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Good basketball teams have a solid starting five. Great squads have even better supporting players.
West Liberty University's men's basketball program has it all and former local standout Brady Arnold has had a lot to do with its success.
A 2014 West Holmes graduate, Arnold is one of top reserves for the nationally ranked Hilltoppers, who enter the week ranked fifth overall in Division II, according to the National Association of Basketball Coaches poll.
The 5-foot-8, 160-pound Arnold an All-Ohio selection and first 2,000-point scorer in school history as a prep -- has had a big impact as he is averaging 9.9 points per game and is shooting at a 45-percent clip from the floor.
Arnold also pulls down around 3.2 rebounds a night in around 20 minutes of play.
West Liberty is off to a 9-1 start and has had quite a stretch in the past decade as it has won seven straight Mountain East Conference titles, advanced to the Elite Eight in five of the last six seasons and lost a 103-102 heartbreaker in the Final Four a year ago to Lincoln Memorial (Tenn.).
Ashland recently took the top position in the D-II National Rankings and junior Laina Snyder (West Holmes) has a lot to do with it. The forward led all scorers in the Eagles recent win over Ferris State -- their 12th straight to open the season -- pouring in 22 points, along with six rebounds, four assists, two steals and an eye-popping five blocks. It not only was Snyder's second straight 20-plus-point outing, it also put her career total at 1,193 -- 13 markers shy of 13th on the school's all-time scoring list. In two games this past week, Snyder had 42 rebounds in 46 minutes of play.
** Sophomore Rachel Horn (Hiland) had seven of Capital's nine points in the opening quarter against Otterbein, but couldn't hold on in a 59-50 loss. Horn finished 10 points in 22 minutes of play.
** Cedarville's Regina Hochstetler (Hiland) recorded 12 points and six assists as the Yellow Jackets held off Mount Vernon Nazarene, 76-65. Earlier in the week, the junior guard had 15 at Urbana.
** Megan Beachy (West Holmes) had 10 for Urbana in a loss to Cedarville.