With several experienced players returning from a team that shared the Greater Catholic League-South championship with Elder and La Salle, Moeller High School returns a deep basketball roster for 2015-16.
Playing without injured center Nate Fowler (now at Butler), the Crusaders were 18-9 (4-2 GCL-South) in their 15th straight winning season under Carl Kremer.
Moeller returns senior guards Trey McBride and Nate Georgeton and junior 6-foot-5 guard Riley Voss as starters. McBride averaged 11.1 points per game and 6.5 rebounds and was first-team GCL, second-team all-district and honorable mention in Southwest Ohio.
Georgeton was second-team GCL, averaging 7 points per game while dishing out 5.6 assists. Voss as a sophomore was second-team GCL averaging 6 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.
Adding depth are 6-foot-7 senior forward Sam McCracken, senior shooting guard Kenny Wead and 6-foot-5 junior guard Keegan McDowell.
“We have a team with considerable experience and great leadership,” Kremer said. “If we continue to grow collectively, we can be a very good team.”
Moeller starts the season Nov. 27 at Taft and then hosts Kings in their home opener Dec. 1. Dec. 26-31 they will participate in the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The Crusaders feature several college prospects.
“Nate Georgeton is signed with Division II Northwood,” Kremer said. “Trey McBride and Sam McCracken are still involved in the recruiting process, primarily with DII and NAIA schools. Underclassmen Keegan McDowell, Riley Voss and Isaiah Payton (sophomore) all have offers from DI or DII programs.”
It won’t be easy to replace some of the pieces Madeira lost from its basketball team last year. Starting with longtime coach Jim Reynolds, who’s no longer at the helm. Taking over as head coach is Rick Rockwell, a 20-year assistant under Reynolds. A friendly face, and a good coach in Rockwell should help that transition.
On the court, Travis Freytag and Colin Voisard were two big players last year that helped the Mustangs finish 16-7 and runner-up in the Cincinnati Hills League to Wyoming.
Madeira has the talent and experience to overcome those losses. Three starters are back for Rockwell, led by senior guard Cameron McCullough, a 6-foot-4 shooter who averaged 11.6 points and 3.0 rebounds a game last season.
Sophomores Adam Wieczorek and Jack Cravaack both return to the starting lineup, and both are essential reasons why the Mustangs could be formidable for years to come. Wieczorek started at point guard in 22 games last season and averaged 3.7 points and 2.3 assists per game.
Cravaack, listed at 6-foot-5, was outstanding in his freshman season and was named first-team All-CHL. He led the conference in field goal percentage (60.8) and averaged 14.6 points and 7.6 boards per game.
Senior forward Jake Megois played in 22 games last year and was a lockdown defender. Sophomore 6-foot-5 center Sam Wirsing is another bright spot for the future.
“This year the Mustangs will have a strong presence of seven seniors leading every day at practice … on how to work hard,” said Rockwell. “This leadership will allow the Mustangs to be a team that can compete in the CHL.”
Madeira opens on the road at Clark Montessori on Nov. 28, before its home opener against Goshen on Dec. 1.
Adam Gergen returns for a second year at Deer Park where the Wildcats struggled through a winless 2014-15 season.
Juniors Jordan Yelling and Evan Schramm and senior John Pearson should lead Deer Park this season with Yelling and Pearson returning as starters. Yelling was the second-leading scorer at 8.5 points per game and Pearson led the team in rebounding with 5.6 per contest.
“We have great kids who are working hard to get better,” Gergen said. “They’re focused on selflessness, character and doing things for others. We look forward to a great year.”
Deer Park opens at home Nov. 30 against Lockland, then hits the road against New Richmond Dec. 2.
The upside of Indian Hill High School’s Division IV football playoff loss to Clinton-Massie was that none of coach Tim Burch’s basketball players were hurt.
Burch was at the football games this season making sure the various multipurpose athletes who also grace the hardwood remained safe. Like Tony Arcuri’s football team, they have the talent to win the Cincinnati Hills League, something they haven’t done since 2010.
Last year’s team was 14-11 overall (8-6 CHL). Among players who started at one point or another last season are Nick Heidel, Colin Shaw, Matteo Fiore and Reed and Dawson Aichholz. Shaw made CHL first team as a freshman with a 15.2 scoring average for fifth in the league, while Fiore was honorable mention as a sophomore.
Nick Heidel was third in the CHL in scoring at 16.8 points per game and second in steals and blocks as a junior. He was also the team’s leading rebounder. The Aichholz twins combined to average about nine points and nine rebounds combined as sophomores.
The Braves are still young with Heidel being the only senior out of that five.
“We bring back a lot of youthful experience, great guard play and add transfer student George Davis which should add depth,” Burch said. “If we can get the football players back into basketball shape, we should be very competitive with a very tough schedule.”
Heidel, Shaw and the Aichholz brothers just hung up the football pads and Matteo Fiore was on the Indian Hill soccer team.
Indian Hill starts their non-conference schedule off at Anderson Nov. 28. They jump right into the belly of the fire in the CHL Dec. 4 by hosting Wyoming. The Braves eliminated the Cowboys in the tournament last March after losing twice to them during the regular season.
Players to watch
Trey McBride, Moeller – first-team GCL, second-team all-district and honorable mention Southwest Ohio for the Crusaders.
Nate Georgeton, Moeller – second-team GCL and committed to Division II Northwood.
Jack Cravaack, Madeira – first-team All-CHL last year as freshman, 6-foot-5 forward averaged 14.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.
Riley Voss, Moeller – second-team GCL 6-foot-5 junior evaluating DI and DII offers.
Colin Shaw, Indian Hill – CHL first team as a freshman averaging 15.2 points per game.
Nick Heidel, Indian Hill – shooting threat who led the team in points (16.8) and rebounds.
Jordan Yelling, Deer Park – returning starter averaged 8.5 points per game for the Wildcats last season.