Macy Spielman is a point guard by trade, but as one of two returning starters for the Upper Arlington High School girls basketball team, the 5-foot-10 sophomore doesn't necessarily know where she'll be on the floor at any given time this season.

Macy Spielman is a point guard by trade, but as one of two returning starters for the Upper Arlington High School girls basketball team, the 5-foot-10 sophomore doesn't necessarily know where she'll be on the floor at any given time this season.

Given that the Golden Bears are transitioning to a guard-oriented offense in the wake of losing experienced inside presences in 2016 graduates Kortney Eisenman and Elli Wachtman, Spielman could be even more of a focal point than she was as a freshman.

"I will be playing anywhere between a 1 (point guard) and a 5 (center). I will just look for coach (Chris) Savage's hand motions," Spielman said. "It's a lot different than last year. I am playing more of a role this year. I like it. I get to see different parts of the floor and I get to work with my teammates in different ways. It will be fun."

Spielman averaged 9.6 points, 3.8 assists and 3.1 rebounds last season as UA went 20-7 overall and 11-3 in the OCC-Central Division, finishing third behind co-champions Dublin Coffman and Olentangy Liberty (both 12-2). The Bears won their second Division I district championship in three years but lost to Reynoldsburg 40-31 in a regional semifinal.

Junior guard Kileigh Casey (5-8) is the other returning starter for UA, which will go to a four-out, one-in system under Savage, who is in his 10th season. Senior Sydney Ward, a 6-0 forward, will patrol the post as the Bears look to replace the contributions of Eisenman, the program's all-time leading scorer (1,129 points) who averaged 14.5 points, 10 rebounds and 2.7 blocks a year ago and now plays at the University of Georgia.

Wachtman, who averaged 7.9 points, seven rebounds and 1.8 steals last season, plays for Capital University.

UA opened its season Nov. 28 with a 46-42 win over Dublin Jerome and begins OCC-Central play Tuesday, Dec. 6, at home against Coffman.

Spielman scored a game-high 21 points against Jerome, and Casey and 5-9 sophomore guard Sarah Poling added nine each.

"You lose two forwards like (Eisenman and Wachtman), that's tough to keep your same offensive movement unless you have two girls who can just come in and take their place," Savage said. "Sydney is good and she has deserved to play more than she did the past couple years. But we will have our best-shooting team we've had in a long time, so I think we have a good chance by being perimeter-oriented. We won't forget the post; we might just have different ways of getting the ball in there."

Ward, who swung between varsity and junior varsity as a sophomore and came off the bench last season, is embracing her role as a facilitator.

"I am a very vocal person," Ward said. "I can see things and get out and set screens. I wouldn't say I am one of the shooters on the floor, so getting my girls open and rebounding will be huge."

Savage was uncertain of the team's other two starters before the season opener, saying they would come from a group consisting of senior Riley Royer (5-7, guard) and sophomore Colleen Moore (5-11, guard).

Rounding out the roster are seniors Julianne Alford (5-9, forward), Lisa Pontius (5-6, guard) and Taylor Pritchett (5-6, guard), juniors Gigi Danes (5-5, guard) and Maddy Mead (5-4, guard) and freshman Adrienne Wachtman (5-10, guard).

New coach guiding hockey team

Some of first-year hockey coach Bill Beard's overall philosophy is flexible, but other parts are not.

"You take care of your defensive zone first, and let everything else fall into place," Beard said. "By that, I mean more the team defense, not individual defensemen, and the concept of taking care of that part of the ice.

"Overall, my philosophies depend on what (I) have. At the end of the day, it's not about me. It's about the players and their talents."

Beard, who compiled a 344-183-46 record at Hunting Valley University School from 1998-2014 and won state championships in 2003 and 2009, became UA's coach Aug. 9. He replaced Jay Graham, who left in May after 17 seasons to take over at Watterson.

UA, which is 2-0-2 overall, returns its third-leading scorer from last season in senior forward Jack Dolan (19 goals), a key defenseman in senior Nick Tevonian and its starting goaltender in junior Philip Hawthorne.

"Jack is a very skilled player and he sees the ice very well," Beard said. "We have several guys I think can be offensive threats, but we are going to lean on (Dolan) to score."

Last season, UA finished 23-9-1-1 overall and 10-4-1-1 (22 points) in the Capital Hockey Conference-Red Division, fourth behind champion St. Charles (28, 14-2). The Bears lost to division rival Coffman 5-2 in the district final.

Beard's University School teams also were state runners-up in 2002 and 2004, won nine district titles and won 20 games or more 12 times.

UA, which is marking its 40th season, has fallen one win short of the state tournament each of the past two years.

The Bears begin league play Friday, Dec. 2, against Dublin Jerome at Chiller Dublin.

In the season-opening Midwest Thanksgiving Classic last weekend at Chiller North, UA alternated wins and shootout losses. The Bears fell to Chagrin Falls Kenston 2-1 on Nov. 25 and the Dayton Storm 1-0 on Nov. 26 and had wins over Burlington (Ontario) Robert Bateman (7-2 on Nov. 26) and St. Louis St. John Vianney (3-2 on Nov. 27) in the Varsity Blue Division's third-place game.

Rounding out the roster are seniors Jonathan Grove (forward) and Abe Radcliff (forward), juniors A.J. Cleveland (defenseman), Brock Curtis (forward), Tommy Due (forward), Jake Evans (forward), Max Hamlin (defenseman), Jack Lawless (forward/defenseman), Gordie MacDonald (forward), Nate Skidmore (defenseman) and Cam Staub (forward), sophomores Cam Keller (goalie), Brett LaBuhn (forward), Brendan Larmor (forward) and Alex Ross (forward) and freshmen Will Lawless (defenseman), Duncan MacDonald (forward) and Jamie Schuman (defense-man/forward).

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave

Schedules

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Nov. 28 -- vs. Dublin Jerome

Dec. 3 -- at Teays Valley

*Dec. 6 -- vs. Dublin Coffman

*Dec. 9 -- at Central Crossing

Dec. 12 -- vs. Worthington Kilbourne

*Dec. 16 -- vs. Hilliard Davidson

Dec. 17 -- vs. Pickerington Central

Dec. 21 -- vs. Westerville Central

Dec. 27-29 -- KSA Events Holiday Basketball Tournament at Orlando, Florida

Jan. 3 -- at Olentangy

*Jan. 6 -- at Westland

Jan. 10 -- vs. Westerville North

*Jan. 13 -- at Marysville

*Jan. 20 -- at Dublin Coffman

Jan. 24 -- at Westerville South

*Jan. 27 -- vs. Central Crossing

Jan. 31 -- at Dublin Scioto

*Feb. 3 -- at Hilliard Davidson

*Feb. 7 -- vs. Westland

*Feb. 10 -- vs. Marysville

HOCKEY

Nov. 25 -- Chagrin Falls Kenston in Midwest Thanksgiving Classic at Chiller North

Nov. 26 -- Burlington (Ontario) Robert Bateman and Dayton Storm in Midwest Thanksgiving Classic at Chiller North

Nov. 27 -- St. Louis St. John Vianney in Midwest Thanksgiving Classic at Chiller North

*Dec. 2 -- Dublin Jerome at Chiller Dublin

*Dec. 4 -- Olentangy at Chiller North

*Dec. 17 -- Thomas Worthington at OhioHealth Ice Haus

*Dec. 18 -- Olentangy Orange at Chiller North

*Dec. 21 -- Olentangy Liberty at Chiller North

*Dec. 23 -- Gahanna at OhioHealth Ice Haus

Dec. 27-29 -- Lakewood St. Edward Eagle Classic at Winterhurst

*Jan. 7 -- St. Charles at OhioHealth Ice Haus

Jan. 13 -- Dublin Jerome in Mark Rasmus Memorial Invitational at Tam-O-Shanter in Sylvania

Jan. 14 -- Cincinnati St. Xavier and Cincinnati Moeller in Mark Rasmus Memorial Invitational

Jan. 15 -- TBD in Mark Rasmus Memorial Invitational

*Jan. 20 -- St. Charles at OhioHealth Ice Haus

*Jan. 21 -- Springboro at South Metro Sports

*Jan. 22 -- Cincinnati Moeller at OhioHealth Ice Haus

*Jan. 27 -- Dublin Jerome at OhioHealth Ice Haus

*Jan. 28 -- Dublin Coffman at OhioHealth Ice Haus

*Jan. 29 -- Olentangy Liberty at OhioHealth Ice Haus

*Feb. 3 -- Dublin Coffman at Chiller Dublin

*Feb. 4 -- Watterson at Chiller Easton

*Feb. 5 -- DeSales at OhioHealth Ice Haus

*League contest

Below are the coming schedules for the Upper Arlington boys basketball, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL

Dec. 3 -- Greenfield McClain in Ohio Valley Hoops Invitational at Southern State Community College

SWIMMING & DIVING

Dec. 2 -- Home vs. Olentangy Orange

Dec. 3 -- Home vs. Olentangy Liberty

WRESTLING

Dec. 3 -- Lee Spitzer Golden Bear Invitational at home

Dec. 7 -- Home vs. Big Walnut

*League contest