HIGH SCHOOL BOYS BASKLETBALL:  DEC 18 FINDLAY AT PERRYSBURG

Perrysburg junior Aidan Gerrard, left, goes in for a layup against Findlay’s Terrion Ross, right, during the second half of a game on Dec. 18 at Perrysburg High School.

Entering his 36th year as a head basketball coach, including 22 years at Perrysburg, Dave Boyce wants to see improvement from last year’s 12-10 season.

That included a fourth-place finish in the Northern Lakes League at 4-3. The Yellow Jackets lost in a Division I district tournament game to Lima Senior last year. Perrysburg’s last NLL championship was 2017.

The Yellow Jackets lost four letter winners last year, including starters Aidan Gerrard (5 pts., 5 reb.) and Mason Shultz (6.5 pts.), plus key role players Ro Sanchez (2.2 pts.) and Andy Boros (3.6 pts.).

Top returners are 6-foot-4 senior Kannon Klusmeyer (12.1 pts., 4.3 reb., 3 asst.) and 6-3 junior Matt Watkins (10.1 pts., 3.7 reb., 2.4 asst.). Klusmeyer was first team All-NLL last year and Watkins was second team All-NLL.

Also returning are 5-10 senior Joe Bohman (7.6 pts.), 6-5 junior Andrew Hunt (3.9 pts., 3.3 reb.) and 6-6 senior Luke Manges (2.5 pts.).

That’s 35.2 points returning and 17.3 lost to graduation — any coach will go for that entering a new season.

Boyce said this year’s team is strong in experience, overall depth and balance.

“We return a bunch of varsity experience in key spots and are very deep,” Boyce said. “Consistency and chemistry will be key.

“I think we lost a lot of games last year late in the fourth quarter and I think we took some shots that were not high percentage shots, and we made some mistakes on defense, and maybe some crucial out of bounds plays didn’t get executed.

“So, I think that will be the big thing is that late game execution is what we’re really hoping will be an advantage for us with that experience,” Boyce added.

Because of the number of players with experience, Boyce believes his team can play whatever style is needed, depending on the opponent.

“I think we’ll mix up pressure and man and match up, we’ll run quite a bit, but I think we’ve got a nice mix of inside play and shooters and slashers. In the end, the hope is that we are very balanced,” Boyce said.

The Perrysburg coach adds that he saw significant improvement over the offseason, too.

“I thought we had a really solid offseason. Our core group just has put in a ton of time, they have great enthusiasm, and each guy has rounded out their game,” Boyce said.

“The summer went very well — we played teams from all around the state, and we were very competitive every game.”

He pointed to two of his players who have either overcome adversity or simply made significant improvements.

“I think Joe Bohman last year was beat up a lot. He took a blow to the face and that sort of really hampered him for a couple weeks and he also had some back and hip problems,” Boyce said.

“I don’t think he had quite the year he thought he was going to have. I think he’s going to have a nice year,” Boyce continued.

“I think Andrew Hunt became more of a consistent player last year. I think he’s gotten a lot better.”

Boyce said concerns are depth at some positions, rebounding and shooting and scoring consistence. Last year’s freshman team finished 15-3 so some sophomores will be in the varsity mix this year.

Also expecting to contribute are 6-1 senior forward Jack Mitchell, 6-5 junior forward Avery Hunt, 6-3 junior forward Matt McEwen, 5-9 sophomore guard Austin Shultz and 6-3 sophomore guard Gavin Fenneken.

Boyce believes the Northview will remain the team to beat in the NLL.

“I think Northview will be the favorite, but I would think we would be right in there after that with maybe Southview,” Boyce said.

“Of course, Anthony Wayne is going to be strong every year and Napoleon returns a lot, Bowling Green has a lot, Maumee actually returns a lot, Springfield will be good, so I don’t see a weak team in there and I think Northview is very good.”

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