Findlay Boys’ Cinderella Season Remembered

Photo by Brandi Denton Pictured are members of the 93’ Findlay eight grade boys’ basketball team. Back row, left to right: Coach Herb Bricker, Anthony Scott, Zac Atkinson, Travis Park, and Nick Berry; Front row: Curtis Shinn, Brock Nichols, cheerleaders Robin Perry and Jamie Martinski, and Michael Williams.

Photo by Brandi Denton
Pictured are members of the 93’ Findlay eight grade boys’ basketball team. Back row, left to right: Coach Herb Bricker, Anthony Scott, Zac Atkinson, Travis Park, and Nick Berry; Front row: Curtis Shinn, Brock Nichols, cheerleaders Robin Perry and Jamie Martinski, and Michael Williams.

January 21, 2015

‘93 team remembered for Elite 8 run

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

Herb Bricker has been coaching basketball in the area for more than 15 years. But there’s one game in particular that still sticks out to him–one where he enjoyed having a pair of scissors in one hand and a net in the other.
And last Thursday night that game, in part, along with the 1993 Findlay 8th grade boys’ basketball team was recognized almost 20 years after their Elite 8 run in the state tournament. That year the team coached by Bricker went 18-4 with Bricker winning IESA coach of the year.
“After our win, the president of the IESA stayed in our hotel, and he made a point to tell me the defense we played was the most impressive he had since Andy Kaufmann in the mid 80s,” recalled Bricker.
Travis Parks confirmed just how important defense was to that team.
“Herb coached us from fourth grade that defense wins games,” he said. “That is just what it takes to win games.”
Bricker noted the team would try to hold opponents to 15 shot attempts per game and actually held a team to just four shot attempts in one contest. Read More

Lady Knights’ Comeback Efforts Fall Short Against Neoga

Photo by Keith Stewart Elyse Harris (left) fights Neoga’s EC Thiese for the ball Thursday.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Elyse Harris (left) fights Neoga’s EC Thiese for the ball Thursday.

January 14, 2015

ALAH unable to keep up with hot shooting

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

For the Lady Indians, they endured not one but two strong double-digit comebacks by Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond last Thursday to eventually win out 82-59.

In what seemed like a train wreck at first, Neoga stormed out to a 10-0 run before Logan Kauffman’s basket from down low got the Knights on the board with around five minutes remaining. But the Lady Indians didn’t stop. Read More

OV Gets Back on Track With Win

Photo by Keith Stewart Peyton Hagerman (left) stands with Okaw Valley high school Principal Matt Shoaff (right) after scoring his 1000th career point Friday.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Peyton Hagerman (left) stands with Okaw Valley high school Principal Matt Shoaff (right) after scoring his 1000th career point Friday.

January 7, 2015

Game also marks Hagerman’s 1000th career point

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

The Timberwolves re-emerged in the regular season Friday evening and used a surging third quarter performance to pull away from Stewardson-Strasburg and ultimately win 67-53.

After Chandler Ballinger struck from deep to pull the Comets within five, Okaw Valley went on a 12-0 run that was capped with a Peyton Hagerman bucket to put the Timberwolves up 47-30.

The Comets’ freshman guard Brady Hansen would knock down a trey, but OV went unfazed. Devon Still’s putback was followed by Hagerman’s final bucket of the game, a drive from the right of the paint that also marked his 1000th career point. Read More

A Lot to Learn for Lady Red Who Finish Fifth at Mattoon Tourney

Photo by Keith Stewart Emily Neuhauser lands a big block during Sullivan's game against East Richland Monday. Neuhauser in addition to Brittin Boyer were named to the Mattoon all-tournament team after their fifth place victory.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Emily Neuhauser lands a big block during Sullivan's game against East Richland Monday. Neuhauser in addition to Brittin Boyer were named to the Mattoon all-tournament team after their fifth place victory.

December 31, 2014

Bigger opponents hand Sullivan first losses of season

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

One of Sullivan’s last plays of their five game tournament in Mattoon this past week showed just how much a learning experience the holiday stretch was for the Lady Red.
Leading East Richland 63-54 with just over 40 seconds remaining in what was the fifth place deciding game Monday evening, Sullivan’s Elissa Stewart was sent to the foul line for a one-and-bonus.
Stewart hit the front end but missed the followup. But Brittin Boyer would grab the rebound just a few feet away from the basket and then dished it back out. Soon after, Tatum Ellis drew the foul. As Boyer began towards her rebounding position, head coach Sheri McCain gave her a little advice.
“She’s a very smart basketball player, but with 33 seconds left on the clock, we’re only up by 10, I said, you get an opportunity to make a bucket that close, you do it.” Read More

Lady Timberwolves Bring Home Championship Defeating Heyworth 55-41

Photo by Keith Stewart The Okaw Valley varsity girls' basketball team secured their holiday tournament crown Tuesday evening with a 55-41 win over Heyworth.

Photo by Keith Stewart
The Okaw Valley varsity girls' basketball team secured their holiday tournament crown Tuesday evening with a 55-41 win over Heyworth.

December 26, 2014

Take tourney crown for first time since 2004

By Matt Kracht
NP Sport Reporter

Christmas arrived on Tuesday night for Okaw Valley basketball fans as the Lady Timberwolves secured their first holiday tournament championship since 2004.
Amanda McClain had a double double sporting an impressive 12 point and 14 rebound line, while Megan Dash had her best performance of the season adding 10 points, six of which came in the fourth quarter to go along with nine rebounds. With the three tournament wins the Lady Timberwolves are now 11-2 on season.
All-tourney selection Amy Orris has what coaches’ call “in the gym range,” and after getting the scoring started with a coast to coast drive, Orris set the tone knocking down two NBA threes in the first few minutes of play.
Behind Orris’s strong start Okaw Valley stole momentum and held the early 15-14 lead after the first period. Orris, who was undoubtedly the floor general for the Lady Timberwolves, finished with 11 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
In the second quarter McClain dominated the boards and on one memorable possession claimed four consecutive offensive rebounds before cashing in with a layup. The second chance points pushed the Okaw Valley lead to five at 23-18 before Paige Harlin nailed a deep 3-pointer making it 28-20 with two minutes remaining in the first half. Harlin also shot her way to an all-tourney selection adding another six points on the night on two long 3-pointers. After the game Coach Gardener had high praise for his shooting guards. Read More

T-wolves Win Back-to-Back to Earn Championship Bid

Photo by Keith Stewart Okaw Valley’s Amy Orris goes up and over a Shelbyville defender Monday morning. Orris led her team with 19 points and 10 rebounds in their 54-37 win over the Rams.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Okaw Valley’s Amy Orris goes up and over a Shelbyville defender Monday morning. Orris led her team with 19 points and 10 rebounds in their 54-37 win over the Rams.

December 24, 2014

Play Heyworth Tuesday night

By Matthew Kracht
& Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Entering their holiday tournament Saturday as the no. 1 seed, Okaw Valley lived up to it, as they defeated Oakwood Saturday and then Shelbyville Monday to earn a ticket to the championship Tuesday night against Heyworth.

In the opening round, the Timberwolves were winners over Oakwood by nine points in what turned out to be a competitive contest. The victory came behind a strong shooting performance from Amanda McClain who scored six points in the fourth quarter to ensure the victory. Mclain lead all scorers with 16 points, and the Lady Timberwolves’ bench chipped in for an all-around team win.

Okaw Valley wasted no time, jumping out to an early 11-2 first quarter lead. The Lady Timberwolves utilized deep 3-pointers back-to-back by Amy Orris and Paige Harlin to take a nine-point advantage to the half.

“On our team right now we have two or three girls who are nursing knee injuries and sitting on the bench icing their knees. Paige Harlin and Natalie Jeffers both have sore knees, and several of the girls are sick. Battling injury, fatigue, and illness they showed heart,” said OV head coach Don Gardner.

Running into the busiest point of the season all year, Okaw Valley dug down and ground out the second half for the hard fought win.

Sadie Edwards hit three deep treys in the second half allowing Oakwood to cut the Okaw Valley advantage to seven points with 2:11 remaining in the fourth. The hot shooting did not go unnoticed by Coach Gardener.

“Oakwood was able to hit some threes, and they were able to penetrate the lane and get some shots off and the three started to fall for them.” Read More

Bulldogs Hand Knights First Loss of the Season, 43-33

Photo by Keith Stewart The Knights’ Colton Yeakley pauses before going back up for the bucket Tuesday evening. Yeakley left the game with over three minutes left in the first quarter after he was struck above the left eye.

Photo by Keith Stewart
The Knights’ Colton Yeakley pauses before going back up for the bucket Tuesday evening. Yeakley left the game with over three minutes left in the first quarter after he was struck above the left eye.

December 17, 2014

Worst night of shooting so far spells ALAH demise

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

The Knights may have suffered their first loss of the season Tuesday night, but it wasn’t all that bad of a thing.

In fact, for head coach Dale Schuring, it was almost nice.

“Obviously there are a lot of things we didn’t do well– a lot of things we can learn from the game, but the bright spot of it is, we lost by 10, and we couldn’t throw the ball in the ocean,” said the Knights’ head coach. “I mean, if we’re going to shoot like that, we’re not going to beat anybody. I don’t care who it is. They had a very good defense and game plan, but if we make half the shots we normally make, I think we probably come out on top, and that’s not a slight to them, but it’s just who we are and what we do, and tonight we were just awful other than Jeremy [Plank], who I won’t say was consistent but streaky tonight.”

After managing to keep a meager 7-6 lead over St. Teresa after one quarter of play, the Knights succumbed to a 5-0 run in the second, which would be just enough breathing room for the Bulldogs to eventually take and run with it.

While neither team shot well in the opening period, including the Knights’ knocking down just one field goal in addition to their five free throws, the Bulldogs recovered in the second, while Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond continued to miss. Read More

Sullivan Bests OV in Annual County Matchup

Photo by Keith Stewart Okaw Valley’s Dylan Park (no. 13) gets around the pick set by teammate Joe Jeffers on Sullivan’s Kaleb Shumard Tuesday night. Despite Park’s 18 points, the Timberwolves fell behind in the fourth quarter and eventually lost 50-44.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Okaw Valley’s Dylan Park (no. 13) gets around the pick set by teammate Joe Jeffers on Sullivan’s Kaleb Shumard Tuesday night. Despite Park’s 18 points, the Timberwolves fell behind in the fourth quarter and eventually lost 50-44.

December 10, 2014

Two 16 point quarters fend off OV in rivalry win

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Neither team was surprised Tuesday evening in Findlay.
The annual county matchup between Sullivan and Okaw Valley’s boys’ basketball teams resulted in the same physical, high-paced game that at any time is anybody’s ball game.
But the Redskins were able to net 16 point performances in both the second and fourth quarters and hit free throws down the stretch to outdo the Timberwolves 50-44.
“Free throws were a lot better,” said Sullivan head coach Chester Reeder, comparing Tuesday’s 16-of-24 to Saturday night when the Redskins shot just 14-of-30 in their 49-47 loss to Jerseyville. “It was our best shooting night yet in our short season. But I was not happy at all with the rebounding. I thought we should have had more offensive rebounds. And turnovers, they didn’t really pressure us, so we shouldn’t have turned the ball over that much, but in an atmosphere like this and the way the game started, we were just kind of throwing the ball all over the place. To win ugly like that, it’s always a good thing.”
Okaw Valley got the best of the game’s energy at the start and managed a 7-0 run over a two-and-a-half minute frame to take a 12-5 lead. Read More

Stewart Reignites Sullivan for Conference-opening Win

Photo by Keith Stewart Sullivan's Elissa Stewart watches the loose ball after stripping it away from Tuscola Thursday night. Stewart's five steals were part of her team's 16 on a night where the Lady Red won the conference opener 61-40.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Sullivan's Elissa Stewart watches the loose ball after stripping it away from Tuscola Thursday night. Stewart's five steals were part of her team's 16 on a night where the Lady Red won the conference opener 61-40.

December 5, 2014

Four Lady Red score double-digits, including Boyer’s 1000th career point

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A little blood never hurt anyone.

In fact, for Elissa Stewart, it may have helped.

After getting hit in the face with the ball Thursday night and exiting the court with a bloodied nose early in the second quarter, the senior point-guard for Sullivan would re-emerge and become a juggernaut both offensively and defensively to help lift the Lady Red past Tuscola in a 61-40 conference opening win.

“I was happy to see her back on the floor,” said head coach Sheri McCain. “Elissa, as lighthearted as she is, she came right back in, and she just makes a difference. She’s the floor general. She is the true point guard for this team. She gets them fired up.”

Stewart’s offensive performance included three 3-pointers, all in the third quarter, part of her 17-point performance on the night. And her timing could not have been any better.

After her exit just 18 seconds into the second quarter, Sullivan went stale. The Lady Red didn’t post one point from the field and instead had just one lone free-throw from April Shuman, and even that didn’t come until over six minutes into the second period. Tuscola meanwhile, pulled within one and trailed Sullivan 19-18 heading into the locker room. Read More

Knights Take Rivalry Win

Photo by Keith Stewart Sullivan’s Nick Frerichs tries to shoot over ALAH’s Tyler Schuring Tuesday night.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Sullivan’s Nick Frerichs tries to shoot over ALAH’s Tyler Schuring Tuesday night.

November 26, 2014

Schuring scores 25 as ALAH tops Sullivan on opening night

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

If Tyler Schuring’s first quarter performance was supposed to indicate how he would play the rest of the night Tuesday, he fooled everyone.
With just a modest five points after the opening period, the senior point guard took over in the second,  shooting a perfect 5-5 from the field including one dagger from the arc for 13 of his 25 points on the night. He would then help lift his team once again in the fourth going 2-2 from the perimeter and adding a basket from the line as he and his teammates held on for a 55-52 win over Sullivan.
“I thought he was patient the first quarter, but I think he took the game over in the second quarter offensively for us,” said Knights’ head coach Dale Schuring. “And there’s going to have to be times this year he’s going to have to do that. We just don’t have as many weapons, although some of the kids reality impressed me tonight with what they did do. But he’s supposed to be our best player, and at times he’s going to have to do that." Read More