No. 19 Northland (Columbus, Ohio)Head coach:
Sean Taylor2012-13 record:
28-1Players to watch: Ty Hairston
(6-1, Sr., G), Derick McKeithen
(6-3, Sr., G), Donte' Smith
(5-10, Sr., G), Doug Taylor
(6-8, Jr., F), Seth Towns
(6-7, So., F), Jalen Tucker
(6-7, Sr., F), Shemar Waugh
(5-9, Sr., G)Breaking down the Vikings
One of the nation's winningest programs in recent years with a 171-9 record since 2006, Northland is back with another state title contender.
Much of that success was achieved with Satch Sullinger on the sideline and stars like son Jared and Trey Burke in the starting lineup. But Taylor was named Ohio's Division I Co-Coach of the Year last winter and is showing no signs of letting off the gas.
The Vikings return nine of their top 10 scorers from a year ago, including seniors McKeithen (10.9 points per game), Tucker (10.8) and Hairston (10.2).
Point man Waugh contributed 8 points and 6.8 assists per game while sophomore Towns may be the team's top prospect. The young forward already has offers from Dayton, Virginia Tech and Xavier.
The 2012-13 Vikings saw their season end in the Division I semifinals against No. 21 Mentor. A state playoff rematch this year would be a must-see event in the Buckeye State.
Northland has won 106 consecutive games in Columbus City League play, a streak that seems unlikely to end this year. The Vikings also haven't lost more than two games in a season since 2005.
The latter accomplishment will be put to the test in December at the Beach Ball Classic in South Carolina, where a 16-team field that includes powerhouses like Bishop O'Connell (Arlington, Va.), No. 22 Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.), Norcross (Ga.) and Providence (Jacksonville, Fla.) awaits.Key dates
Dec. 7 – vs. Thurgood Marshall (Dayton, Ohio)
at Clark Kellogg Classic
Dec. 26-31 – Beach Ball Classic
Jan. 18 – vs. Roselle Catholic (N.J.)
at Flyin' to the Hoop