Fort Loramie and Tri-Village’s girls basketball teams are on the same court this weekend but will have to wait until tournament time if they are to meet head-to-head.
The two Division IV programs will compete in the Classic in the Country at Berlin Hiland in back-to-back contests at 9 and 10:30 a.m. versus perennial Div. III powerhouses Loudonville in Ashland County and Margaretta in Erie County.
ScoresBroadcast.com will begin coverage of the Fort Loramie (13-0) vs. Loudonville (11-3) at 8:45. The webcast of the Tri-Village (15-0) vs. Margaretta (13-1) clash starts at 10:20.
SCORES, the Shelby County Online Radio Entertainment System, features Redskins head coach Carla Siegel in the game-one opening segment. Patriots head coach Brad Gray is interviewed in the pre-game portion of the second contest.
The Darke County school would seem to have a date with the more challenging opponent. The Margaretta Polar Bears thumped the Loudonville Redbirds by 42 points earlier this season.
Fort Loramie was ranked number one this week in Ohio in the Associated Press D-IV poll while Tri-Village was close behind at No. 6. Last year, the two schools finished the regular season ranked first and third. Margaretta, nipped only by Bellevue a month ago, is rated the second best girls team in the state in D-III. Presently unranked, Loudonville has been consistently touted among the state’s top ten since 2017.
Pace will be a big factor in both contests on Saturday. Fort Loramie wants to apply pressure on defense and push the ball up and down the floor against a good Loudonville club which lacks depth this year, detailed Chuck McBee of SCORES. He added that Tri-Village wants to use its size advantage when attacking a talented Margaretta squad in the second game.
Loudonville under seven-year head coach Tyler Bates has won 20 or more games each of the last three years and is averaging 18 wins per season during his tenure. However, the team graduated eight letterwinners and two outstanding 1,000-point scorers last spring.
Current senior star Emily Seboe, a 5-11 power forward, is a big-time headliner for Loudonville at 27 points and 15 rebounds per outing.
In contrast, Fort Loramie sports five girls— Marissa Meiring, Taylor Ratermann, Dana Rose, Ava Sholtis, and Kenzie Hoelscher— averaging between 8.6 and 10.8 points per game. Ratermann is hitting 3-pointers at a 48 percent clip. Kennedi Gephart is a defensive stopper. Point guards Caitlyn Gasson and Corynn Heitkamp combine to average only two turnovers per contest. The Redskins bench is deep and offers experience.
“Plus, Fort Loramie’s defensive rotations are rock solid,” McBee pointed out. “Carla can turn up the heat with various combinations and there is no drop off.”
The Redskins are allowing only five points per quarter. Opponents are making two-pointers at a feeble 28 percent. Meanwhile, Fort Loramie, as a team, is just shy of a red hot 60 percent.
Coach Gray of Tri-Village hopes starters Maddy Downing, a 6-1 senior post player, and Rylee Sagester, a three-point specialist, lead the way for his club against Margaretta. The two have combined to tally 35 points per game. Morgan Hunt, a 5-10 freshman, comes off the bench to add another 14 points.
Both Tri-Village and Fort Loramie are averaging 73 points per four quarters of play.
Margaretta starts four girls in double figures. Taylor Malson, a superb senior shooting guard, scores 17 points per outing, hits 60 percent of her shots, and drills 90 percent of her free throws.
Third-year head coach Eric Kochendoerfer has beefed up his school’s hoops schedule, which includes a number of Div. I and II foes.
This season, the four schools competing in the Classic’s first two games on Saturday have combined to square off against more than 30 higher division opponents.