Marysville’s boys varsity hoop squad is pictured from left, front row, student assistant TJ Grose, Gabe Schaeffer, Joey Duke, Spencer Mills and Noah Brown; second row, Kade Focht, Evan Brown, Ryan Barlow, Nick Kessler, Garret Taylor, Jack Christian and Clark Hamilton; back row, coaches Mitch Hammond, Brock Cunningham, head coach Ryan Grose, Klarke Ransome and Scott Forney. (Journal-Tribune photo by Sam Dillon)
Marysville’s varsity boys basketball team will be led by six returning lettermen from the 2018-19 season this winter.
Junior Jack Christian is the top-scoring veteran as he averaged 12.7 points per game during his second varsity campaign.
Additional lettermen include senior Joey Duke (4.8 ppg and 4.5 assists per contest), junior Garret Taylor (5.4 ppg), senior Gabe Schaeffer (3.6 points and four rebounds per outing), senior Spencer Mills (two points and 1.3 assists per game) and senior Noah Brown.
Newcomers who could see plenty of varsity action this year include juniors Clark Hamilton, Ryan Barlow, Nick Kessler and Evan Brown, along with sophomore Kade Focht.
The Monarchs finished the 2018-19 campaign with an overall record of 8-15, while finishing fifth (2-8) in the Ohio Capital Conference’s Central Division.
Veteran head coach Ryan Grose, however, is optimistic about the prospects for the new season.
“We are really excited about the 2019-20 season and the work our players have put in during the off-season,” he said. “We return four starters from last year’s team – point guard Joey Duke, shooting guard Jack Christian, power forward Gabe Schaeffer and center Garret Taylor.”
MHS opened the new season on Tuesday with a 59-41 victory over Hilliard Darby.
“Joey does a great job of creating offense for our team and has great court vision,” said the coach. “He also has the ability to pressure the ball and create problems in the full-court for the opposing team’s point guard.”
Grose described Christian as one of the best shooters in the central Ohio area.
“Jack has the ability to put up huge numbers on any given night,” said Grose. “He has worked really hard in the weight room and has improved his focus on the defensive end of the floor.”
Schaeffer handles a good deal of the unsung work that goes into making a successful basketball team.
“Gabe rebounds really well on both ends of the court, guards aggressively and is willing to step in to take a charge,” said Grose. “He has also worked hard to extend his shooting range out to the three-point line this season.
“Garret Taylor is a very skilled inside/outside player who can score in a variety of ways,” said Grose. “He has battled some injuries but is now back on the court and getting better every day.”
Grose said Noah Brown and Mills are valuable to the team.
“They do all the little things that don’t show up in the box score,” he said. “They are extremely unselfish, can play multiple positions and push their teammates every day.
“Evan Brown and Ryan Barlow are versatile guards who contribute well on both ends of the floor and who will both compete for the fifth starting spot,” said Grose. “Both will be counted on for scoring and defense.
“Nick Kessler, Clark Hamilton and Kade Focht will also compete for playing time at the varsity level.”
The 2019-20 campaign will be the final year for Marysville in the OCC’s Central Division.
The circuit will realign next year with the Monarchs competing in the Cardinal Division.
This means Marysville must battle strong teams such as Dublin Coffman, Upper Arlington and Hilliard Davidson one final campaign within the divisional setup.
“We expect to compete for the OCC Central title, but more importantly, we are focusing on improving our process every day,” said Grose.
The coach said MHS will continue to play its up-tempo style of basketball on both ends of the court.
“We have a lot of players who are capable of scoring and who have really committed to the defensive end of the floor,” said Grose.
“This is a fantastic group of young men and I really look forward to coaching them.”
The JV boys basketball squad for MHS is pictured from left, front row, Lane Coil, Griffin Johnson, Isaac Tocci, Cole Macey and Kade Focht; second row, Nick Kessler, R.J. Thornton, Gavin Rohrs, Brandon Fourman and Clark Hamilton; back row, coaches Brock Cunningham and Klarke Ransome. (Journal-Tribune photo by Sam Dillon)
The Monarch freshman boys basketball team is pictured from left, front row, Shaun Xie, Chase Adkins, Emerson Trapp, Carson Taylor, Brayden Graves and Braden Deere; second row, coach Mitch Hammond, Nolan French, Nick McClish, Connor Smith, Evan Collins, Braeden Gray and coach Scott Forney. (Journal-Tribune photo by Sam Dillon)
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