Bauder, Clair earn All-Press girls basketball honors

Yaneek Smith

Press Contributing Writer

A banner girls basketball season was recognized by area coaches and sportswriters as Woodmore won 21 games, a Northern Buckeye Conference title and a sectional championship before falling just short of getting back to the district finals for the second time in three years.
Senior guard Macey Bauder had an outstanding season and was named the NBC Player of the Year for her efforts. Just 5-6, she averaged 15.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.5 steals and is the Alan Miller Jewelers All-Press Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Her coach, Kyle Clair, who has coached at his alma mater for 15 years, was named the Coach of the Year.
Bauder received 10 of 11 votes; Lake’s Elise Staczek was awarded the other vote. Clair got nine votes and Gibsonburg’s Bo Evarts received two votes.
Bauder, Staczek and Eastwood’s Kayla Bueller were unanimous selections and Genoa’s Addisyn Moritz earned 32 of 33 points.
Bauder was part of a special group of seniors that included Jordan Beam, Alayna Hahn, Paige Helmke and Mackenzie Krukemyer.
“I have enjoyed playing basketball with them since grade school,” said Bauder. “It’s been so much fun and it was awesome to see how great we were together. Jordan and Alayna had our backs on defense, they never let up throughout the whole game, Paige always came in off the bench and gave us a spark and Kenzie would come in and fire us up by blocking shots.”
“Our senior leadership – we had a lot of girls that have been through the battles,” Clair said. “Three were on the (league) championship team two years ago. We built something really good. They’re coachable and have that battle-tested mentality.”
He talked about the group as a whole, one that won two league titles and three sectional championships.
“We got to a lot of those kids when they were younger. I have to credit Jeff Helmke and Ryan Beam – they helped our youth program,” said Clair. “They were developed in the gym from a young age. That makes a difference when they get to high school (because) you don’t need to coach them, you need to refine them. They’re just super competitive kids. They want to get better. It makes for a successful program.”
Clair described Bauder, a three-year starter as “just phenomenal.”
“I can’t say enough about her. We had our awards banquet on Monday, and she was our MVP for the second year in a row. I could talk about stats and her skill level all day long. She’s a great basketball player; her intangibles are second to none. She’s super coachable, handled some adversity, never let in, got to 1,000 points and we won another NBC championship,” said Clair. “I know teams game-planned against her, and she came out on the other side better. She’s such a humble kid, a team-first person. I know she’s honored. That kid wants everyone else to do well. We love her to death.”
Bauder was the sixth player in program history to score 1,000 points. She scored 30 points in a 69-64 overtime win over Fostoria, a victory that ensured a league title for the Wildcats.
Discussing her experience playing these last four years, Bauder, who is a stellar soccer player, said she plays 100% for her team and coaches.
“I want us all to be successful and make our coaches proud. I want our program to be known for its success and continue to foster good sportsmanship,” she said. “And I know my family loves to watch me play and they are a huge part of all my success.”
Bauder was named the WTOL Player of the Week in January.
Asked about the high points of her playing career, she said, “Playing in the sectional final as a freshman, starting as a freshmen, winning the NBC as a sophomore, getting to play in the district finals, being able to play with my older sister, Greta, for two years, beating Fostoria on our home court and scoring 30 points in that game and getting to 1,000 career points.”
Bauder talked about the coaching staff and the respect she and her teammates have for them.
“My freshman year, I was intimidated by Coach Clair, but I quickly realized that his passion for the game and his desire to see all of us and the program succeed matched my feelings for the game,” she said. “He makes it a point to get to know each player and bring out the best in them. Coach Clair also creates a family atmosphere, encouraging us to not only share constructive criticism, but to bring each other up.
“Our whole coaching staff is incredible. Coach (Brad) Hemminger and Coach (Ryan) Beam were instrumental in all of our success, and I was so grateful to be able to share my love of the game with an amazing coaching staff. I will forever be grateful for everything they have done for myself and the program,” she said.
Clair said he regards being named Coach of the Year as a big honor. “The coaches, it’s a big family,” he said. “I think we all are striving for the same goals and want to make sure our teams are successful. Anytime your peers recognize you, it’s definitely an honor, and it makes you humble.”
As for Evart, he led Gibsonburg to 17 wins and its first sectional title in nearly 20 years before falling to Toledo Christian, which advanced to the state finals, in the district semifinals. It’s a rebuilding process that took four years, but it was well worth it.
“We started off and we won a couple games,” he said. “We beat Old Fort and Hopewell-Loudon at their place; we hadn’t done that in years. We played them again and won on a buzzer beater — we were losing by two, and Sophia Simmons hit a buzzer beater, they went to regionals. Six of our seven losses came to teams with 20 or more wins.
“I had four freshmen play and then Sophia joined in her sophomore year. They had to play a lot, they took their lumps,” said Evarts. “Ellie Stout was our point guard as a sophomore, and we threw her into the fire. She’d get beat up and she just grew and played in the summer. These seniors, big parts of the team. Last year, we started seeing confidence. I think we won five of our last seven games last season. We’re ready for the summer already. We would go into games, we were hoping to win. Now, we know we can win.”

First Team

Macey Bauder, Woodmore 15.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 4.0 apg

Elise Staczek, Lake 12.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.7 spg

Kayla Bueller, Eastwood 13.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.0 spg

Addisyn Moritz, Genoa 14.2 ppg, 7.5 rebs, 2.2 spg

Sydney Stanley, Lake 12.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.3 spg

Second Team

Mary Enright, Lake 9.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.4 spg

Karder Haas, Oak Harbor 10.6 ppg

Kara Schneider, Woodmore 8.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg

Amelia Ward, Eastwood 8.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.3 spg

Jenna Bloomfield, Gibsonburg 9.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.7 spg

Third Team

Jordan Beam, Woodmore 6.1 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.0 spg

Sam Deininger, Gibsonburg 10.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.7 spg

Autumn Schroeder, Northwood 7.5 ppg, 1.1 apg

Jazmyne Morant, Gibsonburg 8.8 ppg, 2.7 rebs

Player of the Year — Macey Bauder, Woodmore

Coach of the Year — Kyle Clair, Woodmore

Honorable Mention: Cameran Quisno, Woodmore; Asia Brown, Stritch; Zoe Turner, Northwood; Ellie Stout, Gibsonburg; Natalie Thompson, Northwood; Jessie Materni, Lake; Camdyn Fauver, Oak Harbor; Jasianna Sanchez, Waite; Alayna Hahn, Woodmore.


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