Pete Baumann is expecting his Centennial High School girls basketball team to be much more competitive this season.
“The group from top to bottom is really athletic and everyone will be expected to contribute,” said the second-year coach, whose team opened Nov. 24 with a 70-41 loss to Delaware. “If they can stay patient and disciplined to execute on both ends, the ceiling is really high for them.”
The Stars finished 4-18 overall and 4-10 in the City League-North Division last winter. But they played most of the season with only seven players on the active roster and just one senior in Qiyje January, who was honorable mention all-league.
“Our numbers are up and we are able to field a (junior varsity) squad this year and give our younger kids a good chance to develop,” Baumann said. “We have five girls back from last year and a few others who sat out last year. But we’re also hoping some of those j.v. kids can contribute on the varsity level as the season progresses.”
Among the returnees are senior forward Shamara Bridges and junior forward Naa Dromo Korley. Both averaged 10.1 points last season, and Korley also averaged 13 rebounds. Korley was named second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district, and Bridges was honorable mention all-league.
Baumann is counting on both to lead the way.
“Korley is an extremely physical and aggressive defender and rebounder,” Baumann said. “Bridges can defend multiple positions, score in different ways and just has a high basketball IQ.”
Other returnees are senior guard Neveah Brown, junior guard Jayana Harley and junior guard/forward Tyler Johnson. Rounding out the four-player senior class are guard/forward Akea Hunter and guard Morgan Lawson.
Also expected to contribute are junior Areebah Khan (forward), sophomores Kayvion Brown (guard), CiCi Dingess (forward) and Amaya Thomas (guard) and freshmen Deek Aden (guard), Lauren Bailey (forward), Ayana Jackson (guard), Vanessa Narvaez (guard) and Z’niya Peterson (forward).
“Lawson is a smart player and can make things happen on both ends of the floor for us,” Baumann said. “We’ve got a lot of good pieces. Our goals are to bring consistent effort and intensity to practice with an approach to get a little better every day and be at our best and playing at a high level after New Year’s (Day). If we can do that, I think we can take a big step forward and make some noise.”
The Stars open league play against the top two teams in last year’s standings. They play host to runner-up Linden-McKinley on Tuesday, Dec. 4, and defending champion Northland on Dec. 7.
Martinez, Weil make college decisions
Two Centennial athletes recently made their college announcements official.
Myles Martinez will play baseball at Ohio Dominican University and Zoey Weil will compete in women’s tennis at the University of Washington.
Nov. 24 – vs. Delaware
Nov. 27 – vs. Granville
Nov. 29 – vs. Central Crossing
*Dec. 4 – vs. Linden-McKinley
*Dec. 7 – vs. Northland
*Dec. 11 – at Beechcroft
Dec. 12 – at Westland
*Dec. 14 – at Mifflin
*Dec. 18 – at East
*Dec. 21 – vs. International
Dec. 28 – vs. Groveport
Jan. 4 – at Independence
*Jan. 8 – vs. Whetstone
*Jan. 11 – at Linden-McKinley
*Jan. 15 – at Northland
*Jan. 18 – vs. Beechcroft
*Jan. 22 – vs. Mifflin
*Jan. 25 – vs. East
Jan. 26 – at DeSales
*Jan. 29 – at International
*Feb. 1 – at Whetstone
Feb. 6 – at Wellington
Below are the coming schedules for the Centennial boys basketball, bowling and swimming & diving teams:
Dec. 4 – At Sparta Highland
*Dec. 4 – Whetstone at Sequoia Pro Bowl
SWIMMING & DIVING
Nov. 26 – Whetstone at Columbus Aquatics Center