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With a strong group of returnees, Northmor boys’ basketball coach Zach Ruth is hoping his team will make big improvements over last year’s 4-19 finish.

Ruth returns six letterwinners. Sophomore Tyler Kegley was an honorable mention pick in the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference, finishing with 8.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.1 blocks. Classmate Demetrius Johnson is the team’s top returning scorer, as he tallied 9.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.1 steals per game.

Senior Gunnar Lilly tallied 7.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.6 steals; while senior Collin Berg picked up 3.6 points and 1.7 rebounds. Senior Frank Keller had 1.5 points and 1.6 rebounds, while junior Zach Parrott added 1.3 points and 1.3 rebounds.

“With our experience that we return, along with a quick backcourt, that should put us in position to compete with everyone on our schedule,” said Ruth.

The team did graduate one very important member of recent squads, as they will be without the services of Daniel Donner, who tallied 13 points and eight rebounds on his way to being named to the first team in both the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference and Division 11.

Ruth will be looking for senior Spencer Adams and sophomore Brock Pletcher to help fill in at the varsity level this year. For the team to improve, the coach says they simply must work to meet their goals.

“We have to stay true to the goals we have set as individuals and as a team,” he said. In the Blue Division race, Ruth is expecting a balanced group of teams to fight it out for a championship.

“Centerburg and Cardington should battle it out for the title,” he said. “I also think Fredericktown and Mount Gilead will also be teams to reckon with.”

Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS