Jodi Korbas faced challenges entering her second season as coach of the Hilliard Darby High School girls basketball team.

Jodi Korbas faced challenges entering her second season as coach of the Hilliard Darby High School girls basketball team.

Not only are the Panthers relatively inexperienced and small in stature, but they are battling injuries.

"We have a ton of injuries, so much that we never have worked out with a full squad," said Korbas, whose team opened Nov. 26 with an OCC-Cardinal Division game against Bradley. "It seems that whenever someone comes back, someone else comes up with an injury.

"Also, we have one post player and the rest are guards. We have good team quickness, but we are still jelling."

Darby, which finished 6-17 overall last season after losing to Olentangy 67-19 in the opening round of the Division I tournament and placed seventh (4-10) in the OCC-Cardinal behind champion Westerville North (14-0), returns two seniors in 5-foot-10 guard Erika Boyd and 5-9 point guard Caitlin Snyder.

Last season, Snyder averaged 4.3 points and five rebounds and was named honorable mention all-league and Boyd averaged 2.1 points.

Another returnee, 5-6 sophomore guard Sam Sech is expected to be sidelined until January with a knee injury, according to Korbas. Sech averaged 2.4 points and 2.7 rebounds last season.

"We had a strong senior class last year, so Erika and Caitlin had huge shoes to fill," Korbas said. "But they have been doing a great job leading a group (of players) who are young in terms of varsity experience."

"(Caitlin and I) definitely have to be leaders because we have so few letterwinners back," Boyd said. "We have a very close-knit group and we work well together. We know each other's strengths, and that helps a lot."

The Panthers' only post player is 5-9 junior Grace Hambrock. Also back are 5-5 junior guard Nycole Carter, who averaged 1.3 points and 1.3 rebounds last season, and 5-6 junior guard Bekah Sislowski.

Rounding out the roster are junior guards Rachael Ingle (5-3), Caitlin McCarthy (5-2) and Hannah Yokum (5-6), sophomore guard Monica Carsey (5-8) and freshman guards Jessica Cox (5-3) and Gabby Iosue (5-6).

"I think the kids are learning to understand the expectations that we have for them," Korbas said. "Our defense needs to lead into our offensive opportunities. We have to get better at that. ... We still have a lot of kids who are getting their feet wet. It's a big jump to go from (junior varsity) or the eighth grade to varsity."