By Rob Kiser
Second-year Edison men’s basketball coach Tim McMahon found himself in a difficult transitional season last year when the Lady Chargers finished 4-20.
And while he knows there will be growing pains with a team loaded with freshman, McMahon already sees much progress from a year ago.
The Lady Chargers started 2-0, before dropping two games over the weekend.
“Even in those (two losses) we competed,” McMahon said. “I thought we did a better job today (Saturday in a loss to Niagara CC from New York) than we did last night (Friday’s loss to UC-Clermont).”
The good news for McMahon is Brooke Dunlevy (Bradford) is back after a huge freshman season.
Dunlevy was named first-team All-OCCAC, averaging 21.2 points and 4.8 rebounds, while dishing out 45 assists and adding 27 steals to her stat sheet.
“She is a big asset for us,” McMahon said. “Brooke (Dunlevy) is probably the best player in the conference.”
The other two sophomores on the team are 5-5 Krista Blankenship (Anna) and 5-9 Chloe Warvel (Versailles).
But, Warvel’s season is over and 5-10 freshman Candace Jones (Marion Local) is currently out with an injury.
“Those are two girls that would have started for us,” McMahon said. “Chloe (Warvel) is out for the season with a knee injury and Jones has a back injury right now.”
But, there is plenty of talent in the rest of the freshman group.
They include 6-foot posts Carly Buzzard (Wapakoneta) and Courtney Esser (Anna), 5-9 post Dana Heckman (Graham), 5-6 guard Brooke Hickey (Riverside), 5-6 guard Heather Johns (Mississinawa Valley), 5-9 post Katie Poteet (Troy Christian) and 5-5 guards Sydney Miller (Indian Lake) and Carly Wynne (Wayne).
Buzzard has already shown the ability to makes plays in the paint, while Hickey can be a dangerous 3-point shooter and Miller has a strong floor game.
“Carly Buzzard has a lot of potential,” McMahon said. “Sydney Miller is going to be a strong player. We have a really good freshman class. They just need to get some experience.”
When it comes to the OCCAC, McMahon knows things are not going to be easy.
“The title goes through Owens,” he said. “But, there are a lot of good teams in the conference. You also have Cincinnati State, Columbus State, Sinclair. There are so many good teams in the conference. We just want to continue to progress and get better.”
The women’s game has a new look this year at the college level.
For those, who haven’t been exposed to it, instead of two 20-minute halves, there are four 10-minute quarters.
The biggest difference is in team fouls.
The team fouls reset in every quarter and the fifth foul of each quarter puts the other team in the double bonus — with the one-and-one being eliminated.
“That is definitely the biggest change,” McMahon said.
On Friday, the Lady Chargers lost 81-57 to UC-Clermont.
Dunlevy scored 20 points, while Miller netted 14.
Buzzard had nine rebounds, Heckman pulled down eight and Hickey grabbed seven.
In an 80-69 loss to Niagara County Saturday, Miller had 23 points, five assists and five rebounds.
Buzzard scored 15 points and Hickey netted 13.
Heckman pulled down 14 rebounds, while Dunlevy dished out five assists.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.