slate of games across the state. In addition to the previews posted
this week and the divisional overviews, below is more information on
teams from across Ohio. Not all will claim league, sectional or even
state titles, but they will all compete. The countdown is nearing
The high school girls basketball season starts tonight with a full slate of games across the state. In addition to the previews posted this week and the divisional overviews, below is more information on teams from across Ohio. Not all will claim league, sectional or even state titles, but they will all compete. The countdown is nearing tip-off.
Head coach Ed Zink enters his 34th season at Beavercreek just eight wins shy of 600. He should have no problem getting there.
Zink, who is 592-160 overall, returns three key players from last year’s team that went 18-6.
Junior Mikela Rueff (6-2, C) was first team All-GWOC Central last year after averaging 11 points and 7 rebounds per game. Rueff was second team as a freshman.
Seniors Jaclyn Klaus (G, 5-7) and Bre Hardenstein (G, 5-5) are also back. Klaus averaged 10 points and 2.7 rebounds last season en route to second team GWOC honors. Hardenstein averaged 5.4 points.
Shooting will be a strength for Creek, while size is a concern according to Zink.
Under Zink’s tutelage the Beavers have three state, six regional and 16 district titles.
The Warriors are looking to climb the ladder in the GWOC Central. Last season Wayne finished 9-12 overall and 4-6 in the Central behind Centerville, Beavercreek and Fairmont. Expect Wayne to push those three this season.
The Warriors return three players who earned GWOC honors last year including first team selection Kylie Muntz and second teamer Mercedes Miller. Muntz, a 5-8 junior guard, averaged 12.4 points and 2.6 assists last season, while Miller, a 5-8 G/F, averaged 10.5 points and 4.5 rebounds. Senior forward Valerie Poppa (5-9, F) was special mention GWOC.
Freshman Angie Clark, a 5-0 point guard, will also make her varsity debut in the starting lineup.
“We will be as competitive as our defense allows us to be,” head coach Geoff Springer said. “We have the ability to put some points on the board if we execute to our potential, but we must stop people on the defensive end in order to compete with the upper echelon teams in our league.”
The Thunderbolts enter Year 2 under head coach Matt Adams so learning a new system will not be a hurdle. Northmont finished 7-14 overall last season and went 3-7 in the GWOC North. Adams believes his team has the potential to compete for a league title this season, he says they just have to “learn how to win close games.” Key returners for the T-Bolts include seniors Carrie Shellabarger (G, 5-6) and Esosa Osa (G, 5-5), junior Jaimie Cromwell (SF, 5-9) and sophomore Sydney Copeland (PG, 5-3). Cromwell is the teams’ leading returning scorer after averaging 5.7 points.
Chuck Gross has seen his share of girls basketball teams as a head coach for the past 26 seasons at Brookville. Gross, though, doesn’t know what the future holds for the 2007-08 Blue Devils.
“This team can have a very successful season,” said Gross, who has a 340-200 career record. “However, at this point in time, I don’t have a clue what to expect.”
According to Gross, Brookville’s strength is team speed, while concerns lie in attitude and attention span.
Junior point guard Shelby Pettit (5-foot-7) returns after averaging 13 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds. Sophomore wing Courtney Weeden is also back after averaging 8 points and 6 rebounds.
Other key contributors will be senior Amanda Deisher; juniors Leigha Brisco and Stephany Hawkins; and sophomore Elisabeth Wheeler (6-0, post).
The Indians are coming off a 12-10 season and looking for more. The last two years Cedarville has lost in the sectional finals.
Senior Ellen Gillaugh (5-foot-8) returns as the team’s leading scorer after averaging 13.9 points last season to go along with 6 rebounds. Also back are seniors Aimee Ary (F, 5-8), Candice Bennington (G, 5-3) and Bethany Traeger (G, 5-4). Sophomore Katie Brunker (G) will contribute as well.
Size is a potential concern, but head coach Ralph Grant is hoping his team’s strengths can overcome that.
“Hopefully we can use our quickness to our advantage,” Grant said. “Defense, rebounding and finding others to score besides Ellen are the keys to a successful season.”
Chris Besecker and his Buccaneer program are undergoing a facelift this season. Covington graduated all five starters from last year’s 21-4 team that made the D-IV regional semifinals. The Buccs return one player with varsity experience – junior Renee Otte – and will start two juniors, two sophomores and a freshman.
“This is a two-year team development project,” said Besecker, who is 296-116 in 19 years. “We want to get better each week.”
TWIN VALLEY SOUTH
Glen Mabry takes over as head girls basketball coach at Twin Valley South where the Panthers are looking to improve on last year’s 6-15 record. TVS finished second to last in the CCC (2-10).
“We have some experienced players, a couple players returning to the program and some talented freshman,” Mabry said. “How they come together as a team will determine our success.”
There’s reason for optimism in West Alexandria with senior Kate Ervin returning. Last season, en route to special mention CCC honors, Ervin averaged 7.2 points and 10.2 rebounds. Also back is senior Megan Newland who averaged 6.4 points and 3.2 steals
Whitney Wysong and Lindsey Voge will contribute as well as TVS should have a deeper bench than past seasons.
The Panthers are also hoping the momentum from a styellar volleyball season carries over.
TVS finished the volleyball season 20-1 and ranked No. 5 in the final D-IV state poll. The Panthers were the CCC champions.
The Redskins are searching for their first winning season since going 16-7 in 2002-03. Last year St. Henry finished 5-15 overall and 1-8 in the MAC. Head coach Charles Maier (449-198 overall record) hopes for a competitive club in his fifth year at the Mercer County school. Returning starters include senior post Chelsey Kremer (5-11), junior post Brooke Mattingly (6-2) and junior forward Shelby Buschur (6-0). The Redskins will have a deep bench with seven juniors on the roster.
Warriors are coming off a 4-17 season but the future looks bright. Junior point guard Amanda Smith, an honorable mention Southwest District selection last season, returns after averaging an MBC-best 20.4 points per game last season. Also back is second team MBC performer Darian Woods, a 5-7 sophomore guard. Steve Mays takes over as head coach.
Maderia has won four district titles and made two state tournaments since 2000, but there are some hurdles for the Amazons to overcome this season in order to get back to that level.
“We will be small and inexperienced and we must find a replacement for all-league center and leading scorer Sara Hutchinson who graduated,” head coach Dave Schlenser said. “We will have to rely on some quickness and defense to be competitive.”
Four-year varsity player Leesa Dooley returns at guard, while junior forward Abby Wright also returns to the starting lineup.
Sceond-year head coach Tracy Naber says Seton will be “extremely inexperienced.” Back from tlast year’s 11-10 team are seniors Kristi Hofmeyer (6 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists) and Stacy Rogg (4 points, 5 rebounds). Senior Sara Henderson will contribute at gurad and forward after not playing last season.
The Hurriance have set lofty goals for this season, which include winning their fourth straight Clinton County Tournament title and first ever FAVC title. Plenty of firepower returns for Wilmington and head coach Doug Rinehart. Seniors Julie Earley, Andrea Gifford and Molly Hinton are all back, as is sophomore standout Caitlyn Craycraft.
Earley, a 5-10 forward, averaged 16 points and five rebounds last season and could surpass 1,000 points before the season is over. Gifford, a 5-10 guard, averaged 14 points and 4 rebounds last year, while Hinton, a 5-10 forward, chipped in 5 points and 4 boards. Cray craft added 5 points and 4 assists.
MIAMI VALLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY
The Lions will be young. Head coach Steve Switzer expects several freshman to “play significant minutes at the varsity level.” Key returners from last season’s 7-12 squad include junior forward Hayley Durham (5-8) and sophomores Sarah Makoski (5-10) and Sophie Simvnek (5-8). Durham is on pace to become the school’s all-time leading rebounder this season.
The Pirates went 7-14 last season, but expect a better outcome this season. Head coach Scott Helter starts his second season with the program and welcomes back a talented trio in seniors Olivia Overmeyer (5-9, F), Keisha Murphy (5-9, C) and Ashley Bolender (5-8, G). Overmeyer averaged 10.8 points, 4 rebounds and 3.4 assists last season, while Murhy nearly averaged a double-double (9.2 points, 9.6 rebounds). Bolender chipped in 8.7 points and 2.5 assists. A challenging schedule awaits with contests against Wayne, Miamisburg, Springboro, Xenia, Lebanon, Oakwood and Bellbrook.
The Panthers finished last season 21-4 and district champions but lost seven seniors to graduation. A young team will carry the responsibility of maintaining the program’s climb. Head coach James Stutzman enters his fifth season at Trace with a record of 79-17 and expects this squad to be competitive. The Panthers will carry two seniors, a junior, three sophomores and three freshman on the varsity.
COLUMBUS CITY LEAGUE
The Stars have nowhere to go but up. Centennial finished last year 1-20 and 0-14 in the Columbus City League. Head coach Jim Strode expects a turnaround though with six letterwinners back and a “core set for the next two seasons.” Junior point guard Rebekah Reese was honorable mention All-CCL last season after averaging 8 points. She returns as do talented sophomores Kelly Sullivan, Sydney Thomas and Jennifer Lanese. Freshman Paris Moore will make an immediate impact, especially on offense.
MID-OHIO ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
The Barons went 17-4 last season and lost tin the district finals. Second-year head coach Kevin Smith will rely on seniors and returning letterwinners Lisa Wall and Molly Stebleton to carry the majority of the load. Wall, a 5-10 forward, averaged 10 points and 5 rebounds last season, while Stebleton, a 5-7 guard, averaged 3 assists and 2 steals.
First year coach Bethany Essex takes over at Ridgedale and will rely heavily on sophomore guard Kerissa Johnson, a second team MOAC selection last season. Junior post Caitlin Farley will make some noise as well.
SUBURBAN LAKES LEAGUE
Dick Fox enters the season as the interim head coach and the Flyers will look to improve on last season’s 2-19 record. Five letterwinners return so the cupboard is not bare.
NORTHWEST OHIO ATHLETIC LEAGUE
The Vikings might be the smallest team in the state – literally. Evergreen has one player over 5-foot-6 so rebounding and defense in the post are immediate concerns. There is plenty to build around though for head coach John Lagenderfer. After going 11-10 last season, Evergreen will look to continue its ascent and lean heavily on 5-6 junior Taylor Lagenderfer. The points guard is a two-time first team NWOAL and All-Northwest District selection. Lagenderfer averaged 15 points and 5 assists last season. Also back for the Vikings are senior Tasha Patrick and sophomore Blair Boland. Patek (5-6) averaged 10 points a year ago, while Bohland is Evergreen’s lone post presence (5-10).
GREATER BUCKEYE CONFERENCE
The Presidents should challenge Findlay for the GBC title. Harding returns a solid nucleus from last year’s squad that went 20-4 and made its second straight appearance in the district finals. The Presidents lost to Findlay.
Senior point guard Jessica Jenkins returns after averaging 13.2 points and 6 assists per game last year. The 5-foot-5 floor leader is just 167 points shy of 1,000 for her career.
Also back is 6-1 forward Shawnta Dyer. A sophomore, Dyer averaged 18 points and 7.5 rebounds last season.
Seniors Kaylee Kepford (F, 6-1), Cyncere White (W, 5-10) and Brittany Harris (P, 5-9). Kepford averaged 8 points and 6 rebounds, while White averaged 6.5 and 4, respectively. Harris chipped in 3 points and 3 rebounds.
Harding head coach Bill Sycks is 109-92 in 10 years.
Wildcats coach Rod Hersha points to Findlay and Harding as the teams to watch in the GBC, but don’t sleep on Napolean. The Wildcats lost their four best defenders and top two scorers from last year’s 15-7 squad, but perimeter play and six returning letterwinners will be a strength. Sara Wesche (5-5, Sr., G) is back after averaging 7.2 points last year, as is Brooke Zachrich (5-8, Sr., F) who averaged 5.4 points and 4.5 rebounds.
GREEN MEADOWS CONFERENCE
The Pilots won a sectional title last year and finished 12-11. Only two starters return and only two seniors are on the roster. Key returners include senior Kristen Nicely (5-9, PG) and junior post Kim Comden (6-0, post). Nicely averaged 11.4 points and 6.3 assists last season, while Comden chipped in 7.5 points and 6.2 rebounds.
The Hornets will be led by 5-11 junior forward Jackie Cook who averaged 20 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks last season.
The Red Raiders went 0-20 last season haven’t won a game for five years. Obviously there is nowhere to go but up for the program and first year coach Chip Fleshman.
“We are looking forward to establishing an identity and a level of play that will resemble the hard work our girls have put in,” Fleshman said.
The roster is made up of mostly juniors and sophomores.