Anthony Mangette said he's beginning his first season as coach of the Central Crossing High School boys basketball team with a clean slate.

Anthony Mangette said he's beginning his first season as coach of the Central Crossing High School boys basketball team with a clean slate.

The Comets finished 0-21 overall last season after losing to top-seeded Northland 87-31 in the first round of the Division I district tournament. They also were eighth (0-14) in the OCC-Central Division.

Mike Cavey, who coached the team for three years, resigned March 13 and Mangette was hired in May.

"We're not looking backwards, we're looking forward," Mangette said. "We looked at this as a situation where we're going to improve the whole program -- freshmen through varsity. We're trying to get the enthusiasm in the program. The effort and energy levels have to increase, and once we do those three things, the program is going to get stronger and we'll start to see success."

Mangette was the junior varsity boys coach at Central Crossing from 2002-09.

The Comets opened Nov. 30 by defeating Hilliard Bradley 45-44 as sophomore Matt Dwane scored 17 points. They begin league play Friday, Dec. 7, at home against Olentangy Liberty.

Central Crossing returns five players from last season led by 6-foot junior guard Marc Russell, who averaged 8.0 points and was honorable mention all-league.

"It's going pretty good," Russell said. "It's definitely different, but I think the team will be good and we're headed in the right direction. We're definitely more up-tempo. We're running a lot of full-court stuff defensively. (Mangette) likes to push the ball up, so we're definitely running a lot. Overall, the attitude is better and we should be all right."

Also back are senior twins Cody Hall (6-4, post player) and Kyle Hall (6-4, post player), junior Mario Melucci (6-2, guard) and Dwane (6-5, post player).

Other players are juniors Brock Casey (5-10, guard), Dwight Diggs (6-2, post player), Tony Hood (6-3, post player), Liban Mohamed (6-0, guard) and Louis Quinn (5-10, guard) and sophomore Andrew Russell (6-3, guard).

Marc and Andrew Russell are brothers.

"We really haven't talked about last year a lot," Marc Russell said. "We've talked about goals and improving on stuff from last year. As far as talking about the wins and losses and stuff that we did last year, that hasn't really come up a whole lot."

Central Crossing lost six players from a year ago to graduation, including Monte McBride, who scored 10 points in the tournament loss to Northland.

Last season in the league, the Comets finished behind Upper Arlington (12-2), Dublin Coffman (9-5), Thomas Worthington (9-5), Westland (8-6), Worthington Kilbourne (8-6), Hilliard Davidson (7-7) and Hilliard Darby (3-11).

Darby and Kilbourne have moved to the OCC-Cardinal and were replaced by Liberty and Marysville.

Liberty (12-2) won the OCC-Cardinal last season.

"It's going to be a really tough assignment every night we're playing in the OCC," Mangette said.