The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022

Prep preview: 2021-2022 girls’ hoops

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

It’s safe to say the 2021-2022 girls’ high school basketball season could be an exciting one in Van Wert County.

Crestview returns several starters from a team that advanced to the state semifinals, while Lincolnview and Van Wert have third year head coaches along with substantial returning talent.

Below are previews of each of the three teams.


The Lady Knights are coming off a 23-4 season, which included a Northwest Conference co-championship with Delphos Jefferson, sectional, district and regional championship and a loss to state champion Fort Loramie in the Division IV state semifinals.

Sixth year head coach Mark Gregory (85-37) lost seven seniors and 28 points per game to graduation but he has six returning letter winners – seniors Brynn Putman and Emily Greulach, juniors Laci McCoy and Macy Kulwicki and sophomores Cali Gregory and Myia Etzler. Gregory (13.6 ppg), Putman, McCoy (6.2 rpg) and Etzler were starters last season.

In addition, freshman Ellie Kline is pushing for playing time along with seniors Kylee Reno and Lauren Walls.

“We have a group ready to take the challenge,” coach Gregory said. “It’s going to be fun to learn and grow with this group.”

An area of strength for Crestview should be rebounding. Last season, the Lady Knights out-rebounded their opponents 31-21 per game.

A tough non-conference schedule includes three new teams – Ottawa-Glandorf, Liberty-Benton and Coldwater, in addition to Ottoville, Fort Recovery, Parkway, Delphos St. John’s, Fort Jennings, Kalida, Continental, Van Wert, Antwerp, Celina and Wayne Trace.

Crestview will open the season with a pair of home games – tonight vs. Ottoville and tomorrow night vs. Fort Recovery.


The Lancers (10-14, 2-6 NWC) enjoyed a late regular season surge before falling to Wayne Trace in a frustrating sectional championship loss.

Now, third year head coach Kyle Williams has three starters back along with others ready to step in. The returning starters seniors Kendall Bollenbacher (12 ppg) and Zadria King (10 ppg, 9 rpg) and junior Makayla Jackman (5.3 ppg). Two other juniors – Annie Renner (3.0 ppg) and Carsyn Looser (4.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg) are expected to contribute along with senior Heather Beair, sophomore Addysen Stevens and freshmen Ashlyn Price and Emmerson Walker.

“We have a more experience squad this year with a lot of girls who really want to compete,” Williams said. “I think our strong suit will be offense but we will need to be able to get stops on the defensive end when needed.”

The Lancers will open the season tomorrow night against Continental, and other non-conference games include Ottoville, Paulding, New Bremen, Elida, Lima Central Catholic, Wayne Trace, Miller City, Van Wert, Kalida, Antwerp, Hicksville, Delphos St. John’s and Fort Jennings.

As far as the NWC race, Williams believes it’ll be a competitive one.

“I’ve always said outside of the MAC, the NWC is as competitive as it gets in terms of basketball in our area” Williams said. “I feel if we play to the level we can, we could put ourselves in very good position to contend in the conference.

Van Wert

The Cougars finished 8-12 (4-4 WBL) last season and head coach Hannah Phlipot has five returning letter winners from that team. Four of them are juniors – Kyra Welch, Sofi Houg, Alexia Barnhart and Sayler Wise, plus one senior, Carlee Young.

“We have a very strong core of returning players that have worked extremely hard this off season to improve individually and as a team,” Phlipot said. “We will continue to play an up tempo style of game. Our girls are the best when they can be aggressive, push tempo, and get out and run in transition.”

Two juniors, Maria Bagley and Erin Schaufelberger and a pair of seniors, Kayla Krites and Emilee Phillips, are expected to be key contributors as well.

Phlipot noted that defense should be an area of strength for Van Wert and she said this season’s schedule is loaded.

“Our schedule is extremely tough, both conference and non-conference games,” Phlipot said. “We start the season with two non conference powerhouses of Ottoville (Saturday night) and Marion Local. These are great early tests for us as we look to be very competitive in the WBL this year.

Other non-conference games include Spencerville, Coldwater, Wayne Trace, Delphos St. John’s, Delphos Jefferson, Lincolnview, Paulding, Crestview, Fairview, Bryan and Lima Central Catholic.

POSTED: 11/19/21 at 4:55 am. FILED UNDER: Sports