A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Prep Sports Notebook: Defending region champions post 9-0 record in summer basketball team camp

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

During the final week of high school basketball team camps before the summer dead period began, the Cooper girls team went 9-0 against opponents from three states at Transylvania University in Lexington.

The Jaguars’ performance shouldn’t surprise anyone since they have all but one player returning from the team that made it to the semifinals of the state tournament last March after winning the first 9th Region championship in the history of the program.

Cooper basketball players pose with trophy they won in summer team camp. (Photo from Twitter)

Coach Justin Holthaus said he took 11 players from the last season’s varsity and junior varsity rosters to the camp and they all played well against teams from Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana.

“Focused this summer to build from last season’s success and also allow our younger group opportunities to play varsity competition,” Holthaus said.

Cooper’s top returning scorer is senior-to-be Whitney Lind, who netted 44 points in her team’s three state tournament games and ended up with a 16.7 average.

Lind, who recently accepted an NCAA Division I scholarship offer from Lehigh University, was named to the state all-tournament team along with teammate Liz Freihofer, who had 43 points in three games, hitting 12 of 20 field goals and 18 of 19 free throws. Cooper’s other returning starters are Kay Freihofer and Logan Luebbers Palmer.

During the two-week dead period, coach Holthaus said the players will focus on individual training and AAU club teams before they get back together to prepare for 2022-23 season.

Campbell County wrestling coach retiring after 42 years with program

Mike Bankemper, the most successful high school wrestling coach in Northern Kentucky, is retiring after being in charge of the Campbell County program for 42 years.

Mike Bankemper, left, received a national Coach of the Year award in 2016.

During his career, Campbell County won four state tournament championships (1990, 1991, 2004, 2012) and placed second five times. He had 59 individual wrestlers reach the state finals and 27 of them claimed titles.

Bankemper had 10 wrestlers achieve All-America status. One of them was 2015 graduate Austin Myers, the state’s first four-time state champion to go undefeated during his entire high school career.

Myers is also one of seven wrestlers trained by Bankemper and his staff who continued their career with an NCAA Division I  program.

In 2016, Bankemper was named Coach of the Year in wrestling by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association. He was named the Coach of the Year in Kentucky three times and inducted into the Kentucky Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame.

Bankemper, who was a wrestler at Campbell County and Northern Kentucky University, is also a member of the Northern Kentucky Athletic Directors Hall of Fame and the Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame.

Highlands grad has winning record as minor league starting pitcher

Drew Rom

Highlands graduate Drew Rom has a 3-1 record and 3.77 ERA in 11 games as a starting pitcher for the Bowie BaySox, a Class AA minor league affiliate with the Baltimore Orioles organization.

The 22-year-old left-hander was the winning pitcher in his team’s 4-0 over the Erie Seawolves last Friday. In five innings on the mound, he allowed only two singles with seven strikeouts and two walks. He threw 90 pitchers and 60 were strikes.

Rom signed with the Orioles in 2018 after his senior season at Highlands. In four minor league seasons, he has a 20-7 record and 3.03 ERA. He was called up to Class AA in July of last year.

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