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Thursday, January 4th, 2007

Moeller runs the point for 11-1 OSU

By Gary R. Rasberry
The transition from high school to college can sometimes be daunting.
However, Maria Moeller appears to be unfazed from the move.
The two-time Daily Standard Dream Team Player of the Year has made a smooth move from Marion Local to The Ohio State University, not only playing for the nationally-ranked Buckeyes, but in the starting lineup.
The 5-7 guard has seen a lot of time as the Buckeyes have started 11-1 and are ranked seventh by The Associated Press. Against Boston College, Moeller played all 50 minutes in the double-overtime win over the Eagles. Moeller averages 30.8 minutes per game going into tonight's game with Minnesota at the Schottenstein Center.
Moeller is only one of nine freshmen that started at point guard among the 324 NCAA Division I schools.
Coach Jim Foster has kept Moeller focused on running the offense and playing defense, resulting in her averaging 3.9 points per game. Her assists and steals numbers are still up there, as Moeller averages 3.5 assists and 2.7 steals per game in the backcourt along with Brandie Hoskins.
Haines has hot hand at ODU
Ohio Dominican has started out 9-7 on the season thanks to the hot shooting of junior Krissy Haines.
The St. Marys standout is averaing 21.3 points per game in 16 starts to lead the Panthers. Haines has been productive and efficient, hitting 52.1 percent (125-of-240) of her field goal tries this season.
For her play, Haines was named the American Mideast Conference player of the week for the week of Dec. 18-24 after scoring 32 points to beat NAIA power Cedarville to end the Jackets' 72 AMC South Division win streak.
Haines' scoring average is second in the AMC and her shooting clip is sixth in the conference.
Minster pair pacing Lady Norse
Division II national power Northern Kentucky has started off strong again this season, going 7-3 in its first 10 games.
Lady Norse senior forward Brittany Winner (Minster) has been solid all season. Winner is second on the team in scoring at 11.4 points per game and has pulled down 4.1 rebounds per game.
Sophomore guard Karen Brackman, another Minster product has appeared in nine games off the bench, averaging 3.2 points per game.
Beavers off to hot start
Bluffton University has started hot again, going 11-1 out the gate and earning some votes in the most recent Top 25 poll.
Senior point guard Eric Schwieterman has been the floor general for the Beavers. The St. Henry grad averages 3.7 assists and 1.3 steals per game to go with 8.2 points per game for the Beavers.
Minster grad David Patch has seen limited time off the bench for Bluffton, playing in eight games and scoring 1.6 points per game.
ONU second in DIII
While Bluffton is looking to get back into the top 25, Ohio Northern is firmly entrenched at number two in the most recent Top 25 poll after starting out 10-1 on the season.
Helping the Polar Bears get the push up the poll was beating the number one-ranked team (Wooster), number-six team (Wittenburg) and number 35-ranked team (Wisconsin-LaCrosse) over the holidays.
Junior guard Kyle Gehle (Versailles) has been a key part, ranking second on the team in scoring at 14 points per game and pulling down 2.6 rebounds per game for the Polar Bears.  
Oilers starting strong
The University of Findlay, with St. Henry grad Ron Niekamp at the helm, are 10-1 to start the season, earning the Oilers a ranking of seventh in the National Association of Basketball Coaches' NCAA Division II poll.
Fort Recovery grad Tyler Niekamp (Fort Recovery), nephew to Ron, has appeared in all 11 games this season, averaging 3.9 points and 2.5 rebounds per game.
Stahl, Niekamp working hard
Capital has been the definition of hard-luck loser so far this season. In the four losses, the Crusaders have lost all four by 10 points or less. Capital is 6-4 so far on the season under the guidance of St. Marys grad Damon Goodwin.
Sophomore Nate Stahl has continued to be a solid scorer after last season's All-Ohio Athletic Conference selection. The St. Henry grad is second on the team in averaging 13.6 points per game. The 6-5 Stahl also has hit 27 three-pointers on the season.
Fellow former Redskin Ross Niekamp also has been playing well. averaging 3.9 points per game, but coming off a career high of 12 in a last-second loss to Carnegie Mellon.
Homan hitting his shots at Hillsdale
Hillsdale (Mich.) has continued its run of hot starts to the season. The Chargers are 10-2 to start the season.
Junior guard Tim Homan has been potent from outside the three-point line this season. The Celina grad has hit 36 three-pointers this season in scoring 13.4 points per game, third best on the team. Homan also is fourth in rebounds at 3.9 per game and has 12 steals on the season.
Lefeld back for senior season
After a tough 2005-06 season that saw the team go 9-21, Bowling Green has jumped out to a 9-4 start on the current season. Dan Dakich's Falcons had a five-game win streak snapped last Saturday at Wisconsin-Green Bay in the final tuneup before opening Mid-American Conference play this Saturday at Anderson Arena against Buffalo.
Senior center Matt Lefeld (Coldwater), who graces the cover of the Falcons' media guide this year, returns after playing 29 games last season with sore feet. His fortitude earned him the team's inspirational player award last year.
So far, Lefeld has appeared in all 13 games, starting eight, and averaging 5.2 points and 2.5 rebounds in 17.4 minutes per game. While his field goal percentage (40.7 percent) is down, he remains one of the top free throw shooters, hitting 80 percent (24-of-30) from the line.
Shardo seeing minutes for Miners
Former Versailles product Joe Shardo has contributed in his first year at Division II Missouri-Rolla.
Shardo has played in all 11 games for the 6-5 Miners, averaging .5 points and 3.4 rebounds for the Miners.
Jackets starting out strong
After going 9-16 last season Defiance has already matched their win total this year in staring 9-2.
Junior forward Bryan Post (St. Henry) has been a key player off the bench for the Yellow Jackets. Post averages 3.5 points and 1.8 rebounds per game so far this season.
Huelsman ready to start A-10 play
After a tough loss at North Carolina to end 2006, Dayton looks to start off strong in Atlantic 10 play tonight against Charlotte at UD Arena.
Freshman Kurt Huelsman has started all 13 games for coach Brian Gregory, averaing four points and 3.9 rebounds per game for the Flyers, who are 10-3 on the season.
Additional online stories on this date
The local landfill will grow higher.
The permit application allowing the Celina Sanitary Landfill to expand vertically has been approved by the director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). [More]
WAPAKONETA - Five men from Yorkshire and Osgood pleaded guilty to criminal damaging after constructing a duck blind on Oct. 21 with limbs and trees at Grand Lake St. Marys State Park. [More]
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