Defense has become a signature component of the Hilliard Bradley High School girls basketball program.

Defense has become a signature component of the Hilliard Bradley High School girls basketball program.

Last season, the Jaguars finished 18-7 overall, losing to Northland 41-25 in a Division I district semifinal, and won their second consecutive OCC-Cardinal Division title, going 13-1 to finish ahead of runner-up Westerville South (11-3).

However, to win a third league title in a row, Bradley's defensive prowess again will need to lead the way.

"Our defense is coming along," 5-foot-8 junior guard Teneea Heston said. "Good team defense is what we're all about.

"When you are struggling on offense, you can always work hard on defense and that can help you offensively."

Heston averaged 9.4 points and 4.1 rebounds and was named second-team all-league last season.

Also back is 6-0 senior guard/forward Carly Allocco, who averaged 12.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists and was honorable mention all-district and first-team all-league.

"We have been working together well and we're a close team," said Allocco, an Ohio Dominican University recruit.

"Our defense always is important and maybe even more this year because we're a smaller team. We have been working on boxing out over the last four scrimmages and getting our defense going. Our defense leads to our offense."

Savannah Coppin, a 5-5 junior point guard, was expected to be in the starting lineup with Allocco and Heston when the Jaguars opened Nov. 29 against Olentangy Liberty.

Others in line to be starters or see significant playing time are seniors Jaclyn Foster (5-8, forward) and Alissa Spears (5-8, guard), juniors Kamerin Hillis (5-6, guard) and Abbey White (5-11, post player) and sophomore Jaiden Bryant (5-7, guard).

"We have a chance to be successful, but for that to happen, we're going to have to get contributions from everyone, especially in rebounding," eighth-year coach Kathy Lindsey said.

"Our big focus is to get everyone rebounding and to play team defense. We play our best when we can get points in transition from our defense."

Rounding out the roster are senior Dre Gault (5-5, guard), juniors Alli Dachenhaus (5-5, guard) and Emma Seagle (5-7, guard/forward) and sophomores Jill Kelpzig (5-8, forward) and Annika Murray (5-4, guard).

"We definitely have a chance to do well because we're athletic and I think we have more offensive firepower than we did last year," Lindsey said. "I think we have a good inside-outside threat.

"I would like us to get more pressure (on opponents). We have always been a team that needs to be in transition. We need to get rebounds and get into transition."

The Jaguars have a nine-day layoff between their season opener and their league opener Dec. 9 at Thomas Worthington.

shennen@thisweeknews.com

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Schedules

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Nov. 29 -- at Olentangy Liberty

*Dec. 9 -- at Thomas Worthington

Dec. 10 -- vs. Davidson

Dec. 13 -- at Olentangy

Dec. 16 -- vs. Watterson

*Dec. 20 -- vs. Worthington Kilbourne

*Dec. 23 -- vs. Darby

Dec. 27 -- Cincinnati Mother of Mercy at Watterson Christmas Classic

Dec. 28 -- Cincinnati Seton at Watterson Christmas Classic

*Jan. 3 -- vs. Dublin Jerome

*Jan. 6 -- at Delaware

*Jan. 10 -- at Dublin Scioto

*Jan. 13 -- at Darby

Jan. 17 -- vs. Hartley

*Jan. 20 -- vs. Thomas Worthington

*Jan. 24 -- at Worthington Kilbourne

Jan. 28 -- at Teays Valley

Jan. 31 -- at Marysville

*Feb. 3 -- vs. Delaware

Feb. 4 -- vs. DeSales

*Feb. 7 -- at Dublin Jerome

*Feb. 10 -- vs. Dublin Scioto

*League contest

Below are the coming schedules for the Bradley boys basketball, bowling, gymnastics and wrestling teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL

Dec. 2 -- At Teays Valley in opener

Dec. 4 -- Cincinnati Indian Hill at Southern State Community College in Hillsboro

BOWLING

Dec. 3 -- Red and Blue Classic at HP Lanes in opener

*Dec. 5 -- Gahanna at Wayne Webb Columbus Bowl in COHSBC-North opener

*Dec. 7 -- Westerville North at Columbus Square Bowling Palace

GYMNASTICS

Dec. 7 -- Home vs. Central Crossing, Darby, Davidson, Franklin Heights, Grove City and Westland in opener

WRESTLING

Dec. 3 -- Olentangy Invitational in opener

*League contest