Columbiana loses Baker but returns Wilson to lead the Clippers

2017-18 Columbiana Boys’ Basketball Preview
Head Coach: Todd Johnson
Record: 9-14 (3-5), 3rd place in ITCL White Tier

More:High School Basketball previews from other teams

The Good News
Columbiana returns three players who scored 5-points or better last winter. Senior Jared Wilson, a three-year letter winner, scored 15.1 points and led the team in assists with 3.1 per game. Wilson also shot 30.3% beyond the three-point arc (37-122) while compiling a 78.1% from the foul line (50-64). Junior Eric Hopfenziz (6.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg) and sophomore Hunter Zentner (5.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.1 apg) will be back as well after enjoying success last year. Other lettermen back in 2017-18 will be Kyle Ferraro, Zach Chaffee, Seth Ross, Jaden Graham and Ryan Fahs.

Coach Johnson indicates, “our overall quickness and athleticism will be our strengths. We should have overall more depth this year than last as well.”

2017-18 Schedule
Dec. 1 – at Western Reserve, 7
Dec. 5 – at East Palestine, 7:30
Dec. 8 – at Southern, 7:30
Dec. 9 – at Mineral Ridge, 7
Dec. 12 – at Lisbon, 7:30
Dec. 15 – Wellsville, 7:30
Dec. 19 – at Toronto, 7:30
Dec. 22 – United, 7:30
Dec. 28 – vs. Mogadore (Jackson-Milton Holiday Tournament)
Dec. 29 – at Jackson-Milton Holiday Tournament
Jan. 2 – Springfield, 7:30
Jan. 5 – Leetonia, 7:30
Jan. 9 – East Palestine, 7:30
Jan. 12 – Southern, 7:30
Jan. 19 – Lisbon, 7:30
Jan. 23 – at Wellsville, 7:30
Jan. 26 – Toronto, 7:30
Jan. 30 – at United, 7:30
Feb. 2 – at Leetonia, 7:30
Feb. 9 – McDonald, 7:30
Feb. 20 – West Branch, 7:30
Feb. 23 – at Salem, 7:30

Challenges
The Clippers lost a lot this past offseason as they watched both Burdette Baker and Jacob Clark graduate. Baker thrived since his sophomore season. He averaged 8.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in 2014-15. Then, as a junior, he picked up where he left off by scoring 16.5 points and hauling down 8.4 boards while shooting 62.8% from the floor. Last year, he led Columbiana in scoring (17.6), rebounding (6.1) and field goal percentage (60.7%). Clark was key to the Clippers’ success last year as he scored 7.6 points while shooting 85.7% from the foul line (12-14) and 29.1% from distance (30-103). Each of the Clippers’ team statistics (below) were comparable to the prior year. Over the past two seasons, Columbiana has accumulated 17 wins total (9 in 2016-17; 8 in 2015-16).

Scoring Offense: 56.0 (2016-17); 58.0 (2015-16)
Field Goal Percentage: 41.8% (2016-17); 42.4% (2015-16)
Three-Point Percentage: 26.6% (2016-17); 25.4% (2015-16)
Free Throw Percentage: 69.3% (2016-17); 68.3% (2015-16)

Last 10 Years
Overall Winning Percentage: 43.0% (98-130)
League Championships: 1 (2008)
Playoff Record: 5-10
Sectional Championships: 1 (2008)
District Championships: 1 (2008)

2016-17 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 56.0
Scoring Defense: 60.9
Rebounding: 23.9
Field Goal Percentage: 41.8%
Three-Point Percentage: 26.6%
Free Throw Percentage: 69.3%
Turnovers: 14.7

2016-17 Results
Canton Central Catholic 53 Clippers 36*
Clippers 56 Leetonia 48
Clippers 71 Heartland Christian 37
Lisbon 60 Clippers 51
Wellsville 75 Clippers 59
Clippers 56 Southern 45
Lowellville 65 Clippers 55
Clippers 63 Heartland Christian 35
Clippers 76 Jackson-Milton 73
Clippers 68 Leetonia 41
West Branch 57 Clippers 39
Lisbon 51 Clippers 38
United 69 Clippers 58
Wellsville 82 Clippers 60
Springfield 61 Clippers 33
East Palestine 74 Clippers 71
Southern 62 Clippers 55 OT
South Range 78 Clippers 60
Clippers 62 Mineral Ridge 54
Clippers 71 Crestview 45
McDonald 123 Clippers 45
Clippers 56 Sebring 55
Western Reserve 67 Clippers 48
*-Playoff

AP Rankings (Last 10 years)
Last game vs. Top 10 team: vs. #3 McDonald, 71-45, loss on Jan. 19, 2010
Record vs. Top 10 teams since Mar. 2008: 0-2

Key Number
Columbiana has finished with a winning record (2014-15: 14-10) just once in the past seven years (2010-11 to 2016-17).

Statistical Leaders (last 4 years)
Scoring
2016-17: Burdette Baker – 17.6
2015-16: Burdette Baker – 16.5
2014-15: Devin Rice – 19.9
2013-14: Devin Rice – 12.5

Rebounding
2016-17: Burdette Baker – 6.1
2015-16: Burdette Baker – 8.4
2014-15: Devin Rice – 9.4
2013-14: Devin Rice – 9.3

Assists
2016-17: Jared Wilson – 3.1
2015-16: Cooper Smith – 2.9
2014-15: Drew Makosky – 4.2
2013-14: Devin Rice – 3.0

Three-Point Percentage
2016-17: Jared Wilson – 30.3% (37-122)
2015-16: Jared Wilson – 37.9% (25-66)