Antwerp Girls Team.jpg

ANTWERP — As Antwerp begins its sixth season under the tutelage of Scott McMichael, a large contingent of returning letterwinners will look to keep the Archers in contention in the Green Meadows Conference this season.

With five seniors on the varsity roster and a mix of youth and talent joining the fray in 2021-22, the Archers are optimistic about boosting their finish this season after a 1-5 league showing a season ago and a 6-13 overall record after falling in sectionals to Ottoville after a first-round win over Edon.

Leading the returnees on Harrmann Road will be 5-10 senior Asti Coppes, who led the way with 10.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game a season ago en route to a first team all-GMC nod.

Fellow seniors Lydia Brewer (5-9, 5.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.7 spg, 10 3-pointers), Grace Schuette (6-0, 5.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 10 3-pointers), Kennadi Recker (5-6, 3.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg) and Ali Reinhart (5-6, 2 ppg, 2 rpg) will be back for their final season in Blue and White.

5-11 junior Hayleigh Jewell will also return after tallying five points and two rebounds per game a season ago with 28 steals. Sophomore Aewyn McMichael adds 4.2 ppg, 1.9 rpg from last season.

“We’ve got a lot of things going for us this year,” said McMichael. “Our size and experience will be positives for us and I expect our rebounding to be strong. This team has a lot of senior leadership and these girls work hard and communicate well.”

“We do have the tendency to struggle scoring at times,” admitted McMichael, as the Archers averaged just 35.4 ppg as a team a season ago. “We need to improve our decision making and handling the basketball (18.3 turnovers per game).”

The sizable returning group notwithstanding, the varsity roster will see some newer faces with sophomore Emma Townley (5-6, five games) and freshman Caroline Rohrs (5-5) joining the fray while juniors Lydia Krouse (5-10) and Katrina Fish (6-0) will look to up their game in Archer Blue.

Antwerp loses just two seniors from last year’s squad in Laura Miller (1 ppg, 1 rpg) and Molly Reinhart (0.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg).

“We have the potential to be a competitive team,” said McMichael. “We return a lot of key contributors from last year.”

The Archers’ first three games of the year will be road tilts before a Saturday home opener on Dec. 4 against Maumee Valley Country Day. After a competitive Route 49 Classic twinbill in late December, the season gets going in a hurry in the new year with trips to Woodlan (Ind.) and defending league champion Fairview to start off the 2022 portion. The Archers will host both of their county rivals as Wayne Trace visits on Jan. 13 before a regular-season finale contest against Paulding on Feb. 10.

With a wide-open league race, Antwerp hopes to be in the mix among a bevy of teams aiming to contend for a title by season’s end.

“The GMC has good coaches and will be a battle night in and night out,” said McMichael. “The league last year was young and everyone will be improved this year.”

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