WCAL 2022-23

1486wd

Active member
There are 3 teams that will be well above the others IMO - Dalton, Norwayne, Smithville. All three teams lost some key players, but all 3 return some really good players. Chippewa has a good player or two, but I don’t think they are deep enough to challenge.
 

187xovr

Active member
There are 3 teams that will be well above the others IMO - Dalton, Norwayne, Smithville. All three teams lost some key players, but all 3 return some really good players. Chippewa has a good player or two, but I don’t think they are deep enough to challenge.
I agree. Those three teams are the favorites. Last year, those three teams only lost against each other. The bottom five teams did not get one win against the top three teams. I don't think that is the case this year. While there were competitive games between the top three teams and bottom five teams last year (Norwayne beat Chippewa and Northwestern in OT games), I think those bottom five teams will beat the top three teams some this year. The league should have more parity this year.

Dalton had the biggest losses on their roster compared to anyone else in the league. They lost two scholarship athletes (Jaden Schlabach, Jalen Wenger) to graduation including the leading scorer in program history and two time first team All Ohioan and a returning All Ohio player (Kyrie Gaut) due to suspension. Smithville lost the heart and soul of their team (Carter Fath) and some important depth to graduation. They will also be without another key piece to their rotation (Colt Zollinger) due to injury. Norwayne lost several seniors from last year, most notably Isaiah Portis. Norwayne will play a lot of sophomores this year. That is a really talented class for them, but they are still sophomores.
 

smhBrownsFan

New member
Thanks - wasn’t sure what Smithville retuned. Life of small schools, up years and down years. Noticed a couple teams have beefed up their schedules presumably with an eye on playoffs ( always seems to be a Cleveland team looming - I think Lutheran East knocked off Smithville and Norwayne last year ).
 

Rambis

New member
So how did all the Smithville drama shake out? Kauffman is still coaching, but has to sit some games?
 
I agree. Those three teams are the favorites. Last year, those three teams only lost against each other. The bottom five teams did not get one win against the top three teams. I don't think that is the case this year. While there were competitive games between the top three teams and bottom five teams last year (Norwayne beat Chippewa and Northwestern in OT games), I think those bottom five teams will beat the top three teams some this year. The league should have more parity this year.

Dalton had the biggest losses on their roster compared to anyone else in the league. They lost two scholarship athletes (Jaden Schlabach, Jalen Wenger) to graduation including the leading scorer in program history and two time first team All Ohioan and a returning All Ohio player (Kyrie Gaut) due to suspension. Smithville lost the heart and soul of their team (Carter Fath) and some important depth to graduation. They will also be without another key piece to their rotation (Colt Zollinger) due to injury. Norwayne lost several seniors from last year, most notably Isaiah Portis. Norwayne will play a lot of sophomores this year. That is a really talented class for them, but they are still sophomores.
Is the Gaut kid out for the whole season? What a blow that would be.
 

smhBrownsFan

New member
I agree. Those three teams are the favorites. Last year, those three teams only lost against each other. The bottom five teams did not get one win against the top three teams. I don't think that is the case this year. While there were competitive games between the top three teams and bottom five teams last year (Norwayne beat Chippewa and Northwestern in OT games), I think those bottom five teams will beat the top three teams some this year. The league should have more parity this year.

Dalton had the biggest losses on their roster compared to anyone else in the league. They lost two scholarship athletes (Jaden Schlabach, Jalen Wenger) to graduation including the leading scorer in program history and two time first team All Ohioan and a returning All Ohio player (Kyrie Gaut) due to suspension. Smithville lost the heart and soul of their team (Carter Fath) and some important depth to graduation. They will also be without another key piece to their rotation (Colt Zollinger) due to injury. Norwayne lost several seniors from last year, most notably Isaiah Portis. Norwayne will play a lot of sophomores this year. That is a really talented class for them, but they are still sophomores.
Dalton’s run in the football playoffs will probably make for a slow start to their season (unless it impacts their wrestling program more).
What about Northwestern this year? I know they lost their sharpshooter but should have a couple key pieces back.
 

187xovr

Active member
Is the Gaut kid out for the whole season? What a blow that would be.
I am pretty sure he has been suspended for the first 11 games. Losing a top 5 player in the league is a monumental blow to any team. He was probably going to play 30 minutes a night or more for them.
Dalton’s run in the football playoffs will probably make for a slow start to their season (unless it impacts their wrestling program more).
What about Northwestern this year? I know they lost their sharpshooter but should have a couple key pieces back.
Dalton's brutal schedule will probably be more responsible for a slow start (if they start slow) than their deep football run. They have fared well in scrimmages so far. Their schedule includes Hiland, Smithville, Hoban, Lake, University School, and Lutheran East within the first month. The players at the top of their roster were not on the football team. Some football kids will definitely play important roles for them.

Northwestern will be a team to keep an eye on in the conference. They have two really good players who could make them a threat against anybody in the league. I am not sure they will be consistent enough to challenge for a league title, but nobody thought they would win the league in football either. Maybe the Huskies will pull off a shocker in hoops too.
So how did all the Smithville drama shake out? Kauffman is still coaching, but has to sit some games?
Yes. Kaufman kept his job but has to sit out several games to start the season. Smithville is really lucky to have him as their coach, and extremely fortunate that he is willing to stay there considering the nonsense that went on through all of this. Many small schools would like to hire Corey Kaufman to be their head basketball coach. Although they have not finished higher than 3rd yet, Smithville will be a threat to win the league every season he is there going forward.
 
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1486wd

Active member
That is a bummer about Gaut, he can really shoot it and is a big loss for the first half of the season. That being said, the dawgs are still going to be really deep this year - the return of Jack Steiner and Ethan Stutz are some really nice additions to help lessen that loss.
 

187xovr

Active member
My dark horse for the league this year is Chippewa. They mauled Triway in a scrimmage earlier this week. Triway is expected to be decent this year. Chippewa looks to have a very favorable schedule early on. They could build some really positive momentum by mid December.
 

CasualFan24

Well-known member
Huge blow to Dalton last week. Freak accident during a scrimmage - prayers for a speedy and full recovery. Just feel awful for the kid.
 

187xovr

Active member
Context? Haven’t heard anything.
Dalton's top returning player, Braylon Wenger, slipped off the rim on a dunk attempt in their scrimmage over the weekend. He had a nasty fall resulting in some significant head injuries. He could be back for the tournament, but he will miss the regular season. This is a severe body blow to the Dalton team. He was putting up huge numbers in their scrimmages, and was surely the favorite to be the WCAL MVP. Dalton is now down 2 All Ohioans since the first day of practice.
 

1486wd

Active member
Such a bummer for Braylon, he was looking outstanding so far. Fingers crossed he can come back sooner than expected. Dalton is quite deep and should still be a pretty tough out, but you obviously can’t fill a hole like he creates. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
 

187xovr

Active member
Such a bummer for Braylon, he was looking outstanding so far. Fingers crossed he can come back sooner than expected. Dalton is quite deep and should still be a pretty tough out, but you obviously can’t fill a hole like he creates. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
That is correct. Dalton will still be a senior laden team. They really only have two players with notable varsity experience when it comes to playing regular, heavy varsity minutes. The depth are mostly all kids who are playing significant varsity minutes for the first time. The biggest issue until Gaut and/or Wenger return will be ball handling. Dalton will need to play a little bit differently on offense now. I am guessing they will have longer possessions compared to what they would have had otherwise. They will be playing games in the low to mid 40s instead of the low to mid 60s. That does not mean they cannot win their fair share of games, they just don't have the firepower to hammer teams like they have regularly done the past few years. They could be very dangerous come tournament time if kids progress throughout the year and they get Gaut and Wenger back at full strength.
 

BobBBaulzack

New member
What surprised you? Hasn’t Triway beat Northwestern for several years in a row now? I thought Triway was a noticeable favorite in this game. Northwestern played really well, but Triway pulled it out at the end.
I thought the Miller kid was still hurt from football. I saw the Drown kid tore his Acl. I know they have that Bishko kid back and Holt kid coming up but didn't think that was enough against a veteran Northwestern team. I know they are Swiss cheese defense but thought Triway is still dealing with injuries.
 

187xovr

Active member
Next Friday’s Dalton at Smithville game should be a good one!
Smithville is on a 6 game losing streak against Dalton if memory serves correctly. They have lost two close games in that span and lost four games by double digits including an 81-42 game two years ago. Dalton is the only team in the WCAL who Corey Kaufman has not defeated yet. Given the circumstances for this week’s game, I think Smithville will have a good opportunity to end their losing streak against Dalton. Dalton will be missing their top two players. Smithville will be missing their head coach. I think the smart money is on Smithville in a close game.
 

smhBrownsFan

New member
I thought the Miller kid was still hurt from football. I saw the Drown kid tore his Acl. I know they have that Bishko kid back and Holt kid coming up but didn't think that was enough against a veteran Northwestern team. I know they are Swiss cheese defense but thought Triway is still dealing with injuries.
Northwestern didn’t have Siders either.

Tomorrow should be a good indicator, most WCAL teams look to be in action. Dalton probably going to have to win with defense and what better test than Hiland out of the gate. Chippewa should get a better look from Cloverleaf than their first game against Rootstown. Norwayne should dominate Orrville.
 

187xovr

Active member
Northwestern didn’t have Siders either.

Tomorrow should be a good indicator, most WCAL teams look to be in action. Dalton probably going to have to win with defense and what better test than Hiland out of the gate. Chippewa should get a better look from Cloverleaf than their first game against Rootstown. Norwayne should dominate Orrville.
Is Siders playing? I thought I saw him in the student section during the game as opposed to sitting on the bench with the team.
How long is the Kaufman suspension?
I think he is suspended for 5 games. I could be off on this, but I believe it is at least 5 games.
 

C5R

New member
Is Siders playing? I thought I saw him in the student section during the game as opposed to sitting on the bench with the team.

I think he is suspended for 5 games. I could be off on this, but I believe it is at least 5 games.
I was told by a Northwestern parent that Siders is not playing this year. I had heard Kauffman was suspended for 7 games.
 

187xovr

Active member
IVC 2-0 over Wcal. Malvern over Smithville and Hiland over Dalton. Kaufman is suspended 7 games
I was surprised at the Malvern vs Smithville score. Sounds like Malvern won going away. I was impressed with Dalton staying with Hiland all the way until the end of the game and having a chance to win. Dalton vs Smithville should be a really good game on Friday.

Lots of big WCAL winners last night. Norwayne, Chippewa, Hillsdale, and Waynedale all won big. I could be missing some too. Those are just the scores that I saw.
 
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