After graduating one of central Ohio's top guard tandems, the Granville High School boys basketball team will feature a different look, if not a different style.

After graduating one of central Ohio's top guard tandems, the Granville High School boys basketball team will feature a different look, if not a different style.

"We have significant size," said coach Scott Carpenter, whose Blue Aces open Friday at home against Big Walnut. "That being said, I still think we have quite a bit of flexibility with this group and we'll try to do some of the same things."

The Blue Aces finished 15-8 overall a year ago following a 68-42 loss against Watterson. It was their first appearance in a district final since moving up to Division II in 2002.

They will continue to pound the ball inside given the return of seniors David Hettler and Michael Hofer. Hettler is a 6-foot-6, 220-pound power forward and Hofer a 6-4, 230-pound center, although Hettler also can play with his back to the basket.

Moreover, the senior class also includes 6-4 forward Blaine Huber and 6-6 post David Pollack, both of whom played on the junior varsity last season. The juniors include swingmen Jake Yore and Ken Laney, who are 6-3 and 6-4, respectively. Michael Steensen, a 6-2 sophomore, brings additional size to the lineup.

The fifth senior is guard Graham Rucker, but returning junior guard Jim Bennett is expected to miss the season because of a knee injury.

"Our biggest weakness is probably just lack of varsity experience with our guards," said Carpenter, whose seven graduates included honorable mention all-district guard Miles Clark and three-year starting point guard Cory Becher. "But in our practices, we're seeing some nice things and I think (juniors) Ty (Compton) and (Scott) Owen will see significant time."

Owen, who is 6-1, and Compton are expected to run the point. Junior Ryan Green and sophomore Brandon Dickerson, both of whom are guards, also will contribute for the Blue Aces, who went 9-5 in the MSL-Ohio Division a year ago to finish third behind champion Lakewood (11-3).

The Blue Aces, who defeated Lakewood 43-42 in the second round and also upset second-seeded Canal Winchester 50-41 in a district semifinal, have multiple players with 3-point range. That should help open up things even more on the baseline if their shots aren't falling. Carpenter would like to see the same balanced scoring as in recent seasons, which included district semifinal berths in both 2006-07 and 2007-08.

"One of the things that should make us difficult to defend is that on any given night we might have several guys scoring 10 to 15 points," said Carpenter, who has a 67-43 record entering his sixth season at Granville. "We've had extremely unselfish play the past few years and I think that's had a lot to do with our modest success. As long as we maintain that team concept and share the ball, we should be able to stay on that road."