With seven returnees from a team that’s advanced to the district finals two straight years, Cardington girls’ basketball coach Jamie Edwards has plenty of reason to be optimistic about the 2017-18 season.
Five of those players have earned postseason honors for their past play and two of them have already committed to play collegiately.
Senior guard Sage Brannon (12 points, 4.5 steals, 5 rebounds, 4.3 assists per game last year) is an Ashland University committ. She was the conference player of the year in 2015-16 and is a two-time All-Ohio, All-Conference, District 11 and Central District pick. Junior point guard Kynlee Edwards (10 points, 4 steals, 3 assists) has committed to the University of Findlay. She is a two-time All-Conference, District 11 and Central District player.
The team also boasts the reigning conference player of the year in senior forward Kyndall Spires (13 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks). She is a three-time All-Conference and District 11 pick and also a two-time Central District selection.
Also back are sophomore Casey Bertke (11 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks), senior Alex Maceyko (4 points, 2.4 rebounds) and juniors Paige Clinger (5 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.5 steals) and Taylor Reppart (1.1 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist). Bertke earned recognition from the MOAC and District 11 last year, while Clinger is a two-time District 11 pick.
While the team graduated Alyson Adams and Jessica Shook from last year’s squad, Edwards is looking forward to the addition of sophomore Hannah Wickline, who will give the team a third six-foot or taller player along with Spires (6’1”) and Bertke (6’2”). Edwards noted that Wickline is a versatile player who can help the team at multiple positions.
“We return our entire starting line-up from last season, so we have some lofty goals,” said the coach. “But obviously, we are keyed in on winning the league championship. We played many of the top programs in the state this summer and set up our scrimmage schedule in the same manner to help prepare us for a potential run.”
In the conference, Edwards thinks that both Centerburg and Highland could provide tough tests for his team.