Second-year Columbus School for Girls basketball coach Shannon Wallace entered his first season with the Unicorns with modest goals.

Second-year Columbus School for Girls basketball coach Shannon Wallace entered his first season with the Unicorns with modest goals.

Knowing that the program had not had much success in recent years, he simply wanted to improve upon a 4-17 overall record and win one CCL game. But the main thing Wallace wanted was for the team to be competitive.

CSG nearly doubled the quantifiable goals, finishing 7-12 overall and tying for fifth (2-8) with Hartley in the CCL behind Watterson (10-0), DeSales (7-3), Ready (5-5) and Worthington Christian (4-6). The Unicorns lost 54-40 to eventual district champion Newark Catholic in the second round of the Division III district tournament.

"Our expectations are similar to last year," Wallace said. "I hope to win more than two games in the league and be competitive. We got a lot of respect last year from our counterparts in the league. We had Watterson on the ropes and we should've beaten Ready and Worthington Christian twice. Unfortunately we weren't able to do that, but the girls had never really been in position to win games like that. This year I'm starting to notice a bit of swagger in them."

Seniors Clare Connor (guard), Maggie Zelasko (guard) and Karmell Brown (forward/post player) will be the leaders.

The roster will be rounded out by junior Lola Byers, sophomores Imani Caldwell, Taylor LaFollette, Enri Small, Ellen Haenszel and Sammie Ramey and freshmen Erica Grey, Alex Elliott, Jacqueline Carroll, JaMilla Holland and Rosie Conner.

"With three seniors, it's not like I have to demonstrate every drill," Wallace said. "I blow the whistle and they know what to do. They have me pegged as far as my practice routine goes."

CSG will rely mostly on the play of the guards as the forwards and post players continue to develop. With Zelasko, Connor and Caldwell, Wallace has three guards who can shoot and are quick on defense.

"I'm hoping by midseason we'll have established the inside game," Wallace said. "My biggest concern is that we have streak shooters. If they're on, that's great. But if not, then we're in trouble."

"I think a lot of it comes down to doing the little things," Connor said. "We need to do things like make the extra pass and rely on our fundamentals. Once we get that down we'll be OK."

Watterson is again expected to be the top team in the CCL.

"I want us to beat every CCL team at least once," Brown said.

"If the ball rolled our way a few more times last year I think we could've finished second in the league," Wallace said. "I think we'll be up there with the big dogs of the CCL, but we're still puppies. I also think we'll do well in the tournament and I don't know if CSG has ever won a (a tournament game)."

At a glance

•Coach: Shannon Wallace, second season

•Opener: Saturday at Rosecrans

•Key players: Karmell Brown, Clare Connor and Maggie Zelasko