Even with four of its top six scorers back from a year ago, there is much that is new with the Whetstone High School girls basketball team.

Even with four of its top six scorers back from a year ago, there is much that is new with the Whetstone High School girls basketball team.

In addition to not having back 10 players who were with the program last season, Scott Radde has taken over as coach after Doug Kohler stepped down during the offseason.

Radde previously coached basketball, lacrosse and volleyball at Perry Middle School in the Worthington school district before coming on staff as a teacher at Whetstone this fall.

In addition, former Tree of Life and Linden-McKinley coach Bucky Walters is on staff as an assistant.

The Braves open against the host Warriors at the Westerville North Thanksgiving Hoops Tournament on Friday, with the winner to play Saturday against Columbus East or Columbus West. Whetstone then plays host to Village Academy on Tuesday and opens City League-North Division play Dec. 7 at Mifflin.

So far, Radde likes what he sees.

"I love my team and I love their attitude," said Radde, who played one season of college basketball at Heidelberg. "They're willing to work hard. We lost 10 girls who are not playing, and with the turnover of the coaching staff, we're building a foundation and trying to have a new commitment and a new attitude."

Senior Haley Buskirk is back to lead the way after averaging a team-best 8.8 points last season. Junior Symiah Campbell returns after averaging 5.6 points, and senior Brittney Wilson and juniors Brittany Bishop (2.7 ppg) and Chivia Jones (2.6 ppg) also are back.

Senior Nina Radic is a 5-foot-10 post player who is new to the sport. Others looking to contribute include senior Augusta Kargbo, junior Alexis Harrison and freshman Kalie Mascarello.

Kasey Althouse, who averaged 6.3 points, was the top player lost to graduation. Senior Katie Fuller is not back with the team after averaging 5.4 points last season.

Under Kohler, the Braves went 8-32 in two seasons including 2-18 last season. They lost to Dresden Tri-Valley 75-17 in the first round of the Division I tournament.

Whetstone's only wins came over Linden (48-46 and 70-62). The Braves finished seventh (2-12) in the City League-North Division behind Brookhaven and Northland (13-1), East (10-4), Beechcroft and Mifflin (7-7) and Centennial (4-10) and ahead of Linden (0-14).

"We're a very small team, so we're going to be more guard-oriented," Radde said. "I want them to be more confident in running an offense and shooting the basketball. We've got a new offense and new ideas and are just trying to change the culture."

•There are just three combined seniors among the boys and girls swimming and diving teams.

At the City League meet last February, the boys finished second (345) of five teams behind Centennial (354) and the girls were first (392).

The Braves open Monday at Hunter Recreation Center against Centennial and Hilliard Davidson.

"It's looking very young," coach John DeRing said. "I've only got three seniors, and that's very unusual for us."

There are 13 boys and 12 girls competing this winter.

Senior Jennifer Merker is back to lead the girls squad and likely will swim in the backstroke and freestyle events. In the 200 free relay, junior Olivia Degitz and sophomores Audrey Bollas and Alana Bruzzese could join Merker.

Bruzzese began diving in the middle of last season as well and is expected to compete in that event along with freshman Liz Jackson.

Senior Pete Pajor is back for his fourth season and senior Habeeb Al-Ghawi has returned for his third season to lead the boys team. Pajor is expected to compete in the butterfly and free events and Al-Ghawi will swim the backstroke.

Juniors Nick DiRutigliano and Brandon Rhodes and sophomores Nick Nottage and Marcus Blann are others looking to contribute in swimming events. Junior Orwan Irwin has returned as a diver after not competing last season.

The Braves lost six boys to graduation including diver Wade Westbrook, who made it to the Division II state meet each of the last two years. He finished 24th (108.4 points) last season after taking fifth (341.95) at district.

The girls team lost three seniors in Katlin DeFrancisco, Courtney Foster and Rachel Renick.

"On the girls team, I've got at the least one decent relay," DeRing said. "With the boys, Nick Nottage can do everything, but he'll probably do the (individual medley) and definitely the breaststroke. After that we're a little on the shaky side."