|Eastwood Girl's returning letterman (Back row from left) Krista Jennings, Maddie Fix, Emily Hayward, (front row from left) Ellie Skibicki, Mackenzie Albright, and Reagan Boice. (Photo: Shane Hughes/Sentinel-Tribune)
Head coach/seasons: Lindsay Ross, first season.
2012-13 overall record: 6-17.
2012-13 league record: 5-9.
Returning letter winners: Emily Hayward, senior, 6-0, forward; Maddie Fix, senior, 5-10, forward; Reagan Boice, junior, 5-9, guard;, Mackenzie Albright, sophomore, 5-8, guard; Ellie Skibicki, senior, 5-2, guard; and Krista Jennings, junior, 5-8, guard/forward.
Strengths: Defense, quickness, experience, team chemistry, work ethic and attitude.
Concerns: Offense and knee injuries to post players Meagan Lake (who is out to for the season) and Hayward (who is expected to miss 2-3 weeks).
Outlook: “The girls are working very, hard and they’re very dedicated,” Ross said. “They’re ready to win. They’ve improved tremendously since the first time I saw them. They team chemistry is great.”
The Eagles will use a pressure defense.
“Our defense will be big. Defense wins games,” Ross said. “We’re going to put pressure on our opponents.”
Eastwood is hoping to complement its defense with an improved offense after it scored fewer than 40 points 11 times last season.
“We have a lot of good shooters,” Ross said. “It’s a matter of the players having the confidence to take those shots.”
|Returning letter winners for Lake girls varsity basketball. Front (from left): Sumer Woodruff (44), Ana Henneman (34), Sara Dabney (21) and Alexis Hansen (25). Back (from left): Katie Swartz (11), McKenzie Brittenham (04), Jordyn Taylor (01) and Catie Phalen (24). (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Head coach/seasons: Jim Gracyk, second season at Lake.
2012-13 overall record: 13-11.
2012-13 league record: 10-4, tied with Rossford for second.
Returning letter winners: seniors, Sumer Woodruff, 5-9; Sara Dabney, 5-10; Ana Henneman, 6-0; juniors, Jordyn Taylor, 5-6; Catie Phelan, 5-5; Katie Swartz, 5-8; Alexis Hansen, 5-8; sophomore, Mckenzie Brittenham, 5-5.
Strengths: Ability to interchange players, lot of experience, and the Flyers are coming off a strong finish to the 2012-13 regular season. Taylor averaged 11.5 points and 4.9 assists per game last season, and Dabney averaged 5.2 rebounds per game.
Concerns: Consistent effort, rebounding, and inconsistent shooting.
Outlook: ‘‘The league is very balanced. There are seven teams that can beat anybody in the league; it’s going to be fun, and very competitive,’’ Gracyk said. ‘‘Our goal is to win the NBC team championship.’’
|Returning letter winners for Otsego girls varsity basketball are (from left) Madeline Asmus (4), Lindsay Donald (22), Kim Forshey (30), Morgan Smoyer (2-34), Abby Hesselschwardt (14), and Mackenzie Wenig (12). (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Head coach: Scott Bernthisel, seventh season
2012-13 overall record: 8-15
2012-13 league record: 5-9.
Returning letter winners: Madeline Asmus, junior, 5-5, guard; Mackenzie Wenig, sophomore, 5-6, guard; Lindsay Donald, senior, 5-6, wing; Morgan Smoyer, sophomore, 5-11, forward; Kim Forshey, sophomore, 5-11, wing; Abby Hesselschwardt, junior, 5-10, forward.
Strengths: Inside post presence and rebounding with Smoyer and Hesselschwardt.
Keys to the season: Handling the other teams’ full-court pressure and being able to play physical.
Outlook: Smoyer and Hesselschwardt will be a mainstay in the paint. Smoyer averaged 8.8 points per game and 8.5 rebounds per game as a freshman.
Donald scored 6.2 ppg and Forshey added 5.1 ppg last year.
“We’re looking for a lot from Lindsay Donald,” Bernthisel said. “We’d like to have her at wing as much as possible because she is shooting the ball really well. … She understands that our strength is inside game and she’ll do what she can to get it in there.”
Smoyer, Donald and Forshey are the returning starters. Lost to graduation were Jessica Roberts and Morgan McCullough.
“We definitely want a top half of the league finish,” Bernthisel said. “And if we get a few breaks here and there, we should be playing for a league championship at the end of the year.
“Our league is wide open. There is going to be no off nights. There is going to be no easy games this year at all.”
|Returning letter winners for Rossford varsity girls basketball Front (from left): Jessie Pietrasz (15), Kirsten Keller (21) and Maddie York (10). Back (from left): Margo Jackson (11), Julie Hotz (04) and Kelly Swope (33). (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Head coach: Eric Simon, first season.
2012-13 overall record: 14-10.
2012-13 league record: 10-4, tied with Lake for second.
Returning letter winners (year in school, height, position): Julie Hotz, senior, 5-9, guard; Margo Jackson, senior, 5-5, guard; Maddie York, senior, 5-2, guard; Jessica Pietrasz, senior, 5-5, guard;, Kirsten Keller, junior, 5-4, guard, and Kelly Swope, senior, 5-8, forward.
Strengths: Experience, athleticism, defense.
Keys to the season: Developing depth (Rossford has only 15 players on its varsity and junior varsity teams), overcoming a lack of height and shooting well consistently.
Outlook: “We have to be able to make shots,” Simon said. “We’ll be fine defensively, and I don’t think we’ll turn it over. We’ll get open shots, but we’ll have to make them.
“We’ll get up and down the floor and we’ll go with a lot of pressure defensively. When we sit back defensively, we’re poor on offense. Our energy is built with our defense and translates to the offensive end, and we seem to be in more of a rhythm.”