SIDNEY — Last season was another remarkable one for area girls basketball teams. Five area teams won sectional titles, three won district titles and two won regional titles. Minster won the Division IV state championship, while Versailles finished as Div. III runner-ups for the second consecutive year.
As successful as the 2017-18 season was, this one may top it. A plethora of talented players return, and several squads should make deep postseason runs and compete for conference titles.
Below is a list of five area players and five area teams to watch. More on area girls basketball teams will be included in the Sidney Daily News’ annual basketball preview, which will be published on Nov. 29.
Five players to watch:
1. Marissa Meiring, Fort Loramie, 5-foot-10, junior, guard: Meiring rebounded from an ACL injury that cut her freshman season short and led a deep Fort Loramie squad last year. She averaged 9.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and three steals per game. Meiring is a comfortable in the paint as she is playing on the perimeter.
Meiring played six games as a freshman before tearing an ACL. Fort Loramie coach Carla Siegel said Meiring is the best freshman she’s had play in the program. She was second team all-Southwest district in Div. IV last year.
2. Laurissa Poling, Russia, 6-1, sr., center: Poling gave a verbal commitment to Wright State for volleyball earlier this month, and she’s as much of a dominant force in the paint in basketball as she is in the front row in volleyball.
Poling averaged 10.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game last year. She was second team all-Southwest district in D-IV.
3. Courtney Prenger, Minster, 6-1, sr., center: Prenger signed to play basketball at Xavier University earlier this week and may be the best of many talented post players in the area. She averaged 11.7 points and 6.9 rebounds last season for the Wildcats.
Prenger led Minster with 13 points and five rebounds in a state semifinal win over Waterford in March and led the squad with 17 points and six rebounds in a win over Ottoville in the D-IV state championship game. She was second team all-state in D-IV last season.
4. Alina Kindle, Sidney, 5-5, sr. guard: Kindle nearly single-handedly carried the Yellow Jackets in many games last year as the squad adjusted in its first season playing without current Furman star Celena Taborn.
Kindle averaged 11.2 points and 1.7 steals per game for the Yellow Jackets and should be their leading scorer again this year. She received her first collegiate offer earlier this month from Alderson Broaddus, a Division II school in West Virginia.
5. Elizabeth Ording, Versailles, 5-11, sr. forward: Ording is a three-year starter for Versailles and looks to take on a bigger role this year after the graduation of forward Danielle Winner. Ording averaged 6.1 points and 4.4 rebounds per game last year.
Five teams to watch:
1. Minster: The Wildcats look ready to defend their D-IV title. Aside from Prenger, they return sophomore guards Ivy Wolf and Janae Hoying, who were the team’s other leading scorers in their state championship win over Ottoville.
A bunch of other key players return, including senior guard Demaris Wolf, who averaged 8.3 points per game last year. Prenger will be helped in the post by junior forwards Jessica Falk and Danielle Barhorst, among others.
2. Versailles: The Tigers have played in the D-III title game three out of the last four years and should be among the last teams standing this year. Though they lose three starters from last season and again will be having a late start after a deep volleyball tournament run, they have a talented roster.
Ording and junior guard Caitlyn McEldowdney are returning starters. Junior forward Lindsey Winner, junior guard Danielle Kunk and junior guard/forward Kelsey Custenborder saw much playing time last year.
3. Fort Loramie: The Redskins lost to Minster in a Div. IV regional title game and could threaten the Wildcats’ hopes of repeating this year.
Like Minster and Versailles, Fort Loramie has a deep roster, which includes Meiring, sophomore forward Kenzie Hoelscher, junior guard Macy Imwalle, junior forward Alyssa Wrasman and junior guard Kennedi Gephart among others.
4. Russia: The Raiders have two of the best players in the area and should be a threat to return to regionals for the second time in three years.
Aside from Poling, senior guard Jenna Cordonnier returns. She averaged 9.7 points per game last year and was third team all-southwest district. Key players also return in senior guard Shea Borchers, junior guard Jessica York and sophomore Ashley Scott.
5. Anna: Though Anna loses its best player in Macey Huelskamp, the Rockets have several pieces returning and should be among the top teams in the Shelby County Athletic League. Senior guard Breah Kuck averaged six points per game last year, while sophomore guard Ella Doseck is the team’s top returning rebounds, assists and steals leader.
Juniors Kiplyn Rowland and Michael Ambos played off the bench last year. Several key newcomers should contribute, including junior center Lauren Barhorst.
Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.