The Dublin Scioto High School girls basketball team will have a new look this season.

The Dublin Scioto High School girls basketball team will have a new look this season.

Jen Clark was hired in June to replace Matt Fisher as coach and the Irish lost five players to graduation after finishing 17-8 overall last season.

Clark, 39, was the coach at Olentangy Liberty from 2006-10 and an assistant at Reynoldsburg the past three seasons. She had a 32-51 overall record at Liberty.

"This is like a fresh start," she said. "We have kids that have a little bit of experience and we can mold them to the way we want to run things. It's a challenge, but I like a challenge."

The Irish opened Nov. 26 against Watterson and play host to new OCC-Cardinal Division member Canal Winchester on Friday, Nov. 29, in their league opener.

Clark, who is a physical education and health teacher at Olentangy Liberty Middle School, already has gained the admiration of her players.

"I absolutely love coach Clark," said 5-foot-3 senior point guard Abbie Moore, who is one of two returning players.

"She's the best. She's definitely understanding. She took on a big role this year, a completely new school district from Reynoldsburg, and now she's here as head coach and she is doing an amazing job and getting our team chemistry together."

The other returning player is 5-6 senior guard/forward Rachel Willis.

Senior guard/forward Brianna Bell (5-9) is a transfer from Worthington Kilbourne, where she averaged 6.4 points last season as a starter.

"She's going to be a contributor right away," Clark said of Bell. "She's athletic. She's tall and long, so she can play a guard spot or I can throw her down to another position, so she's pretty versatile and she gets along great with the kids. She jumped in and she didn't really miss a beat. She's a great leader. All of our seniors are great leaders this year."

Bell, Moore and Willis are captains.

Other players are junior guards Cadee Gooden (5-6), Raman Hothi (5-6) and Joyce Lee (5-3), sophomore guard Emily Secoy (5-4) and freshmen guards Alexis Kennedy (5-8) and McKenzie Lomax (5-9).

Clark wants to use a fast-paced offensive style. She also plans to emphasize improvement with conditioning.

"I want to help them become great young ladies when they leave here," she said. "We want to build a basketball program, but at the same time, we're trying to teach them how to be productive in society and be responsible, committed, dedicated young women that they can use those skills later on in life."

The biggest loss to graduation was Anna Buhigas, who averaged 15.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and five assists during the regular season last year and was third-team all-district and first-team all-league.

The Irish went 9-5 in the OCC-Cardinal a year ago to tie Dublin Jerome for second behind Westerville North (14-0). They reached a Division I district semifinal, losing to Gahanna 49-38.

"We definitely need to continue that," Moore said of last season's success. "We have a bunch of new people. We only have three seniors this year, so it might be a little difficult, but we're definitely getting our team chemistry (together). We're doing a lot of team bonding."