DeSales High School boys basketball coach Blair Albright knows the nucleus of this year's team and says with near-total certainty that the Stallions will be post player-oriented, unlike the past several seasons.

DeSales High School boys basketball coach Blair Albright knows the nucleus of this year's team and says with near-total certainty that the Stallions will be post player-oriented, unlike the past several seasons.

Beyond that, a season that begins at home Friday, Dec. 2, against Harvest Prep features more questions than answers.

"We feel good about the (three) seniors we have coming back," Albright said of 5-foot-11 guard Marcus Harris, 6-3 forward Charles Chandler and 6-1 guard Brennan Schlabig. "But everyone else we have, with the exception of two guys, there's not a ton of varsity experience there."

The Stallions went 15-7 overall last season, losing 58-51 to Eastmoor Academy in a Division II district semifinal, and finished second in the CCL at 6-2, behind Hartley (7-1) and ahead of Watterson (4-4), St. Charles (3-5) and Ready (0-8). They lost four players to graduation in Sam Borghese, Kenny Cooper, Tevin Cox and Clint James.

Cooper, a 6-3 guard now playing at Ohio Christian University, averaged 10.9 points and 9.2 rebounds last season and was named first-team all-league and third-team all-district. James, a 6-2 guard, was honorable mention all-district.

Harris, Chandler and Schlabig each is in his third varsity season. Harris likely will run the point, but whatever he does will be key to the team's success.

"He's our best ball-handler, our best leader, our best defensive player, our best everything," said Albright, who is in his eighth season leading the program. "We'll ask a lot of him offensively and defensively, and the less we have to rely on him, the more effective we'll be in other areas."

"I'll play wherever I'm needed," Harris said. "I'll be a point guard, I'll be a two-guard coming off screens. I think there are a lot of things this team will be able to do."

Chandler, a first-team all-district defensive back on DeSales' football team, will be called on to score more this season. He and three other post players, 6-2 junior Darrien Scott, 6-7 junior Jordan Tyson and 6-1 sophomore Bryan Stopar, should benefit from the offensive changes.

Tyson missed all of last season with a knee injury.

"That's a whole new offensive skill set for us to learn with those big guys inside," Schlabig said. "If the defense focuses on them, we still have a lot of guys who can score. (Tyson will) be huge offensively and defensively if he can stay out of foul trouble.

"We're a work in progress. We just have to adjust to how defenses play us and see what answers we can get inside."

Others expected to contribute include 5-10 junior guard Josh Jordan, 5-9 senior guard/wing player Stephen Means, 5-11 junior forward Chucks Ariguzo, 6-3 junior forward Oliver Grimard and 6-0 sophomore guard Justin Thompson.

Jordan still is recovering from a meniscus injury suffered during the first week of the football season. Means is recovering from an ankle injury and hopes to be ready for the opener.

DeSales opens CCL play Dec. 9 at home against St. Charles. The Stallions play their first four games at home - including Pickerington North on Dec. 10, followed by Thornville Sheridan on Dec. 20 - and hit the road for the first time when they play in the Alpha Classic at the University of Virginia from Dec. 27-29.

"Right now, there's a lot to solidify as far as who might fall in where," Albright said. "They'll have to prove what they can do from day to day. We have that established top three, but how the guys from (Nos.) 4 to 8 do will be the difference."

•Girls soccer players Courtney Klosterman and Megan McCabe and boys soccer player Matt DiCesare recently were named first-team all-state in Division II by the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association.

Klosterman, a junior defender, and McCabe, a senior forward, helped lead the Stallions to the program's fourth state championship and first since 1998. McCabe scored 12 goals and Klosterman, who verbally committed to the University of Dayton in October, led a defense that didn't allow a goal in eight postseason games. The Stallions went 18-4-2 and defeated Toledo St. Ursula 2-0 in the state final Nov. 12.

DiCesare, a senior midfielder, scored five goals and helped lead the boys team to a 13-7-2 record and its fourth state tournament appearance in five years. DeSales lost 3-0 to eventual state champion Dayton Carroll in a semifinal.

•Tyler Craig of the girls volleyball team was named third-team all-state in Division II, and coach Kelly Morgan was one of seven Coach's Achievement Award winners following a district championship and regional runner-up finish.

Craig, a 5-10 senior, recently signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Bucknell University. She has been a first-team all-district and all-league selection each of the past two years and shared district Player of the Year honors this year with Hartley's Brooke Betts and Big Walnut's Sammie Ebright.

This fall, DeSales went 23-3 overall, 6-2 in the CCL and reached a regional final before losing to Mansfield Madison 25-22, 25-22, 18-25, 26-24 on Nov. 5.