With the high school basketball season just two weeks away, every day before the season starts we'll take a glance at a WBL squad.
Today, a look at the Elida Bulldogs, whose season will get a late start as all-Ohio basketball player and quarterback Reggie McAdams has the Bulldogs a game away from a state championship game.
The Evening Leader's Winter Sports Preview will be inserted in the newspaper on Tuesday, Nov. 29, featuring winter sports team pictures, schedules, rosters and previews from teams from St. Marys, Minster, New Bremen and New Knoxville.
Head Coach: Denny Thompson, 6th season (56-57)
Returning Letterwinners: 5
2010-2011 Record: 13-9, 5-4 in WBL
Key Returners: Reggie McAdams (6-5, guard, Sr., 2nd team All-Ohio), Aric Thompson (6-2, guard, Jr.), Dakota Mathias (6-3, guard, So.), Ebin Stratton (6-3, forward, Jr.), Mike McDonald (5-9, guard, Sr.).
Surrounding Cast: Cory Royster (6-4, center, Sr.), Brandan Stinson (6-3, forward, Jr.), Jeremy Newby (6-2, forward, Jr.), Dononique Painter (6-1, forward, Jr.)
The Scoop: Elida returns two-time defending Western Buckeye League player of the year, Reggie McAdams, a verbal to the University of Akron and a surrounding cast that has the Bulldogs hoping to improve substantially over last year's 13-9 record and pedestrian 5-4 finish in the league. Elida limped home, losing six of its last nine games last winter — including a 55-50 loss to Van Wert in a Division II sectional final at Lima Senior.
Sixth-year head coach Denny Thompson has high hopes for this group.
"We look to compete for the WBL title and hope for a deep tourney run," Thompson said.
"We shoot the ball well and execute in the half court," Thompson said. "We're a little deeper this year, very athletic and hopefully more uptempo."
McAdams scored 19.5 points per game a junior and eclipsed the 1,000-point mark.
Running what his team calls a "swing" offense, they look to get McAdams as many looks as possible.
"It has many verbals and has lots of options," Thompson said.
Dakota Mathias returns after a solid freshman season that saw him earn honorable mention All-WBL honors. Add in transfer from Shawnee Cory Royster, a big 6-foot-4, 260-pound center along with forwards Ebin Stratton and Jeremy Newby and the Bulldogs should be solid on the glass.
"Ebin Stratton and Jeremy Newby are both bigger and stronger and they will rebound with anybody," Thompson said.
Aric Thompson will be a starter for Elida. The 6-foo-2 junior guard could have a breakout season, Denny Thompson said. Mike McDonald will get time at point guard.
Elida will mix in man-to-man and zone defenses.
"We will extend the floor," Thompson said.
Did You Know?: Elida didn't play well at the Fieldhouse, going just 4-5 at home in 2010-2011.