A solid nucleus of three starters returns for the Dublin Jerome High School boys basketball team, but the rest of the roster is filled with inexperienced players who are newcomers to the varsity level.

A solid nucleus of three starters returns for the Dublin Jerome High School boys basketball team, but the rest of the roster is filled with inexperienced players who are newcomers to the varsity level.

Seniors Nick Neale (6-foot-4, wing player) and Cam Wilson (6-1, guard) have been starters the past three seasons and Cam's brother, junior Donovan Wilson (6-1, guard), was a starter last season, when the Celtics finished 7-14 overall.

"I really like our team and we have pretty good chemistry," said second-year coach Dave Hale, whose team opens Friday, Dec. 2, at Teays Valley before starting OCC-Cardinal Division play Tuesday, Dec. 6, at home against Westerville North. "The kids work well together and help each other out. They communicate well and they are picking each other up on the court."

Cam Wilson led Jerome last season in scoring (11.1 points per game), rebounding (4.1), assists (3.8) and steals (1.4). Neale was next, averaging 10.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.1 steals, and Donovan Wilson averaged 3.7 points and was a standout defender.

"I think this season is different because me and Cam have played together all four years and we feel really comfortable with each other on the court," Neale said. "The chemistry is as good as it has ever been, and I expect we will be better than we have been the past couple of seasons."

Jerome went 4-10 in the OCC-Cardinal last season to tie Dublin Scioto for fifth, behind Westerville South (13-1), North (10-4), Olentangy Liberty (10-4) and Westerville Central (10-4) and ahead of Olentangy (3-11) and Marysville (2-12).

The Celtics lost to Delaware 58-48 in the first round of the Division I district tournament.

"We have a coach who we are familiar with after having him last season, so that helps," Neale said. "I think we are a lot further than we were at this point last year. We have a lot of skilled players and some good shooters. I'm really excited about the season."

The Celtics lost a pair of post players from a year ago to other sports. Senior James Warvel (6-6) is playing club volleyball to prepare for the spring and junior Luke Potter (6-4) is playing hockey.

Their presence in the paint will be replaced by senior Kyle Sankovich (6-3) as well as juniors Kyle Christman (6-5) and Austin Sherman (6-5).

The remainder of the roster is comprised of guards in senior Grant Fickel (5-11), juniors Danny Callahan (6-0), Matt Holden (5-9) and John Laufersweiler (5-10) and sophomores Nick Axelrod (5-5) and Connor Kerns (6-1).

"Our lack of height is a going be a problem, but we can compensate for that by playing solid defense and helping each other out when possible," Hale said. "We have a lot of guys who are stepping up for us into varsity. John Laufersweiler was the (junior varsity) point guard and a lot of our players played j.v. last year. This is the first varsity basketball for a lot of them, but they have been doing well in practice and in our scrimmages."

•The girls team opens the season at home with an OCC-Cardinal game against Westerville Central on Friday, Dec. 2.

The Celtics also will play at Westerville North on Friday, Dec. 6.