Ready High School girls basketball coach Joe Lang is looking forward to his team's reaction as they continue to soak in what he believes are realistic expectations for this season.

Ready High School girls basketball coach Joe Lang is looking forward to his team's reaction as they continue to soak in what he believes are realistic expectations for this season.

With six returning regulars, he envisions the Silver Knights battling for titles come February.

After opening last Friday at Olentangy Orange, Ready plays host to Yellow Springs/McKinney on Tuesday. Its CCL opener is Dec. 12 at Watterson.

"Maybe I put some pressure on them, but I told them that with this amount of experience, that I'd expect us to be in the district finals and in the thick of the Central Catholic League title race," said Lang, who enters his 29th season. "They're going to have to claim some ownership of that."

Because two of their top returnees are senior post players, Taylor Riggs (6-foot) and Alyssa Zag (5-10), the Silver Knights likely won't rely as much on perimeter shooting as they have the past two seasons when 2009 graduate Christina Bisutti was among their top players.

Bisutti led Ready in scoring (13.3) and 3-pointers (49) and made all-CCL and second-team all-district in Division III last year. Riggs was the second-leading scorer at 12.4 per game and Zag averaged 6 points.

Riggs made honorable mention all-district and all-CCL and scored 25 points in a 60-46 win over Columbus School for Girls in the second round of the tournament. Zag was second-team all-league.

Senior Courtney Neff (5-6) is back at point guard after averaging 5.5 ppg, while seniors Mandy Lane (5-7, 4.6 ppg) and Heather Manning (5-6, 3.9 ppg), and junior Dani Pugh (5-7, 5.8 ppg) are the other top returning perimeter players.

Expected to provide depth at forward is Emily Morris, a 5-9 junior who tied for second in the shot put at the state track meet last June.

Others who should contribute include junior Kelly Veeley (5-2) and freshman Carly Culbertson (5-6). While Veeley should be the backup point guard, Lang called Culbertson "athletic, really quick and someone who really jumps well."

Senior Katie Weimerskirch is not back with the team after averaging 2.8 ppg last year and junior Bailey Pierron transferred to Hilliard Bradley after being a backup.

Bisutti, who was the District 10 Coaches Association co-Player of the Year and played in the district all-star game last season, is not playing collegiately after battling back problems throughout her prep career.

"We have five seniors back this year and a junior who played a lot last year, so we definitely have some high expectations and a lot of experience," Riggs said. "I think Mandy Lane has been stepping up and Dani Pugh also has been stepping up, shooting-wise."

Last season, Ready finished 13-10 overall and placed third at 6-4 in the CCL, behind Watterson (9-1) and DeSales (8-2), and ahead of Hartley (4-6), CSG (3-7) and Worthington Christian (0-10). The Silver Knights lost their final three of the regular season before opening the tournament with a 66-39 win over Mount Gilead.

Their season ended with a 43-41 loss to Amanda-Clearcreek in a district semifinal.

"We've got a lot of experience, although offensively right now we're not as smooth as I thought we'd be," Lang said. "Defensively, I've been fairly well-pleased with our effort and intensity. I think our offense is going to be more of a committee type of thing this year and I think there will be times where we'll be getting more touches from Taylor Riggs and Alyssa Zag inside. We still want to run, but we have to improve our decision-making and have the patience to let the offense run."

Schedule

Nov. 27 at Olentangy Orange Dec. 1 vs. Yellow Springs Dec. 9 vs. Hilliard Darby *Dec. 12 at Watterson Dec. 15 at Marion Pleasant *Dec. 19 at Hartley Dec. 23 vs. Newark Catholic Dec. 28-29 at Watterson Classic *Jan. 7 vs. Worthington Christian *Jan. 9 vs. Columbus School for Girls *Jan. 16 at DeSales *Jan. 20 vs. Watterson *Jan. 23 vs. Hartley Jan. 26 at Jonathan Alder *Jan. 30 at Worthington Christian *Feb. 6 at CSG Feb. 8 at Zanesville Rosecrans *Feb. 10 vs. DeSales Feb. 13 vs. Olentangy Liberty

*CCL game