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By Mike Copper, Tom Reisenweber, Jeff Kirik Erie Times-News staff bloggers
The Varsity blog is the 2013 winner of an international EPPY award for best sports blog. EPPYs are awarded to media-affiliated websites by Editor & Publisher, an industry trade publication. Varsity is primarily maintained by Times-News sports writers Mike Copper and Tom Reisenweber and sports editor Jeff Kirik.   Read more about this blog.
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Fall Fastbreak – General McLane

General McLane Lancers
Boys
Coach (season, record): Andy Schulz (29th season, 578-173)
2011-12 overall record: 26-1
2011-12 region record (place): 14-0 (champion)
2011-12 playoff results: Defeated Franklin 49-37, Hickory 66-41 and Warren 56-49 to win the District 10 Class AAA championship. General McLane then defeated Central Valley 47-35 in the first round of the PIAA playoffs and Beaver 68-54 in the second round. McLane lost to Montour 48-38 in the quarterfinals.
Top players lost: Josh Ponsoll, Chad Kulka, Matt Astorino, J.R. Mountain
Top returning players: Jaymon Mason, Quinn Thompson
Assistant coaches: Brian Schulz, Roy Stauffer, Tim Banks, Kevin Wible, Kellen O’Neill
Outlook: General McLane could be a dangerous team this season. The Lancers were gutted by graduation as Josh Ponsoll, Chad Kulka, Matt Astorino and J.R. Mountain are gone. To most teams, that would spell rebuilding. To McLane and longtime coach Andy Schulz, it could mean new leaders emerging. All four graduates were big-time contributors and part of the main six-man rotation that Schulz used last year. Standouts Jaymon Mason and Quinn Thompson are back this year to lead a young Lancer team. Mason was named to the all-district team last winter and voted the Region 7 Player of the Year. He was also voted to the all-region first team, while Thompson was voted to the second team. Mason provides a constant scoring threat at the guard position and Thompson is a force inside. The two could receive help from Clay Smith, Lukas Hallett, Brett Kulka, Ryland Luciano and Marcus Erdman. The Lancers will have several young guards step into starting roles and Brett Kulka could provide help for Thompson underneath. With only two experienced players back, the Lancers will need to develop several starters to stay competitive. McLane hasn’t truly gone through a rebuilding season in a long time and don’t be surprise if the Lancers are in the playoffs, once again, in March.

Schedule
December
7-8 Fairview tournament
11 Central Tech 7:30
18 Conneaut (Ohio) 7:30
27-28 Northwestern tournament
January
2 McDowell 7:30
4 at East* 7:30
8 at Harbor Creek* 7:30
10 Warren* 7:30
12 at Cathedral Prep 7:30
15 at Corry* 7:30
18 at Fort LeBoeuf* 7:30
21 at Strong Vincent* 7
25 Girard* 7:30
29 East* 7:30
February
1 Harbor Creek* 7:30
5 at Warren* 7:30
7 Corry* 7:30
9 Fort LeBoeuf* 7:30
12 Strong Vincent* 7:30
15 at Girard* 7:30
*Region 6 games

Girls
Coach (season, record): Sarah Jay (2nd season, 17-8)
2011-12 overall record: 17-8
2011-12 region record (place): 11-3 (second)
2011-12 playoff results: General McLane defeated Slippery Rock 37-34 in the District 10 Class AAA quarterfinals before losing to Hickory 58-51 in the semifinals. McLane then lost to Mercyhurst Prep 53-36 in the third-place game.
Top player lost: Leah Hansen
Top returning players: Lindsey Jahn, Katie Clark, Katie Rodrigues, Michelle Jahn
Assistant coaches: Kelsey Conklin, Kelly Lewis
Outlook: General McLane put together a terrific season under first-year coach Sarah Jay last winter. The Lancers made the playoffs and won 17 games. McLane could be a contender once again this season. The Lancers lost Leah Hansen to graduation but everyone else is back. McLane dropped to Class AA in the offseason and with Villa moving to AAA, the D-10 championship race will be wide open. Hansen was a 1,000-point scorer and first-team all-region selection last year and her leadership leaves a big hole for the Lancers. McLane returns four starters in Lindsey Jahn, Katie Rodrigues, Michelle Jahn and Louisa Lytle. Add in Katie Clark and McLane has a loaded returning lineup this year. Lindsey Jahn was voted to the all-region second team last year and could go over 1,000 career points as a senior if the Lancers make a deep playoff run. Hailey Higham, Laura Schaefer and Celeste Seidel could contribute right away this year for McLane. McLane needs to replace the lost leadership with Hansen but with five returning varsity veterans, the Lancers could contend for D-10 right away.

Schedule
December
7-8 Sharon tournament
11 at East 7:30
15 Strong Vincent TBA
21 Girard* 7:30
27-28 Conneaut tournament
January
4 at Union City* 7:30
7 Fairview* 7:30
11 North East* 7:30
14 Iroquois* 7:30
17 Seneca* 7:30
19 MLK Showcase
21 at Northwestern* 7:30
24 at Girard* 7:30
28 Union City* 7:30
31 at Fairview* 7:30
February
4 at North East* 7:30
7 at Iroquois* 7:30
9 Corry 6
11 at Seneca* 7:30
14 Northwestern* 7:30
*Region 4 games

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Basketball, Fall Fastbreak

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