Ed Marsman stepped down as coach after the Thomas Worthington High School girls basketball team finished 7-14 last season, but the new coach certainly is no strange face to those within the program.

Ed Marsman stepped down as coach after the Thomas Worthington High School girls basketball team finished 7-14 last season, but the new coach certainly is no strange face to those within the program.

Marsman, who was the coach for two seasons, was replaced by Laurie Barr, an assistant during those two years. Under Barr, the junior varsity went 12-6 two seasons ago and 15-5 last year.

"I've coached all of the players on the squad," said Barr, whose team opens at Teays Valley on Saturday and plays host to Westerville South on Tuesday. "They know our philosophies and what we expect. We were able to instill some of the basics over the last two years with these players."

The Cardinals, who lost to Reynoldsburg 61-42 in the first round of the Division I district tournament last season, return five letterwinners who helped lead the program to its best season since it went 13-9 in 2003-04.

"Those who return gained valuable experience last year, and they developed the desire to work hard," Barr said. "We plan to use our experience from last year to help us this year."

The Cardinals lost three graduates, and senior Paige Stewart, a guard who averaged a team-best 11.0 points and 3.0 assists a game last year and was honorable mention all-district, didn't return.

The roster includes five juniors, three seniors and three sophomores. The seniors are guards Katie Riemenschneider (5-foot-9), Emily Meyer (5-5) and Jamie Meegan (5-6).

Juniors Erika Rousculp (6-1), Sarah Granger (6-0) and Kim Lykens are forwards and juniors Brooklyn Martinez (5-7) and Kelsey McAlpine (5-7) are guards. Rousculp averaged 7.0 rebounds, 3.0 blocks and 7.5 points per game last year and McAlpine averaged 6.0 points.

The sophomores are guards Natalie Carroll (5-5), Hayley Cross (5-6) and Kendall Gordon (5-7).

"We don't have a set lineup. We have 11 players all fighting to start and play," Barr said. "We're looking for everyone to contribute to the team.

"In order to achieve our goals, we need to continuously play as a team. We need to be intense and focused at practice and for all four quarters of the game."

Last year, Thomas beat Central Crossing 60-52 and 59-37 and Delaware 47-42 to tie Marysville for fourth at 3-7 in the OCC-Central behind champion Pickerington North (10-0), a regional finalist.

Now, Thomas is in the OCC-Central with regional finalist Dublin Coffman (25-1 last year), district finalists Hilliard Davidson (19-4) and Upper Arlington (10-13 overall) and Kilbourne (9-13), Hilliard Darby (13-9), Central Crossing (8-13) and Westland (6-15).

"Our league will be competitive, but we think we can improve from last year," Barr said. "We will look to take care of the details we need to address and our team will do OK. We need to put forth the necessary intensity every day and stay focused in order to achieve what we want to accomplish."

At a glance

•Coach: Laurie Barr, first season

•Opener: Saturday at Teays Valley

•Key players: Sarah Granger, Brooklyn Martinez, Kelsey McAlpine, Katie Riemenschneider and Erika Rousculp