PUTNAM COUNTY LEAGUE BOYS BASKETBALL PREVIEWS


Kalida’s Luke Erhart, here putting up a shot against Ottoville’s Ryan Suever, was named first team All-Putnam County Conference as a junior.

Kalida’s Luke Erhart, here putting up a shot against Ottoville’s Ryan Suever, was named first team All-Putnam County Conference as a junior.


Richard Parrish | The Lima News

Ottoville’s Ryan Suever was selected first team All-PCL as a junior.

Ottoville’s Ryan Suever was selected first team All-PCL as a junior.


Amanda Wilson | The Lima News

Ottoville’s Josh Thorbahn was named first team All-Putnam County as a junior and PCL Player of the Year as a sophomore.


Amanda Wilson | The Lima News

Leipsic’s Mason Brandt, here guarded by Ottoville’s Josh Thorbahn, left, and Trae Schlagham, was named second team All-PCL and All-Blanchard Valley Conference as a sophomore.


Amanda Wilson | The Lima News

Columbus Grove information ran with Northwest Conference previews in Tuesday’s edition of The Lima News. Information provided by coaches, athletic directors and PCL Commissioner Daniel Kern and obtained from OHSAA website.

Continental

Division: IV

Coach: Scott Keck (first season)

2019-20 overall record: 5-19

2019-20 league record: 1-6 (tied for seventh)

2020 postseason finish: Lost 57-19 to Ottoville in sectional finals

Varsity roster includes: Gavin Huff (Jr.), Hunter Tegenkamp (Sr.), Wyatt Davis (Jr.), Mitchell Coleman (Sr.), Rhenn Armey (Soph.), Brenden Wolff (Sr.), Konner Knipp-Williams (Soph.), Andrew Hoeffel (Jr.), Reed Warnement (Sr.), Alex Sharrits (Jr.), Bryce Recker (Sr.)

Fort Jennings

Division: IV

Coach: Todd Hoehn (first season)

2019-20 overall record: 3-20

2019-20 league record: 1-6 (tied for seventh)

2020 postseason finish: Lost 62-55 to Ada in sectional semifinals

Returning 2019-20 varsity letter winners: Evan Hoersten (Sr.), Cody Horstman (Sr.), Jared Liebrecht (Sr.), Nick Trentman (Jr.), Jon Grote (Jr.).

Others on varsity roster include: Will Lucas (Jr.), Brayden Hart (Fr.), Jaret Maag (Soph.), Chase Neidert (Soph.), Jack Sellman (Sr.), Aidan Grothouse (Jr.), Zach Schulte (Sr.)

Coach’s analysis: We will be striving to compete with all our opponents, and our schedule is filled with very good teams and coaches so it will be a challenge every night out. We will always try to get better. The PCL is a very competitive league with quality teams. These teams have great talented experience back and have had very good tournament success. So, once again it will be a challenge every night out.

Kalida

Division: IV

Coach: Ryan Stechschulte (fifth season)

2019-20 overall record: 18-8

2019-20 league record: 4-3 (third)

2020 postseason finish: Lost 58-49 to Columbus Grove in district finals

Returning 2019-20 varsity letter winners: Ayden Warnecke (Sr.), Brandon Miller (Sr.), Tyson Siefker (Jr.), Jayce Horstman (Sr.), Luke Erhart (Sr.).

Others on varsity roster include: Justin Siebeneck (Jr.), Grant Vorst (Jr.), EJ Miller (Soph.), Jaden Smith (Soph.), Drew Fersch (Soph.).

Coach’s analysis: With the lack of summer basketball and many new faces at the varsity level it may take some time for our team to gel. Luke Erhart returns for his senior season as a three-year starter who averaged 14.9 ppg., 7.8 rpg., and 3.2 apg. as a junior. We will lean on him for a lot of things, especially early in the year. However, we do feel we have to potential to be a very balanced team as our kids gain varsity experience. Basketball in the PCL and Northwest Ohio is full of excellent veteran led teams. It’s going to be important for our team to get better every single day we touch the floor in order for us to be where we want at the end of the season.

Leipsic

Division: IV

Coach: Chris Kuhlman (fifth season)

2019-20 overall record: 11-12

2019-20 league record: 3-4 (tied for fourth) in PCL; 5-5 (tied for fifth) in BVC

2020 postseason finish: Lost 64-55 to Crestview in sectional semifinals

Varsity roster includes: Mason Brandt (Jr.), Trey Schroeder (Sr.), Fabian Pena (Jr.), Caleb Ellerbrock (Soph.), Jaden Siefker (Sr.), Dillan Niese (Jr.), Paul Maag (Soph.), Lorenzo Walther (Sr.), Mario Noriega (Sr.), Tyler Sickmiller (Sr.), Kaleb Gillespie (Sr.)

Miller City

Division: IV

Coach: Ross Kaufman (third season)

2019-20 overall record: 11-12

2019-20 league record: 3-4 (tied for fourth)

2020 postseason finish: Lost 49-47 to Lincolnview in sectional semifinals

Varsity roster includes: Ross Niese (Sr.), Devin Pester (Sr.), Ethan Barlage (Fr.), Silas Niese (Fr.), TJ Michel (Sr.), Sam Ellerbrock (Jr.), Thomas Weis (Soph.), Austin Ruhe (Jr.), Owen Tobe (Fr.), Jaden Nuvemen (Jr.), Joe Deitering (Sr.), Jon Burgei (Jr.)

Ottoville

Division: IV

Coach: Keith Utendorf (fourth season).

2019-20 overall record: 20-4

2019-20 league record: 6-1 (second)

2020 postseason finish: Lost 44-40 to Kalida in district semifinals

Returning 2019-20 varsity letter winners: Josh Thorbahn (Sr.), Ryan Suever (Sr.), Kyle Manns (Sr.), Grant Kortokrax (Sr.), Trae Schlagbaum (Sr.), Jack Langhals (Sr.), Cole Furley (Sr.), Caden Edelbrock (Sr.), Kaiden Trentman (Sr.), Cooper Hanneman (Sr.), Will Miller (Jr.).

Varsity roster includes: Kellen Schlagbaum (Soph.).

Coach’s analysis: The guys have bought into our system, style, and mentality throughout the summer and preseason, and we have enjoyed competing throughout. We have several returning lettermen that will look to lead us throughout the campaign. We have a long, athletic lineup that we can use to our advantage at times. Our length and athleticism should allow us to play our style defensively and create easier opportunities on the offensive end at times. Our experience and our collective mindset are encouraging. These kids have played together for the better part of 3-4 years, and that experience, we hope, will be a catalyst for us to reach our goals. We will have to have players step up and be options offensively that can prove to make open shots. Our style lends itself to spreading the floor with read and react principles so developing chemistry, especially on the offensive side, will be a main focus for our group over the course of the year. In addition, developing the depth and defensive chemistry will be necessary with the early part of our schedule in order to play our style. Communication will be critical. We will look to compete every night in an always challenging Putnam County League as well as a very competitive non-league schedule. Given the situation we are in, we have reminded our kids of the opportunity they have in front of them which is simply to enjoy every opportunity that comes to us and cherish the time we have together. The PCL is always a challenge. This year is no different. Kalida and Columbus Grove both had tremendous seasons last year and look to be the top contenders going into the season with the number of guys each have coming back. Miller City is another team that is returning a number of very quality players. Leipsic, Fort Jennings and Continental are all capable opponents that will have young guys that are talented and are going to get better throughout the year. This will be a highly competitive league that will have teams capable on any given night that can surprise anyone.

Pandora-Gilboa

Division: IV

Coach: Mike Lee (second season)

2019-20 overall record: 10-12

2019-20 league record: 3-4 (tied for fourth) in PCL; 5-5 (tied for fifth) in BVC

2020 postseason finish: Lost 65-56 to Continental in sectional semifinals

Returning 2019-20 varsity letter winners: Gavin Biery (Sr.), Blake Steiner (Sr.), Will Huffman (Jr.), Dillan Krohn (Jr.), Ryan Johnson (Jr.), Sam Norton (Jr.)

Others on varsity roster include: Bryce Basinger (Sr.), Eli Huffman (Jr.), Aiden Harris (Fr.), Aidan Morris (Fr.), Ethan Luginbill (Soph.), Maxwell Wilson (Jr.)

Coach’s analysis: We will need to develop more consistency at both ends of the floor. Six letter winners return which should give us more experience and depth. Depth will be a key relative to the unfortunate set of circumstances revolving around COVID-19. We hope to be a more athletic and competitive team as the season progresses.

Kalida’s Luke Erhart, here putting up a shot against Ottoville’s Ryan Suever, was named first team All-Putnam County Conference as a junior.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2020/12/web1_Kalida-vs-Ottoville-RP-001.jpgKalida’s Luke Erhart, here putting up a shot against Ottoville’s Ryan Suever, was named first team All-Putnam County Conference as a junior. Richard Parrish | The Lima News
Ottoville’s Ryan Suever was selected first team All-PCL as a junior.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2020/12/web1_continentalVSnorthbaltimore-2.jpgOttoville’s Ryan Suever was selected first team All-PCL as a junior. Amanda Wilson | The Lima News
Ottoville’s Josh Thorbahn was named first team All-Putnam County as a junior and PCL Player of the Year as a sophomore.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2020/12/web1_continentalVSnorthbaltimore-5.jpgOttoville’s Josh Thorbahn was named first team All-Putnam County as a junior and PCL Player of the Year as a sophomore. Amanda Wilson | The Lima News
Leipsic’s Mason Brandt, here guarded by Ottoville’s Josh Thorbahn, left, and Trae Schlagham, was named second team All-PCL and All-Blanchard Valley Conference as a sophomore.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2020/12/web1_ottovilleVSleipsic-6.jpgLeipsic’s Mason Brandt, here guarded by Ottoville’s Josh Thorbahn, left, and Trae Schlagham, was named second team All-PCL and All-Blanchard Valley Conference as a sophomore. Amanda Wilson | The Lima News

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