After losing 18 of 21 games last season, the Marysville High School boys basketball team is looking for a "new beginning," according to coach Kenny Chaffin.

After losing 18 of 21 games last season, the Marysville High School boys basketball team is looking for a "new beginning," according to coach Kenny Chaffin.

And rightfully so. The Monarchs are feeling positive following a successful preseason where Chaffin has witnessed his team give effort, have attitude and display strong team chemistry.

"In many respects, we have a new basketball team," said Chaffin, whose team opens Friday at home against Delaware. "The kids who returned worked hard to improve in the offseason. We also gained some younger kids who are going to contribute to make our team better. We view this as a new beginning."

Senior forward Mike Romesburg (6-foot-6) leads the group of returning players. He averaged 9.2 points per game and 6.1 rebounds last season in which Marysville finished 3-18 after losing to fourth-seeded Newark 78-50 in the first round of the Division I district tournament. In the OCC-Cardinal Division, Marysville finished eighth at 0-14, behind champion Dublin Scioto (14-0).

"He's very versatile," Chaffin said. "He can score inside, but he can take the ball out on the perimeter when a bigger kid is guarding him. He has a very good first step and ball-handling skills. We're looking to highlight all of his abilities on the offensive end."

"We learned our team chemistry was as good as it is this year," senior guard Cameron Chambers said. "We're a really tight-knit group and that is going to help us."

Joining Romesburg and Chambers as Marysville's expected core group are senior Trevor Morris (guard/forward) and junior Anthony Aquillo (point guard).

"Cameron is stretching defenses right now," Chaffin said. "He had 11 3-point field goals in our first two scrimmages."

Chambers ability to shoot from the perimeter will go a long way in helping Chaffin establish his new offense that features an up-tempo style.

"Spacing is a big emphasis," Romesburg said. "We want to look inside, but our success will come off the guards hitting their outside shots to balance everything out. If they hit their shots, we could be a hard team to play night in and night out."

Chaffin has rotated seven players in the starting lineup throughout the preseason. Also expected to see varsity minutes are senior forward Dan Sable (6-3), sophomore post player Craig Runyan (6-4) and freshman shooting guard Kody Davidsson.

The Monarchs struggled on the offensive end last season, averaging 43.5 points per game. Among the five graduated players, Marysville lost its leading scorer in guard Michael Waite, who averaged 9.5 ppg and was honorable mention all-OCC-Cardinal.

Chaffin hopes his latest offense features balanced scoring in order to avoid falling behind by large deficits.

"In the past, we haven't had answers when an opponent goes on a run," Chaffin said. "This year, we have our own runs to be made. We have got to consistently score, and we're looking for that from the perimeter. So far we've been very consistent and we're looking to continue to put the ball in the hole."

Schedule

Dec. 4 vs. Delaware *Dec. 8 vs. Olentangy Liberty *Dec. 11 at Olentangy *Dec. 18 at Westerville Central *Dec. 22 vs. Westerville South Dec. 29 vs. Fairbanks Dec. 30 vs. Westland *Jan. 5 at Dublin Jerome *Jan. 8 at Westerville North *Jan. 15 vs. Dublin Scioto Jan. 16 at Thomas Worthington *Jan. 22 at Olentangy Liberty *Jan. 26 vs. Olentangy *Jan. 29 vs. Westerville Central *Feb. 2 at Westerville South *Feb. 5 vs. Dublin Jerome Feb. 9 vs. Bellefontaine *Feb. 12 vs. Westerville North *Feb. 19 at Dublin Scioto Feb. 20 at Bexley

*OCC-Cardinal game