NWCC boys basketball previews

Here are the previews for Northwest Central Conference team from the Lima area.

Hardin Northern

Division: IV

Coach: Jared Thomas (seventh season)

2021-22 overall record: 15-8

2021-22 league record: 4-3 (tied for third)

2022 postseason finish: Lost 54-45 to Sycamore Mohawk in sectional semifinals

Returning 2021-22 varsity letter winners: Zeb Wilson (Sr.), Cooper Thomas (Jr.), Sean Kuhlman (Jr.), Carter Curtis (Jr.), Xander Wilson (Soph.), Nolan Hopson (Soph.)

Others on varsity roster: Landon Wetherill (Jr.), Rowan Frater (Jr.), Mason Stewart (Soph.), Christian Rostorfer (Soph.)

Coach’s analysis: The Polar Bears will be rebuilding this year after a strong group of seniors have left Hardin Northern. However, the Polar Bears will be returning our largest group of letter winners from the previous season. Zeb Wilson returns as the most experienced at the varsity level and is the lone senior. There is a large group of juniors that will be expected to make an immediate impact including Cooper Thomas, Sean Kuhlman, Carter Curtis, and Landon Wetherill. Additionally, they will be supported by returning letter winning sophmores Xander Wilson and Nolan Hopson


Division: IV

Coach: Clay Tucker (second season)

2021-22 overall record: 19-6

2021-22 league record: 7-0 (first)

2022 postseason finish: Lost 50-43 to Spencerville in district semifinals

Returning 2021-22 varsity letter winners: Ayden Simpson (Sr.), Elijah Caudill (Sr.), Kameron Moore (Sr.), Jamarion Bryd (Jr.)

Others likely to make varsity roster: Isaiah Sanders (Sr.), Zaymere Daniel (Sr.), Brady Shively (Jr.), Andrew Nanchoff (Jr.), Jason Thomas (Jr.), Micah Olatunde (Jr.), Amarion Jackson (Soph.), Hunter Scott (Soph.), Amir Simpson (Fr.)

Coach’s analysis: To be amongst the top of the NWCC while playing a controlled fast paced game.


Division: IV

Coach: Shawn T. Smith (first season)

2021-22 overall record: 15-8

2021-22 league record: 4-3 (tied for third)

2022 postseason finish: Lost 66-39 to Minster in sectional semifinals

Returning 2021-22 varsity letter winners: Xavier Stuck (Soph.), Wes Mckinley (Sr.)

Varsity roster: Clayton Patterson (Jr.), Connor Manns (Soph.), Dominic Curl (Soph.), Kolton Manns (Soph.), Colton Bailey (Soph.), Harrison Reppart (Fr.), Donovan Brose (Sr.), Kevin Eckstein (Sr.), Rodd Jordan (Sr.).

Coach’s analysis: We will be young only returning two letter winners. Multiple guys can play multiple spots. We are looking to replace two of the best scorers in school history. I think we could have six to seven guys lead us in scoring in any game.

Temple Christian

Division: IV

Coach: Bruce Bowman (29th season)

2021-22 overall record: 5-17

2021-22 league record: 1-6 (seventh)

2022 postseason finish: Lost 61-25 to Perry in sectional semifinals

Returning 2021-22 varsity letter winners: Landon Callahan (Sr.), Ashton Draper (Sr.), Caleb Kiser (Sr.), Christian McCleese (Sr.), Ethan Wright (Sr.), Dawson Clay (Jr.), Jabaz DuPree (Jr.)

Also on varsity roster: Alex Patrick (Soph.)

Coach’s analysis: We have seven lettermen returning and five seniors returning, so this is an experienced team. I have been pleased with their work ethic and desire to succeed so far this preseason. For us to be successful, it will require a great deal of leadership from our seniors, a continued commitment to hard work and significant improvement in our execution on both ends of the floor. I would love to see this team make some strides this year, and I believe they are fully capable of doing so. It will be up to them to make it happen.

Upper Scioto Valley

Division: IV

Coach: Dre White (second season)

2021-22 overall record: 20-4

2021-22 league record: 6-1 (second)

2022 postseason finish: Lost 66-51 to Spencerville in sectional finals

Returning 2021-22 varsity letter winners: Drew Stephens (Sr.), Jason Helton (Sr.), Blaine Castle (Sr.), Alex Sanders (Jr.), Maddox Underwood (Soph.), Abraham Decker (Sr.)

Others on varsity roster: Mason Thompson (Soph.), Wyatt Helton (Soph.)

Coach’s analysis: We return three starters from a year ago. Each have significant varsity experience. We will rely on these three to help develop some of our younger and less experienced guys. We do have a lot of guys that bring a ton of effort. Finding leadership and consistently approaching each day with energy and enthusiasm will be key for us.


Division: IV

Coach: Nathan Swaney (fourth season)

2021-22 overall record: 8-13

2021-22 league record: 2-5 (sixth)

2022 postseason finish: Lost 63-30 to Upper Scioto Valley in sectional semifinals

Returning 2021-22 varsity letter winners: Jayden Elliott (Sr.), Hunter Craig (Sr.), Roman James (Sr.), Dalton Jordan (Jr.), Drew Breitigam (Jr.)

Others on varsity roster: Jace Kaufman (Soph.), Landin DeWitt (Jr.), Levi Glick (Soph.), Carson Barnes (Soph.), Wyatt Hardin (Jr.), Jay Carter (Jr.)

Coach’s analysis: After a successful football season, we’re hoping to carry that momentum onto the hardwood. Our guys have worked extremely hard so far and are excited to get things rolling and compete for a league championship. We will try to use our speed and athleticism to create turnovers and then create opportunities for our offense. We have quite a few returning letter winners and will be looking for them to lead our younger guys each and every week.