The past few months have felt like a war of attrition for the Worthington Christian High School girls basketball team.

The past few months have felt like a war of attrition for the Worthington Christian High School girls basketball team.

With just two seniors a year ago on a team that finished 10-12 overall, the Warriors thought they had the pieces in place heading into the offseason to put together a much better finish this season.

Injuries have left those hopes in doubt.

Worthington Christian returns a trio of talented players in senior point guard Paige Stump, senior post player Emily Feusse (5-foot-11) and sophomore forward Caitlin Kusan, but much of its depth has been depleted.

Senior forward Christy Watterson (knee), junior guard Kaley Heath (knee) and sophomore guard Hope Kusan (concussion) are expected to miss the season with injuries after seeing action a year ago. Watterson averaged 4.8 points and 8.0 rebounds.

The Warriors open Tuesday against visiting Wellington and play their CCL opener Dec. 20 at Ready.

"We had a great summer, but we've had some injury problems," said coach Tim Kusan, who is Caitlin's uncle and Hope's father. "We were in rebuilding mode last year. We're extremely young again this year."

Rachel Jordan, who averaged 9.2 points and 3.3 rebounds a year ago and now is playing for Saginaw State, made honorable mention all-district along with Stump (8.7 points, 4.4 assists) and Caitlin Kusan (10.1 points, 11.7 rebounds, 3.0 steals). The other graduate was Aubrie Corpron (2.0 points).

The rest of the roster is comprised of nine players with no varsity experience.

Freshman Allie Custer has significant AAU experience and should contribute immediately in the backcourt, along with classmate Marissa Grant.

Junior Sarah Morford (5-10) and sophomore Taylor Lanning are expected to join Caitlin Kusan and Feusse (5.6 rebounds) down low. Lanning missed last year with a foot injury.

Sophomore Tobie Weston, who did not play last year but played in middle school, should see time at shooting guard and small forward. Sophomore Mackenzie Clapper also is expected to contribute in the backcourt.

New to the program are freshmen Liz Akin, Alex Cardenas and Hannah Evans.

"Our scrimmage (Nov. 20 against Bloom-Carroll) went pretty well," Feusse said. "We competed with them and we played better than I thought we would. There are a lot of new kids that came out, and I'm looking forward to the season. We're all making attempts to pass it into the post and even the new girls are passing the ball. Having a young team, it's hard to tell how we'll be."

Worthington Christian finished fourth in the CCL at 4-6 behind Watterson (10-0), DeSales (7-3) and Ready (5-5) and ahead of Hartley (2-8) and Columbus School for Girls (2-8).

In the Division III district tournament, the Warriors beat Highland 54-35 in the first round but lost to eventual district runner-up Liberty Union 52-34 in the second.

It marked the second consecutive season Worthington Christian failed to reach at least a district semifinal. The Warriors won district championships in 2001 and '02 in Division IV and in 2003 and '04 in Division III before finishing as a district runner-up in 2005 in Division III.

"We've got three girls who have never dribbled a basketball before two weeks ago," coach Kusan said. "We've got good athletes, but the biggest fear is that the three we have back are the only ones who have played at the high school level. We're going to have some growing pains, so we'll have to keep everybody encouraged. The CCL is a very physical league and puts a lot of wear and tear on you. If we can hopefully get to the midseason healthy, hopefully we can peak for the tournament."