The Wauseon girls basketball program took a step back last season but they will look to get back on track for the 2016-17 campaign.
“I have definitely been pleased with our kids’ work ethic as we have begun the season,” said coach Ashley Oyer, entering her fourth season at the helm of the Indians. “The kids are playing hard and they are coming in and working hard and doing whatever we ask of them. We return three solid letter winners from last year’s team who gained a lot of experience last year, and quite a few girls are coming up from last year’s JV team who was 17-5. I am expecting them to be able to step in and fill roles that we need to be successful. We will be tested with a difficult non-league schedule, as well as (against) the quality teams in the league.”
Notable returnees for the Indians are Karli Penrod (honorable mention All-NWOAL, District 7) who averaged nine points per game and five rebounds last season; Rylee Campbell (honorable mention All-NWOAL, District 7) who averaged 6.1 points per game; and Brianna Castellano who averaged 3.4 ppg.
Coach Oyer thinks her girls are up to the challenge.
“We have a decent amount of quickness and athleticism that will allow us to get up and pressure people,” she said. “Also, I think we will be able to push the ball up the floor and handle pressure because of the amount of guards that we have.”
However, the Indians will still have some holes to fill with losing five letter winners and only returning three.
“We have three returning letter winners, so experience at the varsity level is something that we lack as we begin the season,” said Oyer. “We lost most of our size, so we really have to focus on rebounding the basketball every possession.”
Departing for the Indians were Anna Marshall (second team all-league, honorable mention all-district, honorable mention District 7), Jana Armstrong, Morgan Bzovi, Kallie Strauss and Brianna Coblentz.
They do bring in newcomers Kendra Gorczyca, Mya Suarez, Alexis Suarez, Ally Tefft, Aliza Dauterman, DesaRae Hadley and Brooke Renfer.
In regards to the battle in the NWOAL, Oyer looks at the Indians’ rival as the team to beat.
“I believe that Archbold will be the league favorite this year,” she said. “They have Kierstyn Repp, who was one of the best players in our league returning, along with a solid nucleus returning. I also think that PH and Bryan will be at the top of the league as well. Both teams have quite a few returning letter winners as well.”
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010