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Posted On: 04/20/18 2:11 PM
It is only mid-April and already my mind is on next season, sad but true. And the one question that I keep asking myself is, who will be among the top teams in Cincinnati for the 2018-19 season? And while I may not have all the answers, I have a good feeling these following programs will be among the best in the Queen City. We start with the D-I programs, all of which boast high-quality returning talent.
Lakota East- For those of you who thought the Thunder Hawks were a one- man band, you were dead wrong. Even with the upcoming graduation of guard/wing Jarrett Cox (PHO #47), East should again contend for the Greater Miami Conference crown. They have two high level D-II recruits in Bash Wieland (2019 PHO #54) and Alex Mangold (2020 PHO #40), both of whom are already off to huge start for the AAU season and showed in the playoffs flashes of high-level talent. If they can find quality play on the perimeter, particularly at the point guard spot, the Hawks could be a top five team in the city.
Moeller- Yes, they are losing four starters from a state championship team, but its Moeller people. They will still be a factor next season for a couple of reasons. Let’s start in the backcourt where West Virginia commit Miles McBride (2019 PHO #5) and Alec Pfreim (2019 PHO #25) will combine to make one of the best duo’s in Ohio. Add in the fact that they have a wealth of underclassmen talent like Jake Younkin (2020 PHO #18), Max Land (2020 PHO #19) and Blake Lloyd (2020 PHO #109), Coach Kremer squad could finish #1 in the city for the 3rd straight season.
Princeton- Another team who like Moeller will be losing four of there five starters to graduation, but also like Moeller has a ton of talent waiting in the wings. The Vikings have one of the more talented group of 2020 players in the state of Ohio, with six players in the top 125 in the state. Mix in the fact that a lot of these players got quality minutes this past season, expectations should still be high for Princeton next season.
Winton Woods- There is a lot of excitement in Forest Park for the future of the Warriors program, and for good reason. Let’s start with the fact that they have one of the best guards in Ohio in Greg Tribble (2019 PHO #19), who seems to add something new to his game every season. But Winton Woods also has one of the best kept secrets in the city with junior G/W Leroy Walker along with two of the better 2021 players in the city in W Demari Martin and G Montev Ware. All of which saw quality minutes at the varsity level last season. The Warriors should be fun to watch next season.
Withrow- Everyone I know who saw their JV team play said the same thing, “Some of these guys could help the varsity team now.” Well, a lot of those guys will get the chance to play with the big dogs due to the graduation of some key players. Among those players is guard Niles Whatley (2020), who flats out gets after it on the defensive end. Combine the influx of new talent with C Abba Lawal (2019 PHO #11) and W Mike Hill Jr. (2019), and the Tigers could surprise a lot of people around the city and possibly the state.