Wednesday, November 29, 2000

McNicholas No. 1 in Divisions II-IV




By Dave Schutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The pressure that goes with the No.1 ranking is hard on a first-year coach, and that's what Pat Stricker faces.

        His McNicholas squad edged 1999-2000 Division II state runnerup Purcell Marian for No.1 in The Enquirer's Divisions II-IV pre-season poll, followed by Madeira and Roger Bacon. The top four teams all received first-place votes.

DIVISION II-IV POLL
  1. McNicholas (5) 110
  2. Purcell Marian (4) 100
  3. Madeira (2) 83
  4. Roger Bacon (2) 75
  5. North College Hill 51
  6. Reading 41
  7. CHCA 35
  8. CCD 34
  9. Wyoming 33
  10. Badin 32
  Others: Finneytown 21, Clermont Northeastern 17, New Richmond 15, Indian Hill 12, Hillsboro 10, Ross 7, Summit Country Day, Turpin 4, Goshen, Bethel-Tate, Wilmington, 3, Lebanon 2, Batavia, Kings 1.
        The Rockets have the talent to live up to their ranking with Paul Sheehy (12 points), Geoff Hensley (5 points), Brian Chin (8 points) and Jarrod Lawhon (5.5 points) the top players.

        2. Purcell Marian: Keith Jackson, a 6-5 senior forward/center who committed to Xavier, must shoulder the scoring burden for a Cavaliers team that lost four starters to graduation.

        3. Madeira: Coach Jim Reynolds is two victories away from 200.

        Bret Underwood (14.6 points, 6.8 rebounds) and Robb Hern (13.8 points, 7.4 rebounds) are Madeira's mainstays.

        4. Roger Bacon: Josh Hausfeld, a 6-3 senior forward who averaged 19 points, will be the foundation for a Spartans team that also returns Dan Huerkamp, Mike Meridy, Casey Land and Andy Holt.

        5. North College Hill: Rebouding from a 6-15 season will be easy for a Trojans team that returns Duron Moore (10 points), Jermel Turnage (7 rebounds) and Alex Kemphaus (3 assists).

        6. Reading: The addition of transfers DeShawn Wynn and Derrick Aden adds strength and depth to the Blue Devils. 7. CHCA: Sophomore center Luke Trenz holds the key for CHCA, which returns Jay Morelock (12 points, 3 assists), Jason Hunter and Sam Shaw.

        8. Cincinnati Country Day: The Indians' strength will be at guard, with seniors Noah Allen (19 points) and Matt Cohen (10 points).

        9. Wyoming: Jeff Davis and Geoff Tollett are the only returning players from a Cowboys team that was 16-8 last season.

        10. Badin: Coming off a 3-18 season, second-year coach Fred Hesse predicts improvement although the Rams return only Bret Noonan and Bret Fiehrer and are without seniors.