The Pettisville boys basketball team is in good position for another Buckeye Border Conference title this year after going 14-7 with a 10-2 mark in league play in 2020-21.
The Blackbirds were BBC champions last season.
Returning for Pettisville is junior center Cayden Jacoby. He was Co-BBC Player of the Year, first team All-District 7, second team All-Northwest District and special mention All-Ohio a season ago.
Jacoby averaged 16.1 points per game (ppg) and 11.1 rebounds for the Birds.
Also returning are Joey Ripke (5.6 ppg), honorable mention All-BBC; Zakkai Kaufmann (3.1 ppg); and Jaret Beck (2.6 ppg).
Promising newcomers for Pettisville include Sean Adkins, Gideon Myers, Johnny Fenton, Nate Rupp and Josh Basselman.
“We return 3 starters: Cayden Jacoby, Joey Ripke, and Zakkai Kaufmann. Leading scorer and leading rebounder Cayden Jacoby leads our returners. Cayden had solid sophomore season stepping into fill the spot left by his brother Graeme (2020 graduate). Joey Ripke had a nice freshman season as a starter and third leading scorer. Zakkai Kaufmann had a solid season for a first-year varsity player,” said Blackbird coach Brian Leppelmeier.
However, the Birds do lose a pair of all-league performers.
Their most notable loss is that of Max Leppelmeier, a first team All-BBC and All-District 7 honoree, and third team All-Northwest District selection in 2020-21. Leppelmeier averaged 14.2 ppg and 3 assists per game (apg) a season ago.
Another key loss is Josh Horning (3.7 ppg, 4.2 apg, 3.2 rebounds) who was honorable mention All-BBC.
Dominic Heising and Jake King also depart for the Birds.
“We graduated a solid group of seniors that have contributed a great deal to our program,” noted Coach Leppelmeier. “The leadership on both ends of the floor provided by Max Leppelmeier and Josh Horning throughout their careers will need to be replaced. The challenge each and every year is filling and developing the new roles on the team. From the returning starters to our newcomers to the varsity team, each is stepping into a new role on the team or having their existing role expanded.”
The Blackbird coach knows his team will see lots of competition in the rugged BBC.
“The BBC this season will have a different look with the welcome addition of Holgate. The conference will be balanced and very competitive,” he said.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.