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Ada’s Burkhart HM; two Mustangs are 1st team All-NWC cagers

By Cort Reynolds

The 2023-24 All-Northwest Conference girls basketball teams were voted on Sunday by the league coaches and released by the league Monday, February 19.

One Ada senior was named honorable mention all-league, while streaking Allen East placed two girls on the first team.

Ada senior point guard Olivia Burkhart was named honorable mention all-league for the 2023-24 season. She topped the Lady Bulldogs in points, assists, three-point accuracy, foul shooting and steals.

Burkhart averaged 11.8 points, 2.6 assists, 2.5 steals and four rebounds per game. She shot 68 percent from the foul line and 30 percent from beyond the arc. She scored a career-high 28 points at Waynesfield-Goshen December 28.

Ada hosts Waynesfield (11-11) in Div. IV sectional first round play Wednesday. Feb. 21.

“Liv has led us offensively all year, and we have relied on her heavily to score and handle the ball for us,” said Ada second-year head coach Zach Ricker. “I’ve put a lot of pressure on her to step into a big role this year, and I feel she has done a good job stepping up to lead us. 

“I am happy to see her get the recognition she deserves,” he added.

Ada ended up 9-13 overall and last in the NWC at 0-8 in their final league season before moving to the Blanchard Valley Conference.

Burkhart also was named HM All-NWC her sophomore year in 2022.



Speedy AE junior guard Rilynn Jones and senior teammate Savana Brooks were named first team All-NWC. They were the only tandem from the same team to make the all-league first squad.

Jones has led AE in scoring (16.0) and steals (3.8) per game. She also grabbed three rebounds per contest.

Versatile forward Brooks averaged 14.4 ppg, 4.4 rebounds and two steals per game. She led AE in assists (2.6), free throw percentage (70) and three-point pct. (34).

Brooks and Jones each shot 42 percent from the field. Brooks repeated on the All-NWC first team, while Jones was selected to the second team last season.

The duo has led AE to a 20-2 record as they finished the regular season on a 12-game win streak. The Mustang girls rebounded from an 0-2 league start to win their last six NWC games and post a 6-2 record in conference play, good for a third-place tie with Columbus Grove in the rugged league.

AE seniors Aubrey Young and Soraya Jackson were voted honorable mention All-NWC. Tenacious guard Young is a top defender and averaged 2.1 steals per game.

Post Jackson led the Mustangs with 6.1 rebounds per game and scored 6.9 ppg. She shot 44 percent from the field.

AE beat Shawnee 65-43 this past Saturday to tie the school record for wins in a season at 20.

Delphos Jefferson and Crestview tied for the league championship at 7-1. A two-point overtime loss at Grove helped cost AE a share of the league title. The Mustangs handed Crestview their lone league defeat, but they also lost to Delphos. 

Defending co-NWC Player of the Year Alyvia Lindeman repeated as POY after leading her team to a share of the conference crown. She nosed out defending co-POY Cali Gregory for top player honors in 2024.

Denise Lindeman of Jefferson was named NWC Coach of the Year by her peers.


2023-24 All-NWC girls basketball teams:

NWC Player of the Year: Lyv Lindeman – Delphos Jefferson
NWC Coach of the Year: Denise Lindeman – Delphos Jefferson

1st Team
Lyv Lindeman – 12 – Guard – Delphos Jefferson
Cali Gregory – 12 – Guard – Crestview
Lauryn Auchmuty – 11 – Guard – Columbus Grove
Rilynn Jones – 11 – Guard – Allen East
Savana Brooks – 10 – Forward – Allen East
Ava Henry – 12 – Guard – Leipsic

2nd Team
Ayla Grandey – 11 – Center – Bluffton
Keira Breese – 10 – Guard – Lincolnview
Heidi Keller – 12 – Guard – Spencerville
Ellie Kline – 11 – Guard – Crestview
Nicole Nesby – 10 – Forward – Columbus Grove

Honorable Mention
Lauren French – 12 – Post – Delphos Jefferson
Myia Etzler – 12 – Forward – Crestview
Clara Goecke – 10 – Guard – Spencerville
Kaci Gregory – 9 – Guard – Crestview
Olivia Burkhart – 12 – Guard – Ada
Emerson Walker – 11 – Guard – Lincolnview
Kyrstin Moore – 12 – Forward – Delphos Jefferson
Briley Cook – 9 – Post – Spencerville
Maddey Burris – 12 – Guard – Delphos Jefferson
Soraya Jackson – 12 – Post – Allen East
Leah Kirkendall – 12 – Guard – Leipsic
Aubrey Young – 12 – Guard – Allen East
Kendal Palte – 10 – Forward – Columbus Grove
Josie Kulwicki – 11 – Guard – Crestview
Addysen Stevens – 12 – Guard – Lincolnview
Blair Utendorf – 10 – Forward – Bluffton