Coach Brett Norris has a mix of experience and youth in his third season leading the Hilliard Bradley High School boys basketball program.

Coach Brett Norris has a mix of experience and youth in his third season leading the Hilliard Bradley High School boys basketball program.

The Jaguars have returned their two leading scorers from a year ago in juniors Braden Norris and Isaiah Speelman, but also began the season with two freshman starters.

Last season, Bradley finished 18-6 overall and went 11-3 in the OCC-Cardinal Division to place third behind eventual state champion Westerville South (13-1) and Dublin Jerome (12-2).

"The kids' preparation has been great, and practices have been very good," coach Norris said. "Basketball is important to them and their level of investment is high. They have the ability to improve their games, which is what I like best. It's been a great group to coach."

Speelman, a 6-foot-6 forward, averaged 16.6 points and 5.1 rebounds last season, while Norris (6-0) averaged 15.5 points and four assists as the starting point guard. Both were named first-team all-league and honorable mention all-district in Division I.

The two freshmen to earn starting positions are 6-1 guard Matt Allocco and 6-3 forward Chris Mayfield. Sophomore Zach Hummel, a 6-4 forward, is the fifth starter.

Speelman scored a program-record 38 points in a season-opening 56-31 win over Teays Valley on Dec. 2. He broke his own record of 31 points, which he set last season in a 52-35 win over Darby.

Norris added 13 points, including three 3-pointers, against Teays Valley.

"We played well, but we know there's room for improvement in all areas," said Speelman, who made six 3-pointers against the Vikings. "We need to have better communication on defense, box out and pursue the ball and make sure we have the right pace on offense. We like (a quick) pace."

On Dec. 4, the Jaguars lost to Cincinnati Oak Hills 58-40 at Southern State Community College in Hillsboro. Speelman had 17 points and Norris scored 14, including three 3-pointers.

"I think we need to build trust," said coach Norris, whose team opens OCC-Cardinal play Friday, Dec. 9, at home against Thomas Worthington. "We need guys to step in and play valuable minutes."

Speelman is the team's tallest player with Hummel, Mayfield and sophomore forward Sam Hunter (6-3) also providing size.

Rounding out the team are seniors Jaylen Brown (5-11, guard) and Tyler Lewright (6-0, guard), juniors Matt Hanson (6-0, guard) and Jack Rondy (6-0, guard) and sophomores Colin Foreman (6-0, guard) and Winston Stone (5-11, guard).

"Size is not a huge concern for us, but we have to improve our rebounding," coach Norris said. "Zach Hummel plays a lot bigger than he is and both he and Speelman added 25 pounds over the offseason and are a lot stronger. That helps make size less of a concern."

Lineup likely to be fluid for wrestlers

The wrestling team has returned a Division I state qualifier and two district qualifiers for eighth-year coach John Riggs.

Senior Riley Amador went 0-2 at 138 pounds in the state tournament last season to finish 39-15 for the Jaguars, who tied for 55th (4 points) behind champion Lakewood St. Edward (152) with 74 teams scoring. Amador is competing at 160 this year.

The two returning district qualifiers are senior Val D'Ambrosi (120, 27-17 last season) and sophomore Zander Ellison (113, 32-13). D'Ambrosi is competing at 132 this season and Ellison has moved to 126.

"We have a number of kids who have logged varsity time but only three kids back with district experience and one of them with state experience," said Riggs, whose team finished second (6-1) in the OCC-Cardinal last season, behind Westerville North (7-0). "We're not an overly big group, but we're working hard to get better every day. The key to success is how much progress we can make in the next few weeks."

Senior heavyweight Jack Rogers and juniors Kellen Grainger (152) and Adam McCardle (170) are returning starters. Juniors Issa Khalil (195) and J.T. Lemmerman (145) also have varsity experience.

The Jaguars opened Dec. 3 by finishing ninth (60) of 11 teams in the Olentangy Invitational, behind champion Lancaster (179). Amador placed second at 160.

Also in the lineup for the opener were senior Robby Vance (138), junior Michael Yanes (220) and freshmen Kyle DeMoss (182), Chad Leugers (113) and Avery Ramsey (106).

"We have a good base to start from, but our lineup is likely to shift from week to week," Riggs said. "We'll have to see how things move along during the season."

shennen@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekHennen

Schedules

BOYS BASKETBALL

Dec. 2 -- at Teays Valley

Dec. 4 -- Cincinnati Oak Hills at Southern State Community College in Hillsboro

*Dec. 9 -- vs. Thomas Worthington

Dec. 10 -- vs. Mount Vernon

Dec. 17 -- vs. New Albany

*Dec. 20 -- at Worthington Kilbourne

*Dec. 23 -- vs. Darby

Dec. 29 -- vs. Davidson

*Jan. 3 -- at Dublin Jerome

*Jan. 6 -- vs. Delaware

Jan. 7 -- vs. Proctorville Fairland

*Jan. 10 -- vs. Dublin Scioto

*Jan. 13 -- at Darby

Jan. 14 -- Beavercreek in Flyin' to the Hoop at Kettering Fairmont

*Jan. 20 -- at Thomas Worthington

*Jan. 24 -- vs. Worthington Kilbourne

Jan. 28 -- St. Charles in Sullinger Ohio Scholastic Play-by-Play Classic at Ohio Dominican

*Feb. 3 -- at Delaware

*Feb. 7 -- vs. Dublin Jerome

*Feb. 10 -- at Dublin Scioto

Feb. 14 -- at Logan

Feb. 17 -- vs. Watterson

WRESTLING

Dec. 3 -- Olentangy Invitational

Dec. 8 -- at Thomas Worthington with Grandview

Dec. 17 -- Kettering Fairmont Firebird Classic at Wright State

Dec. 27-28 -- Greater Miami Valley Wrestling Association Tournament at Wright State

*Jan. 5 -- at Thomas Worthington

Jan. 7 -- at Darby with Greenfield McClain and Trenton Edgewood

*Jan. 12 -- vs. Dublin Scioto

Jan. 14 -- Porter Memorial at home

*Jan. 19 -- at Worthington Kilbourne

Jan. 21 -- Gahanna Duals

*Jan. 26 -- at Dublin Jerome

Jan. 28 -- Panther Invitational at Pickerington North

Feb. 4 -- Panther Classic at Rayland Buckeye Local

*Feb. 9 -- vs. Delaware

*Feb. 16 -- at Darby

*League contest

Below are the coming schedules for the Bradley girls basketball, bowling, gymnastics and swimming & diving teams:

GIRLS BASKETBALL

*Dec. 9 -- At Thomas Worthington

Dec. 10 -- Home vs. Davidson

Dec. 13 -- At Olentangy

BOWLING

*Dec. 9 -- Big Walnut at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl

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

*Dec. 12 -- Marysville at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl

GYMNASTICS

Dec. 10 -- At Upper Arlington with Darby and Davidson

SWIMMING & DIVING

Dec. 9 -- Grove City, Grove City Christian, Jonathan Alder and Ready at Grove City YMCA

*League contest