Girls basketball: Fort Loramie flying high in 50th season

Carla Siegel, Fort Loramie girls basketball coach
Carla Siegel, Fort Loramie girls basketball coach

FORT LORAMIE – Tradition says gold is the traditional gift for celebrating 50 years. The Fort Loramie Redskins are doing their best to oblige.

Entering this week, Fort Loramie had retained the No. 1 ranking in the Division IV state poll for 14 weeks. The last time Loramie wasn’t atop the D-IV poll was on Jan. 8, 2019, when Minster held that spot. Fort Loramie was No. 2.

A winning tradition has been the gold standard for the Redskins, who celebrated their milestone season Jan. 16 prior to its game with Ottawa-Glandorf. The program honored past coaches, players and support staff with a pre-game ceremony. Loramie then went out and beat O-G, then ranked No. 3 in the D-III poll, 57-38.

The Redskins (16-1) have 887 victories overall. That trails only Berlin Hiland’s 892 victories, according to the Ohio High School Athletic Association record book. Tippecanoe is No. 3 with 882.

Coach Carla Siegel has participated in 783 of Loramie’s 1,160 games – 90 as a player, 122 as an assistant coach and 571 as head coach. Siegel is 453-118 entering this week’s games.

Including this season 267 players had played at least one varsity game for the Redskins.

“I’m pretty sure every girl in the locker room doesn’t take it for granted,” senior Dana Rose said. “This is an awesome experience to have because of the tradition we carry here.”

Through its first 49 seasons Fort Loramie has won 26 league championships, 26 district championships, 10 regional championships and two state champions (2013, 2015). Fort Loramie reached the D-IV state semifinals last season before the tournament was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Many of this year’s players sat in the stands as elementary students cheering on their basketball idols. They understand now they are the role models for future teams.

“I was a water girl when Darian Rose, Kelly Turner and Jess Boerger played,” senior Kenzie Hoelscher said. “I loved watching those three play. I couldn’t wait to get to play like they did and go to state like they did. … The little girls in the school hallway will be like, ‘Hi Kenzie!’ I’m like oh my gosh, I was you when I was little!”

Fort Loramie’s 42-game winning streak was snapped on Jan. 23 with a 55-33 loss to Lima Bath, ranked No. 7 in D-II of last week’s poll.

GWOC up for grabs: Wayne’s bid for the Greater Western Ohio Conference title faces one more challenge.

Wayne (12-1 overall, 6-0 GWOC) hosts Centerville (13-2, 5-1 GWOC) on Thursday. It’s the final game that counts in the conference standings for both teams.

A Wayne win clinches the GWOC title outright. A Centerville win clinches a three-way tie between Centerville, Springboro and Wayne.

Wayne also hosts Springboro (13-5, 6-1 GWOC) on Saturday.

Red Devils still red hot: Tippecanoe has won its last six games after returning from a two-week quarantine, improving to 13-0 overall and Miami Valley League.

Senior Ashleigh Mader leads Tipp with 11.4 points per game and senior Katie Hemmelgarn averages 10.9 points and a team-leading 6.6 rebounds. Fellow seniors Rachel Wildermuth (8.8), Kenna Smith (6.2) and Corinn Siefring (4.1) have also provided key points.

Tipp led the MVL Miami Division over Butler (11-4) entering Tuesday’s game with Piqua. The Red Devils have six regular-season games remaining.

LCA surging: Legacy Christian Academy has won 14 straight after a season-opening loss 45-23 loss to National Trail.

Seniors Emma Hess (18.9 points) and Kathleen Ahner (14.9) rank second and third in the Metro Buckeye Conference in scoring behind Yellow Springs junior Angie Smith (23.9).

Ahner is second the MBC in assists (4.9) and Hess is fifth in rebounding (7.3).

Ahner scored her 1,000th career point in LCA’s 42-41 win against Carlisle on Monday, hitting a three-pointer from about 25-feet out. Ahner also has more than 200 steals, 300 assists and 400 rebounds in her career.

Alter pulls upset: Riley Smith scored 10 points and Caraline Kernan and Haylee Gunter both added seven (eight different Alter players scored) as the Knights gave Purcell Marian its first loss after a 10-0 start.

Alter (10-7) won 42-37 after outscoring PM 14-6 in the fourth quarter. Smith and Gunter both had seven rebounds

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