The Northern Lakes League girls basketball championship has never belonged to Anthony Wayne.
Allison Papenfuss is determined to change that bit of history.
The Generals do-all sophomore shooting guard, who led her team in scoring and rebounding as a freshman, thinks the time is now for AW.
Potentially, we feel we can make a huge impact and doing something no other Anthony Wayne team has done, saidPapenfuss.
The Generals went into the season projected to win the league crown. They re off to a great start at 4-1 overall and 3-0 in the league heading into tonight s home contest with Northview.
Save for a loss to an undefeated Findlay team, the Generals have been in command. Papenfuss, who averages a team-leading 13.2 points and 10.2 rebounds, has impressed AW coach Justin Zemanski.
We have a lot of good players in the NLL, and I d say she is within that first tier of NLL players, Zemanski said. But I ll also say she belongs in the first tier of players in this part of the state.
Time will prove where Papenfuss stacks up among the top talent in northwest Ohio.
Papenfuss could have attended a parochial school with a strong basketball tradition.
Yet, she is determined to help the Generals become a topprogram.
When it came down to it I m not going to high school for just basketball, Papenfuss said. I m going to Anthony Wayne for an education, and I want to help build a program at Anthony Wayne.
We think most of our goals can be achieved this season, but for the next three years we feel anything is possible, Papenfuss said.
The Generals are heavy with underclassmen.
We felt coming into this year that this was our year, and we also know our league is tough.
Papenfuss and Jordyn Sadowski, a 6-1 senior forward, are the Generals top returnees from a year ago when they finished 12-10 overall and placed third in the NLL with a 9-5 league mark. Sadowski averaged 13 points and seven rebounds as AW s best front court player. Her productivity around the basket is expected to be key for this season.
She brings so much aggressiveness and a lot of intangibles that don t show up in the stat book, Zemanski said. She s the girl who will take a charge. She s the one that made four free throws in the final minute for us to beat Southview.
Those four free throws were indicative of a player who plays a lead role with the game on the line, despite being only a 10th-grader.
I really don t look at myself as a sophomore when dealing with my teammates, she said. You re on the team, so you re part of the varsity team, and it really doesn t matter what class you re in.
Papenfuss started dribbling a basketball when she was 4 years old. Her father, Larry, and her brother, Brent, greatly influenced her skills. Her dad was a standout basketball player at Bowsher. Brother Brent played at AW and now at Defiance College.
I was the typical younger sister, and I always wanted to do what my brother did, said Papenfuss.
Zemanski says he doesn t think Allison would be the player she is today without her father and her brother teaching her the game at an early age.
Her family is a tremendous influence on her, Zemanski said. They really challenge her. She also plays all year around.
Putting in extra practice time over the summer and developing an aggressive style of play have shown results. She scored 20 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in a 62-59 victory over Perrysburg in AW s first league game this year.
Papenfuss has begun to receive some attention from Division I colleges. She admits that playing beyond high school is her dream.
That s always been my goal, said Papenfuss, who has a 4.3 grade point average. I would like to play Division I college basketball.