Pete Baumann is eager to guide the young Centennial High School girls basketball team that he has inherited.
The first-year coach replaced Darrin Green, who now is coaching at Whitehall after a successful six-season run with the Stars.
Green led Centennial to a Division II district title in 2014, the program's first. The Stars went 100-42 overall and 73-11 in the City League-North Division during his tenure, sharing the regular-season league title with Northland in 2015 and 2016 before placing second (12-2) last year behind the Vikings (14-0).
Baumann led Columbus Academy in 2014-15 and 2015-16. He also was an assistant at Columbus State for three seasons and an assistant at Westland for one season.
"I am very excited for this opportunity," he said. "I believe in the families of this school and this community and am committed to helping these kids learn, grow and compete at a high level."
It could be a challenge this season, as the Stars return only two letterwinners from a team that finished 12-10 overall last year.
The Stars lost their entire starting lineup to graduation, including Sydney Moore and Jazilee Williams, who were all-league selections.
The returnees are 5-foot-6 senior point guard Qiyje January and 5-9 junior forward Shamara Bridges.
"January will handle the point guard spot and will need to take care of the ball for us," said Baumann, whose team opened Nov. 25 with an 81-24 loss at Zanesville Maysville. "Bridges is a really smart, athletic wing player who makes us go. She also is our best defender."
The Stars will play their first five games away from home before their home opener Dec. 12 against Beechcroft. Their league opener is Tuesday, Dec. 5, at Linden-McKinley, and their first matchup with the defending league champion is Dec. 8 at Northland.
Expected to be in the early season starting lineup with Bridges and January are 5-6 junior guard Nevaeh Brown and sophomores Naa Dromo Korley (5-7, forward) and Jayana Harley (5-5, guard).
"Brown is lighting fast with good defensive hands," Baumann said. "Korley is a really tough, physical rebounder.
"We are very inexperienced but have athletic kids who can develop and find ways to contribute. Most of our kids haven't played together so we're looking to develop on-court chemistry as we go."
Completing the roster are 6-1 senior center Re'Nia Mills, sophomores Tyler Johnson (5-7, forward) and Sarah Clifton (5-6, forward) and 5-9 freshman forward A'Niyah Moore.
"We look to come together, learn and grow every day and be playing our best ball come January and February," Baumann said. "We don't really have a lot of size, but we do have fast kids with quick hands who need to learn discipline in how to apply those skills.
"To have success we will need to develop our fundamentals, be disciplined in order to execute and we have to learn to trust each other."
Nov. 25 -- at Zanesville Maysville
Nov. 28 -- at Granville
*Dec. 5 -- at Linden-McKinley
Dec. 6 -- at Hartley
*Dec. 8 -- at Northland
*Dec. 12 -- vs. Beechcroft
*Dec. 15 -- vs. Mifflin
*Dec. 19 -- vs. East
*Dec. 22 -- at International
Dec. 28 -- at Dublin Scioto
*Jan. 9 -- at Whetstone
*Jan. 12 -- vs. Linden-McKinley
Jan. 13 -- vs. Independence
*Jan. 16 -- vs. Northland
*Jan. 19 -- at Beechcroft
*Jan. 23 -- at Mifflin
*Jan. 26 -- at East
Jan. 27 -- vs. DeSales
*Jan. 30 -- vs. International
*Feb. 2 -- vs. Whetstone
Feb. 5 -- at Jonathan Alder
Below are the coming schedules for the Centennial boys basketball and bowling teams:
Dec. 5 -- At Dublin Scioto
*Dec. 4 -- Columbus Academy at HP Lanes