GREENVILLE – Northridge alum Michael Paige takes over the Mississinawa Valley Lady Blackhawks basketball program for the 2018-2019 season.
“This year we have three seniors and we have two juniors,” said Paige. “We do have some talent coming back, we have some experience coming back but it is a very young team. Our upper classmen haven’t had a lot of experience playing yet so just trying to get them worked into the new system that we’re putting in. It takes a little bit of time but once they understand it, I think we’re going to be very good.”
Coach Paige, a former semi-pro football player takes over a program that is coming off a 0-23 basketball season.
“We definitely have some work to do,” noted Paige. “I took over this team that didn’t win a game last year so we definitely have some work to do trying to change the culture and the mentality here at Mississinawa. We do have talent and we will be able to compete this year, but it is a work in progress.’
Coach Paige brings 16 years of coaching experience to MV having coached boys basketball including stops at Beavercreek, 12 years at Vandalia as well as freshman boys coach as Bethel.
“I have been all over the GWOC (Greater Western Ohio Conference) mainly,” Paige said, “but I’m getting used to the CCC (Cross County Conference).”
Paige comes to Mississinawa from National Trail where he had his first experience coaching girls basketball last season for the Lady Blazers.
The Lady Hawks have had scrimmages against large schools, Northmont and Middletown before traveling to Greenville for a Saturday scrimmage with the Lady Wave and Greenon.
“We are playing larger schools,” Paige said of early season scrimmages. “We are trying to play bigger schools so when we play the CCC we’ll be ready for some the teams we are going to go against that’s more our size. Hopefully that will work. I think we will be good when we play teams more on our level.”
Coach Paige is pleased with the progress shown at the Saturday morning scrimmage.
“Once the nerves kind of calmed down we played better defensively,” noted Paige. “Offensively we still need to work on finishing. We’re competing, we’re running our offense but it’s still a work in progress – still getting used to it. I think they’re playing well but it’s just about getting better every day.”
PHOTO CAPTION: First year Mississinawa Valley Lady Blackhawks hear varsity basketball coach Michael Paige. (Gaylen Blosser photo)