Posted On: 11/1/19 2:15 PM
Ansonia- After a solid year in 2018-19, Ansonia will likely take a step back in 2019 as they lose one of their top guys in Hunter Muir. Muir played a role in all aspects of Ansonia’s game and that leadership will be hard to replicate. Senior Hunter Buckingham is back and will likely be leaned on as the go-to guy to replace Muir. Defense will be crucial for the Tigers if they are going to stay competitive in the CCC.
Botkins- The Trojans finished 11-12 a year ago and had glimpses of being a competitive team for the future. It all begins in junior Zane Paul and how far he can take them. If he can get some assistance on the offensive end, Botkins will have a chance to be a more competitive in the SCAL. That being said, I still see the Trojans struggling against the better defensive teams like Anna and Jackson Center.
Bradford- Not enough info
Springfield Catholic Central- Coach John Detling takes over a program that finished 22-4 and made a run to the Regional Semifinals last year. Unfortunately, all 5 starters are graduated as are their top 3 bench players. Overall inexperience is going to be a large concern as Detling rebuilds the Irish. Junior Joey Kampman and sophomore Patrick Kavanaugh will be leaned on, however they only appeared in a total of 5 games last season. Next season will be a struggle for sure.
Cedarville- 3 of the top 4 players are back for an Indians team that won 10 of their last 15 last season. Senior Colby Cross is one of the most dangerous players in the OHC and is ready to take Cedarville to the next level. Fellow guard Trent Koning played well last year with Cross last year and the two should be a dangerous duo. Keep an eye on junior Isaiah Ramey as he gives the Indians another weapon on the perimeter. After years of sitting near the bottom of the OHC, it is time for Cedarville to finally move up the ranks and compete for an OHC title.
Cincinnati Christian- Arguably the top team regardless of division in the MVC, Cincy Christian looks to be the team to beat not just in the conference but in Southwest Ohio in Division IV. Only 1 starter is gone from a 20-6 team that fell to Fort Loramie in the District Finals a year ago. The Cougars have one of the best and most unselfish backcourts in junior KJ Swain and sophomore Logan Woods. Other guards to watch are juniors Bryson Teague and Devin McKinnon. Senior Cameron Rogers will bring the leadership to the table as the 6’3 forward controls the paint for the Cougars. With so much talent and a fundamentally sound defense, it is no doubt Cincinnati Christian is considered to be one of the best teams in SW Ohio. We expect to see another Gray division title in 2019.
Cincinnati College Prep- Overall, CCP needs to improve in all aspects of their game. Defense especially needs to improve as they allowed nearly 80 points per game a year ago. With many teams in the conference depending on their offensive numbers, we need to see CCP drop their points allowed vastly. Senior Deonta Shields and sophomore Mark Smith will be the players to watch.
Covington- 2 of the top 3 players from last season’s 5-17 team are gone as Covington moves on and tries to move back up the ladder in the CCC. Andrew Cates is the top returning player and is part of several seniors that are coming back for the Buccs.
East Dayton Christian- Not enough info
Emmanuel Christian- Only 2 seniors are gone for a Lions team that finished 19-6 last season. Leading scorer Adonis Davis is graduated, but the next top 5 scorers are back and give Emmanuel Christian a chance of being the MBC champions in 2019-20. Fred Shropshire and Casey Swank bring senior leadership to the backcourt as well as junior Jason Channels. The Lions should have no issue on the glass and with depth. Showing this past season they could hang with some of the best in Dayton, we think Emmanuel Christian is an early favorite to win the MBC this upcoming season.
Fairlawn- The Jets could be a really special team in 2019-20 and is considered a dark horse in not just the SCAL but in the SW District in Division IV. All 5 starters are back for a team that finished 12-12, but was definitely a young team. Senior Isaac Ambos is the lone returning senior starter and was a key player last season, but it is junior Ashton Piper that gives this Jets team a chance of being special. As long as last years young players mature and improve, Fairlawn could give some of the higher up teams in the SCAL a challenge.
Fayetteville-Perry- The Rockets will have a new coach at the helm that will be taking over a program that finished 10-14. Several key pieces are gone from last season’s team for Fayetteville, but the cupboard is not completely bare. Senior Christopher Murphy returns and will likely be the focal point in the offense. Another name to watch will be senior Dalton Novak as he will be an interior threat with his size. The Rockets will need to improve on their defense as they allowed nearly 60 points per game last season. With Peebles and Whiteoak looking like the favorites to come out of the SHAC D2 division, Fayetteville more than likely looks like they will finish near the bottom of the division this year.
Felicity-Franklin- The Cardinals struggled a bit last season in the SBAAC, but have talent returning to allow them a chance to stay competitive in a deep National Division in the SBAAC. Two sophomores will be the top guys as Carson Crozier returns as the top returning scorer while Garrett Taulbee is back as the top rebounder from a year ago. The Cardinals were the best rebounding team from last season which will benefit them well with the size returning with the favorties in the SBAAC. That being said, there is a concern with their outside shooting as they shot 25% from beyond the arc a year ago. In addition, the Cardinals went 1-10 outside the conference. Although they bring back experience, it is difficult for us to see them challenging Blanchester or Clermont Northeastern, especially since they lost twice to both teams by double digits every time.
Fort Loramie- Coach Corey Britton continues to lead this Redskins team and continues to make Loramie a contender every year. 2019-20 will be a bit of a challenge as Britton loses several seniors from his starting lineup. Nick Brandewie is back and has the aggressiveness and toughness to carry this team and set the tempo early. In addition, a few incoming freshman will have a chance to make their marks early on. Ethan Keiser and Caleb Maurer will be names to watch in the future. If the supporting cast can help Brandewie and the Redskins can find some success against Anna and Jackson Center as they finished 0-5 against them for the season, I can see Loramie being a top 2 team in the SCAL.
Franklin-Monroe- Early in the preseason last year, we felt Franklin-Monroe had a real chance of being the CCC champion. Instead the Jets finished 12-9 and made a Cinderella run to the District Finals before falling to Jackson Center. Unfortunately, coach Troy Myers loses his top player in Ethan Conley as well as 4 other seniors. However, the cupboard is not completely bare. Sophomore Ky Cool and junior Jackson Crist will be back and will move from getting the ball to Conley to scoring themselves. This season will be a challenge as these guys adjust to new roles. Depth and inexperience will be obvious concerns.
Hillcrest- A trio of seniors are back to lead Hillcrest as they try and improve from their 2 wins in conference play a year ago. Antwane Grant, Genero Jackson, and Brian Holmes will be heavily relied on as Hillcrest competes near the bottom of the CMAC again.
Jackson Center- Coach Scott Elchert loses one all-league performer, but returns plenty of talent to win an outright SCAL title in 2019-20. Junior Aidan Reichert is a mismatch nightmare and will be one of the best players in the SCAL. Seniors Scott Elchert and Calvin Winner are back and ready to support a Tigers team that has shown they can make a deep run after playing in the Regional Finals last year. Keep an eye on freshman Camdyn Reese as he could be another key role guy if he plays varsity this year. With the talent coming back we predict JC will be the SCAL champions come March and could make another deep postseason run.
Jefferson Township- Expect struggles to continue at Jefferson as they lose a ton of talent from the year prior. 4 of their top 5 scorers are gone from a 3-18 team last year that struggled against the majority of the MBC. Janson Kincer will be their top returning player and should lead the scoring from the backcourt. D’Shawn Ferguson will be looked upon to provide support as he likely moves from a bench player to starting. With the Broncos struggling against conference foes last year and losing so much, we feel Jefferson to struggle yet again.
Legacy Christian- The Knights experienced a season to remember as they won their first MBC title and finished 20-4 last season. All was well until the Knights fell 49-46 to Newton in the sectionals. 2019 will be difficult to replicate however. 4 seniors are gone as well as Mike Sharavjamts and Roman Newsome, leaving 0 starters returning for the Knights. Junior Jonathan Riddle returns and should step into a different role in 2019-20. Interior play will be a huge issue as Legacy Christian may need this season to develop their players for the future. Expect a down year this season.
Lehman Catholic- The Cavaliers were the 3rd best team in the NWCC last year, but must replace 5 lettermen from that squad. Two upperclassmen return that will provide leadership and scoring to keep Lehman near the top of the conference. Senior Brendan O’Leary will run the offense and will have the services of junior combo guard Luke Frantz who has a chance to be 1st Team All-Conference player come March.
Lockland- The Panthers would like to forget about 2018-19, as they finished 4-19 and 2-13 in the league.
Miami Valley Christian Academy- Experience should not be an issue for MVC as they lose 3 guys from a year ago. Leading scorer Aaron McCoy is back as is fellow starter Gavin Bangert. The Lions were the best team in the MVC a year ago in regards to rebounds and can see improvement from their 10-14 season if they do that again in 2019. Defensive efficiency will need to improve as they allowed 60 points per game a year ago. We believe Miami Valley Christian is in position to move up the ladder slightly in the MVC, but they are not in a position to compete with CHCA for the division title.
Miami Valley- The Rams were a very up-and-down team in 2018-19. Beating teams like Emmanuel Christian and Dayton Christian, but being blown out by Legacy Christian and Clinton-Massie, MVS had good moments last year and also some rough patches. For 2019-20, the Rams bring back 3 of their top 5 scorers from a year ago. The guy to watch will be junior Pruthvi Choudary in the backcourt as he is one of several juniors MVS returns. The Rams have shown they can hang with some of the better teams in the MBC and should improve off their 9-13 season a year ago. They will need to find scoring in the post as almost all their returning scoring comes with their guards in the backcourt.
Middletown Christian- The Eagles did not have the greatest season last year, as they finished 5-16 and only won 3 games in MBC play. On reason for optimism is the talent returning as Middletown Christian loses only 1 senior from last season’s squad. The scoring will start in the backcourt with seniors C.J. Money and Alan Holtrey who were the top 2 scorers last year. We expect the Eagles to improve from their 5 wins, but their lack of height on the roster will make it difficult to compete in the MBC.
Mississinawa Valley- Miss Valley finished 10-11 last season and seems to be bringing back a decent amount of talent to continue to be a tough team in the CCC. In the backcourt, Max Dirmeyer is back as well as senior front court players Cody Dirksen and Blake Scholl. Offense needs to improve as they averaged 47 points per game last year. In addition, rebounding will be an area to watch. With frontcourt talent back, the Hawks could be a force on the glass.
New Miami- Last season’s Vikings team made a magical run all the way to the District Finals before falling to Springfield Catholic Central. This year’s team could potentially replicate this success as they return 3 of their top 6, which also make up their top 3 scorers from a year ago. The backcourt is leaded with juniors Jordan and Trey Robinette as well as Deanza Duncan. All 3 were double digit scorers a year ago and should replicate their offensive firepower that averaged over 60 points a game last year as a team. Depth will be an issue this year as well as interior play since most of their scoring comes from their guards. We expect New Miami to compete in the top 2 of the Gray division, but with the talent Cincinnati Christian has it will be difficult to compete for a title.
Newton- Not enough info
Oyler- Two of the top players from last year are graudated from an Oyler team that finished behind Gamble in the CMAC Blue Division. Senior Shamon Mitchem is the top guy back and will be relied on for leadership this season. The Hatmakers will need to get by Gamble Montessori as they lost both games a year ago by 20+ points.
Ripley- The Blue Jays will try to defend their SHAC D1 title, but lose quite a bit of talent from last season which will make things difficult for them in 2019-20. Of the returning players, senior Nigel Royal will be tasked with leading Ripley as they try and compete with the likes of North Adams and Eastern Brown. One of the best offensive teams last season, Ripley averaged 61 points per game last season and will need their returning support to compete if they are going to replicate their scoring again. Expect this season to be a bit of a down year as Ripley reloads their roster.
Riverside- The Pirates were hit hard with graduation after an 8-14 finish. Of the returning personnel, junior guard John Zumberger is the best player back, but doesn’t have much experience or upperclassmen to assist him. We expect another down year as Riverside finds new guys to depend on with Zumberger.
Russia- Coach Dave Borchers had a pretty nice rookie year under the helm leading the Raiders to a 16-9 finish last year. Repeating in 2019-20 will be quite the challenge. Russia loses 6 seniors, including 2 all-SCAL performers from last season. Mason Dapore will be the top returning player and will have to do a lot of the scoring for the Raiders as they try and compete with such talented defensive teams in the SCAL. If they can find a way to knock off the big 3 (Anna, Fort Loramie, and Jackson Center) and do better than 1-5 against these teams, Russia will have a chance to compete in the league.
SCPA- It’s a new year for SCPA as they lose all 5 starters from a team that won 2 games in the CMAC last year. Sophomore Jeremiah Neblett is the top returning scorer, but averaged 2 points per game last year. Inexperience will be the most glaring issue as SCPA rebuilds and looks for their young players to mold into leaders and develop into a more competitive team in the CMAC.
Southeastern- Trojans fans will adjust to life after Charlie Bertemes as he and his double-double average from last season are now graduated. He and 2 other starters are gone and with them is half of the Trojans scoring output. Senior forward Bryce Grim is back and will now give Southeastern a double-double weapon as he leads the charge in the post. In addition, Cooper Bair will look to improve in his sophomore campaign and look to duplicate Bertemes’ success. We see Southeastern being a team that sits near the middle of the OHC South this season.
St. Bernard- Leading scorer T.J. Grove is back but, St. Bernard loses 4 of their top 5 from a team that finished 7-16 and never got their footing in the MVC. Grove was also the leading rebounder last season and should be the go to guy this season. Offensively St. Bernard averaged less than 50 points per game which will need to be vastly improved for them to climb out of the basement of the MVC. We know rebounding will not be an issue because of Grove as is their post defense, however several guards from a year ago are now gone and will need replaced. If they can find quality guys to step up, we think St. Bernard could jump Cincinnati Country Day in the conference standings.
Tri-County North- The Panthers finished near the bottom of the CCC last season and this upcoming season could be worse. A senior laden team last year, TCN graduates 7 from their team. Junior Dylan Stinson comes back and will be the go-to guy early on. Inexperience and depth will be issues early on but the defense will especially have to improve after allowing 63 points per game last year. 2019-20 could be a rebuilding year for the Panthers.
Tri-Village- Not enough info
Troy Christian- Coach Ray Zawadzki loses 2 starters from last season’s 16-8 team. Leading scorer Isaac Gray is back as is 6’4 forward Brady Clawson who led the team in rebounding last season. The Eagles departed starters were arguably the Eagles top players overall last season. Defense is what TC has depended on in the past and is where the Eagles will excel in 2019-20. Our concern will be scoring as they are losing almost half their scoring output from 2018-19. Troy Christian will be a top team in the MBC this season, but their lack of depth will be what hurts them in a race with Emmanuel Christian.
Twin Valley South- Last season’s Panthers team had an extremely successful season. A 19-3 finish was quite impressive and allowed TVS to win the Cross County Conference. Coach Tony Augspurger will have a difficult time repeating, as he loses his top 3 players from last season, including Willie Bowman. Senior Cole Peterson is back and will be relied on heavily next year. With much of the scoring graduated, TVS will need to find new guys to fill the voids if they are to compete in the CCC again.
Yellow Springs- Last season would be a year Bulldogs fans would wish to forget after an ugly 5-17 finish. Several seniors, including leading scorer Andrew Clark have graduated, leaving plenty of young talent to fill the empty void. Sophomores DeAndre Cowen and Dimitri Wallace are back and will be looked upon to be scoring leaders in 2019-20. With so much youth being asked to step into larger roles, the next 1-2 seasons could be learning years for the Bulldogs. However, this could be a team that challenges in the future in the MBC. As for now, expect struggles to continue.
Beallsville- Not enough info
Beaver Eastern- The Eagles were looking like one of the best teams in SE Ohio in Division III last season before falling in the sectionals to Chesapeake 58-49. Now Eastern loses 6 seniors including 3 of their top 4 scorers from that 22-2 team and will look to reload their roster in 2019. Senior Hunter Cochenor is the primary scoring option returning and will need to play at a very high level for the Eagles to improve. With 4 seniors back total next season, Eastern won’t be completely out of talent, however finishing with 22 wins again is going to be far more difficult to do this time around.
Berlin Hiland- A state runner-up finish is never a bad thing to hang one’s head about. The Hawks made a run all the way to the Division IV state final before hitting a wall that was Convoy Crestview in the final. 5 seniors are gone from that team, but Hiland has some talent back that make them a contender in the IVC again and a team to watch in the Districts. 6’0 senior forward Sam Haberger is back and will be the focal point of the offense from the interior. Junior William Schlabach is a name to watch in the backcourt. The cupboard isn’t completely bare for the Hawks. Although their departing seniors scored a lot on the offensive end, it is the defense where Hiland makes their mark. If they can continue to be a force on the defensive end as well as have their underclassmen step up this year, Hiland will have little issues defending their conference title.
Bishop Rosecrans- The Bishops are bringing almost everyone back from a 21-4 team that fell to eventual state runner-up Berlin Hiland last season. This is a team that offensively is sound, scoring 50+ points in all but 4 games last year. Junior Weston Nern will be the leader for the Bishops and they could be a favorite to make a deep run come March.
Bridgeport- Not enough info
Caldwell- Last season was an up-and-down year for the Redskins as they battled their way to a 10-11 season before falling to Berlin HIland in the sectionals. 4 seniors are gone and not much experience is back for Caldwell as they look to try and improve in the PVC this season. 5’9 senior Andrew Gregg is the lone returning senior from last season and will have the leadership passed to him. Keep an eye also on sophomore Josh Moni. Varsity inexperience will be an issue for the Redskins as they try and compete.
Conotten Valley- The Rockets lose 3 All-District performers from a 4 win season a year ago. Many of the returning players are guards and as a result not much variety in size. However, the Rockets return 6’7 senior Jakob Rosenbohm who could be a dark horse in the IVC if he continues to improve his offensive game. Gavin Pyles is one of the few guards returning, but Conotton has to do a better job of just competing in the conference if they are going to improve.
Corning Miller- Last season was a year to forget if you are a Falcons fan as Miller won only one game last year. While they return some upperclassmen from that team, The Falcons are far from being a contender in the TVC. Senior Colby Bartley was the leading scorer last season and will be accompanied in the backcourt by junior Blayton Cox. Miller struggled on the defensive end giving up 66 points per game last year.
Crooksville- Last season’s Ceramics squad struggled immensely in the MVL, finishing winless in what ended up being a tough league. While losses to John Glenn and Sheridan aren’t ones to lose sleep over, it is worth losing sleep when the team’s defense ranked last in points allowed for the season. Giving up 66 points per game last year, the Ceramics have to improve that aspect if they are going to compete in the Muskingum Valley League this season.
Fairfield- The Lions should be much improved in 2019-20 as they lose only 2 seniors from an 11-12 team that fell in the District Semifinals. Led by senior Bryson Simmons, the Lions will have plenty of upperclassmen back that should give the Lions the advantage in tight SHAC matchups. James Bentley will give Fairfield a big man in the post while Ethan Saunders will accompany Simmons as primary scoring options along with senior Wyatt Willey. The Lions will need to find a way to get past Whiteoak and Peebles if they are going to compete in the SHAC D2 division. Whiteoak dominated Fairfield twice by double digits while Peebles defeated the Lions twice as well by a combined 3 points.
Federal Hocking- The Lancers are returning quite a bit of talent from their 6-18 season last year but we aren’t sure if there is enough back for a deep run in the TVC. Juniors Hunter Smith and Collin Jarvis are back and will be depended on heavily for the Lancers. With the best talent residing in the 2021 class, Federal Hocking is likely a year away from being a tough team in the conference. Offensively they must improve after averaging 49 points per game last year.
Frontier- The Cougars had zero seniors on roster last season and return everyone from an 11-12 team last season. Leading the charge is 6’4 senior Logan Brookover. The Cougars struggled last season in PVC play winning only twice. With the experience coming back, they must improve and find ways to compete in 2019-20. If they can do this, they could be a dark horse to watch.
Glenwood- Last season was a year to remember for the Tigers as they roared all the way to the Regional Finals before absolutely being destroyed by Berlin Hiland. The 2019-20 season has potential to be just as successful as Glenwood returns talent capable of making another deep run. Junior Kyle Sexton is the top returning scorer for the Tigers and emerged as arguably their best player last season. Sophomore Grady Jackson also returns and will step into a larger role this season. The Tigers also received great news when they welcomed South Webster transfer junior Tanner Voiers over the summer. The Tigers averaged 68 points per game last season and Sexton and Jackson were 2 of the top 3 scorers on that team. If they continue their scoring outputs, plus keep opponents under 60 points per game, they could win the SOC and challenge for a District title in Division IV.
Green- The Bobcats fell in the tournament 59-56 to Whiteoak, thus ending their 14-9 season. The good news is senior Gage Sampson is back and was the leading scorer last season. The bad news is the next 4 scorers were seniors and are now graduated. Sampson won’t have a ton of options to help him on the offensive end which will hurt Green early on, as will questions how well defensively they are as well. Expect this to be a struggle early in the season to figure things out.
Huntington- The Huntsmen were riding a 6 game winning streak before falling to West Union in the postseason 42-39. 2019-20 is going to be tough to repeat this feat as they lose multiple seniors from last season. Most of the talent returning is in the backcourt and will be led by senior Seth Beeler. Competing with the likes of Adena and Zane Trace will be difficult, but they showed they could hang with either teams as they knocked off Adena during the season. More than likely the Huntsmen are going to finish close to their 10-13 mark from last season.
Ironton St. Joseph- Not enough info
Lucasville Valley- The Indians were playing their best basketball by the end of the season last year, winning 5 of their last 6 games before falling to Albany Alexander 47-40 in the Districts. 2 All-District players are gone from last season but the Indians still have a few guys to keep them in it. Seniors Kayden Mollette and Mason Zaler are a 1-2 punch that will guide Lucasville through the gauntlet that is the SOC this season. One area of concern is secondary scoring options when Mollette and Zaler cannot lead. While last season’s postseason run was impressive, we do not see another one happening this year.
Malvern- A 16-7 finish is never a bad thing to complain about. For Malvern, last season was a solid year but they must continue to get better as they have a chance to be one of the top teams in the IVC this year. 1 All-District player had graduated, but junior Johnny Browning was one of the better scorers a year ago and is back. Senior Kenneth Martin and junior Derk Hutchinson will accompany Browning and will form a solid core for Malvern. Defense was a strong point as the Hornets allowed 50+ in 9 games last season. This is a team that could make some noise if they are playing their best basketball come February.
Manchester- Greyhound fans will want to forget last season’s 4-19 finish for Manchester as they try to rebound and improve in 2019. They will rely heavily on sophomore Isaiah Scott, who will give them size and a threat on the glass. With not much talent around him however, it will be difficult for the Greyhounds to compete with the higher powers in the SHAC D2 division. If Manchester can improve on the defensive end and be more consistent during the season, they may be able to compete with Fayetteville. Otherwise, this season looks to be another struggling season.
Monroe Central- The Seminoles struggled last season, winning only 1 game in PVC play. Defensively they struggled against conference foes, allowing 60+ points per game. Their best player returning is a sophomore in Malachi Rose-Burton. Although he’s a talented athlete, we question if there is enough supporting cast around him for the Seminoles to climb out of the basement of the PVC this year.
Notre Dame- The Titans won only 2 games last season and struggled throughout the year. While only 2 players departed with graduation, Notre Dame still fielded multiple sophomores and freshman last season. 2 seniors will be leaned on this year and give the Titans options in the backcourt and frontcourt in Christian Alvarez and Xavier Shepherd. With the amount of young players still on roster, we do not expect this team to be anywhere close to being a conference contender in the SOC, but the youth that are now juniors and sophomores will at least have more experience at the varsity level and win more than 2 games.
Paint Valley- The Bearcats were on a downward spiral to end last season, losing their last 5 games of the season after beating a tough Unioto team. Not much talent has departed and the Bearcats have some size returning. Senior forwards Bryce Newland and Judson Bevan are both 6’4 and will be rebounding threats for Paint Valley. If the guard play can play up to par, this could be a dangerous team. Defense is going to have to improve regardless however as they allowed 61 points per game last season. Too many teams in the conference have offensive firepower for the Bearcats to slack off.
Peebles – The Indians fell in a tough game 57-55 to Glouster Trimble to end what was a decent season for Peebles. A 15-9 finish isn’t too shabby and a SHAC D2 title is a plus as well. 2019-20 could be a repeat as the Indians return a plethora of talent for coach Josh Arey. Senior Weston Browning is one of the best point guards in Southeast Ohio and could compete for Player of the Year honors. Junior Oakley Burba will also return in the backcourt and 6’2 guard will form one of the top backcourts in the SHAC with Browning. The Indians also added Whiteoak transfer Hunter Ruckel to thus deepen their talent pool. Interior play will be a question mark, but senior Kyle Lightner should help relieve some of the stress there. With a solid core returning, this Peebles squad could defend their title if they can continue to rely on their solid defense which allowed 52 points per game last season.
Portsmouth Clay- The Panthers will be without their top 3 scorers from last season and their 6-16 finish. Clay struggled throughout the season with competing within the Southern Ohio Conference, losing many games by double digits. Of the returning talent, junior Clay Cottle will be the name worth watching. Senior Reece Whitley will be the interior threat but the lack of experience and scoring will be an issue we feel is too much to overcome.
Racine Southern- The Tornadoes lose 4 All-District players from a 12-10 team last year. The lack of experience will be an issue for Southern as we do not expect them to repeat this feat.
Reedsville Eastern The Eagles finished barely under .500 with an 11-12 finish on the year. Last season’s leading scorer Garrett Barringer is back and ready to lead the Eagles in his final high school season.
Sciotoville East- The Tartans struggled immensly last season, finishing 5-18 and losing their top 3 scorers for this year. Senior Austin Smith returns and will use his 6’3 stature to be the interior threat for the Tartans, but we have questions on how their guard play will be. In addition, this is a team that allowed 71 points per game last season, including allowing 106 points against Glenwood. The defense must improve if they are to compete, however we feel this season will be a rebuilding year.
Shadyside- Not enough info
Shenandoah- The Zips lose 3 seniors from last season’s runner-up team in the PVC. The backcourt is going to be quite good with the return of senior Kendal Sherman and junior Christian Duniver running the show. The Zeps also have some size in the junior class with 2 guys standing over 6’4. One of the best defensive teams last year in the conference, Shenandoah has an opportunity to pass Fort Frye in the conference ranks if they can continue their defensive prowness and can take care of business against the Cadets, who were the only team in the PVC to defeat them.
South Gallia- The Rebels lose 2 All-District players from their 14-10 season. In order for South Gallia to compete they will need to replace their departed scoring options. The Rebels kept a bunch of games close last year, but they will need a more explosive offense in order to move up the rankings.
South Webster- The Jeeps were a solid group last year, finishing 13-11 and beating Waverly and Glenwood during the season. With 2018 now in the rear view mirror, focus turns to 2019-20 where the Jeeps have some talent coming back that will allow them to compete near the top of the conference. Senior Braden Bockway is the top returning scorer. One guy worth watching for the future is sophomore Trae Zimmerman. The Jeeps were the 2nd highest scoring team in the SOC last season and should continue their dominance this season. With some teams in the SOC having height, we are concerned if South Webster will be able to contain the glass.
Strasburg-Franklin- The Tigers lose an astonishing 5 All-District players from a team that finished 19-7 and made it to the District Finals before falling to Berlin HIland for the 3rd time that season. Much of the size and scoring are gone and only 3 seniors will be back on this season’s team. Art Plaza will be the name to watch but inexperience and youth could be early issues. We don’t expect another 19 win season as 2019-20 could be a learning year for the Tigers.
Symmes Valley- The Vikings may have finished below .500 for the season last year, but the potential and talent returning makes things quite exciting for 2019-20. It starts with senior Jack Leith who is arguably their top player and best rebounding threat. He and his brother junior Luke Leith are a solid 1-2 tandem that will be better this season. Throw in junior Drew Scherer and you have a solid nucleus for Symmes Valley. This is a team that had moments of being a strong contender as they narrowly lost to Glenwood and also defeated Western. If they can play as a unit from the beginning, this could be a dark horse team worth watching in the SOC.
Toronto- After finishing undefeated in the EOAC a year ago, the Red Knights will look a little different in 2019-20. 3 of the top 4 guys are gone and about half the roster has graduated. Unlike other teams in the EOAC, Toronto has some size coming back and should be able to be one of the better rebounding teams in the conference. Lucas Gulczynski is the top player returning and at 6’3, will be the force to battle with in the paint. He should vastly improve off of his 2nd Team All-Conference finish from a year ago. Don’t expect another undefeated season next year, but Toronto isn’t completely out of the race with their losses.
Trimble- One of the top defensive teams last season in the TVC, the Tomcats return basically everyone from a 19-4 team last year. A senior led team, Trimble has a name worth watching in sophomore Blake Guffey. After making the District finals last year, Trimble has the talent to do it yet again. Seniors Brayden Weber and Cameron Kittle are going to be names to watch and will be leaders for the Tomcats.
Tuscarawas Central Catholic- The Saints lose 3 All-District performers from a team that finished around .500 a year ago. Senior Bradyn Nossbaum and junior Ryan Dick are back and will be the focal points for TCC this upcoming season. Losing several All-District players will not be easy to come back from, but the Saints shouldn’t drop too far off with the talent back.
Waterford- 2 of the top 3 scorers from last season are gone for a Waterford team that finished 17-7 a year ago. Replacing the scoring will be a top priority, but not as important as maintaining a defense that allowed a conference low 46 points per game last season. As long as the Wildcats can keep these intact, they will compete in the top of the TVC yet again.
Whiteoak- Last season did not go the way coach Blake Kibler would have wanted as his Wildcats finished 12-13 and although they found some wins in the tournament, couldn’t find a way to get it done. A large amount of seniors are gone, but plenty of talent still remains. Seniors Deavin Cumberland will bring senior leadership and talent to the Wildcats, but they lose Hunter Ruckel who transfers over to Peebles this year. Another guy worth noting is sophomore Bradley Ashbaugh who stepped up and ran the point for Whiteoak last season. As long as the Wildcats can have some support from their bench and have alternative options to assist Ashbaugh in the backcourt, Whiteoak could be a top 2 team in the SHAC this season. Fairfield and Peebles will provide tough challenges.
Andrews Osborne Academy- The Phoenix flew a little under the radar last year finishing 15-7 and competing in many of their games. A nice plethora of guys are returning including some size with 4 guys over 6’2. Senior Brandon Charles is the top returning player and at 6’6 is the tallest player back. Finding a go-to scorer will be the biggest task for the Phoenix, but they have shown they can compete and can make a little noise this March.
Ashtabula St. John- The Fighting Herald are losing 2 All-District players from their squad last season, but have several juniors that have been on varsity since their freshmen year. Experience shouldn’t be a problem, but the guy worth watching isn’t even an upperclassmen. Sophomore John Castrilla is going to be one of the best players on this team next season and will have an opportunity to make a name for himself over the next few seasons.
Bloomfield- The Warriors are bringing back everyone from a 10-13 finish a season ago. While mostly a guard oriented team, Bloomfield does have some size returning that will be competitive, but they will need one of their returning guys to become a more consistent scoring threat if they are going to pass over Bristol.
Bristol- While the Panthers lose some leadership with the departure of 4 seniors from a 20+ win team, there is plenty of talent returning that makes us believe Bristol is a favorite in the NAC Stripes Division. Of the returning talent, 6’4 senior Matt Church is the top guy back and gives Bristol a solid inside presence, but Bristol will need their guards to step up and be able to feed Church the ball for them to be successful.
Chalker- The Wildcats lose their top player from a season ago, but return quite a bit of talent. Chalker will have more size than other NAC teams as they have 3 players 6’2 or taller returning. Defense overall has to improve as the Wildcats gave up quite a bit of points a year ago.
Cornerstone Christian- After a Division IV State Runner-Up finish in 2017-18, the Patriots took a major slump winning only 2 games last season. Much of their talent from that 2nd place team graduated and left some voids that Cornerstone didn’t fill. This season they return a few guys in junior Timmy Huffman and senior Daniel McQueen that should help keep from another 2 win season, but we aren’t sure if the Patriots are ready to jump back into contention just yet.
Cuyahoga Heights- Only 1 All-District player is gone for Redskins after a 14-8 finish a year ago. Plenty of talent is back, especially in the senior class. Ryan Selig and Sam Shafer will provide leadership and perimeter play for the Redskins as they look to contend in the CVC. Kyle Polack is a player to watch as well. Cuyahoga Heights doesn’t have a ton of height which will hurt in conference play, but should still be a tough team regardless.
Dalton- The Bulldogs were a young team last year with 11 sophomores and freshmen on the roster. Now with more experience, Dalton has some serious firepower that should allow them to compete for a Wayne County League title. Sophomore Jalen Wenger is arguably their top player and will compete for Player of the Year honors. He will be accompanied by seniors Joey Dalessandro and Tyler Baer who will provide seniors leadership and outside scoring threats.
David Anderson- This Blue Devils team loses only 2 guys from last year’s 11-12 team that finished .500 in the EOAC. One guy to keep an eye on will be senior Kaden Crawford as he will be the tallest player on their roster at 6’4. This will be a guard heavy roster led by junior Ryan McCullough, but the Blue Devils were competitive in the conference last year, including taking a very good Toronto team to OT. Although we are concerned with the lack of height on the roster, this should still be an exciting season for the Blue Devils.
Fairport Harding- The Skippers will want to forget last season’s rough year after going winless in the CVC and only winning 2 games during the year. Not many guys are departed from the team and they will rely on seniors Justice Bartley and Hunter Barks during the year. Still though, this is a team that will need to improve on the defensive end as they were defeated by double digits in all but 1 of their losses in 2018-19.
Heartland Christian- Not enough info
Hillsdale- The Falcons would like to forget last season’s 4 win finish that saw them be near the bottom of the Wayne County League. Senior Carston Betson is back but will need other help for Hillsdale to climb the ladder out of the bottom of the league.
Independence- The Blue Devils finished a few games below .500 last season, but return a plethora of seniors that should make this squad better than a year ago. Wyatt Flynn was one of the leading scorers a year ago and will anchor the paint with his 6’4 size. Jake Mitrisin will man the perimeter and will be accompanied by sophomore Kyle Zygmunt. For there to be success in 2019-20, Independence will need to show a more competitive side in CVC play and find a way to defeat teams in the middle of the pack.
Jackson-Milton- The Blue Jays had an rough year last season, finishing 3-20 and struggled on the offensive end, averaging 45 points per game. They don’t lose a ton of guys from last season, returning junior Mason Robison as their top guy. Don’t expect a much different look in 2019-20 as the Blue Jays will still struggle in the MVAC.
Kidron Central Catholic- The Comets have a nice dependable group of seniors returning after a 9-11 finish last year. Guys to watch will be Reed Miller, Isaac Troyer, and Dylan Bonner. This is a team that likes to play slower and can compete while only putting up 50 points in a game. Speeding up the game and defending hard will be how teams get by.
Kinsman Badger- The Braves were 19-6 a season ago, but lose 7 seniors from their team a year ago. 5’8 senior guard Logan Lendak is back, but with much of their roster coming back under 6’0, we have concerns with how they will perform against some of the bigger teams in the NAC this season.
Lake Center Christian- One of the nicer offensive teams a year ago, LCC struggled still, finishing 9-13 on the year. While this was a team that could score in bunches, they were most vulnerable in low scoring games, struggling when the game was kept below 60. If they can improve on their record and consistently score 65+, this could be a team worth watching this season.
Lake Ridge Academy- The Royals were a very young team last season, with 8 freshmen on their roster. The inexperience showed as the Royals were defeated in a bunch of their games. While plenty of sophomores will mean another year of struggles, the Royals have some seniors that will provide them with leadership for the upcoming season. Austin Bramhall and Matt South are the guy to watch and will be the floor generals this upcoming year.
Leetonia- Last season was a year Bears’ fans would like to forget. After a 3-20 year, the only place to go is up. This will be difficult however since the Bears lose their top 2 players from last season. Junior guards Jorden Baker and Ian Davis will be looked upon for leadership, but neither were high scorers a year ago. This Leetonia team scored just under 50 points per game and will need new names to take over the responsibilities. Expect a rough year next season.
Lordstown- Offensive efficiency was a glaring issue for the Red Devils as they slumped to win only 2 games last year. With some of the other teams in the NAC returning so much depth, staying compeititve is going to be tough for Lordstown, who may need to struggle again this season.
Lowellville- The Rockets were solid last year finishing 18-7 and a 3rd place finish in the MVAC. Repeating this feat is going to be really difficult as they lose 3 All-League performers from last year. The talent coming back just won’t be enough to repeat this feat and as a result will see Lowellville having a bit of a down year.
Maplewood- The Rockets lose their top guy from a year ago and will be a mostly underclassmen team yet again. Lack of size and low offensive efficiency are 2 glaring issues and could hold Maplewood back.
Mathews- 2 of the top guys from last season’s 12-11 team are back, but quite a bit of senior graduation hurts the Mustangs as they look to reload this season. The backcourt will be led by 6’3 senior Tyler Roscoe and junior Vinny Sharp. Frontcourt play will be an early issue as the Mustangs looks to stay competitive.
McDonald- One of the better offensive teams in the MVAC last season, McDonald has some guys coming back that should allow them to continue to be a top tier team in the conference. Senior Zach Rasile and junior Jake Portolese are just those guys and help alleviate some of stress of trying to compete. The Blue Devils went 1-5 against teams ahead of them in the MVAC. They will need to find a way to take care of business against them.
Mogadore- Last year’s Regional Finalist fell to Lutheran East 61-53 to end their postseason run. 4 seniors are gone from last year, but a large amount of guys return making the Wildcats one of the most experienced teams in the PTC. With plenty of guys over 6’0, Mogadore will be a tough team to defend on the glass and could make some noise this postseason.
Newbury- The Black Knights lost quite a bit of experience from last season with this past graduating class. Almost all of the talent leaving was in the backcourt. Senior Noah Arnold will be the guy worth watching and will have big shoes to fill. This is going to likely be a rebuilding year for Newbury.
Open Door Christian- Not enough info
Richmond Heights- The Spartans were undefeated in the CVC last season with all but 1 win being by double digits. 2019-20 will likely be a repeat as the Spartans return a ton of talent, especially in their senior class. Gbolahan Adio will be a more perimeter threat while 6’5 forwards Anthony Maxie and Jevontae Jones will be the inside forces. In addition, Richmond Heights adds sophomore sensation Josiah Harris who transfers over from GlenOak. His addition give the Spartans an even deeper pool of athleticism and scoring potential that cannot be matched in the CVC. Their size and talent is enough that Richmond Heights is likely the favorite to win a state title in Division IV this year.
Rittman- The Indians were a senior laden team a year ago and now must begin the process of rebuilding and trying to compete with the likes of Northwestern and Norwayne in the Wayne County League. Senior Kyle Scheibe is just one guy coming back but inexperience is going to be an issue very early on.
Salineville Southern- The Indians have high hopes for 2019-20 as they bring back their top 2 players from a team that finished above .500 and competed with several higher tiered EOAC teams. Seniors Cam Grodhaus and Jayce Sloan are the 2 go-to guys and give the Indians an inside and outside weapon. This was a team that won many close games and didn’t have a ton of blowout losses. Their competitiveness will be tough to match.
Sebring McKinley- The Trojans are losing only 1 player from last season and return a lineup of mostly juniors and seniors this upcoming season. While their one departure was also an all-MVAC performer, the experience coming back will make this team worth watching. Senior Gabe Lanzer will take over the leadership and should be a big time scoring threat as well. The Trojans need to set the tone early in the year and get a headstart on league play.
Valley Christian- The Eagles were a solid defensive team to watch last year and have enough coming back to continue this dominance. Seniors Lohron Brown and Scott Hornbuckle Jr. are both back and will provide a nice duo in the backcourt this upcoming season. One of the biggest issues will be size and how the Eagles defend and attack through the post.
Warren John F Kennedy- The Eagles had moments of struggles last year as they were one of the younger teams in the North Coast League. While they will have more experience this upcoming season, they still are not in a position yet to contend in the North Coast League. Junior Cam Hollobaugh is the top guy back. Offense will have to improve as the Eagles scored less than 50 points per game last season.
Wellsville- The Tigers finished 14-10 and bring back 2 of their top 3 players from last season’s 14-10 finish. Senior interior player Justin Wright is back and will be accompanied by junior guard Lucas Green. Wellsville struggled at times last year, including a 3-5 finish in February. However they have plenty of experience returning as they will be senior heavy this season. Expect another good season in 2019-20, but they will go as far as Wright and Green can carry them.
Western Reserve- For the Devils, the only place to go is up as they try and rebound from a 4-18 finish last year. 2 All-League performers have graduated and leaves senior Todd Henning to be the floor general. There were a few close games last year, but the main theme was an inability to score in high levels as the Devils averaged 47 points on the season. If they want any chance of climbing the MVAC ladder, they must find a way to put the ball in the basket and finish out some of these close conference games.
Windham- The Bombers were another young team in the NAC finishing 11-13 on the year. With many freshmen on the roster a year ago, Windham will again be a younger squad and may continue to struggle while they work things out. One of their standout sophomores is Bert Jones who is one of the few forwards coming back.
Berne Union- The Rockets return a solid core from a Regional Semifinalist last season and should see improvement in MSL Cardinal play. Junior Brock Unger will be the focal point for Berne Union this season. Senior guard Chase McCartney also returns and will form a formidable duo for the Rockets. Berne Union did a decent job on the defensive end, allowing 60+ points in 6 games with 2 being against state champion Harvest Prep.
Cardington- The Pirates return their top 3 scorers from a year ago, but do not have a ton of support to surround them. The bench play is another area of improvement and concern. Juniors Trey Brininger and Avery Harper are the top guys back and will have senior leadership from Danny Vaught. If the Pirates can find additional guys, we expect them to improve off their 3 wins the year prior. That being said, we do not expect Cardington to be a top team in the KMAC.
Danville- After a below .500 finish a year ago, Danville will find themselves in a tough spot to start 2019-20. The top 4 scorers are gone from that team and the Blue Devils will need to find new personnel to fill the missing voids. With the struggles this team went through a year ago, it’s hard to see them showing much improvement and being competitive in the conference.
Delaware Christian- Not enough info
East Knox- The top scorer is back for the Bulldogs, but little support means this season could be a struggle for East Knox. Junior Weston Melick is back for another year and should be a name to watch after averaging 14 points per game last season. If Melick can get support and the other Bulldog players can step up into new roles, East Knox could rise the ranks in a depleted KMAC in 2019-20.
Fairfield Christian- Offensive output was not a strong point for the Knights however they return their leading scorer in sophomore Jared Rose. With seniors Blaine Keener and Cameron Collins also returning the Knights will be a more formidable opponent in the MSL Cardinal.
Fisher Catholic- For the Fighting Irish to have a fighting chance, they will need some of their bench support from a year ago to step up and increase their roles. Senior Bryson Vogel is back but does not have a ton of high scoring potential around him. The 6’4 Vogel will be the focal point for the Irish, but if they cannot find the supporting cast, Fisher Catholic will not be able to advance deeper than the Districts.
Grandview Heights- If there is one team that directly benefitted from competitive balance, it was the Bobcats. After reaching the Regional Semifinals in Division III the year prior, Grandview now prepares for life in Division IV with much of their roster intact. The Bobcats bring back true inside weapon Luke Lachey and his 6’7 frame. Include last year’s leading scorer Brian Collier and you have one of the best 1-2 punches in the MSL Ohio. Defense is a strong point for this team as allowed 50+ points in only 7 games a year ago. With the move down, Grandview is arguably the favorite out of Central Ohio for Division IV this year.
Granville Christian- Not enough info
Grove City Christian- The Eagles finished 5-18 last season and frankly struggled against many of the top teams in Central Ohio in Division III. 7 of the top 8 players from that team are back and should see some improvement in MSL Cardinal play. Seniors Brayden Holbrook and Garrett Baker are the top returning scorers and are going to be the guys leaned the most heavily on. The Eagles played last season with a 7-8 guy rotation and should see improvement as long as they can be more competitive against MSL competition.
Madison Christian- Not enough info
Millersport- The Lakers will want to forget about last season as they finished winless in the MSL Buckeye division. The top 3 scorers are back from the prior season, but neither averaged more than 10 points per game. Lack of consistent offense will make life quite difficult for Millersport as they will be unable to compete with some of tougher opponents in the league this year. Keep an eye on juniors Mason Purvis and Carter Purvis this year.
Newark Catholic- The Green Wave lose 3 of their top 4 scorers from a year ago and will try and replicate their District Semifinal run the year prior. One of the highest scoring offenses in the Licking Valley League a year ago, the Wave will not have an assortment of scoring options in 2019-20. Senior Connor Roesink is the top scoring option back but with little experience back, we find it difficult for Newark Catholic to be back in the District tournament again.
Northside Christian- Not enough info
Patriot Prep Academy- Not enough info
Ridgedale- 5 seniors graduate for the Rockets, including their top scoring threat from a year ago. That being said, Ridgedale still has a double digit scoring threat in senior Clayton Lust, who also is one of the better shooters in the Northern 10 Conference. Interior play and rebounding will be the biggest issues for the Rockets.
Shekinah Christian- Not enough info
Tree of Life Christian- Not enough info
Wellington School- The Jaguars finished 13-10 and took an exit in the Sectional finals. Last season’s leading scorer is now gone meaning new leadership and scoring will need to emerge. Fortunantly, the cupboard is full of talent. Junior Marcus Stewart and senior Connor Herrick both averaged double-digit score totals a year ago and will be leaded upon for scoring on the perimeter. Elijah Meredith will be the top post player and is part of a pretty deep frontcourt that includes six guys over 6’0. Wellington has the talent to compete with Harvest Prep and Rosecrans in the MSL Cardinal.
Ada- The Bulldogs will look to improve off of their 7 win season a year ago. 4 of the top 6 players are graduated and unfortunately most of their size is gone as well. Senior guards Phillip Coulson and Zac Swaney return, but with many teams returning height, it is going to be difficult for Ada to stay competitive against the rest of the Northwest Conference.
Antwerp- The Archers were a nice looking team last season, playing very well outside of the Green Meadows Conference. One of the better defensive teams, Antwerp does lose 2 All-District players from last season, but bring back so quality guys that could keep the Archers relevant. Sophomore Jagger Landers is an under-the-radar type of player and at 6’6 is one of the biggest (literally) secrets in Northwest Ohio. Senior Jayvin Landers is one of several returning seniors and like Jagger, brings size to the Archers at 6’5. Expect Antwerp to be a competitive team in the GMC, but will go as far as the Landers’ are able to take them.
Arcadia- The Redskins struggled quite a bit a year ago, and must now replace their top 2 players from a 2 win team. Almost all of their size is gone and coming back is mostly guards. Seniors Justen Stoner and Hayden Rader are going to be leaned on for leadership and will likely be the top scoring options for the Redskins. How this team rebounds and replaces their size will determine how well they can do on the season.
Arlington- The Red Devils played quite well a year ago, finishing 18-6 before being defeated by Columbus Grove 52-45 in the tournament. That being said, 3 All-District performers are gone from that team and now begs the question if Arlington has enough in the cupboard to stay relevant in the BVC. The Red Devils are paced by a solid senior duo of 5’9 guard Jaret Vermillion and 6’2 Ty Webb. Arlington also brings back several contributing juniors from a year ago that should provide more experience. Defense was a strong point last season and will be relied on yet again if Arlington is to continue to be one of the top teams in their conference.
Ayersville- Not enough info
Buckeye Central- The Bucks found a way to win 7 games last season, but they lose several seniors from a team that won only 4 games in the Northern 10 conference. Junior guard Tyler Rose will look to improve after a solid sophomore season and will run the offense for the Bucks.
Tiffin Calvert- The Senecas return 2 of their top 3 from last year including sophomore point guard Garrett Spaun. Inexperience will be an issue as they lose 5 seniors from the rotation.
Carey- The bad news is the Blue Devils lose 3 of their top 7 players from a 14-10 team last season. The good news is the top player in the Northern 10 Conference is back and should be Player of the Year this season. 6’8 senior Hayden Stone is a double-double machine and gives Carey a size advantage almost every single night. The big question will be can anyone provide support for Stone? Seniors Isaiah Hoepf and Reece Billock will be looked upon to do just this.
Columbus Grove- The Bulldogs return 5 of their top 8 guys from a Regional Semifinalist team last year that finished 19-6. When looking at the Bulldogs, one can see some of the size they have and talent on the roster. Juniors Blake Reynolds and Tayt Birnesser are back and should see massive improvement as upperclassmen now. Gabe Clement is another junior capable of providing quality play and minutes. We expect Columbus Grove to be one of the better teams in the NWC this year, but with much of their top talent being juniors, this team could be a dark horse to watch into 2020 as well.
Continental- Not enough info
Cory-Rawson- 3 of the top 4 guys from last year are back for the Hornets as they look to improve off of a 8-15 finish last season. Several seniors return including Carson Houck and Tommy Stauffer to pace the Hornets. Guard Zach Tinman will also be a name to watch. If they can find some additional pieces to reinforce their offense when facing tougher competition, Rawson could give some teams fits during the season.
Crestline- Not enough info
Convoy Crestview- The Knights rode their way into the Division IV state championship in Columbus and took care of Berlin HIland to win the whole thing with a 27-1 record. Repeating is going to be quite the challenge as the Knights return 2 of their top 8 players from that team. Crestview brings back arguably one of the best players in the state in 6’8 junior Kalen Etzler and will also be accompanied by 6’2 junior Carson Kreischer in the paint as well. While Etzler can score from the perimeter, Crestview doesn’t have much experience coming back with their guard play and will not have many perimeter options to lean on. While Etzler is going to be a mismatch against anyone and likely carry this team, we expect the Knights to still be one of the top teams in the NWC and could still make some noise come March.
Lakeside Danbury- Not enough info
Edgerton- The Bulldogs lose their top 2 players from a team that hung tough throughout the season. Close losses against Hicksville and Antwerp highlighted their season, including a 3-6 finish to end the year. Now with some of their top scoring threats gone, Edgerton will try and stay competitive in the Green Meadows Conference, knowing it could be a tight matchup depending on if they can compete with the higher ups.
Edon- Not enough info
Toledo Emmanuel Christian- Not enough info
Fayette- Not enough info
Fort Jennings- The Musketeers would like to forget last year’s 3-19 finish and will have 4 of their top 8 back from last year to help them forget. 6’1 senior Carson Kazee and 6’4 junior Evan Hoerstein are both back and anchor a Jennings teams that has a lot of size. Sophomore Nick Trentman will be a guy to keep an eye on. Do not expect a quick turnaround from last year, but the Musketeers will have some serious size to help them against the rest of the PCL.
Fort Recovery- The Indians will try and be more competitive this season in the MAC after taking several double digit losses against some of the powerhouses a year ago. Junior Clay Schmitz will take over as the primary scoring threat and leader, but the team as a whole must find way to improve after finishing 3-6 in conference play a year ago.
Gibsonburg- Not enough info
Hardin Northern- The Polar Bears lose 4 total seniors from a year ago but with that also lose quite a bit of their scoring from last season. Sophomore Nevin Robson returns and will have a larger role in 2019 as he must become a more consistent scoring threat. Finding proven scorers will be crucial if the Polar Bears climb the ladder in the NWCC.
Hicksville- The Aces were one heck of a team a year ago, finishing with a 23-3 record before falling to state champion Convoy Crestview in the Regionals. While they bring back some of their best players, Hicksville still is without 3 of their top 4 scorers from a year ago and while they will still be a quality team, may not dominate as much this season. Junior Landon Turnbull is one of the best players in the conference and should again be a leader for the Aces. Senior Travian Tunis will now have to step into a larger role as well. Senior leadership is there as is backcourt talent, but repeating the deep postseason run is going to be difficult with the loss of so much scoring and size.
Hilltop- The Cadets were a very young team last year and it showed. Winning only once during the year, Hilltop featured 6 freshmen last season and arguably were one of the youngest teams in the BBC. Now a year more experienced, Hilltop is still far from being a competitive team in the conference. Sophomore Ian Hoffman is one of the younger guys worth watching and will be accompanied by seniors Blake Funkhouser and Jay Garrett in the backcourt. Offensively they must improve off of their 31 point per game average last season.
Holgate- The Tigers lose quite a bit of talent from a year ago, and frankly rebuilding will still be ongoing as Holgate has won 3 games in the last 2 seasons. Junior Bailey Sonnenberg is going to be the guy to watch as the Tigers look to improve and be a tougher team in 2020.
Hopewell-Loudon- The Chieftans’ season was pretty good besides the 43 points loss against a loaded Maumee Valley Country Day to end the season last year. With quite a bit of talent coming back, this season could be a much better year for Hopewell-Loudon as they look to compete in the BVC. It starts with senior Jordyn Jury who will be the primary scoring threat and is accompanied by fellow seniors Travis Milligan and Kyle Rumschlag. Experience shouldn’t be much of an issue for this team as they are loaded with upperclassmen. That being said, sophomore Reid Jury is one of the few underclassmen but should still play a role for the Chieftans. Defense was a big reason for their success a year ago as they allowed 45 points per game. If they can continue to rely on that defensive pressure, this could be a dangerous team to watch.
Kalida- The Wildcats lose 4 seniors from a team that nearly upset state champion Crestview a year ago. A strong core of upperclassmen give Kalida a real shot of being the team to beat this year in the Putnam County League. Junior Luke Erhart is one of the top players in the league and will have assistance from seniors Gabe Hovest and Evan Roebke. One of the best defensive teams last year, Kalida knows how to stay competitive and should be considered the favorites.
Leipsic- The Vikings finished a few games below .500 last year, but only lose 5 seniors from a team that returns most of their upperclassmen. Their top guy back will be senior guard Drew Liffick but 3 of the their departed seniors were also leading scorers, begging the question who will step up as another high level scorer. Even with the returning talents, mostly guards make up the roster and will make things difficult if the Vikings cannot contain the paint.
Lincolnview- The Lancers lose a lot of experience in their frontcourt and overall do not have a ton of varsity experience coming back as they lose 8 guys from last year. Juniors Collin Overholt and Creed Jessee will be the top players back but the question will be can they find consistency with their youth.
Lucas- The Cubs dominated in the Mid-Buckeye Conference, going undefeated while putting up 61 points per game. The good news is they return almost everyone from that team and are considered one of the favorites again in the conference. 6’3 senior Logan Niswander and 6’3 junior Riley Gossom are solid players, but are considered guards although they are the tallest players on the roster. With a plethora of talent spread out across the board, this Lucas team is going to be a force to defend and could make some noise.
Mansfield Christian- The Flames will look to rebound from a 5-18 season last year, but must also replace 5 seniors that are now graduated. Close games were common at times for the Flames as 6 of their losses came by 5 or less points. While they try and replace talent and stay competitive, Mansfield Christian may need a season to reload their lineup.
Marion Local- The Flyers are losing quite a bit of talent, including their top 3 guys from a 16-8 team a year ago. When looking at the top returning guys, defense is a strong point still but we are unsure who is going to replace the amount of scoring now gone. Junior Alex Eyink will anchor the backcourt and does a solid job on both ends of the floor. Senior Matt Everman is a bigger body that gives the Flyers a strong interior presence on the defensive end. While we don’t expect a great season, Marion Local always finds a way to stay competitive and we expect much of the same in 2019.
Maumee Valley Country Day- MVCD was hit hard by the transfer market. Senior Zeb Jackson announced his intention to transfer to Montverde Academy in Florida while junior Stephen Coleman transferred to Rogers High School. While they return seniors Dez Jett and DJ Alexander and junior JR Lumsden, MVCD will not have near as much athleticism, depth, or talent as last year’s Regional Runner-up. Nothing is impossible but it will be difficult for us to see this team back in the Regional altogether.
McComb- The Panthers finished at .500 for the year last season, but lose 3 All-District performers from that team. Senior Aaron Davis is the top player back but inexperience is going to be an issue early on. The Panthers will need to tap into their ending to last year, winning 7 of their last 11 games of the season and looking quite impressive. This season could be a bit of a struggle as they try and stay relevant in the BVC.
Miller City- The Wildcats finished right below .500 last year but only lose 3 seniors from that team. A mostly upperclassmen team, this year’s Miller City team will be tough to outplay. Nick Gable and Jake Koenig lead the charge and should be kept an eye on. While we don’t think this team can compete with Ottoville and Kalida, they are definitely going to be much improved.
Minster- The Wildcats follow the theme in the Midwest Athletic Conference as they lose 4 of their top 5 players from a season ago. While size was an area where Minster had plenty, there is still quite a bit of guys returning that overcome this lack. The 1-2 senior duo of Jacob Salazar and Ben Wuebker will be on of the best inside-out combos in the conference. With size still coming back and an emphasis on defense, Minster will have an opportunity to stay at the top of the conference yet again.
Mohawk- The Warriors looked like an impressive team last year, finishing 23-2 before falling to a very talented Maumee Valley Country Day. Mohawk loses 6 seniors, including 3 All-District players from a year ago. Of the returning talent, senior Brock Brause will be looked upon to be a leader. A plethora of juniors will be looked upon to grow and give the Warriors depth and experience for 2020.
Monroeville- The Eagles return their top guy from a year ago in sophomore Isaac Roeder, and with 6 seniors returning as well, the Eagles will have the chance to be much better in BBC play come November. Monroeville will need to find a spark after dropping their last 7 games last season.
New Breman- The Cardinals struggled last season in a very difficult MAC. While they lose quite a bit of seniors from last year, the Cardinals will have one of the best backcourt duos in the conference. Senior Nolan Bornhorst and junior Mitchell Hays bring experience and leadership to the Cardinals and will be relied on heavily. Expect a bit of a struggle as New Breman must replace too many seniors to be a competitor in the MAC.
New Knoxville- The Rangers have a lot of improvement needed after struggling immensely last year. Winning only 3 games, the Rangers lose only 3 guys from last season, meaning they will have much of their roster back. 6’2 senior Dalton Meeks will need to be a leader for a young team that will have 3 sophomores that played as freshmen last year. Offense must improve for a team that scored 40+ in only 5 games last season.
New London- The Wildcats are losing quite a bit of talent from a year ago, including their top 2 players from an 8-11 team. This is a team that struggled down the stretch, including losing 4 of their last 5 games. While all of the games were within single digits, staying competitive will be crucial.
New Riegel- The Blue Jackets return a solid senior duo of Nick Reinhart and Christopher Acree that should allow New Riegel to build off of their below .500 season.
North Baltimore- The Tigers would like to forget last season’s 3-18 record and 1 win in the BVC. Defense was the biggest issue as they allowed 68 points per game last season. The one good thing to point out is they return their top 3 players from last year and all 3 are seniors. Levi Gazerek, Johnny Hagemyer, and Clayton Heineman are all guys worth knowing and will likely be leaders from the start of the season. If the Tigers can find secondary options and also compete with the rest of the BVC, they should improve from their 3 wins.
North Central- A solid nucleus of seniors are back for the Eagles as they look to finish above .500 this season. Senior Levi Williams is the go-to guy in the backcourt, but will need additional supporting cast if they are going to challenge the top teams in the BBC.
Old Fort- The Stockaders lose 3 seniors from an 18-7 team last year and have plenty of underclassmen to help keep them young but experienced in the SBC. Sophomore big man Colin Nutter has emerged as Old Fort’s top player and at 6’5 could continue to grow and become even better. Known for being a high scoring offensive team, the Stockaders will need to continue to rely on their scoring and their size and they could be a team to beat in the SBC.
Ottoville- The Big Green have arguably the best player in the PCL and could be the biggest threat to Kalida in the conference race. 6’5 junior Josh Thorbahn is a size disadvantage all the time on the perimeter and is accompanied by fellow junior Ryan Suever. With 6 of the top 8 guys returning, experience is going to be an area of strength for the Big Green.
Pandora-Gilboa- The Rockets are losing 3 of their top 4 from a 15-9 team last year. While this team seems to stay competitive, it will be difficult to continue their success without their top talent. Senior Austin Miller is back and will anchor the Rockets on both ends of the floor, but the big question will be how do they perform against the likes of Arlington, Van Buren, and Hopewell-Loudon?
Parkway- The Panthers return 2 of their top players from a year ago and should continue to be a solid team after an 11-13 finish last year. Senior Caleb Kinney and junior Dylan Hughes will carry this team and will have to play at a high level for Parkway to finish high in the MAC. The Panthers must show more competitiveness against the top teams in the MAC as they lost by a combined 78 points against those teams (Marion Local, Minster, and St. Henry) last season.
Patrick Henry- Not enough info
Lima Perry- The Commodores were undefeated in the NWCC last year and were the top defensive team in the conference. They return 2 of their top 3 from that team that should continue to be the favorite to come out of the conference again. Senior guard Chazz Jackson was a 1st Team All-Conference player last year and should repeat this feat yet again. Sophomore Ryan Yingst will be a player to watch as well. As long as the defense continues to be solid, we don’t see why Perry can’t continue to be the team in the NWCC.
Pettisville- The Blackbirds looked solid a year ago, losing only once in conference play. While they lose a few seniors, including 1 All-District player, they return several seniors this year that will keep them competitive. Senior Graeme Jacoby is a solid player and will be one of 6 seniors total coming back. With a healthy combination of upperclassmen, the Blackbirds could see themselves soaring to another conference title in 2019-20.
Plymouth- Not enough info
Ridgemont- One of the youngest teams in the conference last year, Ridgemont returns their top 4 players from last year and could take a positive step in 2019 after a 12-11 finish last year. Sophomore guard Landon Newland has a great freshmen campaign and should be a more confident guard in the backcourt. Sophomore Mason Stuck also returns in the frontcourt as well as Connor Martino and Jayden Streets. Ridgemont has the personnel to be a big team in the frontcourt, but they need to find depth with their guard play.
South Central- The Trojans made a nice run in the postseason, making a run to the Regional Semifinals and they return 2 of their top guys from that team. Senior Simon Blair is the top guy back and is explosive out of the backcourt. He runs the offense for the Trojans and will be a key reason for their postseason success in 2020. Junior David Lamoreaux is also back and will give Blair another option to go to. South Central has a pretty solid offense to work with. If they can continue their high scoring potential, they could see themselves again in the Regional tournament come March.
Spencerville- The Bearkats lose 3 players from a 5-16 team last year, but they return a lot of their talent from that team. Sophomore Eli Harter emerged as one of the best players on this team and will have the potential to be one of the top guys in the NWC. Senior Jackson Goecke will accompany Harter in the frontcourt while junior guard Dalton Prichard will lead from the perimeter. Depth in the backcourt appears to be the biggest issue, but Spencerville should continue to grow and could be a team to watch in the conference in the future.
St. Henry- The Redskins lose 5 of their top 7 players from a State Semifinalist a year ago. After winning the MAC and going 24-4 on the year, St. Henry will look to their youth to help fill voids and keep the momentum from last season going. Senior Ben Evers will lead the charge and be relied on for support on both ends of the floor. Of all the returning guys, sophomore Matt Bertke will be the guy to keep an eye on. A 6’6 forward, Bertke will hopefully be able to fill the shoes left by Caden Niekamp and be a force in the paint. While another state run is unlikely, I like seeing guys coming back for the Redskins and will have a chance to stay relevant in the MAC.
Delphos St. John’s- Much of the Blue Jays scoring output and overall talent have graduated since last year, leaving very little depth in Delphos. Some experience comes back with 6’3 senior Brady Grothaus who is one of the few seniors on roster. 5’10 junior guard Isaac Fairchild also returns and will be a perimeter threat for the Blue Jays. With so little size and skill returning, St. John’s may use this season to build up their underclassmen and look to grow for 2020.
St. Joseph Central Catholic- Not enough info
St. Mary Central Catholic- Not enough info
Norwalk St. Paul- The Flyers were a solid performer in the Firelands Conference, finishing 8-4 in the conference. While most of their size has graduated, there is still reason for hope in Norwalk as the Flyers bring back several pieces that could help them make a decent run on the conference. Junior Nick Winslow looks to be the top guy and player worth watching. Keep an eye on senior Brandon Furlog as he is one of the taller players returning on roster at 6’2.
Mansfield St. Peter’s- Not enough info
Stryker- The Panthers were such a solid team a year ago, but they graduate almost their entire roster from that 18 win team. 6’2 senior Noah Huffman is the only returning senior from a year ago and will be accompanied by 2 juniors that return from last season. Depth is going to definitely be an issue early on for the Panthers as will inexperience.
Temple Christian- After a 9-15 finish last year, Temple Christian loses a ton of experience including losing 3 of their top 4 from a year ago. Senior Malachi White is back, but not enough guys return for us to consider Temple to be a contender in the NWCC in 2019.
Toledo Christian- The Eagles return 2 of their top guys from a 16-6 team a year ago. Juniors Trevor Wensick and Cole McWhinnie will be leaned heavily on, but they will need a strong support cast to compete with Cardinal Stritch.
Upper Scioto Valley- After finishing as runner-up in the NWCC, the Rams lose 3 of their top 4 and must find new scoring threats to assist their few returning lettermen. Senior Quinn Sanders is back and is going to be the #1 guy from the beginning of the year. Not sure if this year there is enough experience back to again compete in the NWCC, but the Rams should still be considered a higher tiered team in the conference.
Vanlue- The Wildcats struggled badly a year ago, failing to win a game in BVC play. This season could be similar as their top guy from last season is graduated. Senior Xavier Temple and junior Joey Bonham return and will try to replace the void now missing. We do not expect a Cinderella season and instead expect another year of struggles for Vanlue.
Waynesfield-Goshen- The Tigers would like to forget last year’s 2-20 finish and will need to find some size as they graduate much of their interior play. Junior guard Layton Campbell is the top player back and will be depended on heavily but the Tigers have to improve in their offensive efficiency if they are going to dig out of the last place slot.
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