Familiarizing the members of the Worthington Christian High School girls basketball program with an altered style has been one of the early goals for Chris Joseph since his return as coach last spring.
Joseph, who led the Warriors to a Division IV state semifinal in 2000-01 and to a 169-50 overall record with four district championships from 1997-2006, has taken over a program that has remained competitive since his departure.
Joseph, who replaced Tammi Evans, sees a program that eventually could hit a new plateau.
Under Evans, the Warriors went 87-34 with a regional runner-up finish in 2014-15.
"We'll be competitive," Joseph said. "At times (during the preseason), it was really, really ugly, and there were times we competed against good schools. They're still unsure of things like, 'Where do I cut? Where are my positions on defense?' Once we start clearing that up and understand the intensity that's necessary, I think we could be pretty good.
"I would like to get things going in the right direction this season and get the younger girls a feel of what we do. We're going to do things a little differently. We want to get them familiar with the terminology and carry that down to the seventh- and eighth-graders."
The Warriors finished 13-10 overall last season, including placing third in the MSL-Ohio Division at 6-4 behind Bexley (9-1) and London (8-2). London is no longer in the league, meaning that each team will now play eight league contests.
Worthington Christian opened Nov. 27 with a 44-27 home victory over Utica and beat host Grandview 46-22 in its league opener Dec. 1 before playing host to Tree of Life on Dec. 4.
The top returnee is 5-foot-9 sophomore guard Katherine Weakley, who averaged 11.5 points and was named second-team all-league last season.
The senior class is comprised of CeCi Dalton (5-9, post player), Amanda Mayotte (5-8, wing player) and Emma Morris (5-7, wing player).
Against Utica, Weakley and 5-7 freshman guard Blessing King both scored 14 points. Weakley had 13 points against Grandview.
Other key players include juniors Ashley Hall (5-3, guard) and Eliana Styer (5-4, guard) and freshman Anna Schwatz (5-9, forward). Also on the roster are sophomores Libby Dalton (5-6, guard) and Izzie Slaughter (5-7, guard) and freshmen Kendyl Burns (5-7, guard) and Jaeda Tagoe (5-6, guard).
The Warriors have 17 players in the program overall.
Joseph's daughter, Maddy Joseph, is a 2013 Olentangy Orange graduate who is serving as an assistant.
"We have a nice young crew coming up," Chris Joseph said. "We'll have two freshmen get significant varsity time and I'd say two sophomores are getting significant varsity time, so we're young."
Boys basketball team poised to bounce back
With just two seniors among its key players last season, the boys basketball team had a run of six consecutive winning seasons end, as it finished 9-14 overall.
A group of young players has begun to emerge for the Warriors, who opened Dec. 1 with a 78-49 home win over Liberty Union and played host to Fredericktown on Dec. 4 before they begin MSL-Ohio action Saturday, Dec. 8, at home against Grandview.
"We had a great offseason," 19th-year coach Kevin Weakley said. "It's just a returning group of players that really love basketball and they're significantly better than they were a year ago because they invested a lot of time into it. We're fortunate to have a lot of guys that have spent a lot of time playing together, and they really like each other."
Nakimba Mullins, a 6-3 junior forward who had 31 points in a 68-59 win over Newark Catholic in last year's regular-season finale, averaged 10 points and six rebounds a year ago and was named honorable mention all-league and all-district in Division III.
Another key player is freshman D.J. Moore, a 6-3 point guard who Weakley calls "a really spectacular young player."
"His greatest attribute is that he's a true point who sees the floor really well and has tremendous athleticism on the offensive and defensive end," Weakley said.
The only seniors are Charles Collins (6-1, guard) and Jake Nowak (5-8, guard).
Junior Derrick Hardin (6-0, guard) and sophomores Drew Faieta (5-10, guard) and Tyler Kindberg (6-1, guard) are return-ees who also should take on key roles. Kindberg missed much of the offseason with an injury.
Also on the roster are juniors Steven Spayde (5-10, guard) and Brien Wall (6-4, forward) and sophomore Isaiah Hazlewood (6-5, forward).
The only key players lost to graduation were Collin Kimbrough and Kyle Smith, both of whom averaged 10 points and were second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district.
"We think this year we have a chance to really improve on last year," Weakley said.
Dec. 1 -- vs. Liberty Union
Dec. 4 -- vs. Fredericktown
*Dec. 8 -- vs. Grandview
Dec. 10 -- vs. Delaware Christian
*Dec. 14 -- at Columbus Academy
Dec. 15 -- vs. West Jefferson
Dec. 22 -- Whetstone at Mount Vernon Nazarene
Dec. 28 -- at Mount Gilead
Dec. 29 -- vs. Galion Northmor
*Jan. 4 -- at Whitehall
Jan. 8 -- at Centerburg
*Jan. 12 -- vs. Bexley
Jan. 15 -- vs. Fairbanks
*Jan. 18 -- at Grandview
Jan. 22 -- at Horizon Science
*Jan. 25 -- vs. Columbus Academy
Jan. 30 -- at Johnstown
Feb. 2 -- at Grove City Christian
Feb. 5 -- at Buckeye Valley
*Feb. 9 -- vs. Whitehall
*Feb. 15 -- at Bexley
Feb. 19 -- vs. Newark Catholic
Nov. 27 -- vs. Utica
*Dec. 1 -- at Grandview
Dec. 4 -- vs. Tree of Life
*Dec. 7 -- at Columbus Academy
Dec. 11 -- at Fairbanks
Dec. 13 -- at Briggs
Dec. 15 -- at Ready
*Dec. 21 -- vs. Whitehall
Dec. 29 -- vs. Liberty Union
Jan. 2 -- at Northridge
*Jan. 5 -- at Bexley
Jan. 9 -- at Berne Union
*Jan. 11 -- vs. Grandview
Jan. 17 -- vs. Grove City Christian
*Jan. 19 -- vs. Columbus Academy
Jan. 21 -- vs. Marion Elgin
Jan. 26 -- vs. Cristo Rey
Jan. 29 -- vs. Centerburg
*Feb. 2 -- at Whitehall
*Feb. 8 -- vs. Bexley
Feb. 13 -- at Johnstown
Below are the coming schedules for the Worthington Christian bowling teams:
*Dec. 7 -- Columbus Academy at HP Lanes
Dec. 8 -- Holiday Baker Marathon at Columbus Square Bowling Palace