Putnam County League boys basketball previews


Ottoville’s William Miller (2) earned second team all-Putnam County League honors last season. Richard Parrish | The Lima News

Ottoville’s William Miller (2) earned second team all-Putnam County League honors last season. Richard Parrish | The Lima News


Richard Parrish | The Lima News

Continental’s Gavin Huff, here putting up a shot against Kalida’s Jayce Horstman, was selected honorable mention all-Putnam County League last season.

Continental’s Gavin Huff, here putting up a shot against Kalida’s Jayce Horstman, was selected honorable mention all-Putnam County League last season.


Richard Parrish | The Lima News

Kalida’s Drew Fersch, here putting up a shot against Leipsic’s Dillan Niese, returns this season.


Richard Parrish | The Lima News

Columbus Grove

Division: IV

Coach: Chris Sautter (sixth season)

2020-21 overall record: 25-3

2020-21 league record: 8-0 (first in NWC); 6-1 (second in PCL)

2021 postseason finish: Lost 60-44 to Botkins in state finals.

Returning 2020-21 varsity letter winners: Bo Birnesser (Soph.), Brayden Bellman (Sr.), Trey Sautter (Sr.), Jacksen Schroeder (Sr.)

Others on varsity roster: Noah Macke (Sr.), Caleb Stechschulte (Sr.), Braylon Baxter (Sr.), Tadd Koch (Jr.), Zach Reynolds (Soph.), Trenton Barraza (Fr.), Evan Sautter (Soph.) , Keegan Bame (Soph.)

Coach’s analysis: We return four letter winners, but lose four starters and five seniors who were responsible for the majority of our production at both ends of the floor. Replacing a senior class that won 70 games in the last three seasons will be no easy task. This team will look to carry on the tradition of success and leave their own mark on the program.

Continental

Division: IV

Coach: Scott Keck (second season)

2020-21 overall record: 8-14

2020-21 league record: 2-5 (tied for fifth)

2021 postseason finish: Lost 53-15 to Kalida in sectional semifinals.

Returning 2020-21 varsity letter winners: Gavin Huff (Sr.), Andrew Hoeffel (Sr.), Alex Sharrits (Sr.), Wyatt Davis (Sr.), Konner Knipp-Williams (Jr.), Rhenn Armey (Jr.)

Others making the varsity roster: Dominick Moore (Sr.), Carson Etter (Soph.), Jonathan Etter (Soph.), Peyton Wilson (Soph.), Mayson Rayle (Soph.)

Coach’s analysis: Coming into this season I have a lot of expectations for us to be able to compete in each game we play. We return a good core group of players coming off an eight win season. Defensively, we should be able to keep ourselves in games this season. All depends on if we can hit enough shots to win the game. Our kids play extremely hard and that is all you can ask for as a coach.

Fort Jennings

Division: IV

Coach: Todd Hoehn (second season)

2020-21 overall record: 7-15

2020-21 league record: 1-6 (tied for seventh)

2021 postseason finish: Lost 61-38 to Columbus Grove in sectional finals.

Returning 2020-21 varsity letter winners: Nick Trentman (Sr.), Jon Grote (Sr.)

Others on varsity roster: Brandt Menke (Fr.), Brayden Calvelage (Jr.), Carson Gilchriest (Soph.), Jaret Maag (Jr.), Will Lucas (Sr.), Brayden Hart (Soph.), Aidan Grothouse (Jr.), Gavin Gilbert (Sr.), Jarron Swick (Fr.), Chase Neidert (Jr.), Ian Howbert (Fr.), Ethan Koester (Soph.), Nick Wurst (Sr.)

Coach’s analysis: Great numbers grades 9-12. Some varsity experience and depth should allow the team to compete every night. We will strive 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. We will always try to get better

Kalida

Division: IV

Coach: Ryan Stechschulte (sixth season)

2020-21 overall record: 18-6

2020-21 league record: 5-2 (third)

2021 postseason finish: Lost 44-32 to Lincolnview in sectional finals.

Returning 2020-21 varsity letter winners: Tyson Siefker (Sr.), Justin Siebeneck (Sr.), Grant Vorst (Sr.), Drew Fersch (Jr.), Jaden Smith (Jr.)

Others making the varsity roster: EJ Miller (Jr.), Evan Stechschulte (Jr.), Ethan Warnecke (Jr.), Brady Fersch (Soph.) , Jacob Siebeneck (Fr.), Joel Horstman (Jr.)

Coach’s analysis: It is 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 (sixth season)

2020-21 overall record: 15-8

2020-21 league record: First season in NWC; 4-3 (fourth in PCL); 7-3 (tied for third in BVC)

2021 postseason finish: Lost 56-44 to Delphos St. John’s in sectional semifinals.

Returning 2020-21 varsity letter winners: Mason Brandt (Sr.), Dillan Niese (Sr.), Paul Maag (Jr.), Quin Schroeder (Soph.) .

Others on varsity roster: Fabian Pena (Sr.), Blake Liffick (Sr.), Caleb Ellerbrock (Jr.), Trent Siefker (Soph.) , Estevan Carillo (Soph.) , Mason Rader (Soph.) , Jacob Scheckelhoff (Soph.)

Coach’s analysis: High expectations entering the year returning Mason and Dillan. We will be inexperienced on the basketball floor but basically the entire roster, including sophomores, have started two years of big games in football. The PCL (Putnam County League) graduated one of the best classes in a very long time. That league is up for grabs with most teams needing to find go-to players. This year will be our first in the NWC, and we look forward to starting new rivalries.

Miller City

Division: IV

Coach: Ross Kaufman (fourth season)

2020-21 overall record: 6-17

2020-21 league record: 2-5 (tied for fifth)

2021 postseason finish: Lost 44-41 in overtime to Cory-Rawson in sectional semifinals.

Returning 2020-21 varsity letter winners: Austin Ruhe (Sr.), Jaden Nuveman (Sr.), Thomas Weis (Jr.), Owen Tobe (Soph.)

Others on varsity roster: Silas Niese (Soph.), Ethan Barlage (Soph.), Lane Pester (Soph.), Caleb Warnimont (Sr.), Aaron Schnipke (Soph.), Andon Ruhe (Soph.), Zach Gerten (Soph.), Grant Palte (Jr.), Connor Hermiller (Jr.)

Coach’s analysis: We had a good offseason and look to stay competitive all season. We have a lot of new faces in the varsity rolls this year. We hope to stay competitive and work our way back towards the top of the league. We hope to stay competitive and work our way back towards the top of the league.

Ottoville

Division: IV

Coach: Keith Utendorf (fifth season)

2020-21 overall record: 21-3

2020-21 league record: 7-0 (first)

2021 postseason finish: Lost 61-48 to Columbus Grove in district finals.

Returning 2020-21 varsity letter winners: William Miller (Sr.), Kellen Schlagbaum (Jr.)

Others making the varsity roster: William Horstman (Sr.), Carter Schnipke (Sr.), Michael Steffan (Sr.), Dru Hilvers (Sr.), Alex Suever (Jr.), Carter Horstman (Jr.), Michael Turnwald (Soph.)

Coach’s analysis: We have two returners from last year’s group that we will rely on during the season for leadership and experience. The guys have put in so much work in the offseason and had success in all of our fall sports’ seasons, we hope and believe that success and culture will be a factor for us throughout the year. We know that while the early part of our schedule and the late start due to that success in the fall will be daunting, our goals are to simply improve every day. Our league is very competitive, as always, and each conference opponent is capable on any given night. These young men have been successful and will work to continue that success throughout the winter season.

Pandora-Gilboa

Division: IV

Coach: Mike Lee (third season)

2020-21 overall record: 10-13

2020-21 league record: 1-6 (tied for seventh in PCL); 7-3 (tied for third in BVC)

2021 postseason finish: Lost 47-42 to Fort Jennings in sectional semifinals.

Returning 2020-21 varsity letter winners: Aiden Harris (Soph.), Colin Harris (Soph.), Aidan Morris (Soph.) , Ethan Luginbill (Jr.), Eli Huffman (Sr.), Will Huffman (Sr.), Dillan Krohn (Sr.), Ryan Johnson (Sr.) (lettered sophomore year, injured junior year), Sam Norton (Sr.).

Others likely to make varsity roster: Maxwell Wilson (Sr.), Derek Maag (Jr.), Garrett Schumacher (Jr.), Joel Stall (Sr.), Jake Maag (Jr.).

Coach’s analysis: We have experience returning, but need to prove that equates to more consistency at the offensive end of the floor. In order to be solid at the defensive end, we have to be decent on the glass and play as a unit. We have good depth to start the year and hope to develop even more as the year progresses.

Ottoville’s William Miller (2) earned second team all-Putnam County League honors last season. Richard Parrish | The Lima News
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/11/web1_Ottoville-vs-Grove-RP-01-1.jpgOttoville’s William Miller (2) earned second team all-Putnam County League honors last season. Richard Parrish | The Lima News Richard Parrish | The Lima News
Continental’s Gavin Huff, here putting up a shot against Kalida’s Jayce Horstman, was selected honorable mention all-Putnam County League last season.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/11/web1_Kalida-vs-Continental-RP-04-1.jpgContinental’s Gavin Huff, here putting up a shot against Kalida’s Jayce Horstman, was selected honorable mention all-Putnam County League last season. Richard Parrish | The Lima News
Kalida’s Drew Fersch, here putting up a shot against Leipsic’s Dillan Niese, returns this season.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/11/web1_Kalida-vs-Leipsic-RP-03-1.jpgKalida’s Drew Fersch, here putting up a shot against Leipsic’s Dillan Niese, returns this season. Richard Parrish | The Lima News

Information provided by coaches and obtained from OHSAA and conference websites. Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.

Information provided by coaches and obtained from OHSAA and conference websites. Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.

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