For the first time in six years, the Newark Catholic High School girls basketball team won't have a player named Clapper dominating on the baseline.

For the first time in six years, the Newark Catholic High School girls basketball team won't have a player named Clapper dominating on the baseline.

Amy Clapper, a three-year starter and four-year varsity player, graduated after the Green Wave finished 19-6 overall last season after a 53-45 loss to Casstown Miami East in a Division III regional semifinal. The school's career rebounding leader (899), she averaged 17.1 points and 11.4 rebounds a year ago, earning ThisWeek and district Player of the Year honors and making first-team all-state.

She's now playing at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Clapper's older sister, Sarah, a 6-1 guard disguised as a prep post who won multiple ThisWeek and district Player of the Year awards in both volleyball and basketball, graduated after the 2005-06 season. Formerly the school's career rebounding leader (784), she's still playing basketball at Bowling Green.

Jordan Stacey, a 6-0 guard,also graduated last year after making third-team all-district, averaging 13.2 points and setting the program's single-game rebounding record (21).

Given all that, the Green Wave most certainly will sport a new look when it opens Saturday at home against DeSales.

"We're a team full of guards and a little smaller so we'll be more perimeter-oriented," said coach Matt Schmelzer, who has a 124-25 record entering his seventh year, a career that began with a Division IV district title in his first season and Sarah Clapper's freshman year in 2002-03. "Our plan is to keep carrying on, though."

The Green Wave, which went 10-4 to place third in the MSL-Ohio Division behind Bexley (12-2) and Licking Valley (11-3) last year, will do that behind senior guards Heather Blair, Cassie Moerman and Laura Gilmore, who will run the point. Junior guard Courtney Lewis also saw considerable playing time a year ago.

Inside, look for 5-8 junior Averi Mason and 5-8 senior Katie McGrath in addition to junior post player Morgan Stacey. Also playing are juniors Heidi Martini, Katie Allen, Gillian Roth and Kendra Blair, a 5-8 guard. The Green Wave likely will have to rebound by committee, and it might take a similar approach while trying to replace Amy Clapper and Jordan Stacey's offensive production.

"I think we have some scorers and our (junior varsity) scored well last year," Schmelzer said. "I think we're going to surprise some people."

The Green Wave won Licking County's only district title a year ago, with Fredericktown also advancing to a regional. The Division I district champions were Pickerington North, Pickerington Central and Dublin Coffman. Mifflin and Eastmoor captured the Division II district titles and Fisher Catholic and Africentric Early College prevailed in Division IV.

Mifflin advanced to a state semifinal and Africentric advanced to the state final before falling to Versailles. The other state champions were Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame (Division I), Kettering Alter (Division II) and Berlin Hiland (Division III).