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Boys Basketball: NW Crossroads outlook

Lowell's Zach VanHook drives basket past Munster's Drew Hackett during game Friday January 27 2012 Lowell. | Scott R. Brandush~Sun-Times

Lowell's Zach VanHook drives to the basket past Munster's Drew Hackett during a game on Friday, January 27, 2012, in Lowell. | Scott R. Brandush~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 20, 2012 6:07AM



Andrean

Coach: Carson Cunningham

Coach’s record at school: 59-35

Coach’s career record: 59-35

2011-12 finish: 21-3, 5-1

Key losses: Josh James (13.8 ppg, 8.7 rpg)

Key returnees: Nick Davidson (17.7 ppg, 4 apg); Collin Wojcik (12.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg)

Outlook: Seven of the team’s top eight scorers return, including four starters. “A main performance goal we have is to best last year’s win total (21) and advance further in the tournament,” Cunningham said. “Each year for the past four, we’ve won more games than the previous season. We want to do that again.” With the loss of James inside, the 59ers don’t have a whole lot of size, but their experience should help overcome the problem. “We aren’t the tallest team in the world, but the fellas play tough and tall,” Cunningham said. “This is a smart, senior-laden group, with a good work ethic and strong basketball skills. These young men are a joy to coach.”

Name Yr. Pos. Ht.

JJ Bosak 12 F 6-4

Ben Davidson 10 G 5-10

Nick Davidson 12 G 6-4

Eugene German 9 G 5-9

DJ Gonzalez 12 G 5-10

Ramon Guerrero 11 G 5-11

Shamir Johnson 12 G 5-9

Dan Keilman 12 G/F 6-4

Skyler Moss 12 F 6-4

Matt Ruberry 12 G 6-2

Sam Toporski 12 G/F 6-4

Collin Wojcik 12 G 6-4

Griffith

Coach: Gary Hayes

Coach’s record at school: 0-0

Coach’s career record: 143-98

2011-12 finish: 3-18, 0-6

Key losses: Garrett Litke (6.2 ppg)

Key returnees: Austin Brown (8.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg); Ben Parish (8.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg)

Outlook: Hayes takes over for Justin Fronek, who resigned last spring. Hayes is no stranger to the local basketball scene, having coached both at the high school and college levels. He believes in strong defensive intensity on the floor. Team strengths include depth and a contagious attitude for success. Hayes also believes in having patience getting the ball inside and shot selection are keys for success. “If we hold our own doing those things, and stay within ourselves, I think we’re going to be OK,” he said. “I think with our depth, kids aren’t going to be able to get comfortable, which should create a competitive atmosphere in practice.”

Name Yr. Pos. Ht.

Austin Brown 12 F 6-1

Kody Hoese 9 G 6-1

Erick Johnson 11 F 6-2

Rodney Lewis 11 G 6-0

Lawrence Mosley 10 G 5-11

Anthony Murphy 9 F 6-4

Tremmell Murphy 9 F/C 6-4

Chad Nolbin 11 F 6-4

Ben Parish 12 C 6-6

Flint Powell 11 G 6-0

Anthony Quintero 9 G 6-0

Josh Terzarial 10 F 6-2

Highland

Coach: Jordan Heckard

Coach’s record at school: 0-0

Coach’s career record: 0-0

2011-12 finish: 17-7, 3-3

Key losses: Brandon Minch (13 ppg); Brandon Reyes (9.7 ppg); Nick Hardrict (8.0 ppg)

Key returnees: AJ Kowalkowski (6 ppg, 3.5 rpg)

Outlook: Heckard takes over the program after Eddie Fierek resigned following last year’s successful 17-7 season. Heckard said a group of upperclassmen is ready to build off that success. “The guys have worked extremely hard and are very goal-driven,” he said. Team strengths include versatility and on-court saavy. The team doesn’t have a lot of quickness, but could be tough defensively. “Our team knows they have big shoes to fill, but they’ve worked very hard and have a great attitude,” Heckard said. “The intensity in practice has been great; guys are pushing each other and making one another better.”

Name Yr. Pos. Ht.

Matt Benninghoff 11 F 6-1

Tommy Brankin 11 G 5-9

Mark Clouse 11 G 5-9

Nick Elish 12 G 5-8

Urias Elliott 11 G 5-9

Alex Freitag 12 C 6-4

Danny Hamilton 12 F/C 6-0

Seth Hardy 11 G/F 5-11

Arthur James III 11 G 5-9

Brendan Jameyfield 12 F/C 6-4

AJ Kowalkowski 12 F/C 6-4

Ty Perry 11 F 6-1

Ben Wood 11 F/C 6-3

Hobart

Coach: Mike Black

Coach’s record at school: 99-157

Coach’s career record: 99-157

2011-12 finish: 10-12, 3-3

Key losses: Matt Brown (14.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg); Jose Robles (5.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg)

Key returnees: Anthony Burgos (5.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg); Patrick Wynn (4.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg)

Outlook: The Brickies just missed the .500 mark last season and broke even in NCC play. Their strengths are defense, rebounding and experience. Four players have started at least 15 games the past two years. Additionally, four other letterwinners return. If Hobart takes care of the ball and has good shot selection, it could top the 10-win mark. “I really like our guys,” Black said. “They’re working hard and playing unselfishly. With eight seniors, we have guys who’ve been here for a few years. They know how we want to play and what we need to do to be successful.”

Name Yr. Pos. Ht.

Uriah Baimakovich 11 G 6-0

Zach Banasiak 11 G 5-7

Anthony Burgos 12 G 5-10

Jarrett Colvin 12 F 6-3

Josh Kelly 11 G 5-9

CJ Komosa 12 G/F 6-2

Juan Lamar 10 F 6-3

Justin Somerville 12 G 6-1

Levi Spencer 12 G/F 5-11

David Thomas 12 F 6-3

Elijah Walker 12 F 6-4

Patrick Wynn 12 G 5-11

Kankakee Valley

Coach: Jeff Hamstra

Coach’s record at school: 12-31

Coach’s career record: 12-31

2011-12 finish: 5-16, 1-5

Key losses: Brett Walther (13 ppg, 5 rpg); Andrew Marcus; Sam Cowsert

Key returnees: Dustin Ketelaar (10 ppg); Brent VanSoest (5 ppg, 2.6 rpg)

Outlook: The Kougars struggled last season, winning only five games overall and one in the league. Hamstra’s goal is to have his team get “progressively better” as the season moves along. He believes the team should be better because it’s been playing together. Handling the ball should be a strength, while the team lacks size and could struggle on the boards. Nevertheless, Hamstra appears optimistic. “We’re excited about the year ahead,” he said. “We had a good summer and fall and are ready to go. They guys have worked really hard to put our team in a position to be successful.”

Name Yr. Pos. Ht.

Gage Abbring 12 F 6-2

Alonte Blackwell 11 F/C 6-0

Dylan Caldwell 10 G/F 6-3

Justin Eger 12 G 5-10

Alex Forrestall 12 F/G 6-0

Steve Ganzeveld 10 G 6-2

Dustin Ketelaar 12 G 6-2

Matt Myers 10 F/C 6-0

Cody Sytsma 11 G/F 6-1

Brandon VanSoest 11 C 6-2

Brent VanSoest 11 F/C 6-2

Michael Vega 11 G 5-8

Lowell

Coach: Nate Richie

Coach’s record at school: 21-21

Coach’s career record: 21-21

2011-12 finish: 9-12, 3-3

Key losses: Kyle Richwalski (12.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg)

Key returnees: Zach Van Hook (17 ppg, 4.3 rpg); Aaron Hamm (3.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg)

Outlook: The Red Devils lost a key performer and size with the departure of Richwalski, but coach Richie returns a pair of starters in Van Hook — the team’s leading scorer last season — and Hamm, along with an experienced senior in Kersey. Van Hook should fuel the team on the offensive end of the floor, but will need others to contribute to keep opponents from doubling up defensively on him. Richie looks for junior newcomers Billy Barker, and Jordan Hansen, along with sophomore Eric Zukauskas, to make an impact.

Name Yr. Pos. Ht.

Billy Barker 11 F 6-3

Zach Bobos 10 G 5-11

Nick Gramhofer 11 G 6-2

Aaron Hamm 11 F 6-3

Jordan Hansen 11 G 6-0

Spenser Kersey 12 F 6-3

Jayson Savich 10 F 6-3

Zach Van Hook 11 C/F 6-4

Eric Zukauskas 10 C/F 6-4

Munster

Coach: Mike Hackett

Coach’s record at school: 227-56

Coach’s career record: 227-56

2011-12 finish: 17-4, 6-0

Key losses: Mark Strbjak (9 ppg, 5 rpg); Danilo Zekovic (11.5 ppg, 4 rpg)

Key returnees: Michael Schlotman (10.5 ppg, 5 rpg, 4.5 apg); Nate Bubash (15.5 ppg, 7 rpg); Drew Hackett (5.5 ppg)

Outlook: Hackett expects his team to compete for conference and sectional titles at the very least. Bubash, the team’s MVP and leading scorer, returns as does Schlotman, a three-year starter at point guard who’s committed to Willam and Mary. While that combo is a nice one-two punch, there’s inexperience at the other three spots. Team chemistry is a strength, but rebounding will be key. “I really like the makeup of this team,” Hackett said. “The players all have worked extremely hard during the offseason on getting stronger and improving their skills. Once everyone figures out and accepts their role, we should be able to have another successful season.”

Name Yr. Pos. Ht.

Nate Bubash 12 F 6-6

Craig Dedelow 12 F/C 6-4

Cody Gryzbowski 11 F 6-4

Drew Hackett 10 G 6-1

Steve Herndon 11 G 5-8

Pat McCarthy 11 F 6-5

Adam Ostoich 10 G 6-2

Michael Schlotman 12 G 6-4

Sam Toth 11 G 6-1

Luke Wuchenich 11 G 6-1



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