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Posted On: 06/6/18 9:59 PM
Photo Credit: E.L. Hubbard
The 2018-19 season is a huge question mark in the SWBL. It looks to be a season where one team (Madison) will be the most dominant throughout the two divisions. In addition, there seems to be several players that could compete for POY, but with none being truly dominant. With many players graduating from last season, this could be a tough season for several programs as they attempt to fill hue holes filled. Here are our 5 predictions for the SWBL for 2018-19.
1. Madison will be the true #1 team in the league
The Mohawks return 4 players that were all-SWBL last season. They are led by Grant Whisman (2020 PHO # 7), a 6’7” guard that can score the ball from almost anywhere. Levi McMonigle (2019) should improve from last year as he will have an entire season to show his potential after missing half the season last year due to OHSAA transfer rules. The Mohawks are clearly the top team in the league regardless of division and should have little issue defending their division title.
2. After Brookville, the Southwestern division is a wide open race
The Blue Devils seem to be the favorites in the Southwestern division with them returning a top notch backcourt, but the battle for 2nd place will truly be wide open. Franklin always finds a way to be competitive, but this year will be difficult as they lost 3 of their top 4 scorers from last season. Bellbrook returns all-SWBL players Caleb Scott (2019) and Hayden Greene (2019), but will need both players to step up into bigger roles if they are going to compete near the top of the SWBL again. Oakwood returns arguably the top 2020 prospect in the SWBL in Darren Rubin (2020 PHO # 78), but loses a large supporting cast, especially in the frontcourt.
3. Carlisle has options to replace Justin Flor
Justin Flor has been the top player for the Indians the last two seasons. With him graduating, Carlisle loses almost 20 points per game of scoring. The good news is Carlisle has two young options that can fill this void. Johnathan Shepherd (2020) was the second leading scorer behind Flor. He has shown he can score in high amounts (season high 23 points last season), but will need to be a more consistent scorer. In the frontcourt, Nolan Burney (2021) has potential to be a low post threat on both ends of the floor. If both players show improvement from last season, Carlisle could see themselves competing with Madison in the SWBL Buckeye.
4. Northridge could surprise some people this year
The Polar Bears finished 11-13 last season and tied for 3rd in the SWBL Buckeye division. With 5 of their top 6 scorers returning from last season, the Polar Bears will have the experience to compete in the wide open SWBL. Twon Hines (2019) is an under the radar prospect with a high ceiling. In the frontcourt, Charles Drewery (2019) is the top returnee and has the potential to average a double-double in 2018-19. A talented rebounder, Drewery especially is physical on the offensive end and gives Northridge a huge advantage on the offensive glass. If the Polar Bears can show more competitiveness against non-SWBL teams (4-8 against non-conference teams last year), they could surprise us come tournament time.
5. Eaton will win more than 1 game in 2018-19
There’s no way to go but up for Eaton in 2018-19. The Eagles lose all-SWBL player Grant Sullender, but return all but 3 players from their 1 win team last season. With many of the sophomores and freshman getting playing time last season, Eaton will go into 2018-19 with several pieces to help them. We see the Eagles winning in between 5-8 games in 2018-19.