Olentangy High School girls basketball fans could have spent a few minutes rattling off the ways in which the Braves bore little resemblance to last year's team when they began the season Nov. 27.

Olentangy High School girls basketball fans could have spent a few minutes rattling off the ways in which the Braves bore little resemblance to last year's team when they began the season Nov. 27.

Gone are the school's all-time leading scorer in Kelly Meade and 13-year coach John Feasel, who took over Olentangy's boys basketball team.

New to the Braves are coach Mike Daniels, who has coached at the AAU level as well as in Marion Pleasant's program, and a more deliberate pace that emphasizes offensive sets and stingy defense.

Olentangy opened Nov. 27 with a 59-43 loss to Rocky River Magnificat in the Gary West Tipoff Classic at Reynoldsburg.

"There have been a lot of changes, defensively especially," said shooting guard Molly Delaney, a 5-foot-9 junior and one of two returning starters along with 5-7 senior point guard Allie Raiff. Both played two seasons for Daniels with Central Ohio Showtime, an AAU team.

"We didn't play great man-to-man last year, and now we're really emphasizing discipline defensively," Delaney said. "Offensively, we raced up the floor a lot to score as fast as we possibly could, and a lot of times that worked for us. Now we're really setting up our offenses. It's been hard, but I knew the way he would coach us. That's been a help."

Delaney averaged 6.8 points and Raiff averaged 5.3 last year as the Braves went 22-4 overall and 13-1 in the OCC-Capital Division to win that championship, but they finished as a district runner-up for the sixth time in seven seasons.

That tandem, along with 6-2 sophomore forwards Emily Margolies and Olivia Margolies, will have to help replace the 15.4 points per game lost to graduation with Meade, who now plays at West Liberty University. Meade scored 1,413 points at Olentangy and is the top basketball scorer in school history regardless of gender.

Delaney is recovering from a torn right ACL sustained Feb. 2 during a win over Worthington Kilbourne.

The Margolies sisters recently committed to play volleyball at Ohio University.

"I know I was fortunate to get this job. This is a strong program and coach Feasel did a great job developing talent," Daniels said. "This is an athletic team. We have some good multi-sport athletes, and that's a good thing. I want us to be aggressive defensively and really think about what we are doing offensively.

"As long as they play as hard as they can, I don't care about the score at the end of the game."

Rounding out the roster are seniors Abby Feasel (5-8, guard/forward), Gillian Feasel (5-9, forward) and Julia Scott (5-8, forward), juniors Lauren Biehl (5-6, guard), Cassie Dulay (5-3, guard), Holly Nation (5-10, forward) and Grace Pennington (5-10, forward), sophomore Lauren Tarpey (5-6, guard) and freshman Jessica Nation (6-0, forward).

"We're just a really athletic team," Raiff said. "We have some great shooters. Gillian and Holly can drive to the basket. We have a lot of raw talent and young talent, which is exciting. They're not afraid to step up."

The Braves begin OCC-Buckeye play Tuesday, Dec. 6, at Liberty. The Patriots also won a league championship last year, as they shared the OCC-Central title with Dublin Coffman.

Hockey coach hopes for veteran performances

Mike Ross' first full season as hockey coach will feature the most veteran squad Olentangy has fielded in his three seasons with the program.

Eight seniors, a group that includes the Braves' starting goaltender and their top offensive threats, return in the hopes of improving on last year's 12-18-3 record and a second-place finish in the Capital Hockey Conference-Blue.

"We had one senior after my first year here, we had a few more last year, and now we have eight," said Ross, who became head coach a week into last season.

"They bring a lot of experience, of course, and a lot to build off for the younger guys. From a numbers standpoint, this is the deepest team we've had since I've been here. We can roll out three or four quality lines. In years past, we might have had two quality lines."

The Braves went 2-2 in the season-opening Midwest Thanksgiving Classic at Chiller Dublin. They defeated Strongsville (5-1 on Nov. 25) and Watterson (6-3 on Nov. 26), and lost to New Albany (5-1 on Nov. 26) and Whitehouse Anthony Wayne (6-3 in the Varsity Red Division third-place game Nov. 27).

Olentangy returns two of its top three scorers in senior forwards Mitchel Dietz (7 goals, 6 assists in 2015-16) and Dan Shultz (6 goals). Senior goalie Zach Triplett is in his first full year as a starter after recording a .855 save percentage as a junior.

"We'll need the guys to exceed that production if we are to be successful," Ross said. "I think they can. Since we're deeper, there's more for them to work with so we won't have to ask them to do as much as they did because we were thinner. I think that will pay off."

Olentangy went 5-8-2 with 12 points in the CHC-Blue last year, finishing behind New Albany (15, 7-7-1).

The Braves begin league play Saturday, Dec. 3, against St. Charles at OhioHealth Ice Haus.

Rounding out the roster are seniors Carter Conrad (defenseman), Colton Hartman (defenseman), Anderson Hunt (defenseman), Nick Lawless (forward) and Ryan Loris (forward), juniors Zach Shockcor (forward), Nate Snopik (forward) and Alex Vandenbusche (forward), sophomores Ryan Cooney (defenseman), Kyle Gavin (forward), Brendan Johnston (forward), Justus Kuhntenia (forward) and Ethan Miner (defenseman) and freshmen Alec Rieser (defenseman) and Andrew Rogers (forward).

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave

Schedules

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Nov. 27 -- Rocky River Magnificat in Gary West Tipoff Classic at Reynoldsburg

Dec. 2 -- vs. Dublin Jerome

*Dec. 6 -- at Olentangy Liberty

*Dec. 9 -- at Westerville South

Dec. 13 -- vs. Hilliard Bradley

*Dec. 16 -- vs. Westerville North

Dec. 17 -- at Dublin Coffman

Dec. 22 -- vs. East Cleveland Shaw

Dec. 30 -- TBD in Magic City Mayhem at Barberton

Jan. 3 -- vs. Upper Arlington

*Jan. 6 -- at Westerville Central

Jan. 10 -- vs. Big Walnut

Jan. 14 -- Wapakoneta at Ohio Northern University

*Jan. 16 -- at Olentangy Orange

*Jan. 19 -- vs. Olentangy Liberty

Jan. 21 -- at Caledonia River Valley

Jan. 24 -- at Hilliard Davidson

*Jan. 27 -- vs. Westerville South

*Feb. 3 -- at Westerville North

Feb. 4 -- vs. Centennial

*Feb. 7 -- vs. Westerville Central

*Feb. 10 -- vs. Olentangy Orange

HOCKEY

Nov. 25 -- Strongsville in Midwest Thanksgiving Classic at Chiller Dublin

Nov. 26 -- New Albany and Watterson in Midwest Thanksgiving Classic at Chiller Dublin

Nov. 27 -- Whitehouse Anthony Wayne in Midwest Thanksgiving Classic at Chiller Dublin

*Dec. 3 -- St. Charles in OhioHealth Ice Haus

*Dec. 4 -- Upper Arlington at Chiller North

*Dec. 10 -- Cincinnati Moeller at Northland Ice Center

*Dec. 11 -- Springboro at Chiller North

*Dec. 16 -- Thomas Worthington at Chiller North

*Dec. 22 -- Watterson at Chiller Easton

*Dec. 23 -- Cincinnati Moeller at OhioHealth Ice Haus

Dec. 26-28 -- Holly-Daze Hockey Invitational Tournament at The Cube and Bowling Green State University

*Jan. 6 -- Watterson at Chiller North

*Jan. 7 -- Olentangy Liberty at Chiller North

*Jan. 8 -- Olentangy Orange at Chiller North

Jan. 13-15 -- Pioneer Classic at Chiller North

*Jan. 21 -- Thomas Worthington at Chiller North

*Jan. 22 -- Dublin Jerome at Chiller Dublin

*Jan. 27 -- Dublin Coffman at Chiller Dublin

*Jan. 28 -- DeSales at Chiller Easton

*Feb. 4 -- New Albany at Chiller North

*Feb. 5 -- Gahanna at Chiller Easton

*League contest

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

BOYS BASKETBALL

Dec. 1 -- At Marion Harding

Dec. 6 -- Home vs. Mansfield Madison

BOWLING

*Dec. 5 -- Olentangy Liberty at Delaware Lanes

*Dec. 6 -- Thomas Worthington at Capri Lanes

WRESTLING

Dec. 3 -- Olentangy Invitational

*League contest