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                  The Courier
T2                                                                                        COV ER STORY                                                                                      THE COURIER
                                                                                                                                                                              WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2010




It’s not a cure-all, but it sure adds
   a new dimension to the game
       By DAVE HANNEMAN                        eyes in rebounding (201) in 1974.
                STAFF WRITER                       Findlay turned out a steady stream
                                               of talented big men in the ’80s, includ-
    Bigger, they say, is not always ing 6-7 Dave Rieker (who played
better.                                        for the University of Toledo), Scott
    Try telling that to the guy sitting in McCormick (6-5), Duane Mains
a Smart car when a stretch limo pulls (6-4), Mark and Scott Fryer (both
up alongside.                                  6-5), Joe Plott (6-5) and a 6-4 leaper
    In basketball more than any other who transferred in from Cadiz named
sport, expectations are often mea- Eric Vickers.
sured in feet and inches. And while                Findlay’s 1980 regional team
size is by no means a guarantee for a had excellent overall size with Rick
successful season, it is an aspect of the Hutton (6-5), Rick Acord (6-4), John
game coaches savor when they have it Kidd (6-4) and Jim Geyer (6-3).
and fret over when they do not.                    Then, in the late ’80s, along came
    Size is something Findlay High Rick Hoffman. Dubbed “The Footer”
coach Jim Rucki definitely plans to by former Courier sportswriter Dave
take advantage of this season.                 Egbert, Hoffman stood an even 7-0,
    In many of his 12 campaigns at the tallest player in FHS history.
FHS, Rucki has                                                          In 1992, Find-
fielded teams con-           “In a way it is the biggest            lay reached the
sidered small by                                                    d ist r ic t f i n a ls
big-school, Divi-            team I’ve ever had here.”              with a sizeable
sion I standards.                                                   team that included
    But this year                                     JIM RUCKI     Matt Miles (6-6),
he has his biggest             FINDLAY BOYS BASKETBALL COACH        A a ron Gr a l a k
team yet, a tower-                                                  (6 -3), Javan
ing group headed by 6-foot-10 junior Conley (6-4) and guards Chris Ire-
C.J. Gettys and 6-7 senior Brock land (6-2), Jeff Lobb (6-1) and Lamont
Ammons. Joseph Davidson, a 6-5 Paris (6-0).
sophomore, may see varsity action                  A year later, Findlay was the top
as well, and a number of 6-1 and 6-2 rebounding team in the Buckeye Cen-
players up from last year’s JV team tral Conference, a league that featured
add depth and competition.                     several outstanding big men, with a
    “In a way it is the biggest team I’ve team that had six players standing 6-3
ever had here. But we’re also small or better (Conley, 6-3 Brian Sallot, 6-4
at a couple of positions,” said Rucki, Thom Romer, 6-4 Darrell Ramsey, 6-3
noting that three of his top guards are Scott Hermon and 6-7 Jason Zann).
under 5-9.                                         Rucki was named Findlay’s head
    “I really like our little guys, though. coach at the end of the decade, and
They’re good, they play hard and they his first team featured the likes of
play big.”                                     Rob Skulina (6-7), Mark Dillon (6-3),
    Findlay is 14th among all Ohio Andy Hardy (6-4), Greg Friday (6-4)
high schools with 1,262 all-time wins. and a 6-4 point guard named Ben
And the Trojans’ storied history has Roethlisberger.
been marked by strong play from out-               Findlay continued to turn out tall
standing big men.                              talent — Mark Wilson, a 6-7 all-Ohio
    Findlay’s 1948 state championship selection in 1998, 6-6 Brad Sutton and
team had good size and talent in the 6-5 Mac Cloud.
form Bill Garnes, Joe Fassett and Joe              It seemed, though, that the pro-
DePore.                                        gram was topping out in the height
    In the late ’60s, Dave Sorenson department.
came through the ranks, a 6-8 center               Findlay’s starting lineup during the
who went to star at Ohio State and 2001-02 season — Rob Young (5-11),                                                                         KENT TARBOX / for The Courier
play three years in the NBA with Will Toeppe (6-0), Tyler Riley (5-7),                        FINDLAY HIGH SCHOOL’S Brock Ammons (35), who is tied up
Cleveland and Philadephia.                     K.R. Schlievert (6-0) and Chris Webb           with Sandusky’s Jay Page during a Greater Buckeye Conference last
    Chuck Rogers, Ted Hipsher and (6-1) — was surprisingly short for a                        December, is part of what could be the Trojans’ tallest team in coach
John Arnold were Findlay’s big men in Division I school with more than 900                    Jim Rucki’s 12 season. Ammons, a 6-foot-7 senior, is a returning GBC
the early ’70s and then Steve Wenner male students.                                           first-team player. He has signed a national letter of intent to continue
followed Sorenson at Findlay High                                                             his basketball career at Ohio Dominican University in Columbus.
and Ohio State, were he led the Buck-
                                                           See SIZE, Page T3
THE COURIER
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2010                                                      COV ER STORY                                                                                                               T3
                                                                                                                               in the past, especially against some of
                                                                                                                               the top-notch Division I programs the
                                                                                             KENT TARBOX / for The Courier     Trojans face.                                              Inside
                                                                                         FINDLAY HIGH’S C.J.                       “It equalizes things,” Rucki said.      Arcadia                            T4
                                                                                         Gettys (41) puts up a shot            ”When we went up against (Lake-
                                                                                         up over Bowling Green’s               wood) St. Ed’s in the regional a few        Arlington                          T5
                                                                                         Vitto Brown during a                  years back, they had two 6-9 guys who       Cory-Rawson                        T6
                                                                                         non-conference game                   are now playing in the Big Ten (Delvon
                                                                                         last season. The 6-foot-                                                          Hardin Northern                    T7
                                                                                                                               Roe, Michigan State; Tom Pritchard,
                                                                                         10 Gettys, a junior, is               Indiana).                                   Leipsic                            T8
                                                                                         expected to be part of a                  “It would have been nice to have one    Liberty-Benton                     T9
                                                                                         Trojans’ starting lineup              big body to match up one on one inside
                                                                                         that will be the tallest              instead of having to double and triple      McComb                            T10
                                                                                         in coach Jim Rucki’s 12               team those guys all the time.”              Pandora-Gilboa                     T11
                                                                                         seasons at FHS. He will                   One thing coaches cannot coach
                                                                                         play alongside 6-7 senior                                                         Van Buren                         T12
                                                                                                                               is big. But from his experience with
                                                                                         Brock Ammons.                         smaller teams, Rucki knows there            Vanlue                            T13
                                                                                                                               much more to an inside game than            Putnam County boys                T14
                                                                                                                               feet and inches.
                                                                                                                                                                           Putnam County girls               T15
                                                                                                                                   “You can’t just be satisfied with
                                                                                                                               being taller than other people,” Rucki      Hopewell-Loudon boys & girls      T16
                                                                                                                               said. “Basketball is still a game where     Area girls schedule                T17
                                                                                                                               so much depends on quickness and
                                                                                                                               movement and agility. We have to have       Columbus Grove boys               T20
                                                                                                                               that aggressiveness and we have to be       Ada boys                          T20
                                                                                                                               active. That’s one thing we are really
                                                                                                                                                                           Columbus Grove girls              T21
                                                                                                                               going to focus on in the preseason,
                                                                                                                               especially on defense.”                     Ada girls                         T21
                                                                                                                                   Tall teams are also expected to be      GBC boys schedule                 T22
                                                                                                                               excellent rebounding teams. But Rucki
                                                                                                                               said that’s not always the case.            GBC girls schedule                T24
                                                                                                                                   “I know it sounds crazy, but I don’t    “No small wonder”                 T26
                                                                                                                               think we’re a good rebounding team,         Boys Northwest Ohio schedule      T28
                                                                                                                               not yet,” Rucki said. “When it comes
                                                                                                                               to rebounding, size is only a small part    Findlay                        T23, 26
                                                                                                                               of the equation. The other part is being    Bluffton                          T29
                                                                                                                               active and just going after the ball.
                                                                                                                                                                           Carey                             T30
                                                                                                                               That’s where we need to get better.
                                                                                                                                   “Not that anybody even knows            Elmwood                            T31
                                                                                                                               what a phone booth is any more, but         Fostoria                          T32
                                                                                                                               we don’t want to be rebounding in a
                                                                                                                               phone booth; you know, standing in          New Riegel                        T33
                                                                                                                               one spot with your hands straight up.       North Baltimore                   T34
                                                                                                                               Rebounds don’t just bounce right to
                                                                                                                                                                           Ottawa-Glandorf                   T35
                                                                                                                               you and most rebounds are not gotten
                                                                                                                               by the first person who touches the         Patrick Henry                     T40
                                                                                                                               ball. It comes down to who is active        Riverdale                          T41
                                                                                                                               and who really gets after it.
                                                                                                                                   “Rebounding is just desire, reacting,   St. Wendelin                      T42
                                                                                                                               never stopping. When you watch an           Upper Sandusky                    T43
                                                                                                                               NBA playoff game and Rajon Rondo
                                                                                                                               (a 6-1 guard for the Celtics) has 19
                                                                                                                               rebounds and LeBron James has eight,

Size                                       if to back that up, Findlay won another said. “It was like a FIBA (Interna-
                                           GBC championship in 2008, then a tional Basketball Federation) world
                                           third straight in ’08-09.                   tournament and I played against a lot
                                               “I think we’ve always done a good of guys over there as tall as me.”
                                                                                                                               that tells you what makes up a good
                                                                                                                               rebounder.”
                                                                                                                                   Fortunately for Findlay, the return
                                                                                                                                                                           SPORTS EDITOR
                                                                                                                                                                               Larry Alter
                                                                                                                                                                           STAFF WRITERS
         Continued from page T2            job of adapting to what we have,” said         Ammons, who has signed a             of perimeter experience should make             Jamie Baker
                                           Rucki, 160-84 at Findlay and 320-155 national letter of intent to play college      the Trojans a balanced basketball team.         Dave Hanneman
    “It’s not like we had a bunch of 6-6   overall in 22 years as a head coach.        ball at Ohio Dominican, had a busy          “Some nights the big guys might             Ted Radick
kids who weren’t coming out,” Rucki            “Last year we                                              summer as well.      open things up for our perimeter play-          Nathan Inninger
said. “We just didn’t have any big kids    worked more on            “We have to take                     He played for the    ers, and some nights our perimeter              Brian Lester
walking the halls.”                        getting the ball                                               King James Shoot-    players might open things up for the            Luke Wymer
    Though undersized, Findlay, a pro-     inside, because
                                                                     advantage of what we                 ing Stars team in    big guys,” Rucki said. “We have to
gram always known for producing out-                                                                                           take advantage of what we have, and         STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
standing guards, won a share of the
                                           we had some size.         have, and we have to be              the Elite Youth
                                                                                                                               we have to be able to adapt and adjust          Randy Roberts
                                           Hopefully, we’ll                                               Basketball League
Great Lakes League title in 2001-02.       be able to do that        able to adapt and adjust             and competed in a    to what teams are trying to take away       CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS
    In 2006-07, with the 6-5 Cloud the     even more this                                                 series of tourna-    from us.”
                                                                     to what teams are trying                                                                                  Mark Deckard
only true post player on the roster,       season.”                                                       ments from one           Making those adjustments is                 Kyle Hunter
Findlay went 10-0 in the Greater               G e t t y s a nd      to take away from us.”               end of the country   always a chess game. But when the               Howard Moyer
Buckeye Conference, 20-4 overall, and      Ammons have put                                                to the other.        pieces on the board are 6-10 and 6-7,           Kent Tarbox
reached the regional finals before fall-   in some miles get-                                                 “(Boston Celt-   it adds a whole new dimension to the
                                                                                             JIM RUCKI                                                                         Baker Photography
ing 66-50 to a towering Lakewood St.       ting ready or the           FINDLAY BOYS BASKETBALL COACH      ics’ coach) Doc      game.
Edward team ranked No.1 in the state       2010-2011 season.                                              Rivers’ son is in        “It certainly doesn’t hurt,” Rucki      COVER PHOTOGRAPHY
and No.7 in the country.                       Gettys played on a USA 16-under the same league, and in one game I              said with a smile.                              Mark Deckard
    The following season, The Couri-       team out of North Carolina that spent had to guard Horace Grant’s son,”                                                         COVER DESIGN
er’s annual basketball tab carried the     a week in Switzerland battling some of Ammons said. “It was some pretty             Hanneman: 419-427-8408,
headline “Little Big Men” above four                                                                                                                                           Jason Smith
                                           the top U16 teams in Europe.                intense competition.”                   davehanneman@thecourier.com
FHS players, none taller than 6-2. As          “It was great competition,” Gettys         Rucki wishes he had this much size
T4   A RCA DI A                                                                                        THE COURIER
                                                                                         WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2010




         REDSKINS | BOYS

         Hurlong 4th coach in four seasons at Arcadia
            ARCADIA — The revolving door that is known as
         the Arcadia boys basketball program has continued.
            The Redskins, 4-17 a year ago, will be under the
         tutelage of their fourth head coach in as many years.
            This season Danny Hurlong takes over the pro-
         gram.
            Hurlong, who has a 181-95 record in 12 years of
         coaching, will be trying to resurrect a program that
         has been down for awhile.
            Hurlong will be able to build his team around four       Lu. Huntley       Lo. Huntley        Hurlong
         returning letterwinners.
            Grant Baker (5-foot-10), Lucas Huntley (5-9) and            Seniors Brendon Fry (6-0) and David Hammer
         Loren Huntley (5-7) are all junior wings.                   (6-0) are also options in the post along with juniors
            Johnston Baird (5-10) is back in the post.               Matt Smith (6-1) and Michael Cramer (5-11). Juniors
            Two other juniors will be expected to make major         Chase Myers (5-10), a wing/point guard, and Eric
         contributions in the post.                                  Reinhart (5-5), a point guard, fill out the roster.
            Jimmy Graham (6-3) and Matt Smith (6-1) will
         provide depth underneath.                                      Without a lot of size on the roster, the Redskins
            Senior Luke Ward, a 6-0 senior wing, is expected         will have to win with quickness, ball-handling and
         to be a key player.                                         outside shooting.
            Sophomore Casey Mock (5-10) will handle the                 There could be some rough patches early on as
         point guard duties.                                         Arcadia will be learning a new offense.

         REDSKINS | GIRLS

         Moses is Redskins’ top returning veteran
             ARCADIA — The Arcadia girls basketball team
         will be playing for another winning season and more
         during the 2010-2011 campaign.
             Arcadia coach Randy Baker returns a solid nucleus
         from his team that finished 12-9 overall and 5-4 in the
         Blanchard Valley Conference a season ago.
             The Redskins return five players that scored at least
         five points a game last season.
             Leading the way for Arcadia will be Kendal Moses,
         a 5-foot-6 senior forward/center, who averaged 11.5         M. Palmer         Moses              Baker
         points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game a season
         ago.                                                        Kirsten Glick (5.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg) also return and will
             Moses was a second team BVC pick and was named          help out Arcadia in the post.
         honorable mention Northwest Ohio.                              Three seniors, Anna Sopher (guard/forward),
             Sophomore guard Miranda Palmer and senior               Hannah Barger (guard) and Cristen Cramer (for-
         guard/forward Lexis Fleegle will also be looked on          ward), will provide depth for Arcadia.
         to provide a scoring punch.                                    Sophomore forward Lauren Conine and sophomore
             Palmer scored 10.3 points, grabbed 2 rebounds and       guard Regina Fox round out the roster.
         led the Redskins with 2.7 assists per game.                    The Redskins will need to be on the top of their
             Fleegle averaged 8.5 points and snared 2 rebounds       game early with games against Hopewell-Loudon and
         per game.                                                   longtime BVC rival Liberty-Benton during the first
             Senior Rachelle Palmer (5.4 ppg, 4 rpg) and junior      week of the season.


                                                  Our Team
                                                Wishes Arcadia
                                                 Good Luck.
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      717 N. Main St. * Findlay                                                         GO Redskins!
            419-423-9145                                                              100 West Fremont, Arcadia, OH
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THE COURIER
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2010                                                          A R LINGTON                                                                       T5
RED DEVILS | BOYS

Vermillion working with inexperienced unit
   ARLINGTON — You just know what you are going
to get with a Jason Vermillion-coached Arlington bas-
ketball team.
   Last season, Vermillion, who has compiled a 177-85
record in his 12 seasons as the Red Devils coach, led
Arlington to a solid 15-7 overall record, a 5-4 mark
in the Blanchard Valley Conference and a sectional
championship.
   This season Vermillion will have to work with a
largely inexperienced roster on Arlington’s quest for
                                                            Recker              Leonard             Vermillion
another winning season.
   The Red Devils will be without first-team BVC            roster, will play at the wing along with sophomore
post player Kevin Rogers, who scored 17.4 points and        Blaiz McBride.
grabbed 8.6 rebounds per game last season.
   Arlington will have a worthy replacement in junior          The remainder of the roster will be filled by a pleth-
Thayne Recker. Recker, a 6-foot-4 post, was a sec-          ora of juniors. Adam Inniger, Matt Cheney and Jake
ond-team BVC selection after scoring 16.9 points and        Garlock will provide depth at guard. Helping Recker
snatching 9.3 rebounds last season.                         out in the post will be Corey Freed, Zach Grieser and
   Also returning for the Red Devils are junior guards      Brian Mohr.
Jake Leonard (6-1, 4.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.3 apg) and Wes          Arlington gets its season kicked off by traveling to
Corbin (5-11, 2.0 ppg).                                     Fort Jennings and hosting Ada on the opening week-
   Aaron Cheney, the only senior on the Arlington           end.

RED DEVILS | GIRLS

3 seniors headline veteran-laden Red Devils
    ARLINGTON — After a record-setting season last
year, expectations are high for the Arlington girls bas-
ketball team.
    And why not?
    Every starter and all key bench players return for
the Red Devils, who finished 21-3 before falling to
Pandora-Gilboa in the Division IV district finals.
    Arlington’s losses last season were to P-G (twice)
and to Division III state champion Liberty-Benton.
    Leading the way are senior guards Mackenzie             Newlove             Heacock             Brunswick
Heacock (5-foot-7, second-team all-Blanchard Valley
Conference, 15.9 points per game, 4.1 rebounds, 2.6         points in a game (91) and points per game (64.7). Hea-
assists); Jordan Drerup (5-8, 6.1 points, 2.6 rebounds,     cock set individual marks for single-season 3-pointers
2.2 assists); and Tina Brunswick (5-9, third team all-      (45) and free-throw percentage (78.4) while Drerup
BVC, 10.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists).               set a mark for 3-pointers in a game (5).
    Up front are juniors Amelia Recker (5-9, first-team
all-BVC, first team all-district, second team all-North-       Juniors Jessica Hunter (5-5) and Joy Reamsnyder
west Ohio, honorable mention all-state), who averaged       (5-6) will provide depth in the backcourt while junior
17.3 points, 7.1 rebound and 2.8 assists and Alivia         Elisabeth Helms (5-8) and senior Megan Tossey (5-7)
Recker (5-8, 7.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists).        are back as the top bench players at the forward spots.
    Arlington set records a year ago for wins in a season   Sophomore newcomer Morgan Insley (5-10) will pro-
(21), wins in the regular season (18), points (1,553),      vide size in the post.


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T6                                                                                  CORY-R AWSON                                                                                        THE COURIER
                                                                                                                                                                          WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2010




                                                                                         HORNETS | BOYS

                                                                                         Hornets take aim at upper division finish
                                                                                            RAWSON — It’s been nine years since the Cory-
                                                                                         Rawson boys basketball team has finished in the top
                                                                                         half of the Blanchard Valley Conference basketball
                                                                                         standings.
                                                                                            But this season, under first-year coach Bill Stoner,
                                                                                         that is what the Hornets will attempt to do.
                                                                                            The Hornets, which finished 6-15 overall and 2-7 in
                                                                                         the BVC last season, feature a team with six seniors.
                                                                                            But Cory-Rawson will rely heavily on junior guard
                                                                                         Jeremiah Alspach, who was an honorable mention
                                                                                                                                                    Alspach             Sprosty             Stoner
                                                                                         Blanchard Valley Conference selection last season.
                                                                                            Alspach figures to share the point guard duties with    Josh Mattoon and senior wings Austin Leonard and
                                                                                         guard Tyler Harris, who will be expected to play a key     Logan Shepherd.
                                                                                         role as a sophomore.
                                                                                            Stoner also hopes to get solid contributions from his      Rounding out the varsity roster are juniors Daniel
                                                                                         seniors, who will need to step up despite limited play-    Curth and Alex Edson.
                                                                                         ing time at the varsity level over the last few seasons.      In preseason practice finishing was a priority and
                                                                                            Two returning seniors are 6-0 wing Kyle Sprosty         Stoner will use that as a major factor when choosing
                                                                                         and 6-1 senior post Mark Inbody, who have been pleas-      which players receive starting positions.
                                                                                         ant surprises in practice.                                    “We hope to get better every week,” Stoner said.
                                                                                            Also figuring to crack the lineup are junior post          “Playing hard is not an option for these kids, it will
                                                                                         Grant Marshall, senior guard James Rader, senior post      be required.”

                                                                                         HORNETS | GIRLS

                                                                                         Bame working with seven letterwinners
                                                                                            RAWSON — Zack Bame enters his second year
                                                                                         as the head girls coach at Cory-Rawson as he tries to
                                                                                         rebuild the school’s long-struggling hoops program.
                                                                                            He should be ahead of the game as he welcomes
                                                                                         back seven returning letterwinners from last year’s
                                                                                         group that posted a 2-18 overall record that included
                                                                                         a 1-8 mark in the Blanchard Valley Conference.
                                                                                            Courtney Ritter is the top returnee for the Hor-
                                                                                         nets. The 5-foot-8 junior forward is back after scoring
                                                                                         6.0 points with 5.0 rebounds per game. An honorable        Bame                Ritter              Dulle
                                                                                         mention all-BVC selection as a sophomore, Ritter will
                                                                                         be expected to pick up some of the scoring load for           Devin Cline, a 5-11 senior, returns at center after
                                                                                         Cory-Rawson.                                               scoring 2.0 points and grabbing 3.0 rebounds per
                                                                                            Junior Morgan Woodward and sophomore Court-             game.
                                                                                         ney Dulle are back after averaging 5.0 points per
                                                                                         game. Woodward, a 5-2 guard, added 1.5 rebounds               Bame has to like what he’s seen from senior Kayla
                                                                                         and dished an assist per game while Dulle, a 5-7 guard,    Rossman (5-8), junior Aylish Hulihan (5-7) and sopho-
                                                                                         added 2.0 assists and 2.0 rebounds per game.               more Tessa Heitmeyer (5-7) at guard. Junior Aubrey
                                                                                            Sophomore Jordan Mattiace (5-7) returns with            Honeyman (5-10) could see action at either the for-
                                                                                         experience at the guard spot while seniors Desiree         ward or center spot while sophomore Nicole Hulihan,
                                                                                         Alge (5-8) and Nicole Lawrence (5-7) both return with      the tallest player on the Hornets roster at 6-1, could
                                                                                         experience at the forward spot.                            be of help inside.

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THE COURIER
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2010                                         H A R DIN NORTHER N                                                 T7
POLAR BEARS | BOYS

HN has a blend of good size and experience
   DOLA — The Hardin Northern boys basketball
team has nowhere to go but up.
   A 2-19 season, including an 0-9 mark in the
Blanchard Valley Conference a year ago, pretty
much ensures that.
   Fortunately for the Polar Bears, third-year head
coach Mark Thompson appears to have the pieces
in place for a dramatic improvement.
   Hardin Northern will boast both good size and
good experience for the coming season.
                                                          Obenour            Thompson           Price
   Leading the way is three-year letterwinner
Tommy Wheeler, a 6-foot-2 senior forward who was          year and Steiner, a 6-5 junior, has started since his
an honorable mention all-BVC selection last season.       freshman year.
   Joining Wheeler in the frontcourt are seniors
Todd Clark (6 -3, center), Dan Hastings (6 -2,               Reed Poling (6-0, junior), Hayden Bradley (5-10,
center), Storm Kindle (6-1, forward) and Logan            sophomore) and Jacob Gossard (5-7, freshman) will
Price (6-1, forward). Price is a two-year letterman.      also see time in the backcourt.
   Juniors Chris Obenour (6-2, forward) and Jacob            The Polar Bears will host Riverdale Friday in
Potter (6-0, center) will also see time up front.         their season opener at Hardin Northern’s new bas-
   Ben Shepherd and Bobby Steiner will lead Hardin        ketball court.
Northern’s contingent of guards.                             Hardin Northern travels to McComb on Dec. 10
   Shepherd, a 5-10 senior, was a letterwinner last       for the BVC opener.

POLAR BEARS | GIRLS

Eight letterwinners to lead Bears’ charge
   DOLA — The Hardin Northern girls basketball
team has had its struggles in recent years, but this
winter there is reason to believe that the Polar Bears
can get over the hump.
   In his third season, Hardin Northern coach Andrew
Cano returns eight letterwinners from last season’s
squad that finished 7-14, the team’s best finish in 13
seasons.
   Back to lead the Polar Bears on the court is junior
Molly Hipsher.
                                                          Cano               Hipsher            Motter
   Hipsher, a 5-foot-6 junior shooting guard, scored
12 points, grabbed 3.9 rebounds and dished off 1.1           Shelby Stump (3.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.1 apg) is a power
assists per game a season ago.                            forward, Sarah Flinn (4.8 ppg) and Haylie Morris (2.3
   Hipsher was also a consistent player for Hardin        ppg, 2.1 rpg) return at small forward and Tayler Spear-
Northern as she reached double figures in 18 of the       man will handle the center duties after missing last
teams’ 21 contests.                                       season with an injury.
   Back to lead the offense is senior point guard Chel-
sea Motter (5-4). Motter scored six points, snared           Junior Kaylee Hooker (2.2 ppg) will be in the point
3.2 rebounds and handed out a team high 2.6 assists       guard rotation and junior Olivia Sampson (1.1 ppg)
per game.                                                 figures to get time at the small forward spot.
   Four other seniors are back and figure to play piv-       Carlie Doll will give Hardin Northern another scor-
otal roles for the Polar Bears.                           ing threat from the shooting guard spot.




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T8                                  LEIPSIC                                                                                       THE COURIER
                                                                                                                    WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2010




                                    VIKINGS | BOYS

                                    Six seniors return to Vikings’ program
                                       LEIPSIC — Last year the Leipsic boys basketball
                                    team did its best Jekyll and Hyde imitation.
                                       The Vikings struggled out of the gate before win-
                                    ning seven of their last nine games and advancing to
                                    the sectional final.
                                       With nine lettermen returning, including six
                                    seniors, Leipsic head coach Scott Maag is hoping for
                                    a strong season start to finish.
                                       Liam Nadler, a 6-foot-5 senior center, is one of the
                                    top returning players for Leipsic.
                                                                                               Maag               Nadler             Der. Mangas
                                       Nadler scored 13.6 points and grabbed nine
                                    rebounds per contest a season ago.                         Mangas (5-10, guard, 4.0 ppg).
                                       Senior Derek Mangas, a 5-foot-10 slashing guard,
                                    is also back after averaging 12.8 points and three            Maag hopes his team’s depth and athleticism could
                                    rebounds per game.                                         give opposing teams fits.
                                       Other returning seniors include Jake Ellerbrock            “We want to play fast and defend full court on every
                                    (5-8, guard, 3.4 ppg), Tyler Kreinbrink (6-1, forward,     possession,” Maag said.
                                    1.0 ppg), Spencer Selhorst (5-10, guard) and Levi             Leipsic, which got practice started late because
                                    Haselman (6-0, forward, 1.0 ppg).                          of the football team’s tournament appearance, has a
                                       Also returning to provide plenty of depth to the        tough schedule right out of the gate with games against
                                    Vikings lineup are junior Ty Maag (5-11, guard, 2 ppg),    Holgate, Patrick Henry, Pandora-Gilboa and Liberty-
                                    Brady Schroeder (6-0, forward, 1.7 ppg) and Devin          Benton.

                                    VIKINGS | GIRLS

                                    Vikings hoping for a bounce-back season
                                        LEIPSIC — It won’t be easy, but Leipsic’s girls
                                    basketball team will be looking to get back in the upper
                                    division in both the Blanchard Valley Conference and
                                    Putnam County League this season.
                                        The Vikings posted an 8-14 overall record, losing
                                    to Holgate 49-43 in the sectional finals.
                                        But it is in conference play where Leipsic will look
                                    to pick it up in 2010-11 as the Vikings were just 3-6 in
                                    the BVC and 2-5 in the PCL.
                                        Veteran coach Gary Kreinbrink will start the           Ellerbrock         Mangas             Kreinbrink
                                    season with a little more experience than he had last
                                    year. He will need to find someone to step up and fill     a sophomore. Two other letterwinners figure into the
                                    the scoring void left behind by all-conference selection   mix. Junior Chandlar Henry (5-4) is back as is senior
                                    and 2010 graduate Chelsea Gerten who averaged 12.6         Olivia Brown (5-5). Senior Traci Wolf (5-7) and junior
                                    points per game.                                           Brianda Villasana (5-8) are the only other upperclass-
                                        He has five lettermen back in the fold.                men on Leipsic’s roster.
                                        The top returnee is senior Shari Mangas. The
                                    5-foot-6 guard led the team in scoring (12.9 ppg).            Sophomore’s Kendra Gerten (5-7), Emily Meyer
                                    Molly Ellerbrock (5-5) returns at guard as a two-year      (5-5) and Aubrey Schroeder (5-6) and freshmen
                                    letterwinner for the Vikings.                              Rachel Rieman (5-5), Amber Gerdeman (6-0) and
                                        Junior Emily Gerten should provide some of that        Haley Gerten (5-6) round out the Vikings’ varsity
                                    scoring punch as she netted 10.0 points per game as        roster.


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THE COURIER
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2010                                                 LIBERT Y-BENTON                                                                                       T9
EAGLES | BOYS

Post-Craft era begins at Liberty-Benton
    The Liberty-Benton boys basketball team has
owned the Blanchard Valley Conference in recent
years.
    The Eagles have won four consecutive conference
titles and 42 straight BVC encounters.
    It may be a tall order for Steve Williman’s squad,
though, to keep the streak going for another season.
    The Eagles do have three returning letterwinners
coming into the season but will be missing a very valu-
able piece of their teams from recent campaigns.
                                                             Williman           Benson             Cramer
    Aaron Craft, the team’s point guard for the last four
years, has moved on to play at Ohio State University.           Senior Zac Cramer (5.3 ppg, 1.54 apg) is back with
    Craft, the Division III Player of the Year and a first   the ability to play the point or wing positions.
team all-Ohio pick last season, averaged 26.7 points,
7.7 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game for the Eagles.           Senior post Eric Stanton (2.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg) is the
    No one on the Liberty-Benton roster can replace          other returning player for Liberty-Benton.
Craft by himself.                                               Senior Jake Kanable (6-foot-3) and juniors Rob
    But Williman, who has won 479 games going into           Rucki (6-5) and Nick Archer (6-4) will be other
his 25th season, has been adept at replacing great play-     options in the post.
ers without missing a beat during his coaching career.          Freshman John Darnall (5-9) could see action at
    Jordan Benson, a senior wing who scored 9.2 points       point guard and wing, while fellow freshman Ryan
per game, is the leading scorer that returns.                Geise (5-8) is a solid shooter at a wing.

EAGLES | GIRLS

Six letterwinners back from state champs
    Last year was a dream season for the Liberty-
Benton girls basketball team as the Eagles won the
Division III state championship with a 27-0 season.
    Four seniors, including three starters, graduated
and the team’s No. 6 player moved away, so it’s time for
coach Nate Irwin (101-35 entering his seventh season)
to reload.
    Note that the key term is “reload” and not “rebuild.”
    Six letterwinners return, none as important as
junior guard Caite Craft.                                    Craft              Snider             Irwin
    Craft was first-team all-Blanchard Valley Confer-
ence, second-team all-Northwest Ohio and the Division        guard after seeing quite a bit of action off the bench.
III state tournament MVP last season. She averaged           Starting at point guard will be 5-7 freshman Rachel
17.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.6 steals.       Myers.
The 5-foot-8 Craft shot 56 percent from the field and
44 percent from 3-point range; her 92 3-pointers were           Key reserves include junior Audra Schroeder
the fourth most in a single season in Ohio history.          (5-2 guard), senior Breanna McCleary (5-9 center),
    Senior post Ashley Snider (5-8) returns as the lone      sophomore Tonee Weaver (5-10 center), junior Chel-
inside player in L-B’s four-guard attack. Snider, like       sea Mason (5-7 center) and sophomore Sydney Stuck
Craft, enters her third year as a starter.                   (5-10 center). Incoming freshmen include 5-10 center
    Junior Samantha Rhodes (5-6, 1.6 ppg) and sopho-         Morgan Lishawa, 5-6 guard Kayla Trevino and 5-8
more Marisa Burkett (5-6, 1.7 ppg) will also start at        guard/center Carrie Reynolds.

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T10    McCOMB                                                                                            THE COURIER
                                                                                           WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2010




          PANTHERS | BOYS

          Six letterwinners return from 17-4 squad
             MCCOMB — Aaron Roth has had some outstand-
          ing teams during his 14-year tenure as the McComb
          boys basketball coach.
             His Panthers squad this season has the potential
          to be one of his best as McComb, coming off of a 17-4
          campaign, returns six letterwinners.
             Leading the group will be its five returning seniors,
          who have experienced a large amount of success over
          the last two years.
             Senior point guard Mason Roth has helped lead
                                                                      Roth               Morse                  Roth
          the charge.
             Roth, who was a first team Blanchard Valley Confer-      5 rebounds and dished off 2.3 assists per contest.
          ence and all-District 8 selection last season, averaged
          19.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.            Also returning are seniors Matt Newcomer (5-10,
             Roth is currently 13th in McComb history with 823        1.8 ppg) at a guard spot, T.J. Griffith (6-1, 2.2 ppg)
          career points and with a strong season could become         at a guard and junior Austan Westenbarger (5-9, 4.9
          the fifth player in school history to score over 1,000.     ppg) at the post.
             Two other seniors clicked for double figures as well.       Also figuring to get plenty of minutes is sophomore
          Taylor Hanes, a 6-foot-1 senior forward, averaged 11.1      forward Jerry Brown (5-11).
          points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.                 Rounding out the roster are backup guards Andy
             Right beside Hanes, Andrew Dee also played well          Bishop (6-0, senior), James Simon (5-10, sernior) and
          at his forward spot. Dee (5-11) averaged 11.6 points,       Dalton Buck (5-8, sophomore).

          PANTHERS | GIRLS

          Leppelmeier and Wilson to lead Panthers
              MCCOMB — On the surface, a 9-14 record doesn’t
          seem all that impressive.
              More impressive was the way McComb finished its
          2009-2010 girls basketball season.
              The Panthers limped into the postseason having
          lost eight of their final nine regular-season games.
              McComb was a tough out in the tournament, how-
          ever, as the Panthers upset Blanchard Valley Confer-
          ence rivals Arcadia and Van Buren, before falling 30-21
          to eventual regional participant Pandora-Gilboa in the
                                                                      J. Leppelmeier     S. Wilson              Herr
          district semifinal.
              McComb coach Jeremy Herr, who is 19-26 entering           Junior Devyn Wilson (4.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg) is back at
          his third season, welcomes back most of last season’s       guard where she is a stout defender.
          squad.
              Shelby Wilson, the leader on the court, is back after        Briana Herr (5.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg), a 6-1 sophomore,
          earning third-team BVC honors last season.                  is the team’s main inside scoring threat.
              Wilson, a 5-foot-8 senior, led the Panthers with 13.6
                                                                         Hannah Bundy (6.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg) figures to be the
          points and 3.5 assists per game. Wilson also contrib-
                                                                      spark plug.
          uted 5.0 rebounds and 3.4 steals per contest.
              Jackie Leppelmeier (5-8) is back at forward. Also          Freshmen Emily Clymer and Brenna Dee will pro-
          a senior, Leppelmeier knocked down 9.1 points per           vide depth for the Panthers. Clymer is a 5-10 forward,
          game and led McComb with 6.0 rebounds per contest.          while Dee is a 5-6 guard.



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THE COURIER
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2010                                              PA NDOR A-GILBOA                                                         T11
ROCKETS | BOYS

First-year coach has 4 senior letterwinners
    PANDORA — The Pandora-Gilboa gymnasium
may seem like new this year.
    It was not built too long ago, but there will be sev-
eral different faces on the court when it comes to boys
basketball.
    Gone from a team that went 17-6 and advanced to
the district final are six seniors, including first team
Blanchard Valley Conference selection Josh Lee,
second team selection Tyler Gratz and third team pick
Thomas Hochstettler.
                                                            Klear             Schutz             Fenstermaker
    The six seniors accounted for 55 points per game.
    Former head coach Joe Braidic will no longer be            Senior Isaac Honigford (1.9 ppg) returns as a for-
manning the sidelines after 12 years as the Rockets’        ward.
coach.
    Stepping in to lead the Pandora-Gilboa program             Senior Tejay Boes, juniors Josh Breece, Eric Fen-
is Josh Klear.                                              stermaker and Owen Lugibihl will add depth at the
    Klear is excited to see how many of his junior play-    forward spot.
ers from last year gel with four senior letterwinners          Junior Nathan Schutz and sophomore Abe Basinger
that return from 2009-10.                                   will help out at guard.
    Seniors Justin Schutz (3.6 points per game), Troy          Klear sees plenty of talent in both the BVC and
Stevenson (1.5 ppg) and Tyler Fenstermaker (1.7 ppg)        the PCL, but thinks his team could be strong as the
return in the backcourt.                                    season goes on.

ROCKETS | GIRLS

Brooks will feature very talented squad
    PANDORA — The Pandora-Gilboa girls basketball
team went 21-3 and won a district title last season.
Veteran coach Ken Brooks, entering his 20th year with
a 238-176 record, hopes that was a just a warm-up for
this year’s squad.
    The Rockets return three starters, a key post player
and most of their bench from last year’s team, which
finished second in the Blanchard Valley Conference
and Putnam County League.
    P-G’s losses were to Division III state champ           Brooks            Recker             Schulte
Liberty-Benton and PCL champ Ottoville in an 18-2
regular season and to Division IV state semifinalist        apg) and 5-8 senior forward Kristyn Hovest (3.6 ppg,
Minster in the regional semifinals.                         4.1 rpg).
    Senior 6-foot-1 shooting guard Stephanie Recker,
a second-team all-state, first-team all-BVC selection          Senior 6-1 center Connie Schulte missed the first
and PCL Player of the Year, begins the season with          half of last season after knee injury but returned to
808 career points. Recker, a three-year letterwinner        average 6.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.
who has signed with the University of Toledo, aver-            Senior guards Galina Schneigenberg (5-6, 3.3 ppg)
aged 13.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists and 2.3      and Grace Basinger (5-7) return, as does senior for-
steals per game.                                            ward Renee Peckinpaugh (5-8). Key prospects include
    Also back are 5-6 senior point guard Samantha           junior guard/forward Megan Hovest (5-8) and sopho-
Schmenk (honorable mention all-PCL, 4.7 ppg, 3.3            more Ashley Williams (5-5).




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T12   VA N BUR EN                                                                                         THE COURIER
                                                                                            WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2010




          BLACK KNIGHTS | BOYS

          Van Buren squad is loaded with experience
             VAN BUREN — Experience is a huge factor in any
          sport and usually plays a key role in big games.
             The Van Buren boys basketball team appears to be
          a volcano waiting to erupt as the Black Knights return
          eight senior letterwinners off of last year’s team that
          went 11-12 overall and 4-5 in the Blanchard Valley
          Conference.
             After a four-game losing streak in early February,
          Van Buren showed flashes of becoming an excellent
          team, finishing the season by winning four of their
                                                                       Frost              Meyer                Sudlow
          final six games including a tournament upset over
          New Riegel.                                                  34 percent from beyond the 3-point line.
             Leading Van Buren will be its big man in the
          middle, Rich Meyer. The 6-foot-6 Meyer, a second                 Jude Palmer (8.5 ppg) will provide a solid out-
          team BVC selection, led the Black Knights with 11.2          side shooting threat after canning 35.9 percent of his
          points and 8.5 rebounds per game. He made over 50            3-point attempts.
          percent of his shots from the field and set Van Buren’s          Also returning at guards are seniors Andrew
          single-game block record.                                    Shroll, a solid perimeter defender, and Colin Stacy,
             Senior forwards Clay Sudlow (9.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg) and        an outstanding outside shooter. Senior Jacob Monday,
          Drew Ashcraft (6.7 ppg) are also back.                       another strong defender, will provide depth at forward.
             Riley Damon will handle the point guard duties                Juniors Zane Kieffer, a guard, and Justin Roberts,
          after averaging 6.7 points and 3.8 assists and shooting      a forward, fill out the Black Knights roster.

          BLACK KNIGHTS | GIRLS

          Adolph, Coldren key returnees from ’09-10
             VAN BUREN — The Black Knights girls basket-
          ball team finished the 2009-10 regular season with
          a 13-7 record and solid fourth-place finish at 6-3 in
          the Blanchard Valley Conference.
             Then came the stunner, an early postseason exit
          in Division IV sectional play courtesy of a loss to
          McComb.
             Two key returning players will lead this year’s
          team and hope to extend Van Buren’s run of con-
          ference success and get the team farther into the
                                                                       Daniels            Adolph               Coldren
          postseason for coach Michael Daniels.
             Senior forwards Rachel Adolph (5-foot-8) and              offensive boards — Coldren had 59 offensive rebounds
          Madi Coldren (5-9) were both honorable mention all-
                                                                       and Adolph 56. The backcourt picture isn’t quite as
          BVC selections a year ago and give the Black Knights
          plenty of experience in the frontcourt.                      clear, as the Black Knights lost starters Lauren Clark,
             Adolph, coming off a volleyball season in which           Chelsi Faine (second-team all-BVC, 12.2 ppg, 3.3 apg)
          she was named BVC Player of the Year, averaged 9.5           and Sara Doxsey (third-team all-BVC, 8.8 ppg, 3.3
          points and 6.1 rebounds, and shot 51 percent from            apg) to graduation.
          the floor and 70 percent from the free-throw line.
          Coldren chipped in 8.9 points and a team-high 7.2               Seniors Kalyn Leeper (5-9), Hannah Schank (5-6)
          rebounds per game.                                           and Brooke Barnhisel (5-6) will man the guard spots.
             Both players were particularly effective on the           Senior Tori Swain (5-10) will offer depth in the post.


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THE COURIER
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2010                                                                 VA NLUE                                                           T13
WILDCATS | BOYS

Wildcats to feature plenty of size
    VANLUE — Vanlue may be one of the smallest
school districts in Ohio.
    But the Wildcats’ boys basketball team will feature
plenty of big players on the court during the 2010-11
cage campaign.
    Vanlue, which went 15-7 overall and 5-4 in the
Blanchard Valley Conference a season ago, will suit
up four players that are at least 6-foot-4.
    Leading the way for the Wildcats, which are coming
off of a sectional title, is 6-foot-5 junior forward Jona-   Je. Kloepfer       Jo. Kloepfer        Kliesch
than Kloepfer.
    Kloepfer, a third-team BVC pick a season ago, aver-         Mason Amesquita (3.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg) and Alex Blair
aged 9.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game for the            (1.3 ppg) will be the guards.
Wildcats.
    Another key returning player in the post will be            Junior Stuart Stone, a 6-4 forward, will be the first
6-4 senior forward Dillon Kliesch (8.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg).        post player off of the bench for the Wildcats, while
                                                             junior Jordan Wisner (5-10) will handle backup point
    Also returning on the block is Zach Garber. The
                                                             guard duties.
6-8 sophomore center clicked for 3.8 points and four
rebounds per game.                                              Vanlue will get the a chance to snap Liberty-Ben-
    Two seniors will return to man the backcourt for         ton’s 42-game BVC winning streak as the Wildcats
the Wildcats this season.                                    host the Eagles on Dec. 10 to open conference play.
WILDCATS | GIRLS

Three-year performer Wisner leads ’Cats
    VANLUE — The proverbial glass looks half-full for
the Vanlue basketball team this coming season after
leaning toward half-empty the past several seasons.
    One key reason for the optimistic outlook is the
size and experience that returns for the Wildcats. Five
letterwinners, including three-year performer Krista
Wisner, return for Vanlue as the team looks to improve
on last season’s 3-18 record that included a 1-8 mark
in the Blanchard Valley Conference.
    Wisner, a 5-foot-10 senior forward, is the undis-        Richards           Wisner              Engard
puted leader of the team. She averaged 9.2 points and
7.5 rebounds per game last season and was just short         Logan Frey (5-11, 1.4 ppg, 1.5 ppg) is also back.
of averaging a double-double in BVC play.
    Junior guard Savannah Engard (5-5) and senior               One key to the Wildcats’ success will be cutting
center Amber Kloepfer (5-9) each return for their            down on the turnovers as Vanlue gave the ball away
third season. Engard, the team’s top defender, aver-         more than 600 times last season, an average of 29.1
aged 3.3 points and 2.4 rebounds while Kloepfer added        turnovers per game.
4.1 points and 3.3 rebounds.
    Three other letterwinners are back as well. Sopho-          Key newcomers include sophomores Katie Thomas
more Kelsie Ward (5-6) will take over at point guard         (5-10 forward), Payton Amesquita (5-6 guard/for-
after averaging 1.7 points. Junior Jen Hendricks (5-2,       ward) and Taylor Kloepfer (5-9 center) and junior
3.0 ppg) returns at guard and sophomore forward              Abby Grubbs (5-1 guard).


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      complex interior                          717 N. Main St. * Findlay                  Service Garage                                      BROOKS
    components found in                               419-423-9145                                                       Hendricks             TRUCK
    some of today’s most                       www.hitchingsinsurance.com                      11758 TR 100,            Small Engine           REPAIR
    popular automobiles                                                                           Findlay               207 W. Main • Vanlue   104 E. North - Vanlue
        and SUV’s.                                                                                                          419-387-7451       419-387-7811

				
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