BELOIT, Ohio (WKBN) – Coach Walt DeShields is beginning his eighteenth season at West Branch. He’s accumulated a winning percentage of 76.1% (321-101) within his 17 years at the helm of Warrior basketball.

Last year’s Warrior team won 21-games and advanced to the regionals. West Branch graduated six seniors including Anna Lippiatt (9.5 ppg, 2.7 rpg) and Sydney Mercer (7.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg).

This season, the Lady Warriors return eight letter winners including three starters in senior Hannah Egli (4.8 ppg) and juniors Sophie Gregory (12.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg) and Livvie Showalter (8.2 ppg, 7.1 rpg).

Gregory was a First-Team All-League recipient as a sophomore. The team’s point guard finished last season with twelve games of double-digit points and 7 or more rebounds. Showalter, the 6’1 center, received Honorable Mention honors. Look for Cami Campbell, Daphne Snyder, Baylee Waugaman, Chloe Dennison and Mikalyn Fitts to all return as well to the mix. Coach DeShields is high on a crop of promising newcomers in Shaylee Muckleroy, Mati Hawk and Carter Shepherd.

“We’ll need to find more contribution and consistency from the [our] returning players as we replace two starters and create the depth, off of our bench,” says DeShields. “The expectations are very positive [with] the experience [we have] coming back. It’ll come down to how much they’re willing to work, continue to improve and compete to earn those goals.”

The season gets underway on November 18 with their matchup with Canton South.

Defense is still the cornerstone of the program. “We feel this team has the potential to be very good on defense,” DeShields states. “We’ll have a height advantage that will be capable of disrupting other teams’ offenses. Offensively, we’re looking to see who will take on bigger scoring roles for us. Again, we can use our size to create mismatches.”

West Branch Warriors
Fast Facts
Head Coach: Walt DeShields
2021-22 Record: 21-6
2021-22 Post-Season Finish: Won Division II Lake District Championship (by defeating Marlington, 47-41); Lost to Norton in Regional Semifinal

2021-22 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 50.3
Scoring Defense: 33.7

2021-22 Individual Leaders
Scoring: Sophie Gregory – 12.7
Rebounding: Livvie Showalter – 7.1
Assists: Sophie Gregory – 4.7
Steals: Sophie Gregory – 3.2

2022-23 Schedule
Nov. 18 – Canton South
Nov. 22 – at Canfield
Nov. 30 – at Minerva
Dec. 3 – Marlington
Dec. 7 – Alliance
Dec. 10 – Carrollton
Dec. 14 – at Salem
Dec. 17 – Ursuline
Dec. 20 – East Liverpool
Dec. 23 – Louisville
Dec. 28 – vs. Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame (Wishes Can Happen at GlenOak)
Jan. 4 – Minerva
Jan. 7 – at Boardman
Jan. 11 – at Marlington
Jan. 14 – vs. Toledo Notre Dame (Classic in Country at Berlin Highland)
Jan. 18 – at Alliance
Jan. 21 – at Cardinal Mooney
Jan. 25 – at Carrollton
Jan. 28 – Howland
Feb. 1 – Salem
Feb. 4 – Springfield
Feb. 8 – at Fitch