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Rossford: Last year 11-11 (9-5) The Bulldogs return everyone. Led by senior returning 1st team all leaguer Derek Mack and senior 2nd team all leaguer Mack Miller. Also have back guard Ryan Niese and post player Nate Childress. I am hearing Aguirre may not be playing this year which hurts the Bulldogs a little bit, but they should still be a very solid team. They will have some tough non league games with Liberty Benton, Perrysburg, Defiance, Wauseon, and Clay. I see Rossford winning the league and having only 2-3 league losses. Mack/Miller will be a very tough guard combo to stop, they will average over a combined 30 ppg between the two of them.
Eastwood: Last year 8-14 (8-6) Eastwood should be feeling confident this winter as the core of their team returns. They saw a good majority of juniors and sophomores get critical playing time last season. Their non-conference schedule was brutal last year, did not win a game outside of NBC, and they took some thumpings but I expect the Eagles to back contending for the NBC. The non-conference schedule this year is a little more friendly. Led by 1st team all league guard Jake Schmeltz, Eastwood will compliment him with big men Grant Peters and Steven Bradley. Also returning are starters Michael Flipse and Jordan Faykosh. The Eagles will battle Rossford and Lake for the top spot in the NBC.
Lake: Last year 19-3 (11-3) Flyers return stud guards in Connor Bowen and Jared Rettig. Although, they will have to replace their two big men in the middle from last year (Vancena & Pierce), I expect the Ryan Bowen led Flyers to be right in the thick of things as usual. I would not be surprised if you see Bowen or Rettig have some monster games this year. They will have to lead this team night in and night out. Witt and Walters will have to step up significantly this year for the Flyers to help take some pressure off of Bowen/Rettig.
Could be in big trouble though if the rumor of Rettig not playing is true.
Genoa: Last year 3-18 (0-14) My darkhorse team this year. Genoa definitely took some beatings and had some growing pains but Diebler has now had a full year to put in his system and develop some of his players. He's had them working very hard all off season and they will be MUCH improved. They will be led by returning 2nd team all league guard Luke Rightnowar and fellow guard Casey Gose. This team will turn some heads this year, and if they can get some quality post play at times, from Goodrich or another young guy whose name escapes me at this time, may give Eastwood, Lake, or Rossford a tough battle.
Otsego: Last year 18-4 (12-2) Otsego lost 4 starters from their league championship team last year and are already dealing with some suspensions to start the year for some players that were going to contribute to this years team. John Thomas and Cody Downs will be the key players for the Knights. Bostdorff always gets his teams to play hard so I expect the Knights to be in a lot of games still.
Woodmore: Last year 9-13 (6-8) Unfortunately much like Otsego, Woomore is hit hard by graduation. They will need to have some guys really step up and develop this winter or it could be a long couple months on the hardwood.
Elmwood: Last year 14-8 (8-6) The Royals return solid all around player Aaron Arnold but he will be missing his partner in crime, Zach Foster, due to graduation. Thankfully Elmwoodâs non conference schedule is about as easy as it gets but once league play starts the Royals will be in some trouble this year.
Fostoria: Last year 3-19 (2-12) Yikes. Their best returner from a year ago is banned from OHSAA sports. Another long year for the Redmen. Oh, and they wonât beat Genoa this year. They are looking at 1 or 2 wins...
I realize Eastwood beat Lake the last 4 times they played but we are talking this year. Genoa lost who from last years squad? I would say nobody. Where as Otsego,Woodmore, lost pretty much everybody Fostoria is down and Elmwood lost Foster. I guess what I should say is the league as a whole is down from last year with what it lost to graduation therefore I agree Genoa should win 7 to 8 games in the league. Which I posted. Again i can't see them beating the top 3 unless he puts more emphasis on defense.
I'm glad to hear that the Lake team will have both Rettigs in the line-up this Winter. I'm not really a Lake fan but I am a fan of basketball and I love to see kids participate in multiple sports during their high school years.....After-all, it's the last opportunity for many kids to play the sports they love.
Any word on scrimmages over the weekend? I got some conflicting views regarding the Lake scrimmages. One person said they played pretty well and another said they were outplayed in both. I didn't get a chance to see either one. Haven't heard anything regarding any other teams.
Lake: With two great junior guards rettig and bowen are in my opinion the favorite to win the league this year. They might not have size but with there speed and athletic players I don't see anybody stopping them Look for brandyn neal to be a big key this year has good outside shot and can handle the ball for a guy his size. Cody witt three ball specialist. Walters once he comes back from injury should have a big impact he can run the floor really good for his size he'll be the key to pick up the rebounding they will miss from seniorjayce vancena not playing this year. And also from pierce graduated last year. Rettig is a physical guard he can make a shot upon impact and good outside shooter as well. (Clutch)! Bowen preseason favorite to win nbc player of the year. Hes one of the best point guardsin northwest ohio. He distributes the ball very well. I see maybe 1 loss in the lake flyer basketball team this year. There to deep in athletic and quick guys. They will be tough to keep up with
Lake also is hosting a tournament this year that Bryan is a part of. I dont think that is a gimme either. It sure would be nice to see an NBC team make a tourney run this year. Thats a long way off though.
Jake Schmeltz IMO is the preseason player of the year. Considering what they lost and the lack of depth on the post doesnt correlate with a one loss season. Lakes pressure wont get to Eastwood and Rossford like it will to the rest of the league. Otsego also has a very good post player In Thomas that can change a game. I personally see the league champ(s) having at least 3 losses in league play.
Having Walters dinged up is crucial for Lake as well. They have some early games that will be difficult, hopefully he will be healthy
I don't see three losses from the eventual league champ. I think it is just too top heavy. With Woodmore/Elmwood/Fostoria, thats six wins automatic for the top 3. I really dont see Otsego putting up much for the top 3 either. I would say 1 or possibly two losses in the league for either Lake, Rossford or Eastwood.
I like Schmeltz, Bowen, Rettig or Derrick Mack for POY. They are going to put up some big time stats in Genoa as well but I just dont see the POY coming from them unless they can compete for the title.
I wouldnt count out the Comets this year in knocking a few teams off. I would never count out a team coached by current Otsego coach Botsdorff, regardless of popular belief. To say that 6 wins are guaranteed, id have to agree to disagree with you.
I personally dont see a big gap between any of the top 3, but would have to say that Eastwood is my early favorite. I really like the athleticism and energy Lake will have but when you run into January and February youre gonna have some knock down drag em out games which doesnt play into the Flyers favor.
Well the six wins were Woodmore x2, elmwood x2 and fostoria x2. I just dont see those three teams keeping up for 32 minutes against Eastwood/Lake/Rossford. Eastwood is not a bad pick. They seem to know how to handle Lake. Although Rossford handled them pretty easily. I would have to lean Rossford because they didnt lose anything from a team that went 1-1 (loss was in 2OT) vs the league champions. Eastwood's first two league games are Rossford/Lake both on the road so thats going to be interesting.