The Groveport Madison High School girls basketball team has addressed some of the issues it faced last season in hopes of seeing better results this year.
The Cruisers finished 4-19 overall last season, including 2-8 in the OCC-Capital Division.
"We didn't finish with many bodies last year, but we have a lot more depth, a lot more size and a lot more competition for spots and that gives us more options to get the girls in the right positions this season," second-year coach Eugene Love said. "That's not to say we don't have a lot to work on. We do.
"We still need to see these girls compete harder every day in practice and hope that carries over to games. I want to see all of them become more aggressive in their play and especially in their mentality. I want to see them play with some hunger and fire. That's what's missing at this point."
Senior Brooke Reese has returned to lead the way for Groveport, which opened Nov. 26 at Bloom-Carroll and will play host to Westerville Central on Friday, Nov. 30, before beginning league play Tuesday, Dec. 4, at home against Big Walnut.
Reese averaged 9.8 points last season as the point guard, but has moved to shooting guard this season.
"It should be a good year. I'm going to be more comfortable back in my old position," Reese said. "Once we start clicking, I think we're going to be much better this year."
Reese switched positions with the addition of sophomore point guard Casey Humphrey, a transfer from Westerville South. The Cruisers have another transfer in Sha'Ron Whatley, a 6-foot-1 sophomore post player who played at Columbus South last season.
"Those two are going to have an impact on this team because they give us flexibility and depth," Love said. "But it could take a bit of time to jell. I think Brooke still has some point guard mentality in her because she's trying to get her teammates involved, but she's got to be more aggressive and the others will follow her lead. ...
"We are executing pretty well in scrimmages, but we still have so much to work on. I think if they can turn up their intensity and competitiveness in practices and games, we can have a pretty good season."
Also back are seniors Reina Rhone (post player), Lanie White (guard), Aulana Wilburn (guard) and DeeDee Seck (post player).
Rounding out the roster are juniors Kiarra Chambers (guard) and Hailey Gidley (guard), sophomore Sey Ba (post player) and freshmen Emilee Dillon (post player) and Alauna Nguyen (point guard).
"We've got all the pieces to the puzzle, but it could take time for us to get it to fit right," Love said. "We've got to figure out rotations and what pieces fit best with the ones around them. Once we know the roles and rotations, we'll go from there and I think we will see a lot of improvement on last year and even from the beginning of this year to the end of the year."
Athletes announce college decisions
Three student-athletes recently announced their college decisions.
Leah Deaner will compete in women's bowling at Savannah College of Art and Design, Preston Nanthavong will compete in men's golf at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and Lanie White will play softball at Purdue-Fort Wayne.
Nov. 26 -- at Bloom-Carroll
Nov. 30 -- vs. Westerville Central
*Dec. 4 -- vs. Big Walnut
*Dec. 7 -- at Franklin Heights
Dec. 8 -- vs. Hilliard Darby
Dec. 11 -- at Grove City
*Dec. 14 -- vs. Canal Winchester
Dec. 15 -- vs. Watkins Memorial
Dec. 18 -- vs. Pickerington North
*Dec. 21 -- at New Albany
Dec. 28 -- at Centennial
*Jan. 4 -- vs. Newark
Jan. 8 -- at Central Crossing
*Jan. 11 -- at Big Walnut
Jan. 15 -- vs. Whitehall
*Jan. 18 -- vs. Franklin Heights
Jan. 22 -- at Pickerington North
*Jan. 25 -- at Canal Winchester
Jan. 29 -- vs. Horizon Science
*Feb. 1 -- vs. New Albany
Feb. 5 -- vs. Lancaster
*Feb. 8 -- at Newark
Below are the coming schedules for the Groveport Madison boys basketball, bowling, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
Nov. 29 -- Home vs. Westerville Central
*Dec. 4 -- Lancaster at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
*Dec. 5 -- Gahanna at Gahanna Lanes
SWIMMING & DIVING
Dec. 1 -- Athens Invitational
Dec. 4 -- At New Albany
Dec. 1 -- Granville Invitational