Northwest Conference boys basketball previews


Spencerville’s Josh Henline (3) returns after earning all-Northwest Conference second team honors last season.

Spencerville’s Josh Henline (3) returns after earning all-Northwest Conference second team honors last season.


Don Speck | The Lima News

Columbus Grove’s Trey Sautter, here putting up a shot against Glenwood’s Devon Jones during a Division IV state semifinal last season at UD Arena in Dayton, returns for the Bulldogs after being named all-Northwest Conference and all-Putnam County League honorable mention last season.

Columbus Grove’s Trey Sautter, here putting up a shot against Glenwood’s Devon Jones during a Division IV state semifinal last season at UD Arena in Dayton, returns for the Bulldogs after being named all-Northwest Conference and all-Putnam County League honorable mention last season.


Richard Parrish | The Lima News

Allen East’s Garrett Newland, here putting up a shot against Lincolnview’s Clayton Leeth, was named all-Northwest Conference honorable mention last season.


Don Speck | The Lima News

Ada

Division: IV

Coach: Vincent Halliday (first season)

2020-21 overall record: 3-19

2020-21 league record: 1-7 (ninth)

2021 postseason finish: Lost 64-46 to New Bremen in sectional semifinals.

Returning 2020-21 varsity letter winners: Cayden Murphy (Sr.), Ethan Murphy (Jr.), Spencer Wall (Jr.)

Others on varsity roster: Carter Conley (Jr.), Gage Hoffer (Jr.), Jaden Leal (Jr.), Jacob Sutherly (Jr.), Casen Jones (Jr.), Grant Preston (Jr.), Ashton Cowan (Sr.)

Coach’s analysis: In my first season in Ada, we will look to establish a style of play that will allow us to compete night in and night out. We will rely on the varsity letter winners from last year and a few other juniors who played JV ball last year.

Allen East

Division: III

Coach: Gabe Young (second season)

2020-21 overall record: 10-13

2020-21 league record: 2-6 (tied for seventh)

2021 postseason finish: Lost 60-41 to Sherwood Fairview in sectional semifinals.

Returning 2020-21 varsity letter winners: Garrett Newland (Sr.), Carter Young (Sr.), Zach Miller (Sr.), Keaton Lehman (Jr.), Jacob Hershberger (Jr.), Keaton Miller (Jr.), Carson Clum (Soph.)

Others that may start season on varsity roster: Mason Hutchinson (Sr.), Grant Scott (Sr.), Joe Hole (Jr.)

Coach’s analysis: We have a lot of guys returning to the staring lineup this season and depth coming off the bench that should allow us to play at a faster tempo. We look forward to the challenge our schedule brings week in and week out.

Bluffton

Division: III

Coach: Todd Boblitt (16th season)

2020-21 overall record: 11-13

2020-21 league record: 2-6 (tied for seventh)

2021 postseason finish: Lost 72-38 to Ottawa-Glandorf in sectional finals.

Returning 2020-21 varsity letter winners: Trey Boblitt (Sr.), Trenton Donley (Sr.), Kyler Kinn (Sr.), Nate Schaadt (Sr.), Carson Sopper (Jr.)

Top prospects: Wyatt Lovell (Jr.), Braeden Ackerman (Jr.), Landon Shutler (Jr.), Wade Ginther (Soph.), Kaden Lora (Soph.)

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.

Crestview

Division: IV

Coach: Doug Etzler (third season)

2020-21 overall record: 18-6

2020-21 league record: 7-1 (second)

2021 postseason finish: Lost 58-49 to Ottoville in district semifinals.

Returning 2020-21 varsity letter winners: J.J Ward (Sr.), Rontae Jackson (Sr.), Gavin Etzler (Jr.), Mitch Temple (Jr.), Carson Hunter (Jr.), Nate Lichtle (Jr.)

Others that may start season on varsity roster: Ryan Sowers (Sr.), Kaden Kreischer (Sr.), Nasir Easterling (Jr.), Wesyn Ludwig (Jr.), Jaret Harting (Soph.), Connor Sheets (Soph.), Isaac Kline (Soph.), Kellin Putman (Soph.)

Coach’s analysis: I look for the NWC to be very competitive. We lost three starters from last year’s team (Kalen Etzler, Carson Kreischer, Brody Brecht) but have six returning letter winners that all played valuable roles in our 18 win season last year. We will have to have our guys step up into new roles this year, but I feel that they are very capable.

Delphos Jefferson

Division: III

Coach: Jordan Jettinghoff (sixth season)

2020-21 overall record: 7-14

2020-21 league record: 4-4 (fourth)

2021 postseason finish: Lost 48-40 to Bath in sectional semifinals.

Returning 2020-21 varsity letter winners: Colin Bailey (Sr.), Andrew Miller (Jr.), Trent Teman (Jr.), Levi Rode (Jr.), Caden Carder (Jr.)

Others on varsity roster: Cody Bailey (Jr.), Lucas Grothaus (Jr.), Cole Hoersten (Jr.), Isaac Gallmeier (Soph.) , Jaden Lucas (Jr.)

Coach’s analysis: The Delphos Jefferson Wildcats are ready to get this basketball season underway. The coaching staff is excited about the group of young men we have and look forward to competing against the area teams. We bring back some experience and also add in some more juniors that are chomping at the bit to compete at the varsity level. We want to play aggressive on defense, play together, and share the ball on offense. If we can come together and play for Delphos Jefferson every night, I believe we will see good results.

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.

Lincolnview

Division: IV

Coach: Brett Hammons (1oth season)

2020-21 overall record: 18-6

2020-21 league record: 6-2 (third)

2021 postseason finish: Lost 44-38 to Columbus Grove in district semifinals.

Returning 2020-21 varsity letter winners: Landon Price (Sr.), Garrett Richardson (Sr.), Daegan Hatfield (Sr.)

Others on varsity roster: Avery Slusher (Sr.), Elijah Peterson (Sr.), Cal Evans (Soph.), Kohen Fox (Jr.), Hugo Salinas (Sr.), Carson Fox (Sr.), Cole Binkley (Sr.), Ethan Crow (Sr.), Wyatt Friedrich (Jr.)

Coach’s analysis: We lost all five starters from our team last year, but we have three very good bench players from last year that will be put in the staring lineup. The players coming up from JV are talented and all of these guys will continue to improve. We have to continue to get better in all aspects of the game. If we can continue to get players to develop and play with consistency on both ends of the floor I feel we could have a successful season.

Spencerville

Division: IV

Coach: Kevin Sensabaugh (20th season)

2020-21 overall record: 8-16

2020-21 league record: 3-5 (fifth)

2021 postseason finish: Lost 69-62 to Perry in sectional finals.

Returning 2020-21 varsity letter winners: Tyler Koenig (Sr.), Eli Harter (Sr.), Dylan Smith (Jr.), Dylan Cook (Jr.), Cade Elling (Sr), Nathan Coulter (Soph.) , Carter Sudhoff (Soph.), Josh Henline (Jr.)

Others on varsity roster: Evan Osting (Soph.), Hayden Haman (Jr.)

Coach’s analysis: We are really looking forward to this year. For the first time in a while, we have a lot of experience returning. Tyler Koenig, Cade Elling, and Eli Harter make up an awesome senior class. Josh Henline returns as our leading scorer the last two seasons. Point guard Dylan Smith returns as well as our second leading scorer. Dylan Cook returns after seeing significant minutes off the bench last year. That is a lot of experience coming back and we are looking forward to building off that experience.

Spencerville’s Josh Henline (3) returns after earning all-Northwest Conference second team honors last season.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/11/web1_Kalida-Boys-BB-vs-Spencer-DS2.jpgSpencerville’s Josh Henline (3) returns after earning all-Northwest Conference second team honors last season. Don Speck | The Lima News
Columbus Grove’s Trey Sautter, here putting up a shot against Glenwood’s Devon Jones during a Division IV state semifinal last season at UD Arena in Dayton, returns for the Bulldogs after being named all-Northwest Conference and all-Putnam County League honorable mention last season.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/11/web1_Grove-vs-Glenwwod-RP-06.jpgColumbus Grove’s Trey Sautter, here putting up a shot against Glenwood’s Devon Jones during a Division IV state semifinal last season at UD Arena in Dayton, returns for the Bulldogs after being named all-Northwest Conference and all-Putnam County League honorable mention last season. Richard Parrish | The Lima News
Allen East’s Garrett Newland, here putting up a shot against Lincolnview’s Clayton Leeth, was named all-Northwest Conference honorable mention last season.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/11/web1_Lincolnview-Boys-BB-vs-AE-DS1.jpgAllen East’s Garrett Newland, here putting up a shot against Lincolnview’s Clayton Leeth, was named all-Northwest Conference honorable mention last season. Don Speck | 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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