Dublin Villager

Girls Basketball

Scioto alters style on defense


Led by three returning starters, the Dublin Scioto High School girls basketball team is looking to improve on last season, when it finished 13-8 overall and placed second in the OCC-Cardinal Division.

Third-year coach Matt Fisher, whose team opened against Watterson on Nov. 27, expects to have a solid rotation with as many as nine players contributing to what he anticipates will be a more extensive full-court defense.

"Our scrimmages and practices have been fantastic," Fisher said. "We're doing a lot more full-court pressure than we've ever done, and that's quite a different defensive style for us. With who we have back, we can (substitute) and rotate a lot more."

Among the returning starters is 5-foot-10 senior point guard Anna Buhigas, who averaged a team-best 16.2 points, 4.2 assists and three steals last season and was named OCC-Cardinal Player of the Year and second-team all-district.

Buhigas became the go-to scorer midway through last season when 2012 graduate Emily Jones, a post player, sustained a season-ending knee injury. Jones, the only senior on Scioto's roster last season, averaged 10.1 points and was special mention all-league and honorable mention all-district.

The other returning starters are 5-11 senior forward Katie Collins and 5-9 senior guard Casey Suich. Collins was honorable mention all-league last season.

Fisher expected to have four starters back this season, but Jones' sister, Elise, will miss the season with a knee injury. A senior wing player, Elise Jones averaged 12.2 points and a team-high 8.6 rebounds last season and was named second-team all-league.

Other returnees are seniors Bri Prichett (5-9, forward) and Kathleen Thorndal (6-0, post player).

"The five seniors have been playing together since fourth grade," Buhigas said. "We know how we play and we have good team chemistry. I definitely feel like we have a lot more varsity experience, but we also have some juniors who are going to help us."

Those juniors include guard Abbie Moore (5-6), forward Alex Mielke (5-11) and guard Rachel Willis (5-6). Fisher also looks for 5-6 freshman guard Camille McLellan to be a regular contributor. The Irish are looking to have a more-balanced attack this season.

"We've really been working on a dribble-drive offense this year," Buhigas said. "We're trying to have more patience in attacking the basket. With injuries last year, I was left to be the scorer. This year, I think people know that, but we have others who can score."

Scioto went 11-3 in the OCC-Cardinal last season to finish behind Olentangy (13-1) and ahead of Westerville North (9-5), Dublin Jerome (8-6), Westerville South (8-6), Olentangy Liberty (5-9), Marysville (2-12) and Westerville Central (0-14).

As part of OCC realignment, Liberty, Marysville and Olentangy left the OCC-Cardinal and were replaced by Hilliard Bradley, Hilliard Darby and Worthington Kilbourne.

The Irish begin league play Friday, Nov. 30, at Kilbourne.

"The obvious frontrunner looks like Westerville North, but I think it's going to come down to the last couple of weeks," Fisher said of the league. "It looks like a very competitive division. Really, I don't have a clue who it's going to be."

Scioto lost to Darby 43-29 in the first round of the Division I district tournament last season.