Early season look at NAC girls basketball

Sports

Lady Panthers return sophomore Bella Zirzow - who led the team in scoring

NEAC North Eastern Athletic Conference logo

Bristol won back-to-back division titles

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The schedule changes this year without Grand Valley (left NAC for Chagrin Valley Conference). The divisions now feature a home-and-home series with each team. Newbury begins their final season with a new coach and Fairport Harding awaits their turn next year.

Bristol, Maplewood and Pymatuning Valley all had stellar seasons a year ago. They’ll each attempt to duplicate that same success this season.

2018-19 North Eastern Athletic Conference – Stars Division Standings
Maplewood – 11-2 (20-5)
Pymatuning Valley – 11-2 (17-7)
Badger – 6-7 (15-9)
Grand Valley – 5-8 (9-14)
Mathews – 4-9 (7-14)

2018-19 North Eastern Athletic Conference – Stripes Division Standings
Bristol – 12-1 (16-8)
Lordstown – NA
Newbury – 6-7 (11-12)
Windham – 2-11 (5-17)
Southington – 1-12 (2-20)

Around the League
*Lordstown & Mathews did not report.
Badger Braves
Coach: LaVell Turnage
…In May, Badger named LaVell Turnage the head coach of the girls program. Coach Turnage will have three starters back from last year’s group in Grace Popovich (5.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg), Lauryn Hamilton (4.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg) and Madison Rice (2.7 ppg).

“As coaches and players, we must learn from our mistakes,” says Turnage. “We can’t lose sight of the season is a marathon, not a sprint. Hardwork and playing disciplined are a couple keys to the season. We must communicate with one another.”

Bristol Panthers
Coach: John King
…Bella Zirzow led the Lady Panthers in scoring (15.0) as a freshmen a year ago as Bristol won the league championship. Zirzow also grabbed 6.1 boards and swiped 3.3 steals per game. Brock Songer (0.5 ppg, 1.1 apg) and Brittany Mooney (9.2 ppg, 2.5 apg) also return as starters from last year’s 16-win group.

Coach King wants to see his girls stay healthy. “Last year, we fought the injury bug. If we can stay healthy, it’ll be much easier to accomplish our team goals. We have continued to improve each season and will continue to try and do so this year.”

Maplewood Rockets
Coach: Mark Yoder
…Coach Yoder says his expectations is to win 20-plus games. “We want to play fast. Keep the turnovers down and be aggressive on defense.” The Lady Rockets welcome back seniors Madison Murray (5.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.8 apg) and Emily Kohlmorgan (4.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg). Also returning are sophomores Marissa Ventura (11.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.7 spg), Baylie Starcher (2.9 ppg) and Hannah Gaylog (0.8 ppg, 1.9 rpg).

Last year, Maplewood shared the Stars Division title with Pymatuning Valley before notching a pair of post-season wins before falling to eventual state semifinalist Cornerstone Christian in the District Semifinal round.

Newbury Black Knights
Coach: Kevin Hinkle
…Newbury begins their final season as a school. The Lady Black Knights hand over the program to Kevin Hinkle (head coach) and his wife Carrie (assistant coach) to lead the team. Hinkle led the Kenston Bombers to six Chagrin Valley Conference titles before stepping down in 2017.

Pymatuning Valley Lakers
Coach: Jeff Compan
…The Lady Lakers are coming off of a successful season where they won 17-games and finished atop the NAC tied with Maplewood. “Our expectations are always the same,” indicates coach Compan. “We expect to contend for the league title and to advance to at least the district tournament. We’ll have to rebound the ball well. That’s been a weak spot for us in the past. We should have plenty of firepower offensively. We just need to crash the boards.”

Py Valley returns two starters in senior center Kendall Baker (13.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.2 spg) and senior guard Morgan McClure-Kendall (6.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.1 spg). They’ll be without their top scorer Ashley Hall (20.8 ppg) who graduated last spring. The Lakers close the regular season with 7 of the final 10 games away from Andover.

Southington Wildcats
Coach: Michael Pflager
…Coach Pflager points out to his team goal, “reaching the 10-win plateau will be our expectation for this season. We’ll have to fill many positions and push the freshmen and other underclassmen into bigger roles this year.”

The Lady Wildcats return senior Bre Elser and sophomore Livia Rhodes – both started last year. “We’ll have a few young players that will need to step into major roles. Important positions for us. Getting them up to speed is a must.”

Windham Bombers
Coach: Jimie Collins
…Windham welcomes back four starters including seniors Paige Collins, Tara VanSteenberg and Cheyenne Wallace not to mention sophomore Zahra Cunningham. “We expect to play .500-ball or better this year,” states coach Collins. “It’ll all depend on the growth of our young players.”

2019-20 Schedules
Badger
Dec. 5 – Bristol, 7
Dec. 9 – at Southington, 7
Dec. 12 – at Lordstown, 7
Dec. 16 – at Mathews, 7
Dec. 19 – Windham, 7
Dec. 21 – at Campbell Memorial, 12:30
Jan. 6 – Pymatuning Valley, 7
Jan. 9 – at Maplewood, 7
Jan. 15 – at Newbury, 10:15
Jan. 16 – at Bristol, 7
Jan. 18 – Mineral Ridge, 5:30
Jan. 20 – Girard, 7
Jan. 22 – at St. John, 7
Jan. 23 – Southington, 7
Jan. 27 – Lordstown, 7
Jan. 30 – Mathews, 7
Feb. 1 – Newton Falls, 1
Feb. 3 – Newbury, 7
Feb. 6 – at Windham, 7
Feb. 8 – Conneaut, 1
Feb. 10 – at Pymatuning Valley, 7
Feb. 13 – Maplewood, 7

Bristol
Nov. 30 – at Liberty,1:30
Dec. 2 – at Lordstown, 6
Dec. 5 – at Badger, 7
Dec. 9 – at LaBrae, 7
Dec. 12 – Southington, 7
Dec. 16 – Windham, 7
Dec. 19 – Pymatuning Valley, 7
Dec. 23 – Berkshire, 7
Dec. 28 – Champion, 7
Jan. 2 – at Maplewood, 7
Jan. 6 – Newbury, 7
Jan. 9 – at Mathews, 7
Jan. 13 – Lordstown, 6
Jan. 16 – Badger, 7
Jan. 20 – at Garrettsville Garfield, 7
Jan. 25 – Mathews, 7
Jan. 27 – at Southington, 7
Jan. 30 – at Windham, 7
Feb. 1 – St. John, 2:30
Feb. 3 – at Pymatuning Valley, 7
Feb. 6 – Maplewood, 7
Feb. 10 – at Newbury, 7

Lordstown
Nov. 22 – LaBrae, 7
Dec. 2 – Bristol, 7
Dec. 5 – at Maplewood, 7
Dec. 9 – Pymatuning Valley, 6
Dec. 12 – Badger, 7
Dec. 16 – Southington, 7
Dec. 18 – at Warren JFK, 7
Dec. 19 – Mathews, 7
Jan. 6 – at Windham, 6
Jan. 9 – at Newbury, 7
Jan. 13 – at Bristol, 7
Jan. 16 – Maplewood, 7
Jan. 18 – at Valley Christian, 12:30
Jan. 23 – at Pymatuning Valley, 7
Jan. 25 – Waterloo, 5:30
Jan. 27 – at Badger, 7
Jan. 30 – at Southington, 7
Feb. 3 – at Mathews, 7
Feb. 5 – at East, 7
Feb. 8 – at Brookfield, 2
Feb. 10 – Windham, 6
Feb. 13 – Newbury, 7

Maplewood
Nov. 22 – Leetonia, 7
Nov. 26 – at Chaney, 7
Nov. 29 – Mineral Ridge, 7
Dec. 2 – Newbury, 6:15
Dec. 5 – Lordstown, 7
Dec. 9 – at Windham, 7
Dec. 12 – at Mathews, 7
Dec. 16 – at Pymatuning Valley, 7
Dec. 30 – at Southington, 7
Jan. 2 – Bristol, 7
Jan. 6 – at Hearland Christian, 5:30
Jan. 9 – Badger, 7
Jan. 13 – at Newbury, 6:15
Jan. 16 – at Lordstown, 7
Jan. 18 – at Lakeview, 12:30
Jan. 23 – Windham, 7
Jan. 27 – Mathews, 7
Feb. 3 – Southington, 7
Feb. 6 – at Bristol, 7
Feb. 10 – St. John, 7
Feb. 13 – at Badger, 7

Mathews
Nov. 27 – at Warren JFK, 7
Nov. 30 – Champion, 7
Dec. 2 – Windham, 7
Dec. 9 – Newbury, 7
Dec. 12 – Maplewood, 7
Dec. 16 – Badger, 7
Dec. 19 – at Lordstown, 7
Dec. 21 – Leetonia, 2:30
Dec. 27 – at Pymatuning Valley, 7
Dec. 30 – at Girard, 7
Jan. 6 – at Southington, 7
Jan. 9 – Bristol, 7
Jan. 13 – at Windham, 7
Jan. 18 – Warren JFK, 1:30
Jan. 23 – at Newbury, 7
Jan. 25 – at Bristol, 3
Jan. 27 – at Maplewood, 7
Jan. 30 – at Badger, 7
Feb. 1 – at Lowellville, 12:30
Feb. 3 – Lordstown, 7
Feb. 6 – Pymatuning Valley, 7
Feb. 10 – Southington, 7

Newbury
Nov. 22 – Mentor Christian, 6
Dec. 2 – at Maplewood, 7
Dec. 5 – at Pymatuning Valley, 7
Dec. 9 – at Mathews, 7
Dec. 12 – Windham, 7
Dec. 16 – Fuchs Mizrachi, 6
Dec. 19 – Northeast Ohio Prep, 6
Dec. 28 – at Fairport Harding, 1
Jan. 2 – at Southington, 7
Jan. 6 – at Bristol, 7
Jan. 9 – Lordstown, 7
Jan. 11 – at Cardinal, 2:30
Jan. 13 – Maplewood, 7
Jan. 15 – Badger, 10:15 am
Jan. 16 – Pymatuning Valley, 7
Jan. 23 – Mathews, 7
Jan. 27 – at Windham, 7
Jan. 30 – at St. John, 7
Feb. 3 – at Badger, 7
Feb. 6 – Southington, 7
Feb. 10 – Bristol, 7
Feb. 13 – at Lordstown, 7

Pymatuning Valley
Nov. 22 – at Cardinal, 7
Nov. 25 – Brookfield, 7
Dec. 2 – Southington, 7
Dec. 5 – Newbury, 7
Dec. 9 – at Lordstown, 7
Dec. 12 – Grand Valley, 7
Dec. 16 – Maplewood, 7
Dec. 19 – at Bristol, 7
Dec. 23 – Jefferson, 7
Dec. 27 – Mathews, 7
Jan. 6 – at Badger, 7
Jan. 9 – Windham, 7
Jan. 13 – at Southington, 7
Jan. 16 – at Newbury, 7
Jan. 18 – at Conneaut, 2:30
Jan. 23 – Lordstown, 7
Jan. 25 – at Edgewood, 1:30
Jan. 30 – at Maplewood, 7
Feb. 3 – Bristol, 7
Feb. 6 – at Mathews, 7
Feb. 10 – Badger, 7
Feb. 13 – at Windham, 7

Southington
Nov. 22 – at Berkshire, 7
Dec. 2 – at Pymatuning Valley, 7
Dec. 5 – at Windham, 7
Dec. 9 – Badger, 7
Dec. 12 – at Bristol, 7
Dec. 16 – at Lordstown, 7
Dec. 30 – Maplewood, 7
Jan. 2 – Newbury, 7
Jan. 4 – at St. Thomas, 7
Jan. 6 – Mathews, 7
Jan. 8 – at St. John, 7
Jan. 11 – at East, 2:30
Jan. 13 – Pymatuning Valley, 7
Jan. 16 – Windham, 7
Jan. 22 – at Warren JFK, 7
Jan. 23 – at Badger, 7
Jan. 27 – Bristol, 7
Jan. 30 – Lordstown, 7
Feb. 1 – Chaney, 7
Feb. 3 – at Maplewood, 7
Feb. 6 – at Newbury, 7
Feb. 10 – at Mathews, 7

Windham
Nov. 22 – Northeast Ohio Prep, 6:30
Nov. 25 – Cardinal, 7
Dec. 2 – at Mathews, 7
Dec. 4 – at LaBrae, 7
Dec. 5 – Southington, 7
Dec. 9 – Maplewood, 7
Dec. 12 – at Newbury, 6
Dec. 16 – at Bristol, 7
Dec. 19 – at Badger, 7
Dec. 28 – at Rootstown, 12:30
Jan. 6 – Lordstown, 6
Jan. 9 – at Pymatuning Valley, 7
Jan. 13 – Mathews, 7
Jan. 16 – at Southington, 7
Jan. 18 – Crestwood, 12:30
Jan. 23 – at Maplewood, 7
Jan. 27 – Newbury, 6
Jan. 30 – Bristol, 7
Feb. 3 – Mogadore, 7
Feb. 6 – Badger, 7
Feb. 10 – at Lordstown, 6
Feb. 13 – Pymatuning Valley, 7

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