Findlay and Toledo Whitmer will both be looking to rebound from one-sided league losses when the Trojans and Panthers clash today in a Three Rivers Athletic Conference matchup at the FHS Gymnasium.
Following a nonleague win over Toledo Woodward, Findlay (1-1, 0-1 TRAC) was knocked off by Toledo St. John’s, 54-36, in Friday’s TRAC opener for both schools. Whitmer (0-1, 0-1 TRAC) opened its season by hosting Lima Senior on Friday and fell 76-54 to the Spartans.
Toledo Whitmer and Lima Senior shared last year’s TRAC championship with 12-2 league records. Whitmer graduated all five starters from that team, however, while Lima Senior, with four returning starters — including TRAC co-Player of the Year Josiah Fulcher — and a key addition or two to the roster, is a heavy favorite to defend its title.
Findlay is still not 100 percent heading into today’s game with Whitmer. Dylan Ankney, a 6-foot-2 junior, and sophomore guard Max Roth are recovering from injuries and 6-5 junior Chris Strzempka was not available for Friday’s game at St. John’s. Roth was in uniform and did go through warm-ups before the St. John’s game, but has not yet seen in-game competition.
Findlay got big contributions from two underclassmen off the bench against St. John’s. Luke Montgomery, a 6-5, 260-pound freshman, had a team-leading nine points. Sophomore forward Sam Weihrauch had seven points, all in the second half.
Despite heavy graduation losses, Whitmer does return two lettermen guards in junior Zach Brown and sophomore Maurice Purley. Riley Keller, a standout quarterback for the Panthers’ football team, is also back after missing much of his sophomore season due to injury.
Jordan Phenix, who along with his twin brother Tyson transferred from Toledo St. Francis to Whitmer this season, scored 13 points in Whitmer’s game with Lima Senior. Tony Delveaux, who has transferred back to Whitmer after playing at Toledo Christian as a junior, had 10 points in that game.
Findlay continues its pre-holiday run of league games on Friday when the Trojans travel to Toledo Central Catholic. The Irish were just 6-8 in league play a year ago, but return a roster of veterans as experienced as Lima Senior’s with Jonzell Norrils, Dominique Cole, Cameron Awls and Kendal Marshall all being three-year starters.
Friday’s game will be the first of the season for Central Catholic, which is getting a late start after its football team reached the Division II state semifinals before losing to eventual state champion Cincinnati La Salle.
League play is also on the agenda for Findlay High’s girls basketball and hockey teams this week.
Findlay’s girls (2-3, 0-2 TRAC) will wrap up a five-game homestand with TRAC games with Fremont Ross on Thursday and Toledo St. Ursula on Monday.
A strong inside game led by 6-foot junior Kaylee Brodine and 6-foot sophomore Bri Nichols has highlighted the Trojans’ start to the 2019-20 season. Brodine has had a double-double in four of Findlay’s five games and is averaging 19.4 points and 14 rebounds. Nichols is averaging around 12 points a game.
Findlay High’s hockey team (2-5-1, 1-2 NHC) will host Toledo St. Francis (4-5-0, 0-1 NHC) on Friday in a Northwest Hockey Conference game at The Cube, then will face NHC-Red Division newcomer Anthony Wayne (6-1-1) on Saturday in a 5:30 p.m. matchup at the Slater Family Ice Arena on the Bowling Green State University campus.
Sylvania Northview currently leads the NHC-Red Division with a 3-0 record, including close 3-2 decisions over both Findlay and St. Francis. St. Francis has also suffered two one-goal losses (3-2 and 2-1) to 11-time state champion Lakewood St. Edwards.
Anthony Wayne, along with Perrysburg, made the move from the White to the Red Division when the NHC realigned last spring. The Generals have yet to play a Red Division game, but are 6-1-1 overall with impressive wins over Cincinnati Moeller (6-1), Dublin Coffman (10-1) and 2018 state semifinalist Dublin Jerome (2-1).
Findlay’s High swim teams will face Oregon Clay on Thursday at the East Toledo YMCA. This weekend, the Trojans will compete in the Ned Reeb Invitational at Ohio State University, the biggest prep meet in the state outside of the actual state tournament to be held Feb. 19-22, 2020 in Canton.
Findlay High will be sending some wrestlers to the elite Iron Man meet at Walsh Jesuit and others to the Jeremy Ammons Kilted Classic at Highland High School this weekend.