The Division IV final four features four teams with more than 20
wins, an undefeated team and a team that’s made it this far for the
36th annual Girls Basketball State
The Division IV final four features four teams with more than 20 wins, an undefeated team and a team that’s made it this far for the sixth time.
Fort Loramie (21-5) comes into the state semifinals unranked, but making its sixth appearance in the final four. The Redskins beat Minster and New Madison Tri-Village to make it to Columbus. The team is led by seniors Janel Oldberding (11.0 PPG) and Clair Ruhenkamp (13.5 PPG), who both have scored over 1,000 points in their career. In their previous five attempts, the Redskins have only made it to the championship game once, finishing as runner-up in 1997. Fort Loramie will take on Shadyside in its state semifinal.
Undefeated Shadyside (26-0) rolled through its regional tournament defeating both Lowellville and Dalton by double digits. In their third final four appearance the Tigers are led by senior Kelsey Holloway and sophomore Karli Bonar who both average about 12 points per game. Shadyside is back to the state semifinals after reaching that point back-to-back years in 2002 (state runner-up) and 2003.
Delphos Jefferson (23-2) is led by senior Kristin Klausing (18.4 PPG), junior Kennedy Boggs (15.3 PPG) and team leading rebounder senior Briget Culp. Jefferson made the state final four by defeating Arlington, 49-46 and Bucyrus Wynford, 74-48. In his 29th year, head coach Dave Hoffman has led the Ladycats to their first ever state semifinals appearance. Jefferson will play Canal Winchester Harvest Prep.
Harvest Prep (24-1) comes into the state semifinals having not lost to an Ohio team all year. The returning state champion Warriors are making their second appearance in the final four in as many years, making it through their regional tournament defeating Mansfield St. Peter’s and Reedsville Eastern. Harvest Prep is led by senior Shicole Watts (13.9 PPG, 9.0 RPG) and senior Ayrealle Beavers (5.2-to-1 assist/turnover ratio).
SEMIFINAL 1: Fort Loramie (21-5) vs Shadyside (26-0), Thurs. 6 p.m.
Fort Loramie (21-5)
Location: Fort Loramie
Girls Enrollment: 97
Final 2011 Rankings (AP/OGBR-JJHuddle): NR/10
State Appearances: 2011, 2010, 2006, 1997, 1991, 1979
Head Coach: Carla Siegel
School Rec.: 225-77 (12 yrs.)
PPG: 63.3; OPP: 33.5
F 31 Clair Ruhenkamp, 5-10, Sr., 13.5 ppg
F 32 Brooke Turner, 5-9, Sr., 10.0 ppg
G 10 Janel Olberding, 5-10, Sr., 11.0 ppg
G 22 Tessa Benanzer, 5-7, Sr., 8.1 ppg
G 12 Tori Maurer, 5-7, Sr., 4.3 ppg
Did You Know: The Redskins five losses are to Anna (twice), Orrville, Minster and Fort Recovery. Olbdering is going to Ohio State on a track scholarship. Loramie avenged one of its regular season losses with a 49-35 win over Minster in the regional semifinals. Something else Loramie would like to avenge is last year’s state semifinal loss to Harvest Prep in which the Redskins blew an 18-point second half lead.
Quotable: “There’s no doubt our five losses made us the team we are today. Those losses were hard and were frustrating but if we would have won some of those games we probably wouldn’t have been talking about the things we did wrong that night. Sometimes losses are good motivators down the stretch.” – Head Coach Carla Siegel
Girls Enrollment: 97
Final 2011 Rankings (AP/OGBR-JJHuddle): NR/5
State Appearances: 2011, 2003, 2002
Head Coach: Tina Yates
School Rec.: 98-38 (6 yrs.)
PPG: 56.8; OPP: 39.3
F 24 Brooke Meintel, 5-8, Jr., 8.0 ppg
F 32 Sarah Neavin, 5-10, Sr., 8.6 ppg
G 3 Hayley Holenka, 5-6, So., 12.0 ppg
G 4 Kelsey Holloway, 5-8, Sr., 12.1 ppg
G 22 Karli Bonar, 5-6, So., 12.4 ppg
Did You Know: The Tigers like to play uptempo and upgraded their schedule with an eye towards Columbus. To better prepare her team for a postseason run, Yates added – among others – Wheeling Park, WV (state semifinalist), Albany Alexander and Magnolia, WV. Shadyside beat Zanesville Rosecrans three times this year and also downed Berlin Hiland 54-50 in the district semifinals.
Quotable: “I knew I had to challenge my kids to make it (farther) in the tournament and definitely to get by Hiland who has been a perennial powerhouse. We needed to upgrade our schedule and challenge ourvselves (and we did).” – Head Coach Tina Yates
SEMIFINAL 2: Delphos Jefferson (23-2) vs Harvest Prep (25-1); Fri. 8 p.m.
Delphos Jefferson (23-2)
Girls Enrollment: 118
Final 2011 Rankings (AP/OGBR-JJHuddle): 8/6
State Appearances: 2011
Head Coach: David Hoffman
School Rec.: 385-247 (29 yrs.)
PPG: 64.1; OPP: 41.0
F 14 Bridget Culp, 5-7, Sr., 10.4 ppg
F 30 Morgan Fischbach, 5-6, Sr., 5.3 ppg
G 22 Kristin Klausing, 5-7, Sr., 18.4 ppg
G 15 Kennedy Boggs, 5-5, Jr., 15.3 ppg
G 12 Courtney Lewis, 5-5, Jr., 5.0 ppg
Did You Know: The Wildcats love to play fast and apply the press. Jefferson’s roster includes six seasoned seniors, including four who saw significant minutes as freshman. Depth is a concern. Hoffman’s only rotates seven players. Klausing is headed to Findlay.
Quotable: “I kind of compare us to a tornado. Sometimes good things fly out and sometimes bad things fly out. But at least things are flying around somewhere.” – Head Coach David Hoffman
Harvest Preparatory (25-1)
Location: Canal Winchester
Girls Enrollment: 90
Final 2011 Rankings (AP/OGBR-JJHuddle): 1/1 (Poll Champion)
State Appearances: 2011, 2010
Head Coach: David Dennis Sr.
School Rec.: 73-6 (3 yrs.)
PPG: 74.0; OPP: 38.1
F 20 Shicole Watts, 6-1, Sr., 13.9 ppg
F 44 Jarel Francis, 5-11, Jr., 5.3 ppg
G 5 Chelsea McKnight, 5-8, Sr., 12.5 ppg
G 22 Jaren Francis, 5-11, Jr., 11.6 ppg
G 24 Ayrealle Beavers, 5-9, Sr., 9.7 ppg
Did You Know: The Warriors return all five starters from last year’s state championship team and have a roster that could be competitive with most of Ohio’s big schools. Harvest Prep features three Division I recruits in McKinght (Xavier), Watts (undeclared) and Beavers (Loyola, Ill.). Harvest Prep applies pressure defense with its full-court and half-court man-to-man press. Offensively, everyone on the team has “a green light.”
Quotable: “One of the biggest jobs I have is to try to continue to motivate them. The girls are driving hard to win back-to-back. For us to have everyone back including our entire bench is a comfortable feeling. We’ve been there and we’ve experienced. But there will still be some butterflies. I think the machine is working pretty well right now.” – Head Coach David Dennis Sr.