Wonderly is all
grown up | T26
Easy-to-clip It may not be a cure-all for the Trojans,
team schedules but it sure adds to the game > INSIDE
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
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.
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
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
Fortunately for Findlay, the return
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.” firstname.lastname@example.org
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-
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
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.
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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-
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
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-
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
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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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
Back to lead the Polar Bears on the court is junior
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.
68 Vine St. Leipsic
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
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)
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
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
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.
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-
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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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
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
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.
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).
Jon N. Diller Good Luck
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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
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
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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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
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
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.
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
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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