With the return of seven players from last season, Marysville High School boys basketball coach Ryan Grose wasn't overly concerned that his team lost its first two games.
The Monarchs lost at Delaware 78-63 on Nov. 30 and at home against Hilliard Darby 78-64 on Dec. 4.
"With seven of our 10 kids returning from the varsity team, obviously our expectations are higher," said Grose, who is in his third season. "Our kids have worked extremely hard in the offseason and we're expecting to see some more results during the regular season. We'll get there. Right now, (the team must) continue to iron out some of those things at the pace we're going to play."
Against Darby, the Monarchs trailed 18-13 after one quarter and 45-34 at halftime before the Panthers took control in the second half, leading by as many as 21 points.
Senior Kody Davisson (6-foot, guard) led Marysville with 18 points and junior Logan Roston (6-3, guard) had 13 points.
"We just have to pick it up defensively," Davisson said. "We just have to sit down and guard someone right now. We have more guys interested in scoring and offensive games rather than defense. If we start playing better defense the offense will come and we'll start getting some wins."
Against Delaware, senior Steven Romesburg (6-3, forward) scored 16 points and junior Billy Kidd (5-10, guard) scored 13.
Last season, Romesburg was special mention all-league and honorable mention all-district after averaging a team-best 12 points.
"Everything right now is correctable," Grose said. "There isn't anything that we can't fix and that we won't fix. I have full confidence in our kids. They've worked too hard not to, so we can't get discouraged that things haven't gone our way in two games."
Also back are seniors Kyle Hites (6-0, guard) and Kyle Poling (6-4, post player) and junior Corey Gould (5-10, guard).
Other players are juniors Alec Draughon (6-3, forward), Ryan Evans (6-4, center) and Kyle Moulton (6-3, forward).
"We have to recognize how to play fast and still be under control, and that's possible," Grose said. "I know it sounds weird, but we can play fast and still be under control and still make sure that we're getting good shots. Right now, we're still trying to figure that out."
The Monarchs opened OCC-Central Division play Dec. 7 against Westland.
Last season, Marysville finished 5-16 overall, losing to Newark 72-45 in the first round of the Division I district tournament.
The Monarchs lost Connor Devine, Zach LaRoche and Craig Runyan to graduation.
Runyan averaged 10.9 points and a team-high 4.9 rebounds last season and was honorable mention all-district. LaRoche, who averaged 6.2 points and 4.8 rebounds, was honorable mention all-league.
Davisson averaged 8.0 points a year ago.
Last season in the OCC-Cardinal, the Monarchs finished eighth (1-13) behind Olentangy Liberty (12-2), Westerville North (11-3), Westerville South (11-3), Westerville Central (7-7), Dublin Scioto (6-8), Olentangy (6-8) and Dublin Jerome (2-12).
Marysville's league win came against Jerome, 61-55 in overtime.
The Monarchs and Liberty have moved to the OCC-Central, joining Central Crossing, Dublin Coffman, Hilliard Davidson, Thomas Worthington, Upper Arlington and Westland.