Birds aim to compete in BBC race

By Max Householder - [email protected]

The 2019-20 Pettisville girls basketball team.

The 2019-20 Pettisville girls basketball team.

Photo submitted

The Pettisville girls basketball team will look to contend for a Buckeye Border Conference title despite losing three of their best players from last year’s team.

“We want to give 100 percent each night and keep improving. We plan to contend night in and night out,” said head coach Jason Waldvogel, who enters his 23rd year as coach of the Blackbirds.

Gone for the Birds is Morgan Leppelmeier who was BBC Player of the Year, District 7 Player of the Year, first team All-Northwest District and third team All-Ohio. She averaged 18.2 points per game as a senior.

Also departing is Brandi Schnitkey who was second team All-BBC and honorable mention All-District 7, plus Elizabeth Beck who was honorable mention All-BBC and in District 7. Schnitkey averaged 9.2 points per game and Beck 5.4 points per game.

“Individuals will be finding new roles than they have played in the past and the lack of size,” said Waldvogel on potential weaknesses for his current group.

The Birds do return Mikayla Graber (honorable mention All-BBC), Jessica McWatters, Xavia Borden and Heather Sauder. Graber and McWatters each averaged 5.3 points per game a season ago.

Newcomers to the squad are Elise Hartzler, Taylor Balser, Meleah Plank, Alli King, Ellie Grieser and Leah Beck.

“Willingness to work and play hard,” said Waldvogel on his team’s strengths. “We should be able to shoot the basketball fairly well and play aggressive on defense.”

Pettisville finished last year with a 17-8 overall record and 10-2 mark in league play. The BBC title race should be a fun one, according to Waldvogel.

“I believe the league will be balanced with Edon and North Central bringing back a good nucleus of players,” he said. “As in every year, we want to try to contend for a top spot.”

The 2019-20 Pettisville girls basketball team. 2019-20 Pettisville girls basketball team. Photo submitted

By Max Householder

[email protected]

Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010

Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010