PAULDING – Seven returning letterwinners will look to propel the Paulding boys basketball team into the upper echelon of the Green Meadows Conference as the maroon and white looks to be competitive all season long in 2022-2023.
Under the direction of seventh year head coach Brian Miller, the Panthers look to improve on last year’s 8-15 overall record while Paulding was 2-5 in the Green Meadows Conference.
Leading the list of returnees for the Panthers is senior guard Nick Manz (6-1), who bucketed 9.1 points a contest last year.
Paulding also brings back the senior duo of Luke Zartman (6-0) and Peyton Adams (5-11) at guard, giving the maroon and white solid nucleus at the guard position. Zartman bucketed 4.1 points a night for Paulding a year ago while Adams added 5.4 markers a contest.
Junior Casey Agler (5-8) will see playing time at the guard position as well, coming back from a year that he bucketed four points per game.
“We look to be competitive every night,” noted Miller. “Hopefully, our seniors can lead this group and we can get through our tough December schedule with some wins. If we do, we should have a successful season.”
A trio of senior forwards also are going to be expected to provide a share of that quality leadership.
Ethan Foltz (6-3), Jacob Martinez (6-0) and Isaac Reeb (6-1) all come back as well for the Panthers. Foltz chipped in 8.3 points a contest last season. The trio also will be challenged to help the maroon and white be competitive on the boards.
“Rebounding is going to be an area that we need to continue to improve,” Miller commented. “We need to be more vocal and do a good job of communicating with each other.”
With the experience on the roster, Miller feels this should be a major strength for Paulding.
“Experience and team chemistry are both very good areas for us with this group,” stated the Panther mentor. “We have some nice shooters and our inside guys have a high basketball IQ. We feel that we can be very competitive night in and night out.”
A quartet of newcomers hope to be in the mix for playing time as well for the maroon and white.
Senior Vinny Cantu (6-2), sophomore Kane Jones (6-1), sophomore Greyson Harder (6-4) and sophomore Brandon Schroeder (6-1) will battle for time on the court for the Panthers.
As far as the league race, Miller feels a pair of Paulding County teams are going to be very strong but also thinks his Panther squad should have a solid league run.
“Antwerp and Wayne Trace are both going to be very strong,” concluded the Paulding head coach. “We think we can compete well within the conference this year. There is a lot of balance throughout the Green Meadows Conference so we should have good games every night. It should be an exciting season.”
Paulding will open its season on Friday, November 25, as the Panthers travel to Putnam County to battle Continental. The following night, the maroon and white will have its home opener as Bluffton makes the trek to the Jungle.
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