BY YANEEK SMITH, BEACON CONTRIBUTOR
Head Coach: Tom Kontak, seventh year
Last Year: 19-5 (9-3 SBC Bay)
Key Returning Players: Logan Harris, 6-1, P, Sr.; Sophia Eli, 5-7, W, Jr.
Key Losses: Abby Dornbusch, 5-4, PG; Ashley Riley, 5-9, W; Emily Lenke, 5-10, P
Forecast: Oak Harbor just missed winning the league championship last year, but did win another sectional title before falling to eventual-state champion Rogers in the district semifinals.
The Rockets return one of the area’s top players in All-Ohioan Logan Harris, a 6-1 senior post who has committed to play collegiately at the University of Findlay. Harris, the SBC Bay Division’s Most Outstanding Player last year, aver- aged 18.8 points and 8.8 rebounds. The other returning starting is Sophia Eli, a 5-6 junior guard, who averaged 10.7 points and 4.2 rebounds.
Joining them is 5-3 senior guard Alaina Hetrick, who saw plenty of varsity action last year, 5-11 junior post Madison Glaser, 5-9 sophomore guard Auna Tack and twin 5-8 freshmen Ryann and Riley Steinbrick.
Tom Kontak, who has accumulated a 116-32 (.784) record in six seasons at Oak Harbor, said “this team will be a combination of talent and inexperience. We are excited to return Logan Harris and Sophia Eli,” Kontak said. “The remaining roster of contributing players, however, will take time to establish and develop.
“The main strengths are being able to score in the post while also having players who can handle the ball on the perimeter. Another plus is having intelligent student-athletes both on and off the court. They have an above-average I.Q. sense for the game.”
The team lost some good players in Abby Dornbusch, a four-year starter at point guard, and Ashley Riley, one of the league’s best shooters. Emily Lenke also played a key role on the team.
It is a talented team, but it lacks the collective experience that many of Kontak’s previous teams had. He notes that communication, especially on the defensive end, will be key to the club’s suc-cess.
“The biggest challenge for this group will be to collectively get comfortable talking and communication on the floor. It this team is going to maximize its talent, talking and communicating is a must,” he said. “Experiencing the speed and strength of high-level, high- school basketball is a challenge for this year’s team, a challenge that early-sea- son play will develop.
“As a program, we continue to strive to get better trying to figure it out. And that working as one on the court, we can become a team our fans and school are proud to watch compete.”
(Bottom Row: Left to Right) Alaina Hetrick, Auna Tack, Riley Steinbrick, Sophia Eli (Back Row: Left to Right) Coach Kevin Horn, Coach Mark Boukissen, Ryann Steinbrick, Logan Harris, Madison Glaser, Coach Art Eli, Head Coach Tom Kontak