The Canal Winchester High School girls basketball team's shift in philosophy might not impact any player more than Kynadee Anthony.

The Canal Winchester High School girls basketball team's shift in philosophy might not impact any player more than Kynadee Anthony.

The 6-foot-2 sophomore was free to play small forward and even roam out to shooting guard as a freshman, when the Indians had two experienced inside players in Autumn Allen and Noelle Saeger. But Allen and Saeger both have graduated, and that loss of size pushed third-year coach Willie Jordan to focus the offense around his guards.

That means more responsibilities around the basket for Anthony, who wants to help the Indians drastically improve on last year when they finished 2-21 overall and went 1-13 in the OCC-Cardinal Division to place eighth behind champion Hilliard Bradley (13-1).

Canal Winchester, which averaged only 33 points per game last season, opened Nov. 29 at Watkins Memorial.

"This year, I have to be more of a post player because I am tallest on the team," said Anthony, who averaged 7.5 points, six rebounds and two blocks last year. "We will be faster. We should get more fast-break opportunities and we'll get out and run. We'll still post up, but we'll be more guard-oriented."

Seniors Kiana Brooks and Mya Canelo will lead the guards, along with juniors Braelyn Buchler and N'Daia Hamilton and sophomore Courtney Scott.

"Our talking and communicating could use some work, but I think we will be fine," Canelo said. "We are faster and we have more bodies."

All three of the Indians' seniors fought injuries during the preseason.

Brooks, a guard who missed most of her junior season because of a knee injury, was overcoming an ankle injury suffered during soccer. According to Jordan, shooting guard Natalie Browning is expected to miss the entire season because of prolonged health issues but still wants to be an everyday contributor to the program, and Canelo sprained her right ankle during practice Nov. 15 but hoped to return this week.

"Last year, we were big and a little slower. This year, we're a little smaller with some bigs, but our guards will lead us with that tempo," Jordan said. "Knowing what we were bringing back and what was coming up from the eighth-grade team, our goal was to change our philosophy from pounding the ball inside to changing the tempo and getting easy baskets and make other teams adjust to our pressure.

"I like what I have seen. We still have improvements to make. We need to communicate better on the defensive side of the ball, but I like our guards. I like our tempo. We need to knock down more open shots, and if we do that, we will be a team to reckon with this year."

Jordan called Hamilton, a transfer from Linden-McKinley, "a fast, defensive-minded athlete."

Scott moved in from Olentangy Orange, where she saw considerable playing time as a freshman.

Rounding out the roster are sophomores Arianna Coleman (guard) and Camryn Woodward (center/forward) and freshmen Shalea Byrd (forward), Amanda Rarick (guard) and Natalie Rarick (forward).

The Rarick twins are the younger sisters of 2016 graduate Marina Rarick, who averaged seven points, four rebounds and three assists last year and now plays at Malone University.

The Indians' home and OCC-Capital opener is Monday, Dec. 5, against Newark. The Wildcats, who were realigned into the OCC-Capital from the OCC-Ohio, were a Division I regional finalist last year.

"We are looking at Newark," Jordan said. "Newark will be a powerhouse and we are gauging how good we can be on how well we can compete against them."

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave

Schedules

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Nov. 29 -- at Watkins Memorial

Dec. 3 -- at Worthington Christian

*Dec. 5 -- vs. Newark

*Dec. 9 -- vs. Big Walnut

Dec. 14 -- at Logan

*Dec. 16 -- at Groveport

Dec. 20 -- vs. Central Crossing

Dec. 22 -- vs. Mifflin

Dec. 30 -- vs. Bloom-Carroll

Jan. 3 -- at Lancaster

Jan. 5 -- vs. Bexley

*Jan. 6 -- at Franklin Heights

Jan. 10 -- at Westland

*Jan. 13 -- vs. New Albany

*Jan. 20 -- at Newark

Jan. 21 -- Independence in Lady Nubian Classic at Africentric

Jan. 24 -- vs. Pickerington North

*Jan. 27 -- at Big Walnut

Jan. 31 -- at Hilliard Darby

*Feb. 3 -- vs. Groveport

*Feb. 7 -- vs. Franklin Heights

*Feb. 10 -- at New Albany

*League contest

Below are the coming schedules for the Canal Winchester boys basketball and swimming & diving teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL

Dec. 2 -- Home vs. Independence

Dec. 6 -- At Bexley

SWIMMING & DIVING

Dec. 6 -- Grove City and Wellington at Grove City YMCA

*League contest