Recognize Greater Cincy

Updated: January 14, 2009, 1:10 PM ET
ESPNRISE.com

Girls' Swimming - Mariemont



Who says you need a veteran presence to achieve postseason success? The Mariemont girls'swim team certainly doesn't adhere to that notion. After a talented group of seniors left at the conclusion of the 2006-07 season, coach Kevin Mannes put his faith in a crop of untested sophomores last year. The group responded with a second-place finish in the Cincinnati Hills League and nabbed seventh overall at state in Division II. "Graduation hit hard,"Mannes says. "Last year, two seniors and the sophomores stepped up and we made it to states. We will need the other juniors to step up to make state (again)." Catherine Kauffmann, a two-time qualifier in the 200 medley relay and the 400 free relay, leads the rising class of juniors. "We are looking for her to make it in an individual event," Mannes says. Classmate Bridget Mahorney also qualified for state last season and is a talented distance swimmer. Junior Hanna Flessa is strong in the 200 medley relay and the 200 free relay, while junior transfer Emily Richards will fill in on the relay teams. Ceeanna Zulla, a junior, should also be a key contributor. Mahorney and Flessa were named to The Cincinnati Enquirer's Division II first team. Last year, every swimmer to compete at state placed in the top eight. Mannes is hoping his juniors, along with an infusion of new talent, will again make up for the lack of seniors. "There are no seniors," Mannes says. "It's pretty astonishing, but it's a great sign for the future."



Boys' Basketball - Holmes



The Bulldogs waved goodbye to Arrez Henderson, last year's Cincinnati Enquirer Player of the Year, but welcome back senior JaMel Riley and junior Ricardo Johnson. Johnson chipped in 11 points a game last year and was named to the Sweet Sixteen All-Tournament team. The Bulldogs put the state on notice early this season, defeating preseason favorite Scott County, 70-65, in the Bluegrass-Buckeye Holiday Classic on Dec. 14.



Girls' Basketball - Campbell County



The Camels finished with a 15-13 mark and won the district championship last season, but the talk of the team centered around explosive senior Katie Kitchen. Kitchen was a nightmare for opposing defenses, notching 16 points a game in finishing second in Northern Kentucky in scoring. Junior center Brianna Peters is a solid player on the interior and cleans up well on the boards. The play of the bench will be pivotal to the Camels' success and should alleviate some of the scoring load from Kitchen.



Boys' Bowling - Mason



A trio of star bowlers could have the Comets poised for a run at state this winter. Junior Chuck Hammond and seniors Mark Allen and Ryan Ackerman are all strong on the lanes, and could each average around 200 for the season. Allen finished sixth in the league with a 208.4 average and posted a season-high score of 298 in 2007-08. Last year, the Comets fell just 36 pins shy of qualifying for state and finished third in the Greater Miami Conference with a 9-5 record.



BREAK OUT TEAMS



GIRLS' BASKETBALL  SUMMIT COUNTRY DAY
Senior guards Ashley Hite and Kyli Parker return for Summit, which enters its second season in Division III.

BOYS' SWIMMING  BEECHWOOD
The Tigers took fourth at state behind junior Shane Coltharp, the runner-up in the 500 freestyle.

GIRLS' SWIMMING  NOTRE DAME
The Pandas won the regional title before placing third at state in 2007-08.

BOYS' BASKETBALL  DEER PARK
Senior Brian Barthelmas aims to defend the Wildcats'Cincinnati Hills League championship.