With two new coaches in as many years, the Hilliard Darby High School girls basketball team intends to build some consistency this season.

With two new coaches in as many years, the Hilliard Darby High School girls basketball team intends to build some consistency this season.

First-year coach Liz Lehman, who guided the junior varsity team to an 18-2 record last season, is looking to create a program where dedication is just as important during the offseason.

"We're really teaching the team concept and that basketball is more than something you do between volleyball and track," said Lehman, whose team plays host to Lancaster Saturday in the opener. "We've got a good group of seniors and we're going to try to play to our strengths. We've got a lot of athletic girls and that gives us some freedom."

With the departure of last year's leading scorers, Darby will rely on defense and senior returning starters Kalee Seagle (5-foot-6 guard) and Allison Jordan (5-8 forward).

Last year's offense was centered on Shane Jackson, who graduated as the program's second leading scorer (853 points), behind Kristi Brogan (1,069).

Also gone is Erin Warning, who shot 36 percent from 3-point range and finished her career at Darby with 54 3-pointers.

The Panthers, under coach Chris Maul, a long-time boys assistant, went 11-11 overall and won three of their final four games, including a 45-22 victory over Westerville South in the first round of the Division I tournament.

"Our offense last year was to give the ball to Shane and she'd go score," Jordan said. "Our defense is going to have to be our strong point. We're not a big team, but we probably can out-run and out-hustle our opponents."

Seagle returns as the leading scorer (5.7 points), but hasn't been at full strength since ankle surgery.

"We're definitely going to be using all 10 girls and we're going to sub," Lehman said. "For now, the girls are doing a really good job of filling that void. We're really trying to learn to play without her, but she should be ready to go for the season opener."

Lehman expects junior guard Korinne Culley (5-7) to be the outside shooting threat.

The Panthers will be young at the post position, where sophomore Anna Schaefer (6-1) and freshman Emily Krumpe (5-11) will play.

Forwards Audrey Luzader (5-8) and Adrienne Biggers (5-8) and guards Becca Jones (5-7) and Sami Atkinson (5-8) round out the senior class.

"We don't have a lot of experience, but we have good team togetherness," Jordan said. "We trust each other. We're all going to have to accept new roles. We can't be afraid to take some shots and we're going to have to be a confident team."

In the race for an OCC-Central Division championship, Lehman predicts a wide-open battle after Dublin Coffman dominated the league last season.

Darby finished at 8-6, behind Coffman (14-0), Hilliard Davidson (11-3) and Upper Arlington (10-4), and ahead of Central Crossing (6-8), Thomas Worthington (5-9), Worthington Kilbourne (2-12) and Westland (0-14).

At a glance

Coach: Liz Lehman, first season

Opener: Saturday vs. Lancaster

Key players: Allison Jordan and Kalee Seagle


Nov. 11 vs. Lancaster

*Dec. 4 vs. Hilliard Davidson

*Dec. 8 vs. Worthington Kilbourne

Dec. 9 at Ready

*Dec. 11 at Central Crossing

*Dec. 18 vs. Upper Arlington

*Dec. 22 vs. Dublin Coffman

Dec. 28 at Watterson Christmas Classic

Dec. 29 at Watterson Christmas Classic

Dec. 30 at Dublin Scioto

*Jan. 5 at Thomas Worthington

*Jan. 8 vs. Westland

*Jan. 14 at Hilliard Davidson

Jan. 19 at Olentangy Orange

*Jan. 22 at Worthington Kilbourne

*Jan. 26 vs. Central Crossing

*Jan. 29. At Upper Arlington

*Feb. 2 at Dublin Coffman

*Feb. 5 vs. Thomas Worthington

*Feb. 12 at Westland

*OCC-Central game