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Loudonville Redbirds High School Athletics

 

 
     
 

Loudonville With High Expectations

Loudonville was one of the very best girls’ basketball teams in North Central Ohio last season and that is clearly going to be the case again this year as they return a bevy of talent.

They were outright Mid-Buckeye Conference champions last season and advanced to the division three district tournament.

Coach Tyler Bates says they believe they can be pretty good this year. “Yeah, we have expectations that I would say are pretty high. Until you start playing those real games you never know exactly what to expect. We return a majority of our team from last year’s squad that went 22-2. We also have Nikki Weber back, who missed last season with an “ACL” injury. So, knock on wood if we stay healthy we hope we can win some games this year,” he said.

Bates says they have looked pretty good in early practices, but he knows they still have to get much better to be where they want to be this season. “We definitely have a lot of work to do. I haven’t slept much. I know the girls know we have a lot of work to do too, but we have seen some good things. We went to Wadsworth for our first scrimmage on Saturday. Schools like Olentangy Liberty, Akron St. Vincent/St. Mary, Columbus Northland were there and we held our own,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “Obviously, they exposed us in some areas, but I think that is why you go to those scrimmages to see what you need to work on in practice and we have been doing that this week. All in all, for the first 10 days I am pretty happy with the girls they are working hard and they have a great attitude so far.”

One thing that Bates says must get better for the Lady Redbirds is rebounding the basketball and they are working on it. “We can always execute better. With the schedule we have this year we are going to be in a lot of tight ballgames and it is going to come down to the fourth quarter and who can execute on both sides of the ball. We always have to work on that. As far as what we saw in our first scrimmage we need five girls going to the glass. We are not the biggest team, we are not the most physical team, so it is going to take a team effort to rebound the basketball and we have been working on that a lot this week in practice. We know we have to get better rebounding and holding our opponents to one shot,” said Bates.

Published 11/07/18

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Loudonville is Believing

Loudonville has found some momentum and they have become a pretty good football team, just ask their last four opponents.

They are tied for first place in the Principal’s Athletic Conference with Orrville and Akron Manchester. They play at Orrville (5-1,3-0) in a conference game on Friday night.

Kevin Maltrich is in his first year as the coach of the Redbirds and he says the players have been eager learners. “Ever since I first took over here we had something. We had tough kids and we had some skill. The ingredients were there to be successful they just didn’t know how to do it. We just started out every day teaching these kids how to play the game. We stubbed our toe in those first two games. Give credit to the kids because they came to practice with a business like attitude and wanted to get better,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “They learned from those first two games. In those first two games we saw some things we could do if we did our jobs correctly. We came out against Hillsdale and we played four quarters of football and the confidence has been building every since and we have been able to put a couple of games here together.”

Loudonville (4-2,3-0) has allowed only one score each in their three conference games, including a (41-7) win over Massillon Tuslaw last week. Maltrich says the players have a good understanding of their scheme. “We really simplified things for the kids. We have one basic defense in and everything branches off that. The kids understand exactly what is going on. They know how to play their positions and they know how I want them to play their positions. We play pretty physical. We teach about toughness and physicality. If you are able to be disciplined and do your job and be physical good things are going to happen. Our kids found that light switch and the last four weeks we have been playing pretty solid defense,” said Maltrich.

That defense is going to be challenged this week because Orrville is averaging almost 50 points a game. They are led by running back Marquael Parks, who is an electric performer that has the entire package. Maltrich says you just have to hope he doesn’t run wild on you. “That kid is like a video game. He makes some kids look silly on film. He jukes and jives. He has a burst to him and nobody can catch him. It is one of those things where we hope to contain him. Like they say you hope to contain him because you are not going to be able to stop him. We have to make sure we know where he is at times and limit his yards,” he said.

Published 10/04/18

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Hard Work Paying off to Loudonville

Loudonville, the Mid-Buckeye Conference champion, locks horns with Orrville, the Principal’s Athletic Conference winner, in the girls’ division three district semi final at Wooster High School on Wednesday night.

Combined they have only lost four games.

Loudonville beat Wooster Triway (65-43) in a sectional final played Saturday afternoon at Loudonville.

Coach Tyler Bates says they were able to adapt well to what Triway threw at them. “I was really happy with our effort. We really put four quarters of basketball together. I want to give Triway a lot of credit they made things tough on us there is the first half. They did a nice job of switching up defenses and giving our guards some looks that haven’s seen yet this year. Once we settled in and moved the ball a little bit better and found some open shooters we went on a run there where we made five three pointers in the third quarter and that was the difference,” said Bates,

Loudonville averages nearly 80 points a game and Bates says they have the ability to score points in bunches. “We know basketball is a game of runs. As long as we have a few more than the other teams or maybe a longer one than they other team we like our chances of coming out if the game with a “W.” Obviously, anybody you play in going to try and stop those runs. We are definitely a team of runs with the way we shoot the three ball. It is nice and it is fun to watch,” he said.

Loudonville (22-1) faces Orrville (20-3) on Wednesday night. Orrville beat Waynedale (65-48) on Saturday in their tournament opener.

Bates says the Lady Red Riders have a great program and a great team this year. “Orrville comes out of the Principal’s Athletic Conference, which is a tough conference. Let’s face it they are a lot more well respected than us. They have a hall of fame coach in coach Alberts and a trio of really good juniors that can all fill it up. We know that we will be in for a challenge. That being said, I like my team a lot too. I know we can play with anyone in that district,” he told Swankonsports.com, “We are excited to have the opportunity. This is actually the first time we have made it to the Wooster final four since 2001. Our girls got moved out of the Wooster district for two years. Our girls won a sectional in 2010 for coach Taylor. We are excited to go over there and compete with Orrville, Chippewa and Northwestern.”

Chippewa (23-0) plays Northwestern in the other semi Wednesday.

Bates says he is proud of the work ethic his players and he hopes that will continue to pay off for them. “I don’t know what’s going to happen, but one thing I do know is that this is the hardest working group of girls I have ever been around. I coached at the college level for a year and this is my fifth year at Loudonville. These girls live in the gym. I believe that good things happen to people that work hard and do stuff the right way. If there is ever a group of kids that does that it is this group of girls we have at Loudonville right now,” he said.

Published 2/27/18

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Loudonville Using Long Distance

Loudonville has been getting more than 10 made three pointers a game and that is a big reason why the Lady Redbirds are 5-0 so far this season.

This week they play non-conference games at bigger schools, Tuesday at Akron Kenmore and Thursday at Cleveland Central Catholic.

They beat Lucas (82-49) on Saturday in a Mid-Buckeye Conference game and coach Tyler Bates says they have been scoring like that all year. “I love the start of our season, especially for the girls. After we lost Nikki Weber for the year to an “ACL” injury in the preseason we didn’t know what to expect offensively. We are actually averaging about 79 points a game through the first five games. To see the ball go in the basket at that kind of rate is really exciting and it is encouraging for the rest of the year,” said Bates.

Bates says they have been moving the ball well and getting it in position to get some three pointers in the air and they have been making them. “The girls have been sharing the ball really well and up to this point we have made 55 three pointers though five games. I think anytime you make 11 threes a game for a stretch like that at the start of the year you are probably going to be in pretty good shape offensively. I don’t know if we can keep that pace up for the whole season, but I am pretty happy with it right now. As long as we are getting open looks I don’t care how many threes we attempt,” said Bates.

Being a good shooter takes a lot of practice and Bates says when you start making then it leads to a lot of confidence. “Our girls put in a lot of time in the off season and even during the season after practice and on their days off. Getting on the gun and getting extra shots. Why put in all that work if you aren’t going to shoot the ball in the game when you are open. We have total confidence in all of the girls on the floor to shoot it if they get good looks,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “The cool thing about our team is the girls don’t care you takes the most shots. When there is a hot hand they continue to feed that girl. That is a great thing to see as a coach and as long as you are unselfish and sharing the basketball you can really be tough to guard in girls’ basketball at the high school level.”

Playing Kenmore and Cleveland CC can only help them, according to Bates. “Our district is really tough up there in Wooster. We are trying our best during the regular season to get prepared for the division three district tournament. Between this week’s games, which will be in different environments and atmospheres than what Loudonville teams typically play in. As well as the “Classic in the Country” and the “Mansfield Christian Holiday Showcase” in few weeks we are pretty happy with our non-conference schedule. We are excited to see where we stand with some of these other teams in the State of Ohio,” he said.

Published 12/12/17

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Loudonville Girls Battling Adversity

Loudonville is coming off a tremendous year and was looking forward to another one and that could still happen.

Coach Tyler Bates says they return a lot of talent, but last week they took a sizable hit when last year’s leading scorer was lost for the season due to an injury. “It has been a rollercoaster of emotions for us this year. Winning 20 games last year was obviously exciting and returning the majority of our team we definitely have high expectations. Last week in our preseason scrimmage our leading scorer Nikki Weber tore her “ACL,” so she is out for the season,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “It is going to be tough to replace 27 points per game, which is what Nikki scored last year, but at the same time we still have a lot of girls in our core that have worked their butts off in the summer. We are excited to get the games going and see what we can do. I think everybody is at the point know where we want to get started playing someone else and see what happens when it really counts.”

Losing Weber is going to hurt the Lady Redbirds, but Bates says he believes his kids will rally. “We saw it happen with the Boston Celtics this year when Gordon Hayward went down on opening night against the Cavs. I told the girls that Brad Stevens said at the halftime of that game that everyone else is just going to have to step up a little bit. We are not going to change our goals. We want to win the Mid-Buckeye Conference. We want to make a deep run in the division three tournament. If we are going to get that done we are all going to have to play a little bit better, coach a little bit better, and work a little bit harder,” said Bates.

Loudonville opens the season November 25 at home against Mansfield Senior. Bates says they are ready go and they want to start playing girls wearing different jerseys. “Having great practices is everyone’s goal and in order to do that you have to have a little bit of a competitive nature for practice between the girls. At this point in the regular season it is starting to get a little bit chippie. I think we are tired up going against each other and we are really excited for Thanksgiving weekend to get here. We open with Mansfield Senior at home. We know that will be a quality opponent for us to see where we are at early,” he said.

Published 11/15/17

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