2022 Shelby County girls basketball preview: Sidney hoping for big season


Fort Loramie, Russia looking for strong seasons; 5 new coaches at Shelby County schools

By Bryant Billing - [email protected]



Sidney's Lexee Brewer, right, shoots with pressure from Russia's Reese Goubeaux during a nonconference game on Friday in Sidney. Brewer returns for the Yellow Jackets after suffering a knee injury last December and missing the rest of the season. Goubeaux is one of seven returnees for the Raiders.

Sidney's Lexee Brewer, right, shoots with pressure from Russia's Reese Goubeaux during a nonconference game on Friday in Sidney. Brewer returns for the Yellow Jackets after suffering a knee injury last December and missing the rest of the season. Goubeaux is one of seven returnees for the Raiders.


Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Fort Loramie junior guard Ava Turner, left, dribbles with pressure from Russia's Cece Borchers during the first half of a Shelby County Athletic League game on Tuesday in Fort Loramie. Turner is the lone returning starter for the Redskins, which won their fifth consecutive district title last year and their fifth consecutive district title. Borchers is one of seven returnees for the Raiders, which finished 20-6 overall and advanced to a district final.


Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Sidney junior guard Allie Stockton, right, and junior center Regan Clark, left, fight for a loose ball with Tippecanoe’s Ally Broering during the second half of a Miami Valley League Valley Division game on Dec. 30, 2021 in Sidney. Stockton and Clark are one of seven returnees for the Yellow Jackets, which finished 19-6 last year, won the overall MVL title and advanced to a district final.


Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

SIDNEY — Sidney’s girls basketball squad has slowly added pieces the last three years and is hoping they all come together this season.

Sidney returns seven players who started games last year and has a key player back from the 2020-21 campaign. With a deep, talented roster, the Yellow Jackets are hoping to be even better than last year’s 19-6 campaign, which included an overall Miami Valley League title and a district semifinal berth.

“We’ve been looking forward to this year for a little while now,” Jamal Foster, who is entering his fourth year as coach, said. “We have a mixture with upperclassmen and still some underclassmen as well. Definitely, this is the roster we’ve been waiting on.”

Four-year starting guards Allie Stockton and Lexee Brewer return to lead the squad. Sophomore guards Jordan Scully and Larkyn Vordemark return after starting as freshman last year. Junior starting guard Kiara Hudgins is also returning. In addition, junior guard Kimora Johnson rejoins the program after not playing last year.

Senior center Regan Clark returns, as does sophomore forward Kelis McNeal.

Those eight players — six of which averaged better than 7.1 points last year and five of which averaged better than 3.6 rebounds — make for an experienced group.

Foster is expecting they’ll be in top shape come tournament time in three months. Aside from its MVL slate, Sidney will face Cincinnati Purcell Marian and Butler, Kentucky, in invitational tournaments in addition to Russia and Tri-Village, which each won 20 or more games a year ago.

In addition, the Yellow Jackets scrimmaged perennially strong Greater Western Ohio Conference squads in Springboro, Wayne and Beavercreek in preseason, as well as perennial powers Columbus Africentric and Dayton Carroll, among others.

“We wanted to put together the best schedule we possibly could, including the preseason,” Foster said. “There is a lot of talent around, so we decided to go wherever the talent was and go lace them up. …We want to be the best possible team we can be and the healthiest team we can be at the end of the year.”

Brewer returns for Sidney after missing most of last season. She suffered a season-ending knee injury in a win over Stebbins on Dec. 8, which also prevented her from playing soccer this fall.

Brewer, a point guard, averaged 10.2 points, 6.8 steals, 4.2 assists and 3.6 rebounds in the five games she played. She was a first team all-MVL selection as a sophomore and a second-team selection as a freshman. She has averaged at least four rebounds, four assists and four steals per game in each of her previous three seasons.

Stockton, who signed with the University of Findlay on Wednesday, has led the squad in scoring the last three years and surpassed 1,000 career points last season. She has 1,108 career points, 459 points short of Celena Taborn, who scored a program best 1,567 between 2014 and 2017.

Stockton averaged 16.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.9 steals and 2.2 assists per game a year ago.

“They’ve been here since the beginning, and they’re leaders,” Foster said. “Allie is more vocal than Lex. Lex has shown through her actions both on and off the court how hard she worked to get healthy.”

Brewer isn’t the only player Sidney is expecting a full season from after not having one a year ago. Clark, who transferred from Jackson Center to Sidney before last season, had to sit out the second half of the campaign due to OHSAA transfer rules.

Clark, who is 6-foot-1, averaged 10.9 points and 6.3 rebounds in the 10 games she played last year.

“We haven’t had a true post until her,” Foster said. “Having somebody as versatile as she is, who can go inside and out, for 20-plus games, is a luxury. Definitely excited to have her for a full season, instead of half.”

She’ll be aided inside by McNeal, who started in the post the second half of last season. McNeal steadily improved and averaged 4.7 points and 8.2 rebounds per game; she was an honorable mention all-MVL selection.

Scully and Vordemark are back after starting at guard all or most of last season. Scully averaged 11 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game while Vordemark averaged 9.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.1 steals. Scully was a second team all-MVL selection and Vordemark was honorable mention last year.

“Those sophomores are big to what we do,” Foster said. “They play a lot of minutes. They guard. They’ve all had pretty good spots this preseason. They’ve shown what they can do, mixed in with the upperclassmen. That class is pretty big.

“… Jordan has elevated her game on both ends of the floor and has been the best player for us this preseason. She’s stepped up and I look for her to be a go-to player for us this season and have a breakout year.”

Sophomore center Kendall Dickman, who is 5-11, will play off the bench in relief of Clark and McNeal.

Hudgins is working her way back from a knee injury and is expected to rejoin the team in January. She took over as starting point guard after Brewer’s injury last year and was a first team all-MVL selection. She averaged 7.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.9 steals.

“She’s been working, and we’re expecting to get her back in the middle of the season,” Foster said. “… We just want her to get healthy, not really rush that part of it. It will be exciting to have her back.”

Johnson, also a soccer standout, returns after not playing last year. She averaged 2.5 points off the bench as a freshman.

“She defends at a high level, puts the ball on the floor,” Foster said. “She can play the 1 or 2 for us. She’s kind of stepped in there and been the extra person we need to sub. It’s been great having her back. She contributes a lot and has really helped our rotation.”

Senior center Lexis Wilson and freshman guard Jada Shroyer will round out the roster.

Sidney will open the season on Friday by traveling to Russia for the first of its four nonconference games this season.

The Yellow Jackets will face Purcell Marian, which won the Div. III state title last year, in the Journey to the Tourney at Cincinnati Sycamore High School next Sunday, Nov. 27. The squad will host Tri-Village on New Year’s Eve and will play Butler, Kentucky, in the Classic in the City on Jan. 15 at Pickerington Central High School.

Fort Loramie

While Fort Loramie has only one returning starter from last year’s 25-2 campaign, the Redskins have several other key returnees and many talented newcomers who will help aid in the program’s effort to earn its sixth consecutive Shelby County Athletic League title and sixth straight district championship.

Senior guard Ava Turner is the squad’s lone returning starter. Also back are juniors Jaden Rose and Skyler Albers and two freshman forwards who saw significant playing time last year in Victoria Mescher and Avery Brandewie.

Key newcomers include senior forward Olivia Mescher, senior guard Alexis Koverman, junior guards Carissa Meyer and Allyson Holland and junior forwards Summer Hoying, Alex Rose and Brynn Holland.

“Our goal is simple: get better each time we step on the floor,” Fort Loramie coach Carla Siegel, who is entering her 24th year and closing in on 500 career wins, said. “We have talented players that work incredibly hard. Defense will be our main focus, which will allow us to get into our transition. Offensively, we tend to like an up-tempo offense with unselfish players that will find the open person.”

Russia

The Raiders have seven returning players from last year’s 20-6 season and are looking to compete for the SCAL title and to make a deep postseason run.

Senior starting guards Cece Borchers and Reese Goubeaux return, as does 6-2 post Kate Sherman. Sherman, a first team all-SCAL selection last year, averaged 10.1 points and seven rebounds per game in regular season. Borchers, who was second team all-SCAL, averaged 10 points, five rebounds and three steals.

Returning letterwinner Roni Poling, a 6-0 junior, will aid Sherman in the post. Also back are senior guards Simone Puthoff, Miah Monnin and Kelby Doseck.

Key newcomers include Jaela Shappie, Carley Scott, Grace Holscher, Jenna Monnin and Addison Shappie. Junior guard Carley Scott was expected to be a key newcomer but is out indefinitely due to injury.

“We return a lot of experience but lost three valuable seniors from last year,” Russia coach Paul Bremigan, who is entering his second season as the program’s coach after having previously led the boys program for 31 years, said.

“We will depend on a balance of post and guard play on offense. We have set our goals high this year and are looking to improve throughout the year into tournament.”

Botkins

Tyler Carson takes over as the program’s coach.

Junior guard Camdyn Paul and junior forward Janel Platfoot are returning starters. Paul averaged 5.8 points per game last year and was an honorable mention all-SCAL selection.

Senior guard Kennedi Doseck and junior guard Malanie Maurer return. Senior Lydia Dietz and sophomore Delana Pitts are key newcomers.

“We have a good group of girls that are unselfish and play together,” Carson said. “We are going to be smaller than just about every team we play, but we have a team full of hard workers and competitors.”

The Trojans finished 17-8 last year.

Anna

Randy Huber takes over as the program’s coach.

Junior guard Brenna Cobb, who was an honorable mention all-SCAL selection last year, returns. Sophomore post Addilynn Irick, who is 6-1, is a key newcomer.

The Rockets finished 14-11 last year.

Houston

Brian Gillespie takes over as the program’s coach.

Junior guard Katie Maier and senior forward/center Taylor Maxwell are returning starters. Senior forward Lainey Peacock also returns.

Sophomore center Emilee Earl and sophomore forward Lexi Hartings are key newcomers, as are freshman guards Lauryn Crim, Bell Shultz and Olivia Burks and freshman forwards Makenna Vondenhuevel and Lauren Maier.

“We are going to be a very young team with seven of 10 varsity players in the freshman/sophomore classes,” Gillespie said. “Only two kids on the roster, Katie Maier and Taylor Maxwell, have played a significant amount of varsity minutes in the past.

“Maier is an outstanding point guard, and Maxwell is a talented post player. Junior Lainey Peacock is the heartbeat of the roster from the 3 position. Meanwhile, there are some talented young players that will play significant roles on the team.

“Sophomore Emilee Earl and freshmen Lauryn Crim and Makenna Vondenhuevel will no doubt impact the success of the team as well.”

The Wildcats finished 10-14 last year.

Jackson Center

Tiffany Brown takes over as the program’s coach.

Sophomore guards McKinley Reichert and Addie Biederman are returning starters for the Tigers, which finished 6-17 overall. Also returning are sophomores Presley Reese, Macy Klopfenstein and Grace Prenger.

Sophomore Kendall Reese is a key newcomer.

“Our team is young and brings a lot of fire and energy,” Brown said. “This team is hardworking and has a lot of potential. We are excited about the season.”

Fairlawn

Gavin Cathcart is entering his sixth season as the program’s coach.

The squad has one returning starter in senior Darcy Maxson and one other returnee in Avery North.

Six freshman join the squad this year: Cassie Heath, Riley Eichelberger, Lilly Cathcart, Caleigh Helber and Lani Clemons.

“This year will be a rebuilding year after losing six seniors to graduation and 95 percent of the scoring from last year,” Cathcart said. “We will have five freshman playing significant minutes with returning starter Darcy Maxson and shooting guard Avery North.

“It will take a few games for the young players to get used to the speed of the game at the varsity level. This year’s team works very hard and I’m confident they will improve as the year progresses and win some games.”

The Jets finished 7-16 last year.

Lehman Catholic

Chad Platfoot takes over as the program’s coach.

Junior forward Mara O’Leary returns after averaging 10.7 points and 6.3 rebounds a year ago. She was a second team all-Three Rivers Conference selection.

Also returning are junior guard/forward Taylor Geise and sophomore forward Layla Platfoot.

Sophomore guard Kailee Rank is a key newcomer, as are junior guard Aubri Karn and sophomore forward Callie Giguere.

”We feel with our returning players and some of the newcomers we can challenge for a league title,” Platfoot said. “We know we are in a very competitive league so each game will be a challenge but we are looking forward to seeing how we stack up. I can’t wait for the season to get going.”

The Cavaliers finished 8-14 last year.

Sidney’s Lexee Brewer, right, shoots with pressure from Russia’s Reese Goubeaux during a nonconference game on Friday in Sidney. Brewer returns for the Yellow Jackets after suffering a knee injury last December and missing the rest of the season. Goubeaux is one of seven returnees for the Raiders.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/11/web1_BPB_0667-Edit-2.jpgSidney’s Lexee Brewer, right, shoots with pressure from Russia’s Reese Goubeaux during a nonconference game on Friday in Sidney. Brewer returns for the Yellow Jackets after suffering a knee injury last December and missing the rest of the season. Goubeaux is one of seven returnees for the Raiders.Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Fort Loramie junior guard Ava Turner, left, dribbles with pressure from Russia’s Cece Borchers during the first half of a Shelby County Athletic League game on Tuesday in Fort Loramie. Turner is the lone returning starter for the Redskins, which won their fifth consecutive district title last year and their fifth consecutive district title. Borchers is one of seven returnees for the Raiders, which finished 20-6 overall and advanced to a district final.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/11/web1_BPB_1112-Edit-2.jpgFort Loramie junior guard Ava Turner, left, dribbles with pressure from Russia’s Cece Borchers during the first half of a Shelby County Athletic League game on Tuesday in Fort Loramie. Turner is the lone returning starter for the Redskins, which won their fifth consecutive district title last year and their fifth consecutive district title. Borchers is one of seven returnees for the Raiders, which finished 20-6 overall and advanced to a district final.Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Sidney junior guard Allie Stockton, right, and junior center Regan Clark, left, fight for a loose ball with Tippecanoe’s Ally Broering during the second half of a Miami Valley League Valley Division game on Dec. 30, 2021 in Sidney. Stockton and Clark are one of seven returnees for the Yellow Jackets, which finished 19-6 last year, won the overall MVL title and advanced to a district final.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/11/web1_BPB_2726-Edit-print.jpgSidney junior guard Allie Stockton, right, and junior center Regan Clark, left, fight for a loose ball with Tippecanoe’s Ally Broering during the second half of a Miami Valley League Valley Division game on Dec. 30, 2021 in Sidney. Stockton and Clark are one of seven returnees for the Yellow Jackets, which finished 19-6 last year, won the overall MVL title and advanced to a district final. Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News
Fort Loramie, Russia looking for strong seasons; 5 new coaches at Shelby County schools

By Bryant Billing

bbil[email protected]

Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.

Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.