2015-16 West Branch Boys’ Basketball Preview

2015-16 West Branch Warriors’ Boys Basketball Preview
Head Coach: Randy Montgomery, 1st season at West Branch
Record: 10-13 (5-9), 5th place in Northeastern Buckeye Conference
5-Year Winning Percentage: 33.0%
5-Year League Record: 20-50

Season in Review
The Warriors notched their 5th win of the season prior to the first of the year; however, West Branch was only able to earn 5 more wins throughout the remainder of their schedule before falling in the Sectional Semifinal round to Lakeview (58-37).

In the NBC, West Branch has had a losing record in each of the last seven years. Their last non-losing season was in 2007-08 when they finished with a 7-7 mark in the league and 14-10 overall.

2014-15 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 56.6
Scoring Defense: 63.3
Rebounding: 34.4
Field Goal Percentage: 41.1%
Three Point Percentage: 30.9%
Free Throw Percentage: 65.3%
Turnovers: 14.5

2014-15 Northeastern Buckeye Conference Standings
League Record
Louisville – 14-0
Canton South – 12-2
Alliance – 8-6
Marlington – 7-7
West Branch – 5-9
Salem – 4-10
Carrollton – 4-10
Minerva – 2-12

Recent League Champions
2014-15: Louisville (14-0)
2013-14: Alliance (14-0)
2012-13: Canton South (12-2)
2011-12: Alliance (14-0)
2010-11: Carrollton (14-0)
2009-10: Louisville (13-1)
2008-09: Minerva (13-1)
2007-08: Alliance, Marlington, & Northwest (11-3)

Key Losses
Matt Meiter (9.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg)
Jerian Thomas (15.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 4.5 apg, 1.9 spg)
Kyle Zeigler (9.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.9 apg)

Key Returnees
“We are working hard and trying to see where our strengths are,” indicates first-year head coach Randy Montgomery, who has upwards of 30 years of coaching experience. Montgomery has accumulated over 500 wins as a high school basketball coach (at Hoover and Triway) as he garnered Ohio Coach of the Year honors in 1991 and again in 2000. “The team is coming together but much development needs and will take place as we continue to grow throughout the season. We are anxious to get our athletes back together from fall sports in which our top five players perform currently. Our expectations are unknown at this point as we begin this process.”

Seniors Jeremy Gorby (7.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg), Matt Heffinger (6.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.6 apg) and Austin Smith (6.0 ppg) all averaged above 6 points per game last season.

Jeremy Gorby (6’4/Sr)
Matt Heffinger (6’0/Sr)
Matt Manley (5’8/Sr)
Austin Smith (6’2/Sr)
Brett Butcher (6’0/Jr)
Josh Davidson (6’3/Jr)
Blake Galista (Jr)
Michael Boosz (6’1/So)
T.J. DeShields (6’4/So)
Seth Shivers (5’11/So)

Northeastern Buckeye Conference Outlook
Alliance The Aviators closed out last season with an 8-6 mark in the league. When you have had the success that Alliance has had lately (2 league title in the previous 3 years) – that’s a down year.

Canton South Canton South has put together a pair of 12-2 NBC seasons in the last three seasons. This is the same Wildcats who finished the 2009-10 season with just a single win overall (1-20).

Carrollton Since Carrollton finished the league schedule in 2010-11 with a perfect 14-0 record, the Warriors have only been able to post one winning season in the NBC (2011-12: 8-6).

Louisville Coach Tom Siegfried returns three starters from last year’s undefeated group in the Northeastern Buckeye Conference which includes 6’7 senior Drew Noble.

Marlington The poster child for consistent play in the league, the Dukes had won 31 of their prior 42 league games before last year. Marlington finished 7-7 in the NBC.

Minerva Connor Wright and company will look to give coach Shawn Green a lift in his second season.

Salem For anyone who hasn’t seen D.J. Pullie play – get to a gym near you. The Quakers, who finished 10-14 last year, appear to be a good pick for a bounce back year.

West Branch Former Hoover coach Randy Montgomery returns to the sidelines, this time he’ll attempt to lead the Warriors back to respectability with players such as Jeremy Gorby and Matt Heffinger leading the group.

2015-16 Schedule
Nov. 27 – at United, 7:30
Dec. 1 – Southeast, 7:30
Dec. 4 – Minerva, 7:30
Dec. 5 – Garfield, 7:30
Dec. 11 – Louisville, 7:30
Dec. 18 – at Carrollton, 7:30
Dec. 22 – at Salem, 7:30
Jan. 2 – Marlington, 7:30
Jan. 8 – at Alliance, 7:30
Jan. 12 – Canton South, 7:30
Jan. 15 – at Columbiana, 7:30
Jan. 19 – at Columbiana, 7:30
Jan. 22 – at Louisville, 7:30
Jan. 26 – Carrollton, 7:30
Jan. 29 – Salem, 7:30
Jan. 30 – Hubbard, 7:30
Feb. 2 – at Marlington, 7:30
Feb. 5 – Alliance, 7:30
Feb. 12 – at Canton South, 7:30
Feb. 13 – Lincoln West, 5

Post-Season History
State Championships: None
Regional Championships: None
…The past two seasons, the Warriors have been unable to get out of the Warren Sectional Semifinal. Going back to 2010, West Branch has posted just one win in the playoffs.

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