There might not be an athletics program in South-Western City Schools that was affected more by the levy failures during the spring and summer than the Grove City High School girls basketball team.

There might not be an athletics program in South-Western City Schools that was affected more by the levy failures during the spring and summer than the Grove City High School girls basketball team.

The Greyhounds begin this season with only one player who was on the roster at the conclusion of last season: senior Ashley McShefferey.

In addition to losing three players to graduation, including two starters in post player Courtney Swart and guard Chelsie Damron, Grove City lost seven potential returnees, who either transferred to another school and did not return after the levy passed on Nov. 3 or opted not to play because of the $150 pay-to-participate fee.

Ayrealle Beavers, Chelsea McKnight and Shicole Watts started for the Greyhounds last year and are now at Harvest Prep. Watts averaged 13.6 points last season and was named third-team all-district and first-team all-OCC-Ohio Division. Beavers made honorable mention all-district and second-team all-league and McKnight made honorable mention all-district and all-league.

Two key players who came off the bench last season, Ellen Conti and Brooke Espenschied, are playing for Hilliard Bradley.

"Losing all those kids, now we've got a lot of new kids we are evaluating," said 23rd-year coach Dale Corbett, whose team opens Monday at home against Franklin Heights. "This is the first year where tryouts were truly tryouts."

Grove City finished 18-5 overall last season and went 10-4 in the OCC-Ohio to tie Reynoldsburg for third, behind Pickerington North (12-2), and Pickerington Central (11-3) and ahead of Gahanna (7-7), Newark (3-11), Lancaster (2-12) and Groveport (1-13).

The Greyhounds opened the Division I district tournament with a 62-21 win over Franklin Heights and defeated Independence 76-45 in the second round before losing to Watterson 48-43 in a district semifinal.

At the conclusion of last season, Corbett was quite optimistic about the coming season. In fact, he expected his team to be ranked among the top teams in the state. Other coaches shared that opinion, which is why Grove City was one of 10 teams invited to play in the Classic in the Counter at Berlin Hiland in January, a tournament traditionally reserved for the state's top teams. The Greyhounds since have been dropped from that event.

"The biggest thing (the levy failure on May 5) did was we didn't have a summer," said Corbett, whose team opens OCC-Ohio play on Dec. 3 at Pickerington North. "You can usually play 20-25 games and figure out who can and who can't play and figure out where you're weak or where you're strong. I think that set us back quite a bit."

In addition to McShefferey, the roster consists of juniors Taryn Allmon and Caitie Cahill, sophomores Kayla Behrens, Alex Kyrsinskis, Allison Miller, Danielle Terry, Caitlin Trein and Shelby Wilson and freshman Miranda Frase.

Cahill, Trein and Wilson are expected to begin the season splitting time between varsity and junior varsity.

"We've really come together to figure out who does what in what kind of position," McShefferey said. "I think the preseason is actually going pretty good so far. We have such a big reputation to uphold, and being so behind with the levy and things like that, we're pushing ourselves more."

The Greyhounds don't possess a lot of size, so they are looking to use their quickness to pressure the ball and play up-tempo.

"That whole thing is just unfortunate," Corbett said of the levy situation. "It happened. It's done, and at least we're playing basketball. Now we start rebuilding."

At a glance

•Coach: Dale Corbett, 23rd season

•Opener: Monday vs. Franklin Heights

•Key player: Ashley McShefferey

Schedule

Nov. 30 vs. Franklin Heights

*Dec. 3 at Pickerington North

*Dec. 8 at Reynoldsburg

*Dec. 11 vs. Groveport

*Dec. 12 at Newark

*Dec. 18 at Lancaster

Dec. 19 vs. Central Crossing

*Dec. 22 vs. Newark

Dec. 28 at Teays Valley Tournament vs. Jonathan Alder

Dec. 29 at Teays Valley Tournament

*Jan. 5 vs. Gahanna

*Jan. 8 at Pickerington Central

Jan. 12 at Franklin Heights

*Jan. 16 vs. Pickerington North

*Jan. 22 vs. Reynoldsburg

*Jan 26 at Groveport

*Jan. 29 vs. Lancaster

*Feb. 5 at Gahanna

Feb. 9 vs. Westland

*Feb. 12 vs. Pickerington Central

*OCC-Ohio game