DeSales High School girls basketball coach Brian Cromwell tried to save his fellow CCL coaches some time during the league's media day Nov. 19.
With only eight players on the roster, none of whom are taller than 5-foot-8, Cromwell thinks his team will be predictable to some extent.
"You don't have to come scout us much. We're going to be shooting the ball from the perimeter a lot," said Cromwell, whose sixth season at DeSales opened Nov. 29 at home against Olentangy Orange. "When we can do that, we (will be) playing pretty well and we'll have a good tempo going. Defensively, we have to be scrappy, especially when we play teams that are a little bit bigger than us."
Senior guards Emma Burns (5-5) and Sarah Zaino (5-4) and 5-7 junior forward Gabby Elliott return to lead the Stallions, who finished 10-14 overall and 2-5 in the CCL last season.
Burns had a well-rounded season, leading the team in points (16.0 per game), made free throws (96), free-throw percentage (78.0), rebounds (8.5 per game), assists (55) and steals (25), and expects that she will need to provide even more this year.
"I'll have to be more explosive. That's what we've been working on in practice, anyway," Burns said. "I've been working on moves and getting by the defender and getting to the hole.
"I think I've gotten better at the leadership role. In the past, I've been quieter on the court, and now that there's more expected of me, I've had to step up and be more vocal."
Zaino averaged 4.8 points and 2.3 rebounds a year ago before a season-ending knee injury. Elliott was the Stallions' third-leading scorer, averaging 6.5 points and 3.0 rebounds.
"The young girls expect a lot of us," Zaino said. "They're working hard. They're excited to be on the team."
Sophomore Erin Burns (5-5, guard) saw limited playing time last year.
DeSales lost some returning experience when senior guard Abbey Dop, who also plays lacrosse and soccer, decided to concentrate on academics. Another senior guard, Talia Kreuzer, was injured during soccer season.
Rounding out the roster are juniors Taylor Cash (5-4, guard) and Ashley Kraker (5-8, center) and sophomores Sam Kaczmarek (5-4, guard) and Katie Schuler (5-7, guard).
Kraker is the team's tallest player.
"We talk about rebounding as a team. That's the main thing we have to do," Cromwell said. "We can't depend on one person to clean up the glass. We have never had that real big presence (inside) since I've been around. We work our box-out drills on a daily basis. We try to be pretty physical. Emma last year was our leading rebounder as our point guard, so she has to get in there. It's (about getting) all five on the glass."
DeSales begins CCL play Jan. 4 at Watterson. The Stallions tied Ready for third in the league last season behind Watterson (7-0).
New hockey coach brings new approach
After averaging 17 wins per season in four years coaching Dublin Coffman, Darcy Cahill is excited to take over the hockey team and help make it a winner.
The Stallions are 1-4 overall after going 1-3 in the Chiller Thanksgiving Classic last weekend at Chiller Dublin. They lost to Wooster 9-1 on Nov. 24 and fell to the Dayton Stealth 5-1 and Kirkwood (Missouri) St. John Vianney 10-0 on Nov. 25 before defeating the Northwest Eagles 8-3 on Nov. 26.
DeSales lost to Thomas Worthington 4-0 in its season opener Nov. 18 at Chiller North.
Cahill, who was 68-54-8-1 at Coffman and led the Shamrocks to the state tournament in 2015-16 season, replaces Dominic Locilento, who went 28-44-2-1 in three seasons. Last season, the Stallions finished 5-20-1-1 overall and 0-14-1-1 (2 points) in the Capital Hockey Conference-White Division, fifth behind New Albany (24, 11-3-0-2).
DeSales hasn't had a winning season since 2014-15, when it finished 13-12-1.
"I'm excited to coach at DeSales. It's a great opportunity with some great people," said Cahill, whose wife, Renee, graduated from the school in 1994. Their daughter, Kylie, is a freshman at DeSales.
The Stallions return their second-leading scorer from last season in junior forward Adam Graver (15 goals), as well as seniors Tyler Albers (forward), Logan Barrett (defenseman) and Alex McClary (goal-tender/defenseman) and junior goalie Grant Rodgers.
"We're a good mix between young and old," Cahill said. "We have three seniors back and then we picked up some guys recently who haven't played before. They're working hard. We're excited for the rest of the season."
Rounding out the roster are seniors Jack DeSantis (forward), Zach Dowling-Fitzpatrick (forward) and Matthew Mitchell (forward), juniors Caleb Ghiloni (defenseman) and Chris Yarger (forward), sophomores Sam Bosson (defenseman) and Jacob Haywood (defenseman) and freshmen Nick Bedzyk (forward), Dylan Flesher (forward) and Nick Meek (defenseman).
Graver and Yarger both scored three goals against the Northwest Eagles.
"We have to click and then we'll see what happens," Cahill said. "I haven't set a ton of expectations yet because it's early, but things will progress."
Nov. 29 -- vs. Olentangy Orange
Dec. 2 -- at Lancaster
Dec. 6 -- vs. New Albany
Dec. 9 -- vs. Dublin Jerome
Dec. 12 -- vs. Marysville
Dec. 16 -- at Mount Vernon
Dec. 27-28 -- Roosters Stallion Holiday Classic at home
Dec. 30 -- at Walnut Ridge
*Jan. 4 -- at Watterson
Jan. 6 -- vs. Gahanna
*Jan. 11 -- at Ready
Jan. 13 -- vs. Licking Heights
*Jan. 18 -- vs. Hartley
Jan. 20 -- at Dublin Scioto
*Jan. 25 -- vs. Watterson
Jan. 27 -- at Centennial
*Jan. 30 -- at Columbus School for Girls
*Feb. 1 -- vs. Ready
Feb. 3 -- vs. Hilliard Bradley
*Feb. 8 -- at Hartley
Feb. 10 -- at Zanesville
*Nov. 18 -- Thomas Worthington at Chiller North
Nov. 24 -- Northeast Storm in Chiller Thanksgiving Classic at Chiller Dublin
Nov. 25 -- Garfield Heights Trinity and Hilliard in Chiller Thanksgiving Classic
Nov. 26 -- Northwest Eagles in Chiller Thanksgiving Classic
*Dec. 2 -- Upper Arlington at Chiller Easton
*Dec. 3 -- Springboro at Chiller Easton
*Dec. 8 -- Olentangy at Chiller Easton
*Dec. 9 -- Thomas Worthington at Chiller Easton
*Dec. 10 -- St. Charles at OhioHealth Ice Haus
*Dec. 22 -- Olentangy Liberty at Chiller North
*Jan. 5 -- Watterson at Chiller Easton
*Jan. 6 -- Dublin Coffman at Chiller Dublin
Jan. 12-15 -- Walter F. Ehrnfelt Tournament at OBM Arena in Strongsville
*Jan. 19 -- Gahanna at Chiller Easton
*Jan. 20 -- Watterson at Chiller Dublin
*Jan. 27 -- New Albany at Chiller Easton
*Jan. 28 -- Olentangy Orange at Chiller Easton
*Feb. 2 -- Dublin Jerome at Chiller Easton
*Feb. 3 -- Gahanna at Chiller Easton
*Feb. 4 -- Cincinnati Moeller at Northland Ice Center
Feb. 8-11 -- Blue Jackets Cup
Below are the coming schedules for the DeSales boys basketball, bowling, gymnastics, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
Dec. 4 -- Home vs. Patriot Prep
*Dec. 4 -- Walnut Ridge at Eastland Lanes
Dec. 6 -- At Thomas Worthington with Westerville Central
SWIMMING & DIVING
Dec. 2 -- Catholic Showdown at St. Charles
Dec. 2 -- Tony Pizzurro Memorial Tournament at home