Northview favored to win 4th straight; Perrysburg, AW likely to offer tough competition for Wildcats

11/23/2012
BY MARK MONROE
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
northview-bball

Northview players from left: Maddie Cole, Rahma Ismail, Lauren Yurjevic, Maddie Fries, Kendall Jessing, Lauren Keil and Kendall McCoy.

THE BLADE/LORI KING

Northview has earned enough re­spect to be con­sid­ered the fa­vor­ite to win the North­ern Lakes League for the fourth straight sea­son de­spite heavy and sig­nifi­cant losses to grad­u­a­tion.

The Wild­cats have cap­tured three straight league crowns and six since 2002. Veteran coach Jerry Sigler guided his team to an un­de­feated NLL sea­son (14-0) and 19-1 over­all record last year.

But Sigler, who has a 663-166 record in 37 sea­sons, lost two se­niors who are now play­ing in the Mid-Amer­i­can Con­fer­ence. The loss in­cludes Blade player of the year Mir­iam Just­inger, who led the Wild­cats to the Divi­sion I dis­trict fi­nal.

But the league coaches still gave the nod to Northview in a pre­sea­son poll fol­lowed closely by Per­rys­burg and An­thony Wayne.

“It’s quite an honor,” Sigler said. “It has a lot to with re­spect for the pro­gram. But we also have some young play­ers that are pretty tal­ented.”

The Wild­cats pos­sess good size with four play­ers who stand 5-11 or taller, in­clud­ing re­turn­ing start­ers Ken­dall McCoy and Mad­die Cole. Both are soph­o­mores. McCoy (6-0) is a guard/for­ward who av­er­aged 11.4 points and 4.7 re­bounds per game as a fresh­man. Cole (6-1) is a for­ward/cen­ter who av­er­aged 4.1 points and 3.6 boards per con­test as a fresh­man.

Sigler said his team will be ath­letic but he ex­pects the NLL to be very com­pet­i­tive.

“I don’t see any­one go­ing through un­de­feated,” he said. “The win­ner will have one or two or more losses. Per­rys­burg and An­thony Wayne have a lot back and Southview and Bowl­ing Green do too.”

The Yel­low Jack­ets, who fin­ished run­ner up last sea­son, won a dis­trict ti­tle and ad­vanced to the D-I re­gional semi­fi­nals last sea­son. Coach Todd Sims has just one starter back but five let­ter win­ners re­turn.

“I think Northview is the fa­vor­ite un­til some­body can beat them,” Sims said. “I think they were picked be­cause of their tra­di­tion.”

Sims has six play­ers who were also mem­bers of the Per­rys­burg soc­cer team that won a D-I state ti­tle this month.

“It helps a ton,” Sims said. “They are great ath­letes and they know what it takes to win.”

Per­rys­burg won back-to-back ti­tles be­fore Northview’s re­cent run.

An­thony Wayne has three start­ers back, and the Gen­er­als should be a good shoot­ing team.

Southview will be with­out per­haps the best player in the league, guard Lexi Lopez, who is out with an ACL in­jury. Lopez was sec­ond in the league in scor­ing (19.0 points per game). She may be back next month.

Here is a look at the teams in pre­dicted or­der of fin­ish based on a pre­sea­son coaches’ poll:

Northview players from left: Maddie Cole, Rahma Ismail, Lauren Yurjevic, Maddie Fries, Kendall Jessing, Lauren Keil and Kendall McCoy.
Northview players from left: Maddie Cole, Rahma Ismail, Lauren Yurjevic, Maddie Fries, Kendall Jessing, Lauren Keil and Kendall McCoy.

NORTHVIEW

Coach: Jerry Sigler, 37th sea­son

Last sea­son: 21-2 over­all, 14-0 NLL

Top play­ers: Se­niors Rahma Is­mail 5-9, F/C; Lau­ren Yur­jevic, 5-11, F/C. Junior Lau­ren Keil, 5-7, G. Soph­o­mores Ken­dall McCoy, 6-0, G/F; Mad­die Cole, 6-1, F/C; Mad­die Fries, 5-4, G; Ken­dall Jess­ing, 6-0, F/C.

Out­look: The young Wild­cats’ de­vel­op­ment will de­pend largely on the play­ers find­ing their roles and find­ing chem­is­try on the floor to­gether, ac­cord­ing to Sigler.

“We’re try­ing to put all of the pieces to­gether,” Sigler said.

Two start­ers, McCoy and Cole, are back af­ter both played as fresh­men. Yur­jevic also played on the var­sity. Sigler said all of his play­ers par­tic­i­pate on AAU teams.

“That has made them bet­ter play­ers,” he said. “They’ve been down the road.”

But those play­ers still have only ju­nior var­sity ex­pe­ri­ence.

“It’s a huge con­cern,” Sigler said. “You can’t pro­vide that var­sity ex­pe­ri­ence. As the sea­son pro­gresses and our in­ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers re­ceive more play­ing time, we should de­velop into a very com­pet­i­tive team. Our league and dif­fi­cult non-league sched­ule will help pre­pare us for tour­na­ment play.”

PERRYSBURG

Coach: Todd Sims, fourth sea­son

Last sea­son: 19-5, 11-3

Top play­ers: Se­niors Maddy Wil­liams, 5-9, G; Saman­tha Grem­ler, 5-11, P; Maddy Perry, 5-11, P. Juniors Sarah Baer, 6-1, P; Abby Sat­tler, 5-5,

Out­look: Wil­liams shat­tered school records in soc­cer dur­ing the run to the ti­tle. Soph­o­more Allex Brown (6-1, P) se­nior Mol­lie Whi­tacre (5-6, G) and soph­o­more Lindy DeLong (5-8, G) also are mak­ing the tran­si­tion to bas­ket­ball.

The Yel­low Jack­ets have won three dis­trict ti­tles in Sims’ four sea­sons.

The coach be­lieves team speed, ath­let­i­cism, and lead­er­ship will be strengths. But he said the team is a lit­tle be­hind be­cause of the soc­cer team's ex­tended sea­son.

“We need to work on shoot­ing,” he said.

Baer led the team with 8.3 re­bounds per game.

“Our goal is to win the NLL and to take one more step to the re­gional fi­nal,” Sims said. “I re­ally like this team, they work hard and are fun to be around.”

ANTHONY WAYNE

Coach: Jer­emy Ter­wil­liger, sec­ond sea­son

Last year: 13-9, 8-6

Top play­ers: Se­niors Lau­ren Car­di­nal, 5-9, G; Alex Ven­g­lar­cik, 5-11, F. Juniors Jas­mine Bonivel, 5-9, G; Megan Bedard 5-10, G; Sara Zankl, 5-9, F; Raechel McKay, 5-6 G.

Out­look: Three start­ers re­turn for the Gen­er­als among six let­ter­win­ners over­all.

Bonivel is the lead­ing re­turn­ing scorer (7 ppg, 3 rpg, and 3 as­sists per game). Bedard (5 ppg), Zankl (4 ppg), and McKay (4 ppg.) also con­trib­uted of­fen­sively.

Ter­wil­liger said the pos­i­tive at­trib­utes in­clude de­fen­sive pres­sure and team shoot­ing.

But pos­si­ble trou­ble ar­eas in­clude ques­tion­able post de­fense, phys­i­cal play, and poor shoot­ing nights.

“With a large num­ber of re­turn­ing let­ter win­ners, ex­pec­ta­tions for our sea­son are high,” Ter­wil­liger said. “Our la­dies had a pre­sea­son and are work­ing very hard to re­fine some new wrin­kles. On nights that we are able to shoot the ball well and play phys­i­cally, we should have a lot of suc­cess.”

SOUTHVIEW

Coach: Tim­o­thy Not­tke, sec­ond sea­son

Last year: 9-12, 5-7

Top play­ers: Se­niors Lexi Lopez, 5-10, G; Bai­ley Hejl, 5-7, G; Mor­gan Er­sig, 5-8, G. Juniors Taryn Stan­ley, F; Sarah Klep­zig, 5-10, C; Lau­ren Hunts­man, 5-7, G. Soph­o­more Maria Pap­pas, 5-5, G.

Out­look: Hejl, Pap­pas, and Lopez all started last year and Not­tke has nine re­turn­ing let­ter win­ners.

Lopez also av­er­aged 8.0 re­bounds, 4.0 as­sists, and 5.0 steals per game.

Hejl scored 6.5 points per con­test and Pap­pas 3.0 points per game.

Stan­ley is a trans­fer from Notre Dame. Klep­zig tal­lied 6.0 points and grabbed 4.0 re­bounds per game.

“Our team depth is a huge strength for us,” Not­tke said. “We have 12 play­ers who are ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­ing ev­ery night. We should be able to ad­just to any type of game we are in­volved in. We are a true blue-col­lar team who will con­tinue to work and never give up.”

But he also said his team will strug­gle if it is un­able to score for long pe­ri­ods of time.

“We need a few play­ers to step up and be­come con­sis­tent scor­ers while Lexi is re­cov­er­ing,” he said. “We will also need our guards to make good de­ci­sions. We have to make sure we are the more phys­i­cal and bet­ter con­di­tioned team. Play­ing so many younger play­ers last year has given them ex­pe­ri­ence.”

BOWLING GREEN

Coach: Jef­frey Nic­hols, 11th sea­son

Last sea­son: 16-6, 10-4

Top play­ers: Se­niors Chel­sey Mor­lock 5-7, G; Ha­ley Glan­dorff, 5-5, G. Junior Hanna Wil­li­ford 5-7, G. Soph­o­mores Livvy Dill, 6-0, W/P; Tyanna Smith 5-11, W/P.

Out­look: Nic­hols has no start­ers back, but three play­ers earned var­sity let­ters.

Mor­lock en­ters her third sea­son af­ter scor­ing 10.7 points per game. She also av­er­aged 3.0 re­bounds and 3.1 as­sists per game. Glan­dorff (7.0 ppg) and Wil­li­ford (3.0 ppg) also have ex­pe­ri­ence.

The Bob­cats have solid guard play as well as good team speed, chem­is­try, and de­fense.

Nic­hols said Mor­lock and fel­low se­nior Sara Pis­ar­ski will pro­vide lead­er­ship and qual­ity min­utes as guards.

But pos­si­ble weak­ness in­clude lack of var­sity ex­pe­ri­ence, a short bench, and a need for play­ers to fill a scor­ing void.

“Even though we re­turn no start­ers, we have three solid high-level play­ers,” Nic­hols said. “Our two po­ten­tial start­ing in­side play­ers are both tall and have worked hard. We also have four other ju­niors (Mag­gie Schaller, Olivia McGowan, Thayer Daniels, and Gab­bie Pow­ers) to pro­vide ath­let­i­cism. We look to com­pete in the top half of the NLL. As we gain ex­pe­ri­ence, I think we can do well this year.”

SPRINGFIELD

Coach: Steve Car­roll, sec­ond sea­son

Last sea­son: 5-16, 1-11

Top play­ers: Se­niors Tay­lor Nop­per, 5-7, G; Des­ti­nie Geiger, 5-8, F; Tay­lor Mon­tague, 5-8, F; Tori Collins, 5-10, F. Juniors Asia Good­win, 5-7, G; Jor­dyn James, 5-11, F Gabby Teifke, 5-10. Soph­o­mores Natalie Yoder, 5-5, G; Syd­ney Pow­hida, 5-7, G.

Out­look: Three start­ers are among six re­turn­ing let­ter win­ners.

Yoder tal­lied 10.0 points per game as a fresh­man. Geiger av­er­aged 5.0 points and 4.0 re­bounds per game, while Nop­per and Collins each con­trib­uted 3.0 points per con­test. Pow­hida chipped in with 8.0 points and 4.0 re­bounds per game.

Car­roll be­lieves team chem­is­try, good work ethic and mo­ti­va­tion are strengths.

But he said his Blue Devils are still learn­ing how to makes the plays needed to win.

“Our pro­gram is grow­ing, but we have not had ex­pe­ri­ence win­ning,” Car­roll said. “We need to keep teach­ing and help play­ers learn how to be suc­cess­ful. We want to con­stantly be im­prov­ing.”

NAPOLEON

Coach: Kara Miller, first sea­son

Last sea­son: 9-13, 4-10

Top play­ers: Junior Al­exa Son­nen­berg, 5-5, G; Court­ney Smith, 5-6, G; Am­berly Miller, 5-7, F; Syd­ney Law­son, 5-8, G; Lind­say Fer­gu­son, 5-9, C. Soph­o­mores Beth Homan, 5-5, G; Kayla Gerken, 5-10, G/F.

Out­look: Miller takes over a Wild­cat pro­gram that lost its top two scor­ers and lead­ing re­bounder to grad­u­a­tion.

But Miller be­lieves her good team speed and quick­ness will pay div­i­dends.

“We are look­ing to push the ball and score con­sis­tently out of tran­si­tion,” she said. “We have quick guards and hope to use their speed to press and put lots of pres­sure on the ball.”

But Na­po­leon has lim­ited var­sity ex­pe­ri­ence.

“We are look­ing for young play­ers to step up and give us valu­able min­utes,” Miller said. “We are look­ing to be com­pet­i­tive in the league and make a run in the tour­na­ment.”

MAUMEE

Coach: Adam Rus­sell, first sea­son

Last sea­son: 7-15, 2-12

Top play­ers: Se­niors Joeal Ol­man, 5-11, C; Lind­say Sayre, 5-11, F; Bal­iee Pat­ter­son, 5-7, G. Juniors Erica Tullis, 5-7, G; Macy Stich­ler, 6-0, F/C.

Out­look: Ol­man fin­ished with 9.2 points and 3.0 re­bounds per game to earn All-Dis­trict 7 hon­or­able men­tion. Sayre av­er­aged 3.8 points and 3.0 boards per game. They are the only re­turn­ing start­ers for Rus­sell.

“We have good size which will ben­e­fit us in our post play and in­side game,” he said. “We also have a group of girls who work hard ev­ery­day at prac­tice and who are ded­i­cated to mak­ing them­selves bet­ter each day. In ad­di­tion, we have very good lead­er­ship among our se­nior class.”

But in­ju­ries dur­ing the pre­sea­son have set the Pan­thers back. He said he is start­ing a new pro­gram and a dif­fer­ent bas­ket­ball mind-set at Maumee.

“This takes time to ad­just to, but our girls have done a great job so far,” Rus­sell said. “We ex­pect to get bet­ter each and ev­ery day as in­di­vid­u­als and as a team.”

Con­tact Mark Mon­roe at: mmon­roe@the­blade.com, 419-724-6354 or on Twit­ter @Mon­roeBlade.