When Kevin Arway took over as Whetstone High School boys basketball coach before the 2007-08 season, he installed a half-court offensive system intent on getting the ball into a developing inside presence.

When Kevin Arway took over as Whetstone High School boys basketball coach before the 2007-08 season, he installed a half-court offensive system intent on getting the ball into a developing inside presence.

Tanner Furno now is a junior for the Gannon University men's team, but the Braves mostly have stuck with the same slower-paced style since the 6-foot-8 post player led them to a 15-8 record as a senior in 2008-09 - until now.

With a group of athletic guards taking on key roles, Whetstone is hoping a faster attack will help it build on a 13-9 finish from a year ago. The Braves open Friday, Dec. 2, at Westland.

"We're changing up our system and planning on moving it at a lot faster pace this year," said Arway, who is 41-45 entering his fifth season leading the Braves. "The guys are working hard and we've had some great practices. I think they really enjoy that it's opened up. Everybody is going to be asked to attack, and defensively we're going to be in attack mode. We're having some fun with our conditioning, and there's been a lot of intensity and energy in our practices."

The biggest question heading into the season for Whetstone is: Who will do the scoring?

The leading returning scorers are senior guard Marvin Draper and 6-8 senior post player Gabe Reece, who averaged 3.3 and 3.1 points, respectively, a year ago.

Junior Josh Sanders (6-1) dressed varsity late last season and is taking over at point guard after having the same role on the Braves' junior varsity a year ago.

Junior Steven Foster scored only 11 points last year but has lettered the last two seasons and should be a key ball-handler.

Others looking to contribute are seniors Marquan Battle, Trey Brown and Tim Fluker (6-5) and sophomore Darius Bester (6-1).

Bester, according to Arway, is the team's fastest player.

"We've shown a lot of improvement over the past few months and in summer league," Reece said. "All of the guys are catching on pretty quick to the new system. With a new faster-paced game, it pretty much intensifies the defensive side of things. We were 13-9 last year and we're trying to do better than that this year."

Whetstone split its first four games last season before winning seven in a row. The Braves then lost three of their last five regular-season games before beating St. Charles 52-40 in the first round of the Division I district tournament and losing to Dublin Coffman 65-51 in the second round.

Whetstone went 6-8 in the City League-North Division to tie Mifflin for fifth, behind Northland (14-0), Centennial (11-3), Beechcroft (9-5) and Brookhaven (7-7) and ahead of Columbus East (2-12) and Linden-McKinley (1-13).

Cameron Vines, who averaged 22.6 points and made ThisWeek Super 12 honorable mention last season, is a freshman for Division II Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Fla. Others lost to graduation included Matt Wallace (9.5 ppg), Leo Cleary-Foeller (4.7 ppg), Jesse Volk (4.4 ppg) and Ross Homan (3.7 ppg).

"We had a good summer," Arway said. "We don't necessarily have the same firepower as a year ago, but they've bought into that we can play smart. We graduated almost 90 percent of our scoring, but we've gotten better from one scrimmage to the next. We can see the daily improvement.

"We had about a .500 year my first, then we had a 15-win season and then we only won four games in my third year. Last year we were decent, so hopefully we'll start to develop some consistency where we should be in the top four in the conference every year."