The search continues at Lima Senior. The search for a point guard on the boys basketball team.
The biggest unfilled need for the Spartans appears to be someone to run the team from the point guard position.
So far, the Spartans have tried five people at that position, the latest sophomore Demontay Liles, who earned some positive reviews from coach Shawn Allen after a 70-61 loss to Toledo Central Catholic on Tuesday night.
There are many things that make Lima Senior boys basketball a work in progress, but the biggest of those is probably the point guard position.
“We’re trying to find somebody who can get us into stuff not so much scoring,” Lima Senior coach Shawn Allen said.
Allen compared the point guard to a quarterback in a football spread offense. “You’d better have one or it’s not pretty,” he said.
Liles is the latest Spartan to be tried at the point. Shawnee transfer Marquis Miller, junior Ilias Wright, sophomore Jay Thomas and Mailk Bingmon have all been given a chance to take over the point.
“It’s something we saw coming. I think we have some kids on the JV team who are pretty good point guards at the JV level but I’m not sure how good they’d be at the varsity level,” Allen said.
Lima Senior also has to replace the points that last year’s top two scorers, Devon Allen and Isiah Simpson provided.
A year ago, Lima Senior got off to a fast start with a favorable schedule but finished 7-15 overall and 4-10 in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference. Other than Devon Allen and Simpson, the Spartans were mostly a young team, with Rico Stafford (8 points a game) and Ruben Flowers (7 points a game) playing significant roles as freshmen.
Lima Senior has scored 55, 57, 68 and 61 points in its first four games.
Four other players on this year’s roster lettered last season, but Allen says the Spartans are still a youthful team and still learning.
“We’re a young team. We’re basically starting all over, even though we’ve got some guys coming back,” he said.
Starting the season without Flowers has also created another hole in the lineup. The 6-foot, 3-inch sophomore post player, who was honorable mention all-state as a receiver on the football team, suffered a bone bruise in the first week of basketball practice.
Findlay was rated the preseason favorite in the TRAC, with Toledo St. John’s and Toledo Central Catholic also among the top choices.
NOTE: All capsule information was supplied by the coaches. Any team not listed did not supply its information by the deadline.
Coach: Jim Rucki
Years at school: 15
Letterwinners: Austin Gutting (6-3, Sr., F); Michael Clark (6-1, Sr., G); Adam Twining (6-3, Sr., W); Braden Miller (5-9, Sr., G), Grant Niswander (6-1, Sr., W)
Season outlook: Findlay has four returning starters from last season (15-9, 9-5 TRAC) and is viewed as one of the favorites in the TRAC.
Coach: Mark Gedeon
Years at school: 19
Letterwinners: Jack Gedeon (6-4, Sr., G), Dylan Jagodzinski (6-4, P), Jarvis Jones (6-5, P), Drew Solander (6-3, Jr., F), Grant McConnell (6-2, Jr., W)
Season outlook: With good size, post play could be a strength for the Little Giants, who were 14-9 overall and 7-7 in the TRAC a year ago.
Coach: Shawn Allen
Years at school: 7
Letterwinners: Brady Allen (5-9, Sr., G), Trey Gunn (6-3, Sr., P), Mari Dillingham (5-10, Sr., G), Justice Graham (6-8, Sr., P), Malik Bingmon (6-3, Sr., W), Rico Stafford (6-4, Soph., W), Ruben Flowers (6-3, Soph., P)
Season outlook: Finding a point guard is priority No. 1 for the Spartans if they are going to improve on last season (7-15, 4-10 TRAC).
Coach: Rob Belegrin
Years at school: 5
Letterwinners: Pat Booth (6-1, Sr., G), Kyle Row (6-2, Sr., G), Andrew McCrory (5-8, Sr., G), Dillon Twining (6-3, Sr., F), Anthony Ramirez (6-2, Sr., F)
Season outlook: Clay won one game last season and was 0-14 in the TRAC, so even small steps will be an improvement.
Toledo Central Catholic
Coach: Jim Welling
Years at school: 6
Letterwinners: DeShone Kizer (6-5, Sr., G), Nate Harris (6-6, Sr., F), Tom Vetter (6-3, Sr., F), Montrese Marshall (5-10, Sr., G), Doug Biddle (6-7, Sr., F), Juwan Grier (5-7, Sr., G)
Season outlook: DeShone Kizer (10 points, 5 assists) is a four-year varsity player and Nate Harris (10 points, 8 rebounds) is a three-year varsity player. Central Catholic, 19-6 and 9-5 in the TRAC last season, will be a contender again in the league.
Toledo St. Francis
Coach: Travis Lewis
Years at school: 2
Letterwinners: David Jones (5-9, Sr., G), John Fankhauser (6-5, Sr., F), Evan Wheeler (6-6, Sr., F), Andy Okuley (5-8, Jr., G), Josh Kruzal (6-2, Jr., F), Lamar Carswell (5-9, Jr., G)
Season outlook: St. Francis’ leading returning scorer is Lamar Carswell, who averaged 5.7 points in a season when the Knights were 4-20 overall and 2-12 in the TRAC. There is still a lot of room for improvement.
Toledo St. John’s
Coach: Ed Heintschel
Years at school: 35
Letterwinners: Parker Ernsthausen (6-9, Sr., F/G), Trevor Walsh (6-4, Sr., F), Matt Sasala (6-8, Sr., F), Austin Moore (6-1, Sr., G), Anthony Glover (6-1, Jr., G), Gabe Kynard (6-1, Soph., G)
Season outlook: The Titans graduated two outstanding players from last year’s 20-4 TRAC champion team in Marc Loving (Ohio State) and Austin Gardner (Findlay) but when has the cupboard ever been bare at St. John’s?
Coach: Ryan Brown
Years at school: 1
Letterwinners: Chris Parker (6-0, Sr., G), Jon Ashe (6-3, Sr., G), Chris Boykin (6-3, P), Tyler Schneider (6-2, Sr., G), Darius Harvey (5-7, Jr., G)
Season outlook: Replacing Nigel Hayes (Wisconsin) and Ricardo Smith (Findlay) will be a big task for Whitmer. The replacements start with Jon Ashe (8 points a game) and Chris Parker (6 points a game).