Joel Taylor has been pleased with his transition as Grove City High School girls basketball coach, and it's been more than 30 years since someone could say that.
After coaching at the middle school level the past five years, Taylor has taken over for Dale Corbett, who stepped down following his 31st season leading the Greyhounds.
Taylor also previously was a junior varsity coach for two seasons and a boys assistant coach for five years.
"We're getting better," Taylor said. "Our girls are improving steadily. The girls have had to learn a new system, so we're trying to get in the basics of that system. There's a lot of learning and a lot of teaching. The girls are working really hard and they have a great attitude."
The new era for the Greyhounds tipped off Nov. 27 against Dublin Scioto. They begin OCC-Ohio Division play Tuesday, Dec. 4, against visiting Pickerington North.
Last season, the Greyhounds went 7-16 overall and 1-9 in the league to finish sixth behind co-champions Pickerington Central and Reynoldsburg (both 9-1). Central went on to win the Division I state championship.
"We don't have too many patsies on our schedule," Taylor said. "Obviously, our league is extremely tough and we have some non- league opponent games that are very difficult. Every game for us is going to be a game where we're going to have to take care of the ball, play great defense, play intelligent and get good shots every time down the floor."
Grove City returns three players, including seniors Alyssa Fuchs (5-foot-8, guard/forward) and Lauren Walls (5-5, guard).
"Our motto is to play hard, play smart and play together and we're just going to (follow) that every game," Fuchs said. "All we can do is work on ourselves."
Also back is junior Madison Grube, a 6-0 forward/post player.
Other players are senior Grace Fisher (5-7, forward/post player), juniors Alexandria Jones (5-7, guard/forward) and Jada VanHouten (5-4, guard), sophomores Rebecca Conrad (6-0, post player) and Riley Waugh (5-10, forward/post player) and freshmen Ellie Pollock-Ballard (5-3, guard) and Alissa Schiff (5-7, guard/forward).
"You earn your chance and work hard each practice," Fisher said. "You might not play every game, but whoever is working the hardest in practice is going to be the one who plays on the court on Tuesdays and Fridays."
Junior Molly Michalak, who averaged 11.7 points last winter and was second-team all-league, opted not to play this season. In volleyball this fall, she was league Player of the Year and first-team all-district.
"We have 18 girls who are playing extremely hard," Taylor said. "My big thing is we want to be positive in everything that we do. We try to stay as positive as we can, learn from those little bumps in the road and try to get better."
A native of New Mexico, Taylor has been a science teacher at Grove City for 18 years. His wife, Jane, is the school's track and field coach.
Nov. 27 -- at Dublin Scioto
*Dec. 4 -- vs. Pickerington North
*Dec. 7 -- vs. Lancaster
Dec. 8 -- at Marysville
Dec. 11 -- vs. Groveport
*Dec. 14 -- at Reynoldsburg
Dec. 15 -- vs. Olentangy Orange
Dec. 18 -- vs. Franklin Heights
*Dec. 21 -- at Gahanna
Dec. 29 -- at Teays Valley in Jeff Sheets Holiday Classic
*Jan. 4 -- vs. Pickerington Central
Jan. 8 -- at Newark
*Jan. 11 -- at Pickerington North
Jan. 15 -- vs. Delaware
*Jan. 18 -- at Lancaster
Jan. 19 -- vs. DeSales
Jan. 22 -- vs. Central Crossing
*Jan. 25 -- vs. Reynoldsburg
*Feb. 1 -- vs. Gahanna
Feb. 2 -- at Washington Court House
Feb. 5 -- at Westland
*Feb. 8 -- at Pickerington Central
Below are the coming schedules for the Grove City boys basketball, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
Nov. 30 -- Home vs. Mifflin in Grove City Tip-Off Classic
Dec. 1 -- Home vs. Bexley or Westerville Central in Grove City Tip-Off Classic
Dec 5 -- At Briggs
SWIMMING & DIVING
Nov. 30 -- Gahanna at Gahanna YMCA
Dec. 4 -- Grove City Christian, Lancaster and Ready at Grove City YMCA
Dec. 1 -- Tony Pizzurro Memorial Tournament at DeSales