Girls basketball: Miamisburg turning its potential into wins

Miamisburg's Olivia Hammerle (23) and Alley Haas (middle) have helped the Vikings to an 8-2 record. Greg Billing/Contributed
Miamisburg's Olivia Hammerle (23) and Alley Haas (middle) have helped the Vikings to an 8-2 record. Greg Billing/Contributed

VIkings are off to their best start in 15 years

MIAMISBURG – They came close a year ago, but the Miamisburg Vikings girls basketball team last posted a winning season in 2012-13. Still, coach Allison Jaynes knew the Vikings’ potential when she took over the program in 2016.

And now, five seasons into her coaching tenure, the Vikings’ players are realizing it, too. Miamisburg, 8-2 overall, is off to one of the program’s best starts in about 15 years. And on Dec. 23, Miamisburg ended a 23-game losing streak to Springboro – including an earlier loss this season – with a 38-34 victory.

“I think we came in a lot more prepared this year,” said junior Anna Long, who leads a balanced offense with 13.3 points and 4.3 assists per game. “We actually bought into everything the coaches were saying. … The past years we would go on a streak and just lose (the momentum). We’ve been able to maintain a winning streak so far.”

Joining Long in double figures are freshman Alley Haas (10.6) and senior Abby Carter (10.5). Carter also leads the team in rebounds (6.4), followed by Long (4.2), Haas (3.8), senior Olivia Hammerle (3.8) and junior Jordyn Barr (3.8).

As for Jaynes, she was a senior standout on the Vikings’ Ron Russo-led team that won the Greater Western Ohio Conference’s South Division title in 2007. That’s the program’s last conference championship.

“It always means more when you come back and help out,” said Jaynes, whose coaching staff also includes ‘Burg grads Brooke Adams, Rylie Parkhurst and Sean Simms.

Centerville and Wayne – and their Division I-laden rosters – are the favorites to win the GWOC, which combined into one division this season. Miamisburg (3-2 GWOC) currently sits among the top half of the eight teams.

“It’s nice being in the upper half of the GWOC, which we haven’t been in years,” Jaynes said. “We’re trying to compete night in and night out. I think now that we’ve had some success, the girls are kind of realizing that other teams are trying to get us now.”

Last season Miamisburg lost its last five regular-season games to Bellbrook, Springboro, Northmont, Trotwood-Madison and Fairmont. This season, three of Miamisburg’s wins have come against those same teams – Bellbrook, Northmont and Springboro.

“We have more talent this year and we can finish this year,” Carter said. “Last year we couldn’t really pull it out in the third quarter. We’ve been winning most third quarters now. … Now teams aren’t looking at us like we’re going to be a win for them.”

Miamisburg’s other loss came to Wayne 71-47. But even in that 24-point loss the Vikings saw progress. Last season Miamisburg’s losses to Wayne were by 37 and 42 points. This season the Warriors are outscoring teams 75-34.

“After playing Wayne we thought we had a chance (to beat Springboro),” Hammerle said.

The Vikings are averaging 51.2 points and allowing 38.2. That’s an improvement from last season where the Vikings were barely outscored by their opponents 39.8 to 39.3.

“Just keep up the defense,” Haas said of a key to this season’s success. “I think we’re doing a pretty good job on the defensive end.”

Springboro ended Miamisburg’s 5-0 start with a 33-22 defeat on Dec. 12. The Vikings returned the favor four games later by handing the 8-1 Panthers’ their lone loss.

Miamisburg’s last winning season came in 2012-13 when the Vikings finished 15-10. The Vikings finished 12-13 last season. In the six seasons in between the program has averaged 6.3 wins.

Miamisburg returns to action Saturday when it hosts Fairmont.

“I think we learned a lot from that (Springboro) loss,” Jaynes said. “We weren’t quite there yet, but we could be there. We talk to the kids daily about doing the little things in practice and how that pays off.

“We don’t want that win to make our season. We have to continue to grind through it. Take that win as a great win but we have work still do to. We’re happy for our kids but we’re not done yet.”

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