2016-17 West Branch Girls’ Basketball Preview

West Branch begins the season with a home matchup with Ravenna on November 26.

West Branch Warriors High School Basketball

2016-17 West Branch Girls’ Basketball Preview
Head Coach: Walt DeShields, 12th season (189-76)
2015-16 Record: 12-12 (9-5), T-3rd in NBC

More:High School Basketball previews from other teams

2015-16 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 48.1
Scoring Defense: 44.4

2015-16 Results
Poland 55 Warriors 49*
Warriors 68 Crestwood 27*
Tuslaw 56 Warriors 53
South Range 50 Warriors 46
Jackson 60 Warriors 46
Warriors 44 Canton South 31
Warriors 69 Alliance 40
Warriors 56 Marlington 42
Warriors 38 Salem 33
Carrollton 62 Warriors 36
Louisville 48 Warriors 43
Warriors 63 Minerva 54
Perry 49 Warriors 30
Warriors 47 Canton South 27
Warriors 49 Fitch 40
Warriors 65 Alliance 22
Warriors 49 Marlington 44
Warriors 42 Salem 37
Carrollton 59 Warriors 40
Ravenna 49 Warriors 41
Louisville 55 Warriors 52
GlenOak 55 Warriors 49
Minerva 37 Warriors 33
Warriors 46 Canfield 31
*-Post-Season

Returning Statistical Leaders
Scoring: Natale Zuchowski & Brenna Rito – 9.8
Rebounding: Natale Zuchowski – 9.8
Assists: Brenna Rito – 2.2
Steals: Brenna Rito – 3.3

2016-17 Schedule
Nov. 26 – Ravenna, 7:30
Nov. 30 – at Canfield, 7
Dec. 3 – at Minerva, 1:30
Dec. 10 – at Louisville, 3:30
Dec. 14 – Carrollton, 7:30
Dec. 17 – Salem, 1:30
Dec. 21 – at Lakeview, 7:30
Dec. 28 – at Marlington, 7:30
Jan. 4 – Alliance, 7:30
Jan. 7 – at Canton South, 1:30
Jan. 9 – Minerva, 7:30
Jan. 11 – Steubenville Central Catholic, 7:30
Jan. 15 – vs. Waterford (Classic in the Country), 12
Jan. 18 – Louisville, 7:30
Jan. 21 – at Carrollton, 12:30
Jan. 25 – Garfield, 7:30
Jan. 28 – at Salem, 1:30
Jan. 30 – at Fitch, 7
Feb. 1 – Marlington, 7:30
Feb. 4 – at Alliance, 1:30
Feb. 8 – Canton South, 7:30
Feb. 13 – South Range, 7:30

Key Returnees
Senior point guard Brenna Rito was a stat stuffer last year as she posted a 9.8 scoring average and hauled down 3.6 boards while distributing 2.2 assists and swiping 3.3 steals per contest. Her classmate Emma Rankin was a key contributor to last year’s group as she scored 4.8 points per game and grabbed 2.5 rebounds. The junior class has a lot of promise as Natale Zuchowski (9.8 ppg, 9.8 rpg in 13 games), Sarrah Tennefoss (2.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg) and Kayla Hovorka (6.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg) all return for the 2016-17 season. “This team has a great attitude,” remarks coach DeShields. “They’ve really improved this off-season but, they will need to continue (to) work hard together to be successful. It looks like we have some positive leadership and energy coming into this season.”

Outlook
Since the 1994-95 season, West Branch’s girls basketball program has not had a losing season. Over that 22-year stretch, they’ve had 8 seasons where the team has posted 20-wins or more. The Lady Warriors have finished with a Regional Title 3 times and they were crowned the 2003-04 Division II state championship.

This year’s team must replace a large group who graduated last Spring including Catie Hahn (6.1 ppg, 5.8 rpg) and Kaylee Manning (8.0 ppg, 2.3 apg). “We need to stay focused on getting better to be successful,” states DeShields. “This team will be a lot of fun to watch if they stay hungry and bring their game every day.”

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