Several players have returned to the Grandview Heights High School girls basketball team after time away from the program, giving the Bobcats a spark entering the season.

Several players have returned to the Grandview Heights High School girls basketball team after time away from the program, giving the Bobcats a spark entering the season.

A group of eight seniors, five of whom did not play last season, might give the team just what it needs to turn around its fortunes. Grandview finished 8-15 overall a year ago and placed seventh (4-10) in the MSL-Ohio Division behind champion West Jefferson (12-2).

"We have had more girls diving for the ball in our scrimmages than we did in the entire (2015-16) season," third-year coach Brian O'Mara said. "We have an aggressive group and we expect to be a high-tempo team."

The senior class is paced by 5-foot-2 point guard Lauren Collier, who averaged a team-best 17.3 points last season and was third-team all-district and first-team all-league.

Senior guard Lizzie Van Deusen (second-team all-league) averaged 12.5 points.

"We have really good chemistry," Collier said. "We're all close outside basketball and that makes things a lot easier on the court."

At 5-8, Van Deusen was the second-tallest player on last year's team behind 5-9 junior forward Kacey Murphy.

"We had some players come out from soccer and other sports and it really helped out in terms of height," Van Deusen said. "I was the second-tallest player last year and now I'm fifth. (The new players) are also really athletic so that should help us a lot."

Also back from the starting lineup is 5-4 senior guard Molly Smith. Sophomore Makenzie Bush, a 5-5 guard, was honorable mention all-league.

Rounding out the senior class are five players back for the first time in several seasons in Maria Claypool (5-8, forward), Paige Crabill (5-9, forward), Learin McHugh (5-4, guard), Calley Schmalz (6-0, forward) and Bailey Smith (5-7, forward).

"We have our leading scorers back in Lauren and Lizzie, but we need to get consistent scoring from the other three positions," O'Mara said. "That might be solved with the kids we have returning to the program. Some haven't played in two or three years, but they are good athletes and give us a lot of options."

O'Mara said he expected Claypool and Crabill to make significant contributions in the opener Nov. 29 against Buckeye Valley.

Juniors Jayla Coplan (5-4, guard) and Isabel Girardi (5-5, forward) also are returnees.

Rounding out the roster are junior Maddy James (5-4, guard) and freshman Emma Hall (5-10, forward).

"The thing we need to work on now is patience, because we have so many girls coming back after time off," O'Mara said. "We have looked good in our first 30 days, but they know we still have work (to do)."

The Bobcats open league play Thursday, Dec. 1, at home against West Jefferson.

Boys bowling team loaded with experience

The boys bowling team has returned its starting lineup from last season, giving first-year coach Jason Hanely reason for optimism.

Hanely replaced the only coach the boys and girls teams have had in Tony Thivener, who led the program for seven seasons. Hanely was an assistant under Thivener the past three seasons.

"We have all of the boys back and they are a really good group of kids who have worked on their games," Hanely said. "We have been getting the rust off in practice, but we should be ready to go."

Returning are seniors Jake DeNiro, Alan Field, Ben Hecker and Jackson Spainhoward and junior Brad Jagers. In the MSL-Ohio tournament at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl last season, Spainhoward was league Player of the Year after rolling a 669 series.

The boys finished 6-11 last season.

"Alan is our captain, and Ben worked hard on his game and is looking more accurate," Hanely said. "We also have a couple of freshmen, Luke Berlin and Aidan Young, who are looking great and pushing for time."

Rounding out the roster are seniors James Shannon and Everett Stamm, junior Sam Mikanik, sophomores Noah Gangloff and Luke Stottlemire and freshmen Alan Andrew and Spencer Browning.

The girls team returns three seniors in Emma Berlin, Anna Robson and Maddie Taylor after finishing 5-8.

"Emma has been the biggest surprise, coming back with confidence after working on her game in the offseason," Hanely said. "Anna got in some leagues and worked with a coach to help her game."

Sophomores Emmy Davis and Shea McHugh look to be in the mix, as are freshmen Emily Bullock and Claudette Moul.

Rounding out the roster are sophomores Sylvia Chordas and Tatianna Stryjewski and freshmen Taylor Beight, Paige DeNiro, Maura DiCuccio, Taylor Fultz and Leila Meyer.

"We have a combined 28 kids out for the boys and girls teams, so we will have full j.v. teams this season," Hanely said. "We have a lot of freshmen in the program and we want to get them some varsity experience."

shennen@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekHennen

Schedules

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Nov. 29 -- vs. Buckeye Valley

*Dec. 1 -- vs. West Jefferson

Dec. 3 -- vs. Patriot Prep

*Dec. 8 -- at Worthington Christian

Dec. 13 -- at Fairbanks

*Dec. 16 -- vs. Whitehall

*Dec. 21 -- at Columbus Academy

Dec. 28 -- at Independence

Dec. 30 -- at Northridge

*Jan. 3 -- at Bexley

*Jan. 7 -- vs. London

*Jan. 13 -- at West Jefferson

Jan. 14 -- at Delaware

*Jan. 17 -- vs. Worthington Christian

Jan. 24 -- at Hamilton Township

*Jan. 27 -- at Whitehall

Jan. 28 -- vs. Wellington

*Jan. 31 -- vs. Columbus Academy

*Feb. 4 -- vs. Bexley

Feb. 9 -- at Madison Christian

*Feb. 10 -- at London

Feb. 14 -- vs. Fisher Catholic

BOWLING

Nov. 29 -- Olentangy Liberty at Sawmill Lanes

Dec. 3 -- Red/Blue Classic at HP Lanes (boys only)

*Dec. 7 -- Ready at Game of Western Columbus

Dec. 10 -- Holiday Baker Marathon at Columbus Square Bowling Palace

*Dec. 12 -- Columbus International at Sequoia Lanes

*Dec. 13 -- DeSales at Sawmill Lanes

*Dec. 20 -- Centennial at Sawmill Lanes

Jan. 5 -- Haugland Learning Center at Sawmill Lanes (boys only)

*Jan. 9 -- Northland at Sequoia Lanes

*Jan. 12 -- Whetstone at Sequoia Lanes

*Jan. 17 -- Hartley at Sawmill Lanes

*Jan. 18 -- Beechcroft at Sequoia Lanes

*Jan. 19 -- Watterson at Sawmill Lanes

*Jan. 24 -- Mifflin at Sawmill Lanes

*Jan. 26 -- Linden-McKinley at HP Lanes

Jan. 28 -- Westerville North Warrior Team Challenge at Columbus Square Bowling Palace

*Feb. 1 -- Columbus Academy at HP Lanes

*Feb. 2 -- St. Charles at Sawmill Lanes (boys only)

Feb. 4 -- MSL tournament at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl

*Feb. 6 -- Worthington Christian at Sawmill Lanes

Feb. 7 -- Briggs at Stardust Lanes

*League contest

Below are the coming schedules for the Grandview Heights boys basketball, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL

Dec. 1 -- At Patriot Prep in opener

Dec. 3 -- Home vs. Madison Christian

Dec. 6 -- Home vs. Northridge

SWIMMING & DIVING

Dec. 3 -- St. Charles Catholic Showdown in opener

Dec. 5 -- DeSales at Columbus Aquatics Center

WRESTLING

Dec. 3 -- Lee Spitzer Invitational at Upper Arlington in opener