BELOIT, Ohio (WKBN) – West Branch returns nine letter winners from last year’s disappointing 13-win team that includes All-EBC recipients senior point guard Sophie Gregory (15.2 ppg, 9.6 rpg) along with Livvie Showalter (8.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and Chloe Dennison (7.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg).

The Warriors will also feature seniors Mikalyn Woods (Fitts) and Brynn Smith. The junior class has Mati Hawk, Carter Shepherd and Presley Egli while there’s sophomores Alli Kanagy, Tallie Muniz and Hallie Vie Burton as well as freshmen Audrey Eaton and Ellie Tucker on the roster.

Entering his 19th season at the helm of the West Branch program Walt DeShields says “We’ll need to replace two starters (Cami Campbell and Hannah Egli) and create the depth, off of our bench. The expectations are very high with [a lot of] experience coming back, but it comes down to improving each day, coming together as a team and competing for their goals.”

DeShields has won 75% of his games coached (334-113). The Lady Warriors have finished with 29 winning seasons in a row.

“This team isn’t happy with last years’ results,” DeShields states. “They’re hungry to improve this season. The key will be how this group develops both mental and physical toughness, which will determine our success.”

Defense has been and always will be the cornerstone of this program. “Last year, we held our opponents to 39.8 points per game,” indicated DeShields. “We feel this is an area that we really need to improve upon.”

The 2023-24 season tips off at home against Cardinal Mooney on Friday, November 24.

West Branch Warriors
Fast Facts
Head Coach: Walt DeShields
2022-23 Record: 13-12 (4-6), 4th place in EBC
2022-23 Post-Season Finish: Lost in District Semifinal to Canfield

2022-23 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 44.7
Scoring Defense: 39.8

2022-23 Individual Leaders
Scoring: Sophie Gregory – 15.2
Rebounding: Sophie Gregory – 9.6
Assists: Sophie Gregory – 4.5
Free Throw Percentage: Sophie Gregory & Chloe Dennison – 67.9%
Three-Point Percentage: Mati Hawk – 33.3%

2023-24 Schedule
Nov. 24 – Mooney
Nov. 29 – Minerva
Dec. 2 – at Marlington
Dec. 6 – at Alliance
Dec. 9 – at Carrollton
Dec. 12 – Salem
Dec. 16 – Louisville
Dec. 20 – at Ursuline
Dec. 23 – at East Liverpool
Dec. 28 – vs. Olmsted Falls (at GlenOak)
Dec. 30 – Canfield
Jan. 3 – at Minerva
Jan. 6 – Boardman
Jan. 10 – Marlington
Jan. 17 – Alliance
Jan. 24 – Carrollton
Jan. 27 – at Struthers
Jan. 31 – at Salem
Feb. 3 – Fitch
Feb. 5 – at Norton
Feb. 10 – at Howland
Feb. 14 – Girard