Bears played a lot of zone defense last season, but Wiley is hopeful that they can get away from that and get to playing good man defense. “That’s another thing we’ve talked about when being a top team is that we can’t just set back in a zone defense. We need to get more physical and man up.” With the realignment of Region 1, Section 1 last year to include North Marion, East Fairmont and Fairmont Senior along

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(JV games at 6 p.m. unless noted)

Dec. 3 at Weir High Dec. 6 Edison Dec. 9 Catholic Central Dec. 16 Magnolia Dec. 19 at Toronto Dec. 23 at Harrison Central Dec. 28 Beaver Local (V) Jan. 2 East Liverpool Jan. 4 Madonna, 3 p.m. Jan. 6 at Beaver Local Jan. 9 at Magnolia Jan. 13 at East Liverpool Jan. 16 at Brooke, 5:45 p.m. Jan. 18 Toronto Jan. 20 Harrison Central Jan. 23 Weir High Jan. 30 at Edison Feb. 3 OVAC Week, tba Feb. 13 at Madonna Feb. 19 Brooke

with Oak Glen and Weir High, the Golden Bears scheduled home and home games with the two Fairmont teams. However, they found that those trips were long and arduous so Oak Glen will not play them this season, but instead added home and home tilts with Harrison Central and Toronto.

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28 By SETH STASKEY Special to the Preview

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — There’s a cliche in sports that says, ‘tradition doesn’t graduate.’ St. Clairsville fully believes in that because Kim Clifford’s Red Devils have been winning with regularity. The level at which they’ve won the last two seasons, however, has been unprecedented. The list of accomplishments includes two OVAC and district titles as well as the regional championship in 2012. While the tradition remains, the majority of the talented players, who played a large role in that success have collected their diplomas. “We’ve been on a great run,” Clifford said. “The neat thing about coaching is that you get to come back the next year and play the hand you’re dealt. You hope your program has something to do with filling those spots.” Leading the list of graduated Devils is current Purdue wide receiver Dan Monteroso, who was a three-time allOhioan. He’s the all-time leading scorer in St. C. history with 2,340 points, which ranks 18th in Ohio history. Also gone are Jerrid Marhefka, Riley Carlton, Adam Jeffries, Jared Burghy, Dylan Campbell and Jay Gossett. “Those guys meant a ton to our success, obviously,” Clifford said. “We’re certainly going to miss them. We’re not going to miss them as players, but just as people. They were a great group of kids. We probably won’t realize how special of a group it was until a few years down the road.”

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 4, 2013

St. Clairsville Red Devils Clifford must replace most of scoring

While their accomplishments won’t ever be forgotten, it’s a new season and that’s where Clifford’s focus lies. “We’re here and we’re still going to play,” Clifford said. “We’re excited about this group.” Many fans will need a roster close by early in the season. Only senior Joel Giffin boasts significant varsity experience. “We’re going to be predominantly an underclass team,” Clifford said. “These guys are anxious to play. This team is really bonding well and they genuinely like each other, which is always a good size.” Despite the youth movement, you won’t hear Clifford, who is in his 23rd season with the Red Devils, using that as a crutch. “This will be the last time I say we’re young and inexperienced,” Clifford said. “We’re not going to use that. It’s these guys turn and they’ll learn on the job. Our practices have been really competitive and I think we’ll go back to playing a lot more guys than we have the past few years.” With so many new faces, Clifford walked to the first practice of the season and did something he can’t recall he’s ever done before. “We got into a circle and introduced ourselves,” Clifford laughed. “It was a little different. Plus, we have to schedule our practices earlier, so our guys can ride their

bikes home while it’s still light out.” According to Clifford, the progress the Red Devils have shown since the summer has been vast. “We were awful when we started in the summer, but by the end of the summer, we’d gotten a lot better just from playing,” Clifford said. “I think we’ve really progressed well. We’re going to be a work in progress.” The number of players lacking true varsity experience has allowed Clifford to get back to doing more teaching of the game this month. “We’ve had what seemed like veteran team after veteran team come through, but now we’ve got an old guy coaching really young kids and it’s been fun. The potential is there for us. We have to remember that (the season) is a marathon, not a sprint.” The approach won’t change with the Red Devils. They’re still going to get after teams with a full-court man and Clifford thinks they’ll be an adept perimeter shooting team. One area where the Devils may look a bit different is in the half-court set. “We might throw it into the post more than we’ve done in the past,” Clifford said. “We’re going to be bigger than we’ve been.” St. Clairsville features four seniors on the roster this season. The aforementioned Giffin (6-3) has been a

starter the past two seasons, but his offensive role will increase significantly. “Joel’s been a steadying force for us,” Clifford said. “He’s always been a decent shooter, but he’s gotten better offensively. He’s a strong kid who is a good passer.” Senior Jared Derosa (6-0) has seen some spot duty during his career. Clifford is impressed with his defensive ability and expects him to be a factor on the offensive end. “Jared’s probably our quickest guy and he’s a good shooter,” Clifford pointed out. “He’s played some different roles, but we’re going to ask him to score.” Senior Dylan Panepucci (6-1) is another impressive shooter from deep. “Dylan’s gotten a lot stronger,” Clifford said. “His forte is definitely shooting. He’s gotten better on defense.” Brandon Bosworth (61) rounds out the senior class. He’ll be in the mix for minutes. Four juniors are trying to work their way into the rotation. Michael Monteroso (63) has improved all areas of his game, according to Clifford. “Michael is long, athletic and plays within himself,” Clifford said. “He’s a really coachable kid, who plays really, really hard. You can always find a spot for a guy who does that.” J.C. Coleman (6-1) is another junior who Clif-

ford has “high hopes” for this winter. “J.C. has decent quickness, a decent shot and he’s a good defender,” Clifford said. Travis Hotham (6-4) is in the hunt for more minutes and will provide depth on the interior. He’s a solid rebounder and shooter. Isiah Sears (5-7) transferred to St. C. from Martins Ferry. He’s a solid ball handler and can shoot the ball well from behind the line. Three other juniors trying to crack the rotation include: Tyler Lunsford (6-1), Matt Mazgaj (6-3) and Alex Gazdik (5-10). Clifford is extremely excited about a deep and talented sophomore class and expects several tenth graders to see quality minutes. Guard Daniel Trouten (5-6) appears set to take over the point guard spot. “Daniel understands the game really well and he’s going to be a really good player once he gets stronger,” Clifford said. Brendan Ferns (6-3) will log quality minutes in the low post. “Brendan’s really strong around the boards, runs the floor well and he’s athletic,” Clifford acknowledged. “He plays really hard and he’s strong around the basket.” Patrick Buchanan (6-1) has earned the name of “silent assasin” for the Devils. “Patrick’s a really good slasher, has long

arms and shoots the 3 well,” Clifford said. “He’s a quiet kid, but he’s going to be a really good player.” Logan McCort (6-0) has also caught the eye of the coaching staff with his shooting ability. Luke Slavik (5-11) is another who could be right in the mix for additional minutes. Two talented freshmen could work their way into the rotation. Michael Scarnecchia (6-3) is expected to make an impact. “Michael’s a talented kid who is going to be a big part of things around here for the next few years,” Clifford said. Jordan Vincent (5-10), who is the son of St. C. legend Shawn Vincent, is also expected to vie for minutes. “I am excited to see this whole thing come together,” Clifford admitted. “That, too, is one of the fun parts of coaching.” The Red Devils schedule has a significantly different look. Gone are Claymont, Columbus Africentric, Cleveland St. Ignatius and Upper Arlington. They’ve been replaced with Brooke, Fort Frye, Point Pleasant and Renaissance Christian Academy. The Devils will take on Fort Frye at Marietta College in December and will meet Point Pleasant at the Charleston Civic Center in a day-long event. See ST. C Page 30 ➪


WEDNESDAY, DEC. 4, 2013 By DAVE MORRISON Special to the Preview

WHEELING — Last season may have been an aberration. Or, it might have been a year where the competition in Wheeling Park’s Region was up to the task. Maybe it was both. Wheeling Park coach Michael Jebbia certainly thinks so. “Did we accomplish what we wanted to? Certainly not,”said the former Patriots standout, who still holds several career records at the school. “We didn’t end the way we wanted to end, and we took some lumps along the way. We think we have a team this year that is going to be competitive and our end goal is always going to be playing in the state tournament.” With good reason. Entering his eighth year at his alma mater, Jebbia has a career record of 131-47, for an winning percentage of .736. Take out last year’s 11-17 mark, including a 67-51 loss to Morgantown in the Region Two final, and it’s an even better 120-30 mark. The team

By FRED YOUNCE Sports correspondent

WINTERSVILLE — The Jefferson County Christian boys and girls basketball teams have a full schedule, will play again in the SouthWestern Christian Athletic Conference and play home games at Millsop Center. The boys team has 11 on the roster and the girls seven. “We will do our best to play as many JV games as we can, but sometimes it is hard with only 11 guys,” said Mike Mathison, who is coaching both

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Wheeling Park Patriots

Jebbia looks to get back to winning ways

has 99 victories in the last five years. Anything less than a state tournament berth is deemed unsuccessful. Yet the school has not won a state championship since Jebbia’s sophomore year, when the Patriots beat Beckley in a wild final at the Charleston Civic Center Coliseum. Could this be the year? “We always like to think we have a shot,” Jebbia said. “There are a lot of fine basketball programs in the state. We just want to go out and improve on a nightly basis and play our best basketball at the end of the season.” The Patriots return two starters from last year but they are a good duo to start with, in Luke Saseen and Ryan Reinbeau. Saseen, a 6-foot-4 senior, averaged 11.5 points

and 4.5 rebounds per game last season. He had a career-high 29 against University and earned second team All-OVAC and All-Valley. “He’s a four-year veteran and he will be one of our leaders this season,” Jebbia said. “We are going to look for Luke to increase his scoring this year and be a little more consistent.” Reinbeau is the leading returning scorer, after averaging 13 points and 5.5 rebounds as a sophomore starter. He had 40 3 pointers (he and Saseen combined for 69 3s last season) and 14 double-figure scoring games, including a career-high 25 against Brooke in the sectional tournament and was a first team All-Valley performer. Trenton Smith, a 6-1 junior guard, Chalmer Moffett, a 6-4 junior forward, Phil Bledsoe, a 6-5

sophmore forward and Toddy Goodwin-Rowe, a junior point guard who transferred to Park from Linsly, round out the top six. Smith averaged 7.0 ppg who will move up from his sixth-man role of a year ago, Moffett, a standout football player, will offer rebounding and a physical force in the paint, and Bledsoe lettered as a freshman and is a solid rebounder who can score from inside and the mid-range area. Goodwin-Rowe will also help immediately, after averaging 11.2 ppg. at Linsly. “We feel like we have a lineup where we can go big if we have to and go small and quick, depending on the matchups,” Jebbia said. Moffett is the only football player from a squad that was making a deep run in the postseason at press time.

Patriots Boys Dec. 17: Preston# 6 p.m. Dec. 18: University 7:30 p.m. 6:45 p.m. Dec. 20: Winfield @ 2 p.m. Dec. 28: at George Washington Dec. 30: at Vincent Warren 7:30 p.m. Jan. 3: Seton Lasalle, Pa. * 4:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. Jan. 7: at John Marshall Jan. 13: Morgantown 7:30 p.m. Jan. 17: at Parkersburg South 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18: Beechcroft, Ohio % 5 p.m. Jan. 22: at University 7:30 p.m. Jan. 29: at Parkersburg 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31: Steubenville 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4: at Brooke Feb. 7: Parkersburg South 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8: Zanesville, Ohio 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11: OVAC Week TBA Feb. 18: John Marshall 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21: at Morgantown 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22: Brooke Mar. 1: at South Charleston 7:30 p.m. # — at West Liberty @ — at Charleston Civic Center * — at Wheeling Jesuit University % — at West Muskingum Classic

However, quarterback Zach Phillips will be a major contributor as a senior, as well as Elijah Bell and Savion Johnson. Theo Blackston was undecided about playing. Junior Tysaun PughDavis will also contribute off the bench. “We like the bench,” Jebbia said. “We have a lot of combinations we can run in and out and I

think that is going to help us in the long run.” The Patriots have a demanding schedule, with three trips to Charleston, including two in an eight-game span to play Winfield (Dec. 20 at the Charleston Civic Center) and George Washington (at G.W. Dec. 28). They also end the regular season at perennial power South Charleston, March 1. The Patriots will also play Vincent Warren, which advanced to the Ohio Final Four last season and finished 27-2, Seton LaSalle, Pa. (a 23-4 team that returns four starters) in the Cancer Research Classic and Columbus Beechcroft in the West Muskingum Classic Jan. 18. “It’s a tough schedule but that is what we want,” Jebbia said. “We want to get out and play good teams and get ready for the postseason.”

Jefferson County Christian teams this season. This is the fewest girls to be in the program in a number of years. “Like many small schools, we are enrollment-based, but, the girls we do have will play hard because they always do,” said Mathison. “Our girls never cheat the opposition when it comes to getting after it.” Leading the girls team are seniors Kassie Lucas,

Breona Brown and Rosarie Scarnecchia. This is Lucas’ seventh year in the program. “She knows what we expect of our seniors,” said the coach. “She is a wonderful leader.” Also on the squad are sophomores Courtney Scott, Lindy Bowers and Sara Moro and freshman Shelby Styer. “We are a bit young, but that’s OK. We have room for improvement

and that’s what will happen,” said Mathison. Seniors Nic Marshall and Matthew Townsend lead the boys team. Fellow senior Wes Seabright, a three-year starter, is out with a torn ACL, suffered during soccer season. Junior Garrison Mathison is back in the fold after missing last year with a torn ACL, suffered in the first game of the season.

He is joined by fellow juniors Chris McGurn, Christian Brown, Chris Brown, Dillon Sindeldecker, Vaughn Foster and Dustin Ward, sophomore Max Martin and freshman David Babenko. “Our boys will also get after it,” said Mathison. “They are learning some different things and are adapting well. “Even though we lost our first game to Toron-

to, and they got us pretty good, we saw a lot of positive things. “We ran the ball well, our transition game was good and we did a good job of limiting transition points. Once the guys fully understand how we want the running game to go, it will be fun.” The boys team is following 1 Corinthians 15:57 and the girls Joshua 1:9 as their respective team verses.


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St. C Continued from Page 28 “That trip to Charleston was a late add to our schedule,” Clifford said. “A team dropped out and they called us, so we’re looking at it as a good chance for our guys to have a bonding effort and gain some exposure against a quality team.” St. C. also has road tests at Steubenville and Cambridge in the non-league portion of the schedule. “It’s a tough schedule, but by the time we get to the tournament, there shouldn’t be much we’ve not seen,” Clifford noted. Speaking of the tournament, after spending two seasons in Division II, the Red Devils have dropped to Division III. “There are good basketball teams regardless what division you’re playing in,” Clifford said. “There are a lot of good teams locally and in our district.” Clifford’s entire coaching staff returns in tact at the varsity level. He’ll be joined on the bench by his son, Ryan, Kevin Sacco and Eric Gay. Josh Johnson and Jon Perkins are leading the eighth and seventh grade teams, respectively.

Dec. 6 at Indian Creek Dec. 10 Martins Ferry Dec. 13 at Edison Dec. 14 Brooke Dec. 17 at Buckeye Local Dec. 20 Harrison Central Dec. 21 Fort Frye (at Marietta College) Dec. 28 Point Pleasant (at Charleston Civic Center) Jan. 7 at Bellaire Jan. 10 at Union Local Jan. 14 Indian Creek Jan. 17 at Martins Ferry Jan. 21 Edison Jan. 22 at Steubenville Jan. 24 Buckeye Local Jan. 28 at Harrison Central Jan. 31 Bellaire Feb. 1 at Cambridge Feb. 4 Union Local Feb. 7 at Renaissance Christian Academy

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 4, 2013

Martins Ferry Purple Riders Three starters return from Sweet 16 team

By BUBBA KAPRAL Special to the Preview

MARTINS FERRY — To say last season was a special one for Martins Ferry would be understating the achievement. Veteran Coach Jeff Sabatino weaved his coaching magic once again in leading the Purple Riders to the Division III Sweet Sixteen. A loss to eventual state qualifier Ironton (23-2) in Athens did little to dampen the spirits of a successful campaign. It was the Purple’s first regional trip since 1998, and marked the third time Sabatino has guided his alma mater to the regional tournament. “I think it was a product of how hard those guys worked and how they sacrificed their personal goals for team success,” said Sabatino, entering his 38th year of hoop coaching, the last 22 as head man of the Purple Riders. “They bought into their roles for the good of the team. We worked very hard to attain what we achieved. It is difficult to get kids to buy in for what we needed to do.” Three starters return from last year’s 14-10 upstart crew, serving as the foundation to build on last year’s success. But two major cogs have graduated, leaving cavernous voids. Cody Schau was an AllOhioan performer. The 6-2 dynamo averaged some 28 points and 10 rebounds a start. He was a 1,000-point scorer and unquestionably one of the premier players in the OVAC. He is now an OUE hoopster. “It is impossible to replace a player like Cody. He was good for 20-plus points, seven or eight steals and double-figure rebounds every game,” Sabatino said. “Cody left everything on the floor. He was a tremendous

player for two years.” If Schau’s loss was not enough to deal with, Sabatino must also replace Tyler Strama. The rugged 6-3 post averaged some 18 points a game the last two campaigns while also pulling down double-figure rebounds per start. “Tyler is one of my all-time favorites. He played through various injuries all season. He was never physically right,” Sabatino noted. “He was special when it came to tournament time. He was big in critical games. We must replace two special players.” One can only wonder how much the Purple could have achieved if Taylor Shane was healthy. The athletic point guard missed the entire season with a knee injury after starting at the point as a junior. Shane is now golfing collegiately. “We have a paradox this season. Out of our top seven right now, four are sophomores,” Sabatino said. “They, however, played as freshmen in varying degrees. We are young but with some experience. “We will be putting our young kids against some seniorladen teams. But we hope that regional experience wins out,” he added. “I am excited about this year’s team.” Returning as starters are senior Robert Vargo, junior Jake Barritt and sophomore Emilio Appolloni. Vargo, coming off a tremendous grid season, is a man amongst boys. The 6-6, 245pounder is a double-double machine. He averaged 14 points and 11 boards as a junior. His broad shoulders will be counted on to fill much of the scoring lost through graduation. He should be one of the premier players in the valley this winter. “Robert is a multi-faceted

Purple Riders Boys (JV games at 6 p.m.) Dec. 6 at Edison Dec. 10 at St. Clairsville Dec. 13 Buckeye Local Dec. 17 at Harrison Central Dec. 20 at Bellaire Dec. 23 Shadyside Dec. 30 at Wheeling Central Jan. 2 at Steubenville Jan. 7 Union Local Jan. 10 at Indian Creek Jan. 14 Edison Jan. 17 St. Clairsville Jan. 18 at Shadyside Jan. 21 at Buckeye Local Jan. 24 Harrison Central Jan. 28 Bellaire Jan. 31 at Union Local Feb. 4 Indian Creek Feb. 7 Wheeling Central Feb. 11 OVAC Week, tba

player. It starts with his intelligence. He may be the smartest player I have ever coached and it converts into basketball intelligence. He directs us on the floor. He is a coach on the floor and a quarterback,” Sabatino offered. “He is easy to coach. He does what you ask him to do. He is our leader and everyone knows that. Robert is as good a back-to-the basket player as we have had and is a textbook defender. Robert will be as good a player as there is in the OVAC this year.” Barritt returns to run the show at point guard. The 5-8 dynamo enjoyed a stellar season running the Purple offense. He averaged eight points, seven assists and five steals as a sophomore. The catquick Barritt, an adept ball-handler, should have few peers in the OVAC as a point guard. “Jake had to tote the mail after Taylor got hurt and it paid dividends. He is an extremely hard worker and buys into what we are selling,” Sabatino said. “Jake started a few games as a freshman and acquitted himself

very well. He runs the show and does what we need to do,” he added. “I look for his scoring to increase this year while providing floor leadership.” Ferry boasts one of the OVAC’s tallest players in Appolloni. The 6-8 forward started all 24 games as frosh. He averaged seven rebounds and four points a game while recording 56 blocked shots. He enters his sophomore campaign a vastly improved player, after helping his AAU team to a second-place national finish this summer. Vargo and Appolloni should prove a menacing defensive tandem. “E is one of the hardestworking players we have ever had, especially in the off-season when sometimes it is hard to get kids to hone their skills. He will be able to return to a more normal position of post this year after playing outside last season,” Sabatino said. “He is as good a passer as you will find and this year is now able to put the ball on the floor. Basketball has become his identity.” Moving into the starting lineup will likely be explosive letterman Arjay Burress. The 5-11 guard saw extensive time off the bench a year ago, bringing much athleticism to the floor, reflected by his 1,000-yard rushing campaign this grid season. “Arjay is currently nursing a football-related injury. Athleticism is his strength,” Sabatino said. “Arjay dives all over the floor and gets loose balls. He is our best perimeter defender. Arjay is quick, strong and runs the floor extremely well while doing a lot of intangibles. He has worked on mid-range jumper.” Sabatino likes to use a sevenman rotation. Those five-toseven spots will be filled by See MF Page 31 ➪


WEDNESDAY, DEC. 4, 2013

BASKETBALL 2013-14

Huskies

Starters Continued from Page 22

off of that.” All these new faces mean competing for jobs is somewhat a new thing. “Our competitiveness will definitely be a strength,” said Justin Clifford, who is embarking on his fifth season at the helm. “These kids have all competed well and they’re doing it every day in practice.” While the competitive nature of the Huskies won’t be questioned, there is a lack of experience to an extent. “I think we’re going to be a fun team to watch,” Clifford said. “I know our guys are going to compete well.

HC “D.J. is probably our most improved player this offseason. I wasn’t even considering her to be in the hunt for playing time until the preseason,” Yourkovich said. “I am trying to instill a mean streak in her. Once she gets that, the sky is the limit. She is a major defensive presence in the paint.” Two other juniors are listed in the Harrison Central varsity roster. Mariah Kuryn is a 5-6

MF James Edwards, Lucas Agnew and Kylil Bass. Agnew is a junior swingman. “His body has really developed. Football has helped him,” Sabatino said. “Lucas features much more strength and thickness which enables him to play with a little more abandon. He also has improved his jump shot.”

Edwards boasts boundless potential. The sophomore showed his poise and talent when he was called on to lead the Ferry gridders to a comeback win at Indian Creek, coming via his late-game touchdown pass. Edwards is the Purple Riders’ best outside shooter. He will provide the Riders with offensive

Big Red Continued from Page 5

comfortable with and our rotation could change depending on matchups and the quickness of our opponents. Hopefully, we will have the right combination to get the win.” Big Red has several new opponents on its schedule (Youngstown East and Beaver Local) while two schools (East Liverpool and Imani Christian Academy) are back on the slate. “It’s definitely a challenging schedule,” he commented. “East Liverpool has a good program, Shadyside is always good and Weir has some good girls returning. Central is always tough and we’re not really sure what Youngstown East will bring. “In basketball, anything can happen if you Continued from Page 23 don’t come ready to play. forward while Mercedes If you get behind, it’s Logson is 5-5 swingman. tough to catch up. If you are not shooting well, not Yourkovich has a ready to play defense or deep and promising not boxing out, you never freshman class of know what might happrospects, six of whom pen.” will dress with the varSophomore Tenia sity. The frosh are point 5- Baker and junior Sierra Porter round out Big 4 point guard Morgan Red’s varsity roster. The Carter, 5-7 guard Madijunior varsity roster son Doty, 5-4 guard includes 14 players Alexia Dowdle, 5-5 forincluding 10 freshmen. ward Megan Stack“Our numbers have house, 5-4 guard Hannan definitely improved, we Warrington and 5-4 have the most players out guard Alexis Yoho. Realistically, if you look at our schedule, I think we can compete with anyone. That doesn’t mean we’ll win them al or anything, but I think we can give ourselves a chance to win the basketball game.” The Huskies have made a few minor changes to the schedule. They’ve added homeand-home games with Beaver Local and Shadyside. They’ll also play Weir once. “It’s a good schedule for us,” Clifford said. “We want to play local schools that have good programs and we think we’ve done that with the teams we’ve added.”

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in the years I have been here,” Casinelli said. “Our younger girls are going to learn from watching the seniors play and you probably will see some of the younger girls sprinkle in as the season progresses, particularly those who step up at the junior varsity level. Our program hopefully is going in the right direction.” Casinelli also noted Big Red will be playing a freshman schedule for the first time in recent years. “We understand that success brings expectations and pressure comes with those expectations,” Casinelli commented. “As a program we have expectations to succeed every year. We’ve added some new things that we haven’t done before and will show some different styles. Hopefully, it all pans out and we can improve in the win column.” One thing Casinelli knows for sure is he has the “luxury of having two great assistant coaches.” “What Angie brings to our program with her experience is a huge asset,” he stated. “And Coach Mas just brings so much to us and works so hard for this program.”

Continued from Page 4 the playoffs, Big Red will not open until Dec. 10 when it visits John Marshall. The games scheduled earlier with Indian Creek (Dec. 3) and Buckeye Local (Dec. 4) will be pushed back to Jan. 8 and Jan. 14, respectively. Beaver Local has been added to the schedule and Haney’s club will participate in the East Liverpool holiday tournament on Dec. 27 and Dec. 28. Big Red will meet Youngstown Ursuline in the tournament opener. “It’s definitely a challenging schedule,” Haney said. “A lot of the teams we will be playing have guys coming back. We have two Youngstown teams on the schedule along with Minerva and Cambridge. There’s a lot of talent on both sides of the river with the teams

we play.” Haney likes the direction his program is heading; pointing out Big Red has “really good numbers at the freshmen level.” He also suggested fans should “keep an eye” on all the newcomers at the varsity level. “They are all working hard and doing a pretty good job,” he said. As far as expectations go, Haney was quick to note his team’s immediate goal is “to win the first game.” “We’ll take it one game at a time,” he continued. “I would like to see us build on some of the things the seniors from last year left. It’s not so much the winning record but more how they went out every game and played hard. They pressed and really got after it. I’d like to see that continue.”

CCHS

and we’ll never frown on that. The leadership we have on this team is going to take us a long way.” Central will open the season Dec. 10 with a road game at Toronto. The Crusaders are scheduled to play their first home game on Dec. 13 against Beaver Local, Continued from Page 30 a newcomer to the schedule. firepower. The Crusaders will “James is a natural scorer. He has found a way to score at all lev- play at Finnegan Fieldhouse at the Franciscan els. The stage is never too big for him,” Sabatino said. “He came off University of Steubenville on Jan. 23 the bench to hit two crucial free against Madonna (a throws in district tournament. home game for the Blue James will help pick up some of last year’s scoring that Cody and Dons which has been Tyler provided.” moved to Franciscan to

Continued from Page 8 help celebrate Hank Kuzma Night). Central, according to Tucker, has an “extremely challenging schedule.” In addition to Beaver Local, East Liverpool also has been added. Malvern will visit Central’s Mickey Barber Gymnasium on Feb. 1. The Crusaders will join Clay-Battelle, Bishop Donahue and Wheeling Central for the annual Undo’s Tournament in late December. The Crusaders have their annual two-game series with Big Red and also will face the seniorladen Blue Dons twice.


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