With the program's all-time leading scorer no longer in uniform, the Worthington Christian High School girls basketball team understands that it will need to use a different formula to be successful this season.
That doesn't mean there won't be some positive moments along the way.
"A lot of people have (asked) because (2017 graduate) Bridgette (Rettstatt) is gone, are you actually going to be good this year?" 5-foot-4 senior guard Emily Hall said. "But especially with our plays, we've been able to read each other well. It's not so much 'let's find Bridgette.' We have a lot of good plays and a lot of people are getting shots. It's a balanced team. We like the fast-break kind of game, especially with lots of full-court defense and trapping."
Hall, who was named honorable mention all-MSL-Ohio Division last season as the Warriors went 9-3 to finish as runner-up to London (11-1) and finished 17-7 overall, is one of five seniors.
Seniors Alex Evans (5-4, guard) and Emma Linehan (6-1, post player) were second-team all-league.
The other seniors are Caroline Cole (5-3, guard) and Jenna Lake (5-10, forward).
Juniors CeCi Dalton (5-8, wing player), Ashley Hall (5-3, guard) and Amanda Mayotte (5-7, guard) and freshman Katherine Weakley (5-8, guard) are others on the team.
The Warriors opened Nov. 28 with a 68-48 loss to Canal Winchester and fell to 0-2 with a 40-34 loss to Grandview in their league opener Dec. 2.
Weakley had 16 points, Evans scored 12 and Dalton scored 10 against the Indians and Weakley and Emily Hall both scored 10 against the Bobcats.
"We've got a lot of experience," said fifth-year coach Tammi Evans, Alex's mother. "The girls work hard. You'll see more of a balanced-scoring team. We have an unselfish team. I'm excited for the season."
Rettstatt, who is now playing for Liberty University, finished her prep career with 1,716 points. Last season, she was named Player of the Year in the league and in the district in Division III.
Boys basketball team has younger look
Lean in the area of experience, the boys basketball team figures to be a work in progress throughout this season.
The Warriors opened Dec. 1 with a 55-40 loss to Johnstown before defeating Gahanna Christian 84-32 on Dec. 4.
"It's an inexperienced team that's untested," 18th-year coach Kevin Weakley said. "We'll have to get into the season and see where we're at. I believe we'll be significantly better by the end of the season than we are now. We have a lot of work to do, but it's an extremely coachable group."
The Warriors are coming off a season in which they finished 21-6 overall and won their fourth Division III district title in six seasons, but the only key returnees are seniors Kyle Smith (6-5, forward) and Collin Kimbrough (6-5, forward). Last season, Smith was honorable mention all-district and both players averaged five points.
The only other senior is Isaac Deskins (5-10, guard).
Tyler Kindberg, a 5-10 freshman guard, scored 15 points against the Johnnies and figures to be a young player that Weakley can build around.
"He's a tremendous athlete and can get up and dunk it at 5-10," Weakley said.
Juniors Charles Collins (6-1, guard) and Jake Nowak (5-8, guard) and sophomore Nakimba Mullins (6-3, forward) are other key players.
Junior A.J. Bennett (6-0, guard) and sophomore Derrick Hardin (5-10, guard) also are looking to contribute.
The Warriors lost five players from last season to graduation after losing 35-32 to Cincinnati Summit Country Day in a regional semifinal, including Jay Joseph, who was named Player of the Year in the MSL-Ohio and in the district and averaged 16 points, eight rebounds and three assists.
Joseph, who finished with 1,233 career points, now plays at Mount Vernon Nazarene.
"We have a young team, but everyone is stepping up," Smith said.
Bowling teams again have high hopes
The boys and girls bowling teams are off to strong starts.
Against Gilead Christian on Nov. 30 at HP Lanes, the boys team won 2,026-1,318 as senior Seth Parsell bowled a 485 two-game series to earn medalist honors and the girls won 1,752-1,326 as sophomore Amber Ralston rolled a 367 to be the medalist.
Last season, the boys went 11-5 overall and the girls were 14-2, and both teams advanced to the Division II district tournament.
Senior Alyssa Weishaar, junior Elizabeth Eisel and sophomores Anna Opava, Natalie Opava and Coral Varian also are returnees for the girls team, which has a six-member freshman class that includes Lily Marsh and Emily Weishaar.
Kara Godsey was lost to graduation after finishing 14th (504 in three-game series) at last year's district tournament, but Alyssa Weishaar was the team's No. 2 bowler (33rd, 461) at district as the girls finished 12th.
The girls team also was runner-up in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-Central Division at 11-2 behind Whetstone (13-0).
"We were pretty good last year, so we're looking to build upon that with the experience we have back, and we also have six freshmen this year," third-year coach Matt Hamilton said. "There's a lot of talent."
Zaq Strohmeyer was lost to graduation after rolling a 541 three-game series to tie for 28th at district for the boys team, but Parsell was 36th (525) at district, followed by junior Garrett Rowda (47th, 487) and senior Barrett Bowen (52nd, 478).
Sophomores Clay Danec and Caleb Slagle also are returnees for the Warriors, who finished sixth (10-5) in the COHSBC-Central and sixth (3,455) at district as the top two advanced to state.
Freshman Mason Marsh is another looking to contribute.
"Our goal is always to go to state with some or all of the team," fifth-year coach Dave Krebs said. "We'd like to win our conference this year, and we do expect to get to district."
Most of swimming team has returned
After having eight competitors in its swimming and diving program a year ago, six have returned and a newcomer has been added.
Competing in swimming for the boys will be senior Brian Kray and swimming for the girls are junior Jamie McCree and sophomores Jaclyn Hamilton and Anna Stathulis.
Junior Andrew Lawrence and sophomore Josh Stanfield are returning boys divers and freshman Lena Morgan is the lone girls diver.
"With a smaller team, we'll be looking for continued individual improvement, and if things go our way, we'll be looking at a couple of state qualifiers and our younger swimmers making it into the district meet," 17th-year coach Jim Peterfish said.
Last season, Kray placed seventh in the 100-yard backstroke (1 minute, 2.4 seconds) and 17th in the 100 freestyle (52.42) in the Division II district meet.
At last year's sectional, Stathulis was 11th in the 100 back (1:11.34) and 16th in the 200 free (2:23.92), McCree was 16th in the 100 breaststroke (1:23.1) and 15th in the 100 free (1:05.99), Hamilton took 34th in the 50 free (34.94), the girls 200 medley relay was 11th (2:38.53) and the girls 200 free relay was 10th (2:18.36).
Senior Jeremy Baggs, who made it to state the past two seasons, finishing 15th in the 200 individual medley (1:59.62) a year ago, is not back with the program.
"Brian Kray is our lone senior and will be expected to lead the small group," Peterfish said. "He should be ranked in the top four (in the 100 breast) this year and looking for a state-qualifying season. Anna Stathulis just missed making districts last season and is looking to be our leader on the girls side. Our freshman diver, Lena Morgan, is entering high school with a lot of club diving experience."
Dec. 1 -- vs. Johnstown
Dec. 4 -- at Gahanna Christian
Dec. 6 -- at Fredericktown
*Dec. 9 -- at Grandview
*Dec. 15 -- vs. Columbus Academy
Dec. 18 -- vs. Columbus East
Dec. 23 -- at Liberty Union
Dec. 29 -- at Galion Northmor
*Jan. 4 -- at London
*Jan. 6 -- vs. Whitehall
Jan. 9 -- vs. Centerburg
*Jan. 12 -- at Bexley
Jan. 15 -- at Grove City Christian
*Jan. 20 -- vs. Grandview
Jan. 23 -- vs. Horizon Science
*Jan. 26 -- at Columbus Academy
Jan. 30 -- at West Jefferson
*Feb. 3 -- vs. London
Feb. 6 -- vs. Watterson
*Feb. 9 -- at Whitehall
*Feb. 16 -- vs. Bexley
Feb. 21 -- at Newark Catholic
Nov. 28 -- at Canal Winchester
*Dec. 2 -- vs. Grandview
Dec. 5 -- at Centerburg
*Dec. 8 -- at Columbus Academy
Dec. 11 -- vs. Briggs
*Dec. 16 -- vs. London
*Dec. 23 -- at Whitehall
Dec. 30 -- at Liberty Union
Jan. 3 -- at Utica
*Jan. 5 -- vs. Bexley
Jan. 9 -- at Mount Vernon
*Jan. 13 -- at Grandview
Jan. 16 -- vs. Wellington
*Jan. 19 -- vs. Columbus Academy
Jan. 20 -- at Franklin Heights
Jan. 25 -- vs. Fredericktown
*Jan. 27 -- at London
Jan. 29 -- vs. Ready
*Feb. 2 -- vs. Whitehall
Feb. 5 -- vs. Marion Pleasant
*Feb. 10 -- at Bexley
Feb. 13 -- vs. Johnstown
Nov. 30 -- Gilead Christian at HP Lanes
Dec. 2 -- Red & Blue Classic at HP Lanes
*Dec. 5 -- Haugland Learning Center at HP Lanes
Dec. 8 -- Columbus Academy at HP Lanes
Dec. 9 -- Holiday Baker Marathon at Columbus Square Bowling Palace
*Dec. 11 -- Columbus International at Sequoia Pro Bowl
*Dec. 13 -- Briggs at Stardust Lanes
*Dec. 18 -- Teays Valley at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
*Dec. 19 -- Northland at HP Lanes
Jan. 10 -- St. Charles at HP Lanes
*Jan. 11 -- Whetstone at HP Lanes
Jan. 15 -- Pioneer Classic at Westgate Entertainment Center in Lima
*Jan. 16 -- Columbus West at HP Lanes
*Jan. 18 -- Bexley at HP Lanes
Jan. 20 -- D2 Preview at HP Lanes
*Jan. 23 -- Marion-Franklin at HP Lanes
*Jan. 25 -- Grandview at Sawmill Lanes
Jan. 27 -- Jaguar Bakers at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
*Jan. 30 -- Columbus South at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
Feb. 2 -- Thomas Worthington and Worthington Kilbourne at Capri Lanes
Feb. 3 -- MSL Tournament at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
SWIMMING & DIVING
Dec. 8 -- Westerville Central at Westerville Recreation Center
Dec. 15-16 -- Ned Reeb Memorial Invitational at Ohio State
Dec. 23 -- Westerville Invitational at Westerville Recreation Center
Jan. 4 -- Worthington Invitational diving meet at Thomas Worthington
Jan. 13 -- Central Ohio Splash Invitational at Thomas Worthington
Jan. 20 -- at Columbus Academy (swimming) and at Columbus School for Girls (diving)
Jan. 24 -- MSL-Ohio diving meet at Columbus Academy
Jan. 27 -- MSL-Ohio swimming meet at Columbus Academy