LIMA – It appears to be business as usual for the girls basketball side of the Northwest Central Conference, as play begins this season.
Upper Scioto Valley and Waynesfield-Goshen seem to be likely contenders for the league title after the Tigers and Fairbanks finished tied for the championship last year with 5-1 league records.
The Rams and Perry were close behind, as each team posted 4-2 records.
“I think it will be Waynesfield-Goshen and Upper Scioto Valley battling for the championship again this year,” Perry coach Herb Lane. “USV is very athletic and has a couple of starters back. Waynesfield has two outstanding freshmen in Emily Patton and Alicia Kessler.”
Any success for Perry will depend on the development of its guard play, as the Commodores return 6-foot-2 post player Lexie Davis to provide a strong inside game.
“We have some potential with our good post play but we are very young at the guard position.” Lane said. “Any success we have will depend on how quickly our guards grow up.”
Veteran Waynesfield-Goshen coach Ted Patton thinks USV will be the team to beat in the NWCC this season.
“I would expect USV to be at the top,” Patton said. “Mike (Risner) just does such a good job with those girls. We (W-G) should be good and competitive. We are very young, but have a lot of talent. I also see (Sidney) Lehman being in the mix.”
Patton says that his daughter, Emily, and fellow freshman Alicia Kessler have played well in the early going for the Tigers.
Veteran USV coach Mike Risner has three returning starters from last season and, as a result, expectations are high for the Rams.
“Waynesfield has four starters, plus two outstanding freshmen. We get to play them at home and that could be the game of the year,” Risner said. “We lost our top three scorers to graduation but have a nice freshman, Shelby Spradlin, who is averaging 17 points out first two games. Also, don’t forget Lehman Catholic, who could sneak in.”