The MVL girls basketball season is about to get underway.
Here is a preview of the three Miami County teams.
Jeremy Hughes returns as Troy coach.
The Trojans were 16-8 last season and shared the MVL Miami Division title with a 15-3 record.
The Trojans must find a way to replace all-time leading scorer Macie Taylor, who has moved on to Wright State University after a season that saw them advance to the district semifinals in Division I.
Two of the top three scorers are back for Troy in 5-5 sophomore guard Amyannah Tucker and 5-11 senior forward Brynn Siler.
Tucker averaged 7.1 points a year ago, while Siler scored 6.3 points and pulled down 4.1 rebounds.
Also back are 5-10 junior post Kiyah Baker who averaged 4.9 rebounds a year ago and 5-10 senior post Mackenzie Rogers.
Along with Tucker and Siler, Hughes expects big things from 5-5 freshman guard Landry Niles.
Along with Baker and Rogers inside will be 5-8 junior Karliegh Duran.
The Trojans will look to play uptempo
”We will look to run in transition when we have opportunities as well as manage the half-court offense,” Hughes said. “We have a great playmaker in Amyannah Tucker who can make the right play either scoring or finding our open shot makers.”
The Trojans plan to play a high-pressure defense and be aggressive.
“The top teams from the last few years will be battling for the league title again this year,” Hughes said. “Last year, one game separated league champs Sidney from Butler and us. I feel that there will be a lot of great basketball played on Wednesday and Saturday. The MVL is on the up and up in terms of girls basketball. We had teams win at least one play off game this year. I think this trend is going to continue.”
Bruce Vanover takes over as Piqua girls basketball coach after a successful run at Miami East.
The Lady Indians were 3-20 overall last year and 3-15 in the MVL.
Returning letterwinner include 5-5 senior Mahala Bragg, 5-9 junior Abby Brookhart, 5-5 junior Logan Spradlin, 5-5 junior Ashln Sullivan, 5-7 sophomore Audrey Bean, 5-6 sophomore Aubree Carroll, 5-9 sophomore D’Vaya Cooper and 5-3 sophomore Abby Lambert.
Vanover expects a number of guards to contribute.
“Our guard play will be balanced this year,” Vanover said. Our lone senior, Mahala Bragg, will be a deep threat for us, as she has been working hard on her shot. She will be joined by junior Logan Spradlin from deep. Logan has the ability to put pressure on an opponent’s defense, as she should be a consistent threat from deep. Sophomore Abby Lambert will be running the show as the primary point guard. Sophomores Audrey Bean and Aubree Carrol will both play the wing spot and both of them have the ability to get to the bucket, as well as hit jumpers.”
The Indians have a number of options in the post as well.
”Leading the way in at the post will be junior Abby Brookhart, sophomore D’vaya Cooper, and junior Ashln Sullivan,” Vanover said. “Abby has been working hard in offseason. She has improved her all-around game, and is playing the game at a much improved pace. D’vaya is a great athlete, she will put pressure on the defense with her atheletism and quickness, as well as her ability to finish at the bucket. Ashln is undersized for a post, but her physicality, scrappiness, and aggressive play will allow her play big. Aubree Carroll will also be used in the post. Her ability to rebound, jump, and to play physically will allow her to see time at both guard and post positions.”
Vanover hopes to play uptempo
”We will primarily run a 4 out, 1 in motion offense,” he said. “Our goal is to push the ball in transition and look to score. We will utilize continuity style offenses, where we are constantly in motion versus both man and zone defenses. We want to put pressure on the defense in an effort to keep them moving, as we do not want to go against a set defense.
”We will play pressure man as our primary defense. We will switch in out of defense throughout the game, where we will mix in both man and zone.”
Vanover expects the MVL to be strong at the top.
”In the Miami Division, I feel like Butler will have the edge, as they are well coached and they are returning some really nice key players,” he said. “I also feel like Troy will once again be in the mix, as Coach Hughes has been working hard to develop the players in his program both in and out of season. They have a nice mix of returning players, as well as some younger players that are going to help them.
“In the Valley Division, I feel like Sidney will be the team to beat, as they have several players that will more than likely be at the top of the conference this year in several statistical categories.”
Vanover’s number one goal is changing expectations at Piqua.
“The Lady Indians basketball program is changing,” he said. “Case in point, we have a JV team for the first time in two years. Although we are not sure how many wins or loses we will put together this year: what we do know is that we will play hard, get better as the season progresses, and leave everything on the floor each night.
“The girls are doing a great job of buying into what we are teaching. They are a very close group that is learning how to compete. They are learning how to play for each other, not just with each other. When they master this concept, the sky is the limit for this group. They will hustle, scrap, and fight for 32 minutes, which is all we can ask. From there, we will just have to wait and see. One thing I know, we will not be the same Indians.”
Christina Pentaudi returns as the Tippecanoe coach.
The Red Devils were 13-12 overall a year ago and finished 10-8 in the MVL.
Tipp returns a number of key players.
Senior guard Makenzie Chinn (5-3) average 11.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.9 steals and 3.0 assists a year ago. while junior forward Samantha Wall averaged 8.1 points and 4.3 rebounds.
Also back at the guard position are 5-3 senior Maddie Moran, 5-9 junior Laney Cleckner, 5-9 sophomore Elizabeth Stallard and 5-6 sophomore Macey Griffin.
Senior Alexa Mader (6-1) will be in the post after not playing last year and 6-0 senior Hannah Wildermuth is back after missing last season with an injury.
Also at forward will be 5-8 sophomore Emily Aselage.
Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]