Thread: Gmc 17-18
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Old 11-29-17, 10:56 AM
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Cincy Enquirer GMC Preview:

Greater Miami Conference

Oak Hills and Mason have been constants in recent years in the GMC, but the league always features games that could go anyway on a given night. Last year's champion Oak Hills lost two GMC first-team players (Ryan Batte and Luke Rudy) and second-teamer Cam Naber to graduation, leaving Nick Deifel (second team) as top returner. Forward Deifel is a four-year varsity player for a team that lost just four games under GMC Coach of the Year Mike Price. Three-year varsity guard Jacob Woycke will also play key minutes along with juniors Deandre Hayes, Jacob Berkemeier and Zach Moeller.

Mason and Greg Richards were right behind the Highlanders in the league at 14-2 and lost just three (to Oak Hills, Princeton, and Moeller). The Comets were a 2017 district champion. Unfortunately, Tanner Knue is the lone returning starter. The guard averaged nine points per game, slightly above what reserve sixth man Noah Pedelty contributed. Juniors Landon Long, Matt Minick and Ethan Howard plus sophomore Jack Cooper should be factors.

"Ultimately for us, it still comes down to playing Mason basketball," Richards said. "We need to make other teams work really hard to score."

Lakota East shared a GMC title with Mason three years ago and was 16-8 last season. Head coach Clinton Adkins brings back four starters to a league where depth is important. Jarrett Cox, Jackson See, Jalen Peck and Kyrell Metts return with Cox leading the Thunderhawks and GMC in scoring last year at 18.2 per game. Bash Wieland (over from Lakota West) and Alex Mangold are also expected to have an impact.

"We're a much more versatile and deep team than we were last year," Adkins said.

The most spoken about player in the GMC is Princeton's Darius Bazley. The 6-foot-9 forward recently signed to play at Syracuse and was invited to a USA Basketball Junior National Team training camp this fall. He is the No. 9 player of the 2018 class, according to ESPN.com. After sitting out the first half of last season due to his transfer from Finneytown, Bazley led the GMC in rebounds (10 per game), assists (3.5) and blocks (3) while averaging 11.1 points against defenses designed to stop him specifically. Dominic Pierce and Darweshi Hunter are also returning Viking starters, with Hunter finishing second in the league in scoring last season (17.3) for coach Steven Wright. The Vikings will be featured on ESPNU Jan. 19 against New Albany (Indiana).

Hamilton, Fairfield, Sycamore, Lakota West, Middletown and Colerain all will try to rebound from sub-.500 records in one of the toughest conferences around. Andrew Ovington takes over the Sycamore Aviators who return starters Christian Kelly and Tate Goodyear (Yale football signee). Myron Williams, Luke Huffer and Ben Yuskewich will also help try to break the Aves' skid of four straight losing seasons. Middletown has Jawunn Bailey back as a starter.
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