Lakewood High School girls basketball first-year coach Chris Davis teaches math at the middle school, so it should come as no surprise he'll be paying close attention to the numbers the Lancers will begin compiling with Saturday's opener at home against New Lexington.

Lakewood High School girls basketball first-yearcoach Chris Davis teaches math at the middle school, so it should come as no surprise he'll be paying close attention to the numbers the Lancers will begin compiling with Saturday's opener at home against New Lexington.

"I'm a stat guy, sure, but I try not to dwell too much because sometimes you can get lost in them," he said. "I am very analytical. I think everything's easier when you break things down."

Some of the coldest, hardest numbers Davis dealt with in preseason is trying to replace graduates Lindsay Barrett and Chelsea Archer, a pair of guards who anchored the team's offensive output the past few years.

Barrett, a four-year starter in three sports, was second-team all-district in Division III a year ago as the Lancers finished 10-11 overall after a 42-37 loss to top-seeded andMBC-champion Fredericktown in the second round of the district tournament. Now attending Wright State on a softball scholarship, she averaged 14.6 points. Archer made honorable mention all-district.

"We graduated about 80 percent of our offense. It was something in that ballpark," said Davis, whose Lancers went 7-7 to place fifth in the MSL-Ohio Division won by Bexley (12-2), which they nearly upset in the second round before falling 45-43 as they won six of their final seven regular-season games. "I had (Barrett) at the middle school. It's kind of odd not having her in the gym."

Davis ' first team likely will live more in the paint. Senior forwards Gabbie Cerovski and Brooke Gault and junior post player Liz Barnhart return, as does senior point guard Lindsay Monscko. Sophomore Courtney Kidwell also plays on the baseline, and sophomore point guard Danie Chirdon showspromise.

"We're experienced in the post and at point guard. We're actually the exact opposite from the last couple of years when we were so guard heavy," said Davis, who was junior-varsity coach last season and a varsity assistant the year before that, also spending three years coaching at the middle school. "We're athletic but we'll still be selective when it comes to running. We'll focus on defense, rebounding and our post play."

With 15 freshmen out, the Lancers will put three teams on the floor this winter for the first time in nearly a decade. Davis likes the talent in the sophomore class, too, and wing Morgan Baker should be in a consistent rotation of at least nine players. Junior Caitlin Houk is another guard.

Davis, one of four new coaches in the county, is replacing Bob Gilbert, who posted a 43-66 record in five seasons. Last year's team was his only one not to win a postseason game, and the Lancers were coming off a winless season when Gilbert took over in 2003-04.

"He got the program back up and running," Davis said.