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Vermilion Sailors High School Athletics

 

 
     
 

Vermilion Wants that Title Outright

A win at Huron on Friday night means the Vermilion Sailors capture and outright Bay Division title in the Sandusky Bay Conference.

They had the same opportunity last Friday, but lost (54-48) at home to second place Willard, but they came back and beat Margaretta (62-51) in the road Saturday night to assure themselves of no less than a share of the division title for the second straight year.

Coach Kurt Habermehl says they game out ready to play on Saturday night. “It was important for us to respond. We actually played pretty decent on Friday night against Willard, we just couldn’t shoot the ball well at all. We were horrendous shooting the basketball. I was pretty proud of my boys and the way they responded and came back and played well on Saturday night,” he said.

Habermehl says his kids knew what was at stake and they put Friday night behind them and went out and played well. “We always talk to them about having a short memory win or lose. They have done pretty darn good job throughout their entire careers of being ready for basketball games,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “On Saturday night, we could have easily went out there feeling sorry for ourselves and not ready to play, but I thought right from the opening tip they were ready to play and we beat a very good Margaretta team at their place.”

Vermilion (17-3,10-1), #3 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the large school division, travels over to Huron (8-9,5-4) on Friday night. Huron lost last Friday (60-44) to a solid Clyde team in a game that was closer than that score would indicate. Vermilion won the first matchup (57-38) on January 5.

Habermehl says the Tigers are really well coached and a squad capable of being dangerous. “Bobby James is probably one of the best coaches around, I think. He does a heck of a job getting his kids prepared and gives them an opportunity to at least keep the game close and try and win it at the end. He always put them in spots to succeed. You compound that with the fact that you have to go over to Huron to try and clinch the conference championship. It makes it that much more difficult,” he said.

Now, you don’t want to be sharing with anyone and Habermehl says these kids really have good chemistry. “We have really stressed to the kids about relying on each other above anything else. When you play at a tough place like Huron or Margaretta or other places in this conference you really have to rely on each other and not worry about anything else. We know it is probably going to be a packed gym on Friday night and they will be ready to try and knock us off and we just have to be ready to play our game and be ready to go,” said Habermehl.

Published 2/12/19

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Title is Vermilion’s With a win Over Willard

Vermilion can claim a second straight outright Bay Division title in the Sandusky Bay Conference with a win at home over Willard on Friday night in a conference game.

Willard is in second two games behind Vermilion. The Sailors also play a talented Margaretta team in a division game on Saturday night.

Coach Kurt Habermehl says they know they are going to have to play well if they want to win this weekend. “We expect some really good basketball games. Willard has been playing really good basketball lately and Margaretta has been playing everybody well. The first time around they weren’t easy games for us, we are expecting good games,” he said.

Vermilion (16-2,9-0), #2 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the large school division, plays at home against Willard (14-3,7-2) on Friday night, they have an eight game winning streak. The Flashes have won nine in a row. In fact, the last time they lost was to Vermilion (69-53) on January 3.

Habermehl says the Flashes are big and they are athletic too. “They are very big. They have a couple of kids inside that go 6’5” and 6’6”. They certainly pose a matchup problem for us because not only are the big, but they are also athletic. Our ability to control the rebounds us going to be a key and our pressure defense in not allowing them to get easy looks,” said Habemehl.

The Sailors are a team that featured the press for pretty much the last three seasons.

Habermehl says to get on the break they must rebound the basketball and they have been doing a pretty good job of that this season. “Lately we have been doing a really god job of controlling the boards. I think one small advantage for us against Willard on Friday will be our big floor that allows us to really get out and run and spread people out a little bit,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “I would like to think that 10 extra feet we have on our floor a lot of times by the end of the third quarter begins to wear on people that are not used to playing on it.”

Vermilion is at Margaretta (13-4,6-3,) the third place team in the division, on Saturday night. The Sailors beat the Bears (73-62) on December 11 in he first game between the two. Margaretta owns a three game winning streak after a (69-60) win over Old Fort in a cross over game on Tuesday night.

Habermehl says they have some outstanding players. “They have got I think two four year letterman and a couple of their kids are returning starters from last year, so they are an experienced group of kids. The last time their point guard Leibacher has a heck of the game against us and then their big kid Riafsnider was a load for us to handle. So, anytime you are dealing with that and combined that with playing at their place, a really tough place to play, it is really going to be a tough game for us,” said Habermehl.

Published 2/06/19

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Vermilion Excited to Play Margaretta

Vermilion, the Sandusky Bay Conference Bay Division leader, plays at Margaretta, on Thursday night.

The Sailors lead Willard by two games, Margaretta is three back.

A win on Thursday night would give Vermilion no less than a share of the division title for the second straight year.

On Tuesday night, the Sailors beat Oberlin Firelands (67-44) in a non-conference game.

Coash Kurt Habermehl says they didn’t shoot it that well, but they did a lot of other things. “The kids played really hard. We didn’t shoot it particularly well, but when you are going against a rival like that sometimes your competitiveness gets in the way of how you are playing the game. For the most I was happy with how we played, we just didn’t really shoot it well,” he said.

The Vermilion coach says because of how they play, they don’t always have to shoot well to win. “We are a basketball team that focuses on defense first. We know we are going to get a lot of shots off because we tend to play really fast, so there are nights that we don’t shoot it particularly well, but we are scoring a lot of points because we are getting a lot of possessions,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “We are getting a lot of layups off steals. While we are a pretty good three point shooting team (Tuesday) night was just one of those nights when we didn’t shoot it particularly well from three point range.”

Vermilion (15-2,9-0), #3 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the large school division, #2 in our Twitter fan poll, plays at Margaretta (11-4,6-3) on Thursday night. The Polar Bears lost last Friday to Willard (54-47) in division play. Vermilion won the first game between the two (73-62) on December 11.

Margaretta has lost two of its last three, but Habermehl says don’t be confused the Bears are good. “They are real good. They have a ton of weapons. Their point guard (Nick) Leibacher is a very good point guard. The (Dylan) Morris kid is a heck of a shooter. Then you have a 6’8” kid inside, who is probably their best athlete and I think the last time we played then he scored 25 points against us. They provide a lot of matchup problems for us. On the other hand I would like to think we provide some matchup problems for them as well,” said Habermehl.

Vermilion will be a tough division two district and Habermehl says they want to be playing good teams like Margaretta here in the last part of the regular season. “You really don’t want to coast into the postseason. If you are coasting, you are probably regressing a little bit, so for us to play a really good basketball team like Margaretta, especially on the road will definitely present a big challenge for us and it should keep that edge to us a little bit as to where hopefully we have that going into the postseason,” he said.

Published 1/31/19

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Vermilion Still Trying to Get Better

Vermilion owns a two game lead in the Bay Division of the Sandusky Bay Conference heading into their matchup with Oak Harbor at home on Friday night in division play.

The Sailors got a taste of the tournament on Wednesday night when they beat Clyde (63-61) in a cross over game with one the best teams in the Lake Division.

Coach Kurt Habermehl says it a good game between solid teams. “I thought it was a really good basketball game between two pretty good basketball teams. It was a good clean physical basketball game. Kind of went blow for blow with each other and really went hard at each other and we were lucky enough to get a win out of it,” said Habermehl.

The Vermilion coach feels the victory over Clyde was good preparation for the postseason tournament, which begins in about a month. “It was definitely a tournament like atmosphere (Wednesday) night. They obviously brought a real good crowd and I thought our people traveled well. It was nice to play in front of a packed house and play a well played, fast paced, basketball game. It is something that is going be very similar to a tournament type atmosphere,” he said.

Vermilion (13-2,8-0), #2 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the large school division, entertains Oak Harbor (7-5,3-4) on Friday night. In the first meeting on December 20, the Sailors prevailed (53-50) in a close one. The Rockets beat Huron (58-42) last week in their last conference game.

Habermehl says they need to find some answers in defending Oak Harbor point guard Jac Alexander, one of the best guards in the area. “They are led by a very good point guard in Jac Alexander. He is averaging about 22 points a game. If he plays well, they seem to play really well,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “The first time we played them he had 28 against us or something around there. He made it really hard on us to get any kind of advantage in that game. We are expecting it to be a really good game. Our focus will be on trying to contain him.”

Vermilion leads Willard and Margaretta by two, and they play each other on Friday, with four games left, and they must play both of those squads a second time. Habermehl says they also trying to peak for the postseason. “By no means is anything settled. For us more so than concentrating on winning the conference championship or anything is trying to play our best basketball, so when tournament time comes around we are ready to go. We feel like if we are playing our best basketball the conference and other things will take care of themselves,” said Habermehl.

Published 1/25/19

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First Place Vermilion Home for Edison

Vermilion, the outright leaders of the Bay Division of the Sandusky Bay Conference, play at home against the Edison Chargers in a division game on Friday night.

After taking 10 days off, the Sailors returned to action and punished Port Clinton (80-39) on Tuesday to remain unbeaten in the division.

Coach Kurt Habermehl says they were really aggressive early in the game. “I thought the boys came out really aggressive and kind of set the tone early. We didn’t shoot the ball well in first three or four minutes, but defensively I thought we were lights out and did a really good job of being the aggressors,” he said.

Playing well in the first quarter and getting a good advantage early has been something Vermilion has been able to do a lot, according to Habermehl. “We have done a pretty good job of that this year. We hold a decent discrepancy in scoring in the first quarter this year. To me, that is sometimes one of the hardest things to do for a team is to come out on fire all of the time. It doesn’t have to be necessarily making shots as long as they have the energy and the intensity,” said Habermehl.

Vermilion (11-2,7-0), #2 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the large school division, entertains Edison (1-11,1-6) on Friday night. They beat the Chargers (51-33) on December 14. Edison has lost its last four games.

However, Habermehl says they are not void of talent. “Even the first time that we played them it never got super close, but they did a pretty good job of hanging around and giving themselves a chance, so that is a credit to Kyle (Hammond,) he does a great job coaching them. They are a very scrappy team and hey have the ability to knock down some threes and keep themselves in games,” he said.

Most games involving Vermilion boil down to a battle for tempo and Habermehl says they understand that. “A lot of times teams will try and sub extra or do some presses that will make us slow down. We always tell the kids when teams try and make you slow down your defense can speed the game back up,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “With our pressure we try and get the pace that we want. For the most part we have done a pretty good job with that other than a few instants where we have played to that slow pace and we haven’t done great with it.”

Published 1/18/19

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Vermilion With Big Challenge From Willard

Vermilion is at Willard in one of the bigger games of the weekend in the Bay Division of the Sandusky Bay Conference on Thursday night.

The Sailors lead the division standings with Willard and Margaretta are just a game back.

Vermilion played in the Lorain Holiday Classic last week and beat Sandusky (67-55) in their first game, but lost to Lorain (93-73) in the championship game.

Coach Kurt Habermehl says they learned they have to compete for 32 minutes and if they do they can play with anyone. “I think they learned a little bit they better be aggressive whenever they play. In the first half the other day against Lorain we were not aggressive at all and what turned into a 12 point lead in the last 20 seconds of the first half turned into an 18 point lead and kind of totally took us out of the game,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “In the second half we decided to get aggressive and there was a one point difference when you look at the totals of the second half. I think they realized they can play with anybody and they better be ready to go and be aggressive.”

Vermilion (8-2,4-0), #2 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the large school division, plays at Willard (5-2,2-1) on Thursday night. The Flashes buried Oak Harbor (75-42) in a division game on Friday night and then handled Buckeye Central (64-56) on Saturday night.

Habermehl says they will be a handful. “They just had a huge victory by a wide margin over Oak Harbor, so obviously they are playing some really good basketball. They have a few kids that transferred in that are playing good basketball. They have some holdovers from last year that are good players and we fully expect it to be a really good game,” said Habermehl.

Willard has Cooper Parrott back after a year at Western Reserve Academy. He led them with 24 points against Oak Harbor. They also have Davon Triplett, who is a transfer from Crestline.

Habermehl says the Flashes height is a concern of theirs. “They shoot the ball pretty well. Obviously, with their size they are a tough matchup. They not only have some tall kids, but some strong kids that can play inside, so that will be an issue for us. As I tell my boys they if we do what we are supposed to do we will give ourselves a chance to win,” he said.

Published 1/01/19

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Vermilion Going to do Their Things

Vermilion takes to the road this week as they visit Oak Harbor for a Bay Division game in the Sandusky Bay Conference on Thursday night and then to Bellevue for a cross over game on Saturday.

Tuesday night, they handed Elyria Catholic its first loss of the season (62-56) in a non-league game and coach Kurt Habermehl says it a good win against a very good team. “It was a great win. They are a very good basketball team with a couple of division one athletes. That was their first loss of the season, so that was a very good win for us,” he said.

Habermehl, who has been at Vermilion for a couple of decades, says they never shy away from a big schedule and they do it for a reason. “It could be easy to win 19 or 20 games a year and see what happens, but unfortunately a lot of times if you are playing a soft schedule that gets you those 19 or 20 wins sometimes doesn’t prepare you for the tournament,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “I have always been about the tournament. While conference championships and things like that are nice, we kind of strive to go as far as we can in the tournament.”

Vermilion (5-1,3-0), #2 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the large school division, and defending Bay Division champs, plays at Oak Harbor (3-1,0-1) on Thursday night. The Rockets beat Old Fort (60-54) on Saturday night.

Habermehl says the Oak Harbor staff does a very good job of using the talented kids that they have. “Eric Sweet does a great job with them. They are very, very good with their guards Jac Alexander and the (Clay) Schulte kid are both very good basketball players. While they did lose some size last year they have still been pretty affective this year as far as scoring some points and holding people down,” he said.

Yes, Vermilion scouts their opponent, but Habermehl they don’t vary much in what they do and that will be the case again this week. “We are going to press the whole game. We are going to run up and down the floor quite a bit and look to get quick baskets. That is just what we do no matter who we are playing. It is just a situation that we kind of stick to what we do and worry about ourselves and try to adjust to what the other team is doing to us,” said Habermehl.

Published 12/20/18

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Sailors Take Act to Edison

Vermilion, the defending champion in the Bay Division of the Sandusky Bay Conference, will be at Edison on Friday night for a division game against the Chargers.

Tuesday, night the Sailors picked up a key win when they rallied in the second half to beat Margaretta (73-62) in a division game. The Polar Bears had been considered one of the major contenders to wrestle the crown away from Vermilion.

Coach Kurt Habermehl says they were able to make some adjustments in the second half. “We were happy to come away with a win Margaretta is a very good basketball team. They kind of took it to us in the first half. We were down by seven at halftime. I thought our boys did a good job of responding, making some adjustments and coming out on fire in the second half,” he said.

Habermehl says he had to rattle a few cages on Tuesday night, but the kids responded well to what he was saying. “To be honest this time it wasn’t necessarily an adjustment that we wrote on the white board. We weren’t really happy with how aggressively we were playing. We thought we were setting back a little too much. So, we kind of got after them a little bit,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “Give them a lot of credit because sometimes with a veteran team it can go either way. Sometimes the veterans don’t like it when you get a little upset with them, but I felt they did a good job of responding and coming out in the second half.”

Vermilion (3-1,1-0) is at Edison (0-3,0-1) on Friday night for a Bay Division game. Edison, who has been very good the last two of three years, is winless (0-3,0-1) this year and lost to Margaretta (68-26) in a Bay Division game last Friday night.

Habermehl says it is a rebuild at Edison this season. “They are a young basketball team. They have lost a lot of really talented basketball players over the last couple of years. Kyle does a great job over there at Edison. While they are struggling a little bit right now, but they are making some strides here and there. At least by the end of the season I expect them to be a pretty solid basketball team,” said Habermehl.

Published 12/14/18

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Updated every five minutes on Friday nights

 
 

Vermilion Wants to Pick up the Pace

Vermilion, the defending Bay Division champ, plays at home against Port Clinton in a division game in the Sandusky Bay Conference on Friday night.

After beating Oberlin (76-58) last Friday, the Sailors lost to Spire Academy (102-75) on Saturday night. Spire Academy is a collection of all star high school aged players headed for big time college programs.

Even though they lost, coach Kurt Habermehl says things didn’t go too bad in that game from the Sailors perspective. “I think one of two things could have happened when we played that game. One, we go in there and play passive and we get beat by 50 or 60 or two we step up to the plate a little bit and be aggressive and see what happens,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “I was extremely happy and proud of my boys because I thought from the get go they were the aggressors. We where down by eight at the half and down by 12 going into the fourth. So, we gave ourselves an opportunity to win, we just ran out of gas.”

When it comes to defending the division title, Habermehl believes this game Friday against Port Clinton is of vital importance. “You don’t want to dig yourself a hole early. So, this is a huge game for us, especially being at home. In this league it is very important that you win your home games. So, this will be a big test for us and we have to make sure we come out ready to play,” he said.

Port Clinton (1-1,0-0) played two games so far too. They lost to Woodmore (64-41) on last Thursday and rallied to beat Eastwood (48-45) on Tuesday night.

Habermehl says they don’t want the Redskins to control the tempo of the game. “I haven’t got to see them yet this early in the season. I know last year they were a group that was pretty guard heavy and didn’t have a ton of size, but their guards could shoot the basketball a little bit. We are going to have to make sure we cover the perimeter. We are going to try and make it a speed game. When we played them last year they were a walk the ball up the floor a little bit and try and get into their sets, so we are going to make sur to make it as fast as possible,” said Habernehl.

Published 12/06/18

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Vermilion With High Expectations

Vermilion won the Bay Division of the Sandusky Bay Conference last year and they expect that they are going to compete for that title again this season.

They open with games on Friday and Saturday in their own tip-off classic. They play Oberlin on Friday.

Coach Kurt Habermehl says they will have some talent returning with experience and they expect to have a fine season again this winter. “We expect to have another good team this year. We have five guys back that started eight of more games last year. Unfortunately, we ran into the injury bug a little bit, but with the kids we have back we really expect that to be a key,” said Habermehl.

With a month of practice under their belts and some scrimmages, Habermehl believes the Sailors are ready to get the season started. “I think they are tired of practicing against each other. We have been going hard know for almost four weeks, so I think they are ready for some game action and looking forward to seeing some other faces besides each other,” he said.

In the Tip-Off Classic, Habermehl says they are going to be challenged on Friday by an athletic Oberlin team by whoever they play on Saturday night. “We will face a very tough Oberlin team on Friday. They are pretty young, but they are pretty athletic. They will get after it a little bit,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “Then if we are lucky enough to get past that game, we are going to face a very good Bay Rocket team or a nationally ranked Spire Academy team that currently has eight guys with division one scholarship offers.”

Published 11/27/18

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Vermilion Has to Keep Lexington off Boards

“SBC” Bay Division champion Vermilion faces Ohio Cardinal Conference co-champion Lexington in the division two district semifinal on Tuesday night at Mansfield Madison Middle School.

It is also a faceoff between the top two teams in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll. Lexington was number one and Vermilion number two.

Vermilion (20-4) won two sectional games last week, beating Bellevue (65-53) on Tuesday and Shelby (53-47) on Friday.

Coach Kurt Habermehl says they didn’t play their best, but it was good enough. “I thought we played hard. We played some really good defense at times. We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well. Thinking about it that way I am happy we won both games because we have yet to shoot the ball like we have all year in the tournament,” he said.

He adds that if you are going to win district level games you have to play really good defense and that is something they have been able to do. “When you get to this part of the tournament everybody is a good basketball team, so if you are not going to play defense you are probably not going to win. We will certainly have our hands full Tuesday night with Lexington, but hopefully we can do what we do defensively and get some easy looks because of it,” Habermehl said.

Lexington (19-5) beat a very good Clyde team (66-53) to win a sectional. Habermehl says the size of the Minutemen is a particular concern to them. “Well, their size and physicality worries me a little bit. They have three kids that start that are over 6’3”, so that is definitely a problem for us because we are a little shorthanded and our biggest kid is out,’ he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “We can counteract that a little bit with our speed and our aggressiveness. Obviously, the Stover kid is a great basketball player, so hopefully we can contain him a little bit. I don’t think we are going to stop him, but hopefully we can contain him and not ley anyone else beat us.”

Vermilion is not the biggest team overall, but they have been able to get around that, Habermehl says they have a lot of players that can do a lot of things. “While our rotation is probably a little bit shorter now we still like the kids that we have playing. The are kids that have played a lot of meaningful minutes and have been in big ballgames this year, so we figure the guys that we do have right now are willing and able and hopefully they play well on Tuesday,” he said.

One of the keys for the Sailors this year has been forcing turnovers and Habermehl says they have to do that and they must rebound the basketball. “The biggest key is we have to rebound. Besides their size, they really attack the offensive glass hard, so we are going to have to control the defensive glass and then get out and run. I would like to think we could create some turnovers and get some easy transition baskets and would certainly make life a little bit easier on us. So, rebounding and forcing turnovers are my top two things,” said Habermehl.

Published 3/06/18

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Vermilion Faces Versatile Shelby in Tournament

Vermilion, the number one seed in the division two tournament, meets Shelby in a sectional final game Friday night Willard High School.

They beat Bellevue (65-53) in a first round game on Tuesday night at Willard.

Normally a very good shooting team, the Sailors made about 40 percent of their shots, but coach Kurt Habermehl says they did enough other things. “We were pretty happy we thought we didn’t shoot it well, but we kind of where very persistent with our defense. I thought in third quarter especially we did a good job if getting out on the break and getting some layups and we weren’t relying so much on our outside shots,” he said.

Vermilion (19-4), #2 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the large school division, likes to get up and down, but coach Habermehl says they know that the tournament is a grind and you have to work hard. “We like to use persistent and we like to use grind. It is kind of grinding away during the entire game and almost trying to impose your will on an opponent and hoping that is enough to overcome what they are doing to you,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “Our rotation is cut down a little bit right now because of some injuries, but I thought our kids really grinded throughout the entire game and they never let up and that gave us a shot to win. It was a 12-point game, but give Bellevue a lot of credit they wouldn’t let us pull away the entire time. We were lucky enough to get some stops and some good looks at the end.”

Shelby (14-8) won its last game too (52-51) over Sandusky Perkins in their regular season finale last Friday. They have won six of their last eight games.

Habermehl says they don’t have a long bench, but their kids are able to play hard the entire game. “They have some good size and Schwemley is an outstanding guard and the Hill kid is a good point guard. They have it all. I know coach Schwemley does an outstanding job of keeping his kids fresh. They don’t have a lot of kids that play, but they do a lot of things during the game to help their kids stay fresh. I ‘m sure they are going to play a good basketball game on Friday,” he said.

Shelby has been successful no matter what they tempo of the game this year and Habermehl says they are versatile. “That is the sign of a good basketball team because in the tournament there are a lot of different styles you are going to play and your ability to adjust to that kind of style will probably determine if you are going to be in the basketball game or not. The game I saw them was against Mansfield St. Peter’s and they slowed it down. Give them credit because they can play both ways and they are able to adjust to whatever their opponent does,” said Habermehl.

Published 3/01/18

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Vermilion Gets Top Seed; Seeks to be Unbeaten in Bay Division

Vermilion earned the number one seed in the very tough division two district and Friday they are seeking to complete the Sandusky Bay Conference Bay Division unbeaten.

Veteran coach Kurt Habermehl says the district in division two is a meatgrinder. “I am not sure anybody has a clear path to even the districts right now. If you are any of the top four seeds you have at least one really, really tough game to get to districts,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “Unfortunately, I think we have two tough games. So, we are going to have to be playing well come tournament time.”

Vermilion plays at Clearview in a non-conference game on Tuesday night. Habermehl says it should be a solid test. “They are currently 15-3 right now I think. They are very athletic, very fast, very quick. Playing at their place you have to play on a pretty small floor and a pretty small gym. It is definitely going to be a challenge for us, but I think if we play well we will be alright,” said Habermehl.

Vermilion is a lot like Clearview in terms of personnel and Habermehl says it should be an entertaining game between two good teams. “We have very similar styles. A lot of good guard play and some complementary bigs to go along with it. So, it has always been a good game in years past. I expect nothing different (Tuesday) night,” he said.

Vermilion (16-3,11-0), #3 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the large school division, plays at Huron on Friday night in their final Bay Division game.

Huron (5-11,3-6) has lost four of its last five games, including (55-54) to Clyde last Friday in a cross over game.

Habermehl says they want to finish play in the division on an up note. “That is a goal. Since we clinched a couple of weeks ago that has been one of our main goals to remain perfect in the “SBC” Bay. Up to this point we have managed to accomplish that. Obviously, with Friday being senior night for us and a chance to do that is going to be a fun night,” he said.

Published 2/13/18

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Bay Division Champs Play Willard

Vermilion has the Bay Division title of the Sandusky Bay Conference in hand, but they still have five games to play to close the regular season play and get ready for the tournament.

They blew a big lead Tuesday night and lost (72-71) to Elyria Catholic in a non conference game.

Coach Kurt Habermehl says they kind of got tentative and it cost them the game. “We had a big lead on Elyria Catholic. We were up 17 points at one time. Obviously, they have some really good players. They are really big. I thought we kind of got on our heels a little bit and started to play a little tentative and when you do that I don’t care who you are playing you are going to let them back in the game and hopefully that is something we can learn from,” said Habermehl.

The Sailors will be challenged over these final three weeks and Habermehl it will be a variety of different challenges too. “With Willard’s size and Bay’s athleticism, we also have Sandusky and Clearview and a couple of other teams coming up it is certainly going to be a test. Sometimes it is just about surviving those tests and it may be a loss here and there, but it will certainly get you ready for tournament as long as the team keeps the right mindset and understand why you are playing these teams,” he said.

Vermilion (14-3,10-0), #3 on the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the large school division, plays at Willard (3-14,2-6,) the Flashes have lost 10 in a row, in a Bay Division game on Friday night.

Habermehl is concerned with the Willard’s size. “Compared to us they are really huge. I think they lost one player, but they are still going to be 6’5”, 6’5” and we don’t have anybody close to that. It is a situation where we have to make sure we play our game and get the game going fast and try to make it as difficult as possible for their guards because if we let it be a half court game we will be probably be in trouble,” he said.

Published 2/09/18

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Vermilion Keeps Moving

“SBC” Bay Division leader Vermilion plays Margaretta in a division game on Thursday night.

They play host to the Margaretta Polar Bears in a division game on Thursday night. They travel to Perkins of the Lake Division on Saturday night.

Tuesday night, they dismantled longtime rival Oberlin Firelands (70-32) in a non-conference game.

Coach Kurt Habermehl says their defense was very good. “They were outstanding (Tuesday) night. I was extremely happy with their defensive intensity. They forced them into a ton of turnovers and they created those turnovers into easy baskets. It is always nice to come out strong like that. After we were down 9-5 we went on a 36-4 run, which obviously you will take in any game,” he said.

Habermehl says they have the kind of team this year that can go on those long runs. “It kind like snowballed and it is hard to stop for the other team when something like that happens. I have been in those situations on the other end. It seems like every shot the other team is taking is going in,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “It makes the team press a little harder and probably make a few more mistakes than they normally would. It was a situation (Tuesday) night when we happened to be on the good end of that. Credit my kids for turning a lot of those turnovers into points.”

Vermilion (12-2,9-0), #5 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the large school division, plays at home against Margaretta (7-7,4-4) on Thursday night. The Bears have won four in a row, including a division win over Willard (54-51) last Friday.

The Sailors won the first game between the two (63-47) on December 29.

Habermehl says the Polar Bears have become a good team again. “They have a ton of talent. Their starting five is probably as good as anybody in the conference. They just went through a couple of rough patches there. They are a really good basketball team. They have great size. They have a great little point guard that leads them. We are fully expecting a really good basketball game (Thursday) night,” he said.

Vermilion and Perkins were two of the schools that shared the Lake Division title last year before the reconfiguration, so Habermehl is well aware of the Pirates. He says they have players all over the floor. “It starts with Scott McVeigh, he is just a tremendous coach. He always gets a lot out of his kids. They have very good size in Hunter Wheeler and another 6’5”, 6’6” coming off the bench. They have a nice guard in the Grude kid and the Voight kid is a keck of a player too. We know that along with Bennett McCune they are going to be able to score some points and going to be able to do some really good things. Playing at their place is always a tough venue to play at. We expect it to be a very good basketball game on Saturday night,” said Habermehl.

Published 2/01/18

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It’s One Against Two in the Bay Division

First place Vermilion travels to Oak Harbor on Friday night in hopes of protecting a slim one game lead on the Rockets in the Bay Division of the Sandusky Bay Conference.

Vermilion lost for just the second time all year Tuesday night when Elyria beat them (65-63) in a non-conference game.

Coach Kurt Habermehl says they got a slow start, but had every chance in the world to win in the end. “It just happened to be one of those nights when the ball wasn’t going in the basket for us. Normally we are a very good shooting team. We had a hard time early on trying to make baskets. I was really proud of my kids, we were down 17 with four minutes to go against a good Elyria basketball team. We railed to tie the game up. Had the ball with 15 seconds left with a chance to win and got a 50/50 call against us and Elyria was able to knock down the game winner at the buzzer,” said Habermehl.

He adds it was a tough loss because that is certainly one they would have liked to have added to their resumé. “It is tough because of who we played. We always try to get quality wins against really good division one basketball teams. We unfortunately have two losses this year by a total of three points. Obviously, you can learn a lot from those games, but they are also tough to swallow at times because you know you were right there against a really good program,” he said.

Vermilion (10-2,8-0), #3 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the large school division, is at Oak Harbor (11-2,5-1) on Friday night. The Sailors won the first meeting (65-60) at their place on December 21.

Habermehl says this is a very god team that is led by its point guard Jac Alexander, who can do a lot of things. “If people don’t know about them they should get to know them because they are a very talented basketball team. I think it all starts with their point guard Jac Alexander. I think he does just a fantastic job of running that team. He is just a great athlete. He has a lot of guys that help him out. They are a big team. Tate Smith in the middle is 6’6” and their power forward goes about 6’4” and they are extremely athletic so they are always tough to deal with,” he said.

When it comes to what they have to do to win, Habermehl says it is all about defense. “I think we are going to have to rebound the ball. Their big guys do a great job of crashing the offensive glass and they run the floor really well. I think we are going to have to keep Alexander out of the lane. One thing that he does really well is finish in the paint,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “They have a couple of shooters in the corners in Schulte and Gezo that do a really good job of shooting the basketball. They have weapons everywhere. We are just going to have to make sure we are pretty solid defensively.”

Published 1/26/18

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Vermilion Tries to Protect First Place

Vermilion leads Oak Harbor by a game in the Bay Division of the Sandusky Bay Conference and the Sailors play at Edison in a division game on Friday night.

The Chargers now trail by three games after a (37-26) loss to Margaretta on Tuesday night. They also lost to Clyde (61-43) in a game played at Quicken Loans Arena on Monday. Edison had won six in a row previous to those losses.

Vermilion (9-1,7-0), #3 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the large school division, beat Port Clinton (63-37) on Tuesday.

Veteran coach Kurt Habermehl says the numbers look good, but he thought they were kind of sluggish. “It was a game that if you look at the stat sheet we kind of dominated in every category, but it kind of felt like we were stuck in mud a little bit. We hadn’t played in 10 days and we were on exams. Those little things seem to affect kids a lot. It wasn’t pretty, but again if you look at the stat sheet we had a really good night,” said Habermehl.

Vermilion had not played since January 6 prior to beating Port Clinton and Habermehl thinks that might have been part of the Tuesday night performance. “This is the time when kids get tired of practicing and they want to play games. I think we have done a pretty good job of back loading our schedule and we do play a lot of games in the second half. When you do go 10 days like that without playing a game it can kind of get stale for the kids and you lose a lot of the momentum that you had,” he said.

Edison (9-4,3-3), #3 in our small school poll, features a solid big man in Bryce Roberts and Habermehl says he is a player they have problems guarding. “They had a really good run going for them until Monday night. I don’t think they had lost a game since they played us, probably close to a month. Kyle (Hammond) has them coaching them really well,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “They have hit a couple bumps in the road lately, but I am sure we are going to get a really good basketball game (Friday) night. For us it is always about trying to stop their big men because they are a load for us and they are very skilled.”

Habermehl says they need to be able to handle Roberts and the Chargers other big people and make some shots against the Edison zone. “We are going to have to handle their size. Those kids are not only big, but they are skilled. We are forced to guard them on the perimeter and the block, which sometimes is a problem for us because we are not very big, so we are going to have to control the boards. We are going to have to handle their zone a little bit and make sure we shoot the basketball in rhythm. Hopefully, our pressure will get to their guards a little bit and we can get some runouts,” said Habermehl.

Published 1/19/18

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Vermilion Tangles With Athletic Sandusky

Vermilion is the outright leader in the Bay Division of the Sandusky Bay Conference. They don’t play a divisional game this week, but they do face a still challenge in a cross over game at Sandusky on Saturday night.

The Sailors own a six game winning streak, including wins over Willard (54-45) and Huron (70-59) in Bay Division games last week.

Coach Kurt Harbermehl says they came through the holidays pretty good. “I am pretty happy with where we are at. We played some really tough road games going to Margaretta and going to Huron, so to come away with two wins when you go there is a good thing” he said.

The basketball season is a marathon and Habermehl thinks he team in well suited to handle that. “Especially mentally, the older kids seem to adjust mentally to a long season. Sometimes when you get tired kids mentally and physically it can lead to a lot of bad basketball,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “So, I think we have come close to that at times in the last couple of weeks of being tired both physically and mentally, but I think we have kind of fought through it and are in a good spot right now.”

Vermilion (8-1), #2 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the large school division, plays at Sandusky (7-4) on Saturday night. The Blue Streaks picked up two wins in the Lake Division in beating Perkins (60-59) in overtime and Norwalk (71-60) last week.

Habermehl says the Blue Streaks have outstanding guard play. “First of all, they are extremely well coached. I think Colin (Irish) does a great job with them. They probably have three guards that are as good as any guards around. When you have good, strong guard play you can win a lot of basketball games and you can overcome some other issues and they certainly have that,” said Habermehl.

Sandusky likes to create havoc by getting into the lane. Habermehl says Keith Williams, their senior point guard, does a great job of executing that plan. “Keith Williams is a great kid to have on your team if you want to get into the lane. He is such a great athlete and he is such a good basketball player. I think other kids kind of feed off of him. Then they other two guards do a great job of knocking down shots when Keith pitches the ball out to them,” he said.

Published 1/10/18

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Vermilion Invites Oak Harbor to Run with Them

Right now, Vermilion is the only team in the Bay Division of the Sandusky Bay Conference with a 2-0 league record and that gives them first place, well if you go by halves.

Both Oak Harbor and Willard are 1-0 in the league.

Vermilion (4-1,2-0) plays host to Oak Harbor (4-1,1-0) on Thursday in a Bay Division game.

The Sailors beat Edison (70-60) on Friday night.

Coach Kurt Habermehl says they got out of the gate quick. “We started off really fast. We got out to a 20 point lead in the second quarter, 17 points at halftime. We shot the ball extremely well in the first half, led by Mason Montgomery, who had 18 points. It was a little bit of a sloppy second half, but I thought all and all we did a pretty good job,” said Habernehl.

Montgomery finished with 26.

Former Ohio State star and CBS TV personality Clark Kellogg once called it spurtability and Habermehl says they have that ability this year. “We certainly have the ability to put a lot of points on the board in a hurry. Our problem is every once in a while we fall in love with the three point shot a little bit,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “It is a strength of ours, but if aren’t making them we need to go to something else. So far, for the most part we have done a pretty good job with shot selection. Juts hopefully we can continue that throughout the year.”

Oak Harbor didn’t play a division game last week. They beat Millbury Lake (53-47) on Saturday. Habermehl says his like their guards. “I think Eric (Sweet) does a great job over there. He has done an excellent job with that program. They have a couple of very good guards. Jac Alexander is a very nice point guard. They have another kid, his name kind of eludes me right now, that is a heck of a three point shooter. Then they have the Smith kid inside that is six foot six. They are certainly going to be a load for us to handle. It should be a really good basketball game,” said Habermehl.

When it comes to keys, Habermehl wants to push the pace of the game because he believes it fits his team pretty well. “We are effective when we get teams to turn the ball over and get them to play fast. It will be interesting the see of they will run with us on Thursday because we like it when we get a game like that. So, we are going to have to try and enforce our will and create tempo and make sure we can get some easy baskets off our defense,” he said.

Published 12/19/17

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Vermilion Tangles With Edison

Vermilion is one basket away from being unbeaten on this young season and they host the Edison Chargers in a Bay Division game in the Sandusky Bay Conference on Friday night.

After losing by one to Lorain (49-48) in a non-conference game last Tuesday, the Sailors hammered Port Clinton (67-38) in their first division game last Friday.

Habermehl says they came out and played the way they wanted to right from the start. “I thought we came out with a lot of energy and kind of set the tone early. We came out shooting the ball well, which we didn’t do very well against Lorain. So, I was really happy with the kid’s effort,” said Habermehl.

And it was an emotional and mental challenge for the kids too because Habermehl says they were very disappointed in the result of the Lorain game. “We were pretty sick about the loss to Lorain. We thought we outplayed them. That we were the better basketball team and we just didn’t knock our free throws down and we didn’t knock down our open shots down. Saying that I was really proud of the way the kids responded to it and I think we are back on track,” he said.

Vermilion (3-1,1-0) is at home for Edison (3-1,0-1) on Friday night. The Chargers lost to Margaretta (51-47) in overtime last week. Habermehl says they have a couple of very good post players. “My first thought immediately go to their big men. I think their big men are pretty solid. Between Hill and Roberts I think they are a nice basketball team. They are very athletic. We don’t have that size that they have and when you put their athleticism with their size it makes them difficult to guard,” he said.

When it comes to keys to a win for the Sailors on Friday night, Habermehl says they will need to rebound and run some good zone offense. “One thing that we have been really good at even though we are small we have been very good at rebounding the basketball. I think we are outrebounding our opponents by 14 rebounds a game right now. That obviously is going to be a major key for us. Last year at times we struggled with rebounding the ball,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday. “Also, I am sure they are going to throw a zone at us. They did everything possible last year to slow us down, so we have to be better prepared for that than we were last year. We didn’t respond to that so well last year and it cost us a game when we went to their place. It is going to vital to adjust to the game and whatever it gives to us.”

Published 12/14/17

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Vermilion Wins two; Faces Big Test

Vermilion won its own tournament over the weekend and now they face a very tough challenge as they host Lorain on Tuesday night in a non conference game.

The Sailors (2-0) beat Gates Mills Hawken (63-50) last Friday and North Ridgeville (50-36) on Saturday on their own floor.

Coach Kurt Habermehl thought they were sloppy Friday, but they played much better on Saturday night. “I was much more happy after that game. North Ridgeville is a pretty high scoring team. Defensively, I thought, we were just fantastic on Saturday night,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “We hold a high scoring team to 36 points. Give them credit, they did a pretty good job of trying to slow us down a little bit. It wasn’t the greatest shooting performance, but I was pretty happy with the outcome.”

Vermilion says some veterans back, but Habermehl, who has been in the business a while, knows that shooting can be a little cold early in the season and you have to rely on your defense. “Shooting does kind of take a while because you have to find that rhythm and you have to find the right groupings of kids on the floor together. If you are playing good defense you are going to keep yourself in the game. You just hope that you start to knock down some shots,” he said.

Lorain is going to be one of the better big school basketball teams in northern Ohio this year. Habermehl says the Titans have great talent. “They are always good. The coach told me last year they had 93 kids try out for their freshmen teams, so you are always going to find good kids out of that many kids. Last year we a great game against them, we lost by seven to them last year. We fully expect (Tuesday) night’s game to be a great game as well,” he said.

Vermilion expects to have a great season too and Habermehl says they can be a good tournament team come March and they want to be tested by teams like Lorain. “We have to play this kind of talent. To me we could load the schedule up with lesser talent, but it is not as important to me to win 19 or 20 games as it is trying to advance in the tournament. So, if we have to learn some hard lessons throughout the season because we are playing good teams then so be it. I think we will be that much better once tournament rolls around,” said Habermehl.

Published 12/05/17

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Vermilion to Field Another Good Team

Vermilion is going to be one of the favorites in the Bay Division of the Sandusky Bay Conference this season in boys’ basketball. They shared the title with Huron and Sandusky Perkins last winter.

Pekins is now in the Lake Division, with the “SBC” expanding to three divisions this school year.

Vermilion begins play this week by hosting their own holiday tournament. They play Gates Mills Hawken on Friday and either Oberlin or North Ridgeville on Saturday,

The Sailors have some experience back and coach Kurt Habermehl thinks they will be ready to go this weekend. “Yeah I think we will be alright. We have a veteran team coming back, so instead of teaching a whole lot of new stuff this year we are kind of reviewing what we have done in years past, so I think we will be fine,” he said.

Habermehl has a lot of experience himself and he says that is something you just can’t teach. “I think it is a lot easier when tough situations arise in a game to have experienced kids in there because they always seem to know what to do. Sometimes they can’t hear you when the game is going on, so the more experience you have on the floor the better off you are,” said Habermehl.

Although they will have a lot of the same players on the floor, Habermehl says they will have different strengths this season. “Last year we were a fast team that played a lot of guards. This year we will still be a fast team that plays a lot of guards, but we also have a couple of post players this year that we haven’t had in years past,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “It will be nice when we get a little silly that we can throw the ball into the post and try and score inside instead of just hoisting threes all game.”

Playing two games on the weekend and then another game the following Tuesday is going to be taxing, but Habermehl thinks it will be good for them, “I think it is also going to test our conditioning a little bit. You find our right away on Saturday how well conditioned your team is based on whether or not these can come out and play. We are also different this year in that we are playing again on Tuesday right away, so we will have three games in the first five days. That Tuesday game is against a real good Lorain team, so we are not going to get any breaks. I kind of like that because I think it is a good opportunity to see where we are at early in the season and se how we stack up against good teams,” said Habermehl.

Published 11/28/17

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