Unlike last year, the Grove City High School girls basketball team had a chance to grow together in the offseason.

Unlike last year, the Grove City High School girls basketball team had a chance to grow together in the offseason.

Now the Greyhounds are looking to show how valuable that time together was.

"The summer was a lot better than everyone thought it was going to be," said sophomore guard Miranda Frase, whose team was 4-17 overall and 1-13 in the OCC-Ohio Division last year. "We came together and played together really well."

It was a tough season for the Greyhounds last year, but that was to be expected. After the South-Western City Schools levy passed on Nov. 4, 2009, the Greyhounds had less than a month to get ready.

In that short time, coach Dale Corbett prepared a roster that was almost void of varsity experience.

"Last year we looked like a freshman team," said Taryn Allmon, a 5-foot-9 senior who eventually became one of Grove City's top players.

By season's end, there was hope. The second time through the OCC-Ohio schedule, the Greyhounds were more successful. They even beat Groveport 63-59 in the second meeting after the Cruisers won 75-45 in the first round of league play.

Now they're looking to capitalize on that promise.

"We've come a long way," Frase said. "We started out not knowing a lot about each other, not being able to play together, not being able to get the ball down the floor. Now we're able to put it all together."

Frase (5-3) developed into one of the Greyhounds' top players last season. She along with Allmon and junior Kayla Behrens (5-3) became the focal points of Grove City's team.

They'll be counted on again this season to lead a team that expects to rely on its athleticism. What started to come together last year is a team that can play at a fast tempo. Once again, the Greyhounds look to run on offense and play pressure defense.

"We have to be up-tempo. If we don't play up-tempo, it hurts us," Corbett said. "We'll also have to learn how to win. We haven't learned how to do that yet."

The Greyhounds are still a young team with Lindsey Eickel (5-6) and Alyssa Sammeth (5-9) as the only other seniors. Also on the team are juniors Allison Miller (5-4), Nicole Sprow (5-8) and Danielle Terry (5-7), and sophomores Anna Conti (5-7) and Kristen Mesler (6-4).

Sammeth is the only player left from a 2008-09 Grove City team that was among the best in the area at 18-5.

When the levy failed, the Greyhounds had several key players transfer to other schools.

Not all of the players that were part of the team last year came back this season, but those that are back stand to benefit.

"Teamwork and hustling," Allmon said of this season's keys to success. "We have to get up and down the court. At the end of our scrimmage against Beechcroft (on Nov. 16), we were still running as hard like it was the first quarter. We could see they were pulling on their shorts."

Grove City was eighth in the OCC-Ohio last year at 1-13, behind Pickerington North (14-0), Reynoldsburg (10-4), Pickerington Central (10-4), Gahanna (9-5), Newark (6-8), Lancaster (4-10) and Groveport (2-12).

Schedule

Nov. 26 vs. Westland

*Dec. 2 vs. Pickerington North

Dec. 7 vs. Olentangy

*Dec. 10 at Groveport

*Dec. 11 vs. Reynoldsburg

*Dec. 17 vs. Lancaster

Dec. 18 at Central Crossing

*Dec. 21 at Newark

Dec. 23 at Licking Heights

Dec. 28-29 at Teays Valley Invitational

*Jan. 4 at Gahanna

*Jan. 7 vs. Pickerington Central

Jan. 11 vs. Ready

*Jan. 13 at Pickerington North

*Jan. 21 at Reynoldsburg

*Jan. 25 vs. Groveport

*Jan. 28 at Lancaster

*Feb. 4 vs. Newark

*Feb. 8 vs. Gahanna

*Feb. 11 at Pickerington Central

*OCC-Ohio game