Friday's opener at Delaware marks the end of the preseason for the Marysville High School boys basketball team.

Friday's opener at Delaware marks the end of the preseason for the Marysville High School boys basketball team.

Despite the monotony of competing against one another since Nov. 10, there has been a new and exciting atmosphere throughout the program.

"We've played 10 times better together than we have in previous years," senior guard Kyle Goins said. "We have a lot more experienced people and they understand what it takes to get the job done."

Goins is one of seven seniors on a roster that has produced strong team chemistry and a positive frame of mind.

"I love the vibe and energy our guys have brought into the locker room and to practice," fourth-year coach Kenny Chaffin said. "It's at a high level because we have a lot of kids who know what it takes to win. Anytime you have seven seniors in the locker room you're going to have a higher maturity level and a good, strong sense of leadership. That's going to be what we build off of."

Marysville finished 7-15 last season after a 58-44 loss to Mount Vernon in the second round of the Division I district tournament. The Monarchs upset ninth-seeded Dresden Tri-Valley 54-49 in the first round.

In the OCC-Central Division, Marysville tied Central Crossing for fifth at 2-8 behind Westerville Central (9-1), Thomas Worthington (8-2), Pickerington North (5-5) and Delaware (4-6).

Now, Marysville is in the OCC-Cardinal with Dublin Jerome, Dublin Scioto, Olentangy, Olentangy Liberty, Westerville Central, Westerville North and Westerville South.

Goins averaged 13.0 points per game last year. Also back with starting experience are seniors Jon Fridley (5-foot-10 point guard) and Braden Short (6-4 center) and juniors Trevor Morris (6-1 guard) and Mike Romesburg (6-5 forward).

"It seemed like last year we struggled to score at times," Short said. "This year we're able to spread the ball around and it seems like more people are contributing."

"Our kids play well together, no question," Chaffin said. "They don't get a ton of respect from the public in general, but they play hard and they have a high sense of belief in one another.

"We're going to try to open things up, try to execute spacing and ball movement and try to make teams guard the entire floor."

Marysville lost four graduates, including leading scorer Ian Quick and starting point guard Matt Milholland. Quick shot 44.4 percent from the field, 43.5 percent from 3-point range and averaged 15.6 points and 7.1 rebounds. He was honorable mention all-district twice and first-team all-OCC-Central as a junior.

According to Chaffin, Goins' development into the go-to player was a natural progression and something he embraced.

"He's expanded his game and is now an inside and outside threat," Chaffin said. "He's worked on putting the ball on the floor and creating looks for not only him to take it to the hoop but kick it to his teammates. He's progressed as a passer as well."

Goins, who was honorable mention all-district last year, has prepared for the role.

"I'm a lot more diverse than I was last year," he said. "People knew me as a pure shooter, but this year I'm doing a lot more like driving to the basket, dishing the ball out for more assists and rebounding. I've been preparing myself for this since I was a freshman."

Several players are capable of playing the point.

"At times Fridley plays off the ball," Chaffin said. "I'm really happy with the majority of stretches in scrimmages where we've handled the ball and taken care of the ball."

Keeping the current good chemistry will be key.

"We had some down games where we got beat really bad last season," Goins said. "We'd get a bad streak we couldn't get out of and didn't feel like we could win games at some points."

"We have to be ready every night," Short said. "We're going to have to compete and have to get better because the competition we're playing against is really tough."

At a glance

•Coach: Kenny Chaffin, fourth season

•Opener: Friday at Delaware

•Key players: Jon Fridley, Kyle Goings, Trevor Morris and Braden Short