Posted On: 06/26/18 6:16 AM
Southview dominated the Northern Lakes League last season to the point that they drew statewide recognition as a top ten Division I team in the AP Poll at points throughout the year. Between the Cougars and crosstown rival Northview, the league ran through Sylvania this winter. In that regard, things may not be too different this coming year. But it’s the black and gold who may have an advantage with the likes of Ryan Fries and Christian Wagenhauser graduating.
Northview will take the NLL outright
This comes down to the backcourt for Northview. There’s few lead guards in the entire state more comfortable running their high school team’s offense than Alek West, who has been conducting the orchestra since sophomore year. He’s flanked by a pair of knockdown shooters in Sam Clear and Luke Pawlak. The rest will really take care of itself when you have three legitimate college prospects and experienced varsity players creating your shots.
Springfield will come in second
Since their sophomore years, this group of Springfield 2019 prospects has been taking their lumps and building chemistry in preparation for this year. It’s time for the Blue Devils to make their run and it will be spearheaded by the backcourt of Denzel Prince and Terrel Bryant. Both can create their own shot with athleticism and craft. Meanwhile, 6’6” forward Deon Key needs to solidify the interior for them to have an advantage over Northview.
First Team All NLL
- Alek West, 6’2” PG, Northview
- Denzel Prince, 6’1” G, Toledo Springfield
- Tehree Horn, 6’2” G, Soutview
- Max Denman, 6’4” W, Anthony Wayne
- Isaac Elsasser, 6’4” W, Bowling Green
A very perimeter oriented team is what we’re projecting. However, we’re not sleeping on Perrysburg and C2K Elite 6’7” forward Jackson Sizemore’s candidacy. There’s not a ton of size to combat Sizemore’s inside scoring touch.
Southview point guard Tyson King also just barely missed the cut. Although he’s undoubtedly one of the most influential players in the NLL because of how much of Southview’s offense is predicated on his passing, we don’t forecast him producing stats like the others.
Alek West will win the Player of the Year award
We hope the voters watch as many games as possible next season, because West’s influence on games is going to come in ways other than scoring. His value will show itself in the way he sets up teammates, truly controls pace, keeps Northview on the same page, and wins ball games.
This is Garett White’s breakout season
Garett White, a 6’8” center from Maumee who is playing grassroots ball with All Ohio Gold, should take a real step forward as a prospect this winter. His inside touch, body control, and ball skills still need major work. The holes in his game are why reps this winter are so crucial. White will impact games with raw size and should dominate the glass in a conference not noted for its athleticism. Also, Maumee would be wise to give him plenty of post touches because of their lack of options.
Isaac Elsasser will lead the NLL in scoring
The crafty 6’4” scorer from Bowling Green is a prototypical Division III prospect. Elsasser is able to get whatever shot he wants because of his outside stroke and pump-faking ability. Signs are pointing to him becoming an even more polished ball-handler, and therefore a more complete scorer. We expect Elsasser slightly over 20 points per game as a senior.