Photo Courtesy of Griffin Studebaker
Loveland Basketball has always been middle of the pack in the ECC. The talent has been there, but there was always a hump that the Tigers could never get over. But last year, the Tigers finished 16-8 and won their first playoff game in seven years. and with the returning talent, the atmosphere for this upcoming season is something to look forward to.
Fresh off of one of its best seasons in recent history, Loveland Basketball is hungry for more wins and an Eastern Cincinnati Conference title. Brayden Frietch (12) led the team in scoring with 12.1 points per game, along with 5.2 rebounds per game and was named to the All-ECC First Team. Jack Sauer (11) wasn’t far behind with 11.9 points per game and 5.6 rebounds per game and received All-ECC Second Team honors. Both Frietch and Sauer are incredibly confident about this year and both believe this team is special.
“With everyone that we have returning combined with the up and coming young talent, we definitely have the potential to take the ECC title this year for the first time ever,” Frietch says. Sauer agrees. “With four of our five starters returning, our goal is to win the conference and make a deep playoff run. This team is incredibly deep and we hope that we can contribute to an ECC conference title.”
But this team has more returning talent besides Sauer and Frietch. They will return starters Ben Kirlin (12) and Dylan Schwinn (12), as well as role players such as Sam Anness (12) and Nick Goldie (11). The Tigers only real loss was guard Alex Muir, who graduated last year. He was a fantastic leader and delivered in some clutch moments, but the Tigers are confident that the leadership gap will be replaced this season with players ready to step into Muir’s spotlight.
Kirlin believes the bond between this team is stronger than ever and will help guide them into the season. “We have all grown up and played together, so the trust between teammates is something that comes pretty naturally. With six seniors and many other returning players, this team doesn’t lack leadership,” he says. Ben Hicks (11) feels the same way, as he feels the collective leadership throughout the roster will help the Tigers win. “Although we don’t have one declared leader, a lot of guys have stepped up and there is a certain level of collective leadership throughout the roster. Six different guys received peer votes to be a captain and I believe that shows the bond of this team formed through the off season.”
The confidence of this Tigers team is some of the best in recent memory and the talent certainly is on a high level as well. This team is trying to make its mark on Loveland history. The season starts at Aiken High School on November 29th at 7:30, as the Tigers will travel to Belmont Avenue to take on the Aiken Falcons, and then travel to Turpin High to take on the Turpin Spartans in a huge ECC matchup on Friday, December 2nd.. The Tigers have a chance to make this season a memorable one and their talent and confidence only make that more evident.