The members of the Wellington School girls basketball team don't seem to be having any trouble adjusting to a recent coaching change.

The members of the Wellington School girls basketball team don't seem to be having any trouble adjusting to a recent coaching change.

Tysha Crump was hired last month as coach after serving as an assistant under former coach Tiffany Smith the last three seasons. Smith stepped down earlier this fall, after having compiled a 27-31 record in three seasons, including a 12-7 mark in the 2007-08 season.

"It's great to have Tysha as a coach," 5-foot-5 senior point guard Colleen Durfee said. "She and coach Smith seemed to work evenly with each other. She is easy to relate to. Her assistant (Liz Clapacs) is our lacrosse coach, so a lot of us know her already. With five seniors on the team, everyone knows each other already. (Instead of starting at square one), we can start from square five and go on."

Wellington, which opens Saturday at home against Columbus School for Girls, finished 8-12 last season, losing to fifth-seeded Gilead Christian 57-26 in the second round of the Division IV district tournament.

"Obviously, there's going to be more responsibility with being the head coach," Crump said. "I'm really excited to have the opportunity to continue to develop the program. With the seniors that we have, we are looking forward to doing a couple of new plays, but I want to build off the foundation Smith has already set.

"We're going to play a lot of man-to-man defense, but we're going to make adjustments as we need to. I want to keep kind of a fast-tempo offense."

The Jaguars lost five players to graduation, but return five letterwinners who have been part of the program since they were freshmen in Durfee, 5-11 senior center Kara Concheck, 5-9 senior forward Anna Apostel, 5-8 senior guard Gabrielle Harper and 5-6 senior guard Kelly Sonnett.

"Our experience is going to play a very important role," Crump said. "Colleen and Kara have been starters since they were freshmen. Gabrielle, Anna and Kelly received plenty of playing time over the past couple of years."

"We've played together since middle school and we feel like we've been together for years," Durfee said. "We had great chemistry last season and nothing has really changed."

Wellington also returns 5-9 junior guard Grace Korandovich and 5-5 sophomore guard Aris Troy. Rounding out the team are freshmen Kayla Barton (5-6 guard), Helen Fite (5-2 guard), Laura Gamboa (5-6 guard), Kelly Hooper (5-8 guard/forward) and Jalen Perkins (5-8 forward).

"We only have 12 people on the varsity," Durfee said. "Half of them are underclassmen, but we've been working really hard in the gym. If we keep working hard and moving up in our skill level, we're going to be really competitive."

Crump believes the team will be tested by its first three opponents. After facing CSG, the Jaguars play Tuesday at Worthington Christian and Dec. 10 at home against East Knox.

"It will give us a chance to see where we are right off the bat," Crump said. "Usually you get a chance to warm up to that type of competition. We have to be ready to go.

"Each year we're making a little bit of a progression from the year before. That's not always measured in wins and losses. One of the things I want to emphasize this year is winning and learning. We want to increase our wins, but I think it's important to pay attention and adjust to any mistake you make during games or even practice."

At a glance

•Coach: Tysha Crump, first season

•Opener: Saturday vs. Columbus School for Girls

•Key players: Kara Concheck and Colleen Durfee


Nov. 28 vs. Columbus School for Girls

Dec. 1 at Worthington Christian

Dec. 10 vs. East Knox

Dec. 12 at Marion Catholic

Dec. 15 at Sparta Highland

Dec. 17 vs. Shekinah Christian

Dec. 28 at World Harvest Class

Jan. 7 at Columbus Academy

Jan. 9 at Mount Gilead

Jan. 12 vs. Hartley

Jan. 14 vs. Village Academy

Jan. 16 vs. Granville Christian

Jan. 19 vs. Madison Christian

Jan. 22-23 vs. Jaguar Invitational

Jan. 27 vs. Columbus Academy

Jan. 29 at Licking County Christian Academy

Feb. 4 at Shekinah Christian

Feb. 10 vs. Marion Catholic

Feb. 12 at Tree of Life