With just one junior and the remaining players being sophomores and freshmen, first-year Whitehall-Yearling High School girls basketball coach Darrin Green said it will take time for his team to develop.
The Rams opened Nov. 24 with a 54-29 loss at Berne Union as 5-foot sophomore guard Sahlena Harvey scored 13 points.
"We're going at a snail's pace, a slow pace of teaching and learning and making sure all the kids are applying the things that we're trying to do, especially with our first year being there," Green said.
Green replaced Terry Cornett II, who stepped down after guiding the Rams to a 5-18 record last season. Cornett went 14-32 overall and 7-19 in the MSL-Ohio Division in two seasons.
Green, 32, took over the program after guiding the Centennial girls team to six consecutive winning seasons. He also coached the Whitehall girls tennis team this fall.
He 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 in his six seasons, sharing the regular-season league title with Northland in 2015 and 2016.
Green inherited a program whose players have limited varsity experience. Makhia Hinton, a 5-8 junior forward, is the only player who received significant time last season.
"The team is looking good," Hinton said. "The girls respect coach Green and don't talk back. We do what he tells us to do."
Green expects 5-7 sophomore guard Kiara Bagley, a move-in from the Chicago area, to have an immediate impact.
Other players are sophomores Elliana Alexander (5-7, forward), Liana Betts (5-9, forward), A'Nyah Jones (5-6, forward) and Izzy Simmons (5-5, guard) and freshman Desira Henderson (5-4, guard).
Green said sophomore Annequia Patterson (5-4, guard) and freshmen Shyaira Johnson (5-8, forward), Makenzie Schmittauer (5-3, guard) and Ryyair Smith (5-4, guard) will split time between varsity and junior varsity.
Hinton plans to take on a leadership role.
"Some of the girls look up to me because I play all the sports and I know everything about the sports," she said.
Whitehall has a big void to fill with the graduation of point guard Stephanie Ellis, who surpassed 1,000 career points last season. She was named first-team all-league and third-team all-district in Division II after averaging 13 points and six rebounds.
Whitehall will compete in the Division I postseason this winter.
The Rams open MSL-Ohio play Saturday, Dec. 2, at Bexley. They went 2-10 in the league last year to finish sixth behind champion London (11-1).
Green was pleased with his team's progress during scrimmages.
"There are plenty of other things that we still need to do to make sure we stay competitive in games," he said.
"We have to compete at the varsity level and we're not all the way there yet as far as IQ and just the sense of awareness. We have athleticism, we have potential, but right now that's all it is. It's just potential. It hasn't formed into anything yet."
Nov. 24 -- at Berne Union
Nov. 28 -- at Licking Valley
Nov. 30 -- at Hartley
*Dec. 2 -- at Bexley
Dec. 5 -- vs. Bloom-Carroll
*Dec. 8 -- at London
Dec. 12 -- at Pickerington North
*Dec. 16 -- vs. Grandview
Dec. 19 -- at Hamilton Township
Dec. 21 -- vs. Lakewood
*Dec. 23 -vs. Worthington Christian
Dec. 30 -- at Caledonia River Valley
*Jan. 5 -- vs. Columbus Academy
Jan. 6 -- vs. Groveport
*Jan. 13 -- vs. Bexley
Jan. 17 -- at Delaware
*Jan. 19 -- vs. London
Jan. 25 -- vs. Mifflin
*Jan. 27 -- at Grandview
Jan. 30 -- vs. Westland
*Feb. 2 -- at Worthington Christian
*Feb. 10 -- at Columbus Academy
Below are the coming schedules for the Whitehall-Yearling boys basketball, bowling and wrestling teams:
Dec. 2 -- Home vs. Walnut Ridge in All-Ohio Nike High School Hoops Showcase
Dec. 2 -- Red and Blue Classic at HP Lanes
Dec. 2 -- Cambridge Invitational