Brycen Baugh will look to an experienced backcourt to lead the Bexley girls basketball team in his first season as coach.
This is the first head-coaching post for Baugh, who had been an assistant in the boys basketball program for 15 seasons. He replaced Joshua Price, who left after five seasons.
Junior guards Aly Cox and Maddy Young bring a wealth of experience to the Lions, who will try to improve on last year's finish of 15-10 overall and 6-2 in the MSL-Ohio Division.
"Our guards, especially Maddy and Aly, bring a lot of varsity experience to the court," Baugh said. "They have been setting the tone for us in practices and scrimmages.
"Maddy brings the ball down the floor for us, and she's a really good shooter when she gets the ball off. Aly is our defensive leader. She gets our defensive concepts and usually guards our opponent's best player. She has done a really good job of guarding off the dribble and she's a good help-defender as well."
Young was honorable mention all-district in Division II and second-team all-league last season, averaging 9.4 points, 3.4 assists and 1.4 steals. Cox averaged 3.4 points.
"Coach Baugh has brought a new dynamic to the team," Young said. "Every day is different, but we work hard and we're definitely getting better.
"I think we're pushing the ball up the court a lot more. We're a guard-based team and he's taking advantage of that."
Cox said one of Baugh's primary focuses has been on the defensive end.
"We're a good defensive team, but we have a lot more to work on," she said. "We have improved so much from the beginning of (preseason workouts)."
The Lions' inside game will come from 6-foot senior post player Shyla Hutchins, 5-11 junior forward Maia Ben-David and 5-10 freshman guard/forward Sydnie Smith, who is the daughter of former Bexley football coach John Smith.
"We have a good rotation of three girls in the post," Baugh said. "Shyla played j.v. last year, but she has worked hard on her game and is willing to be coached.
"Maia has a good touch around the basket and she is picking up what we want her to be doing. Sydnie Smith is strong and she understands basketball. We will have to deal with some freshman mistakes, but she is going to become a really good player."
The Lions must replace the production of Maddy Vincent, a 2019 graduate who led the team in scoring (14.1 points), rebounds (6.1), steals (2.2) and 3-point shooting (17-for-44, 38.6 percent) last season. She also averaged 2.4 assists and finished with 1,144 career points.
"We'll have to divide the scoring up," Baugh said. "We don't have that one person to score like we did with Maddy Vincent. We do have good overall depth in scoring."
Juniors Zoe Boxill (guard/forward), Fiona Duncan (post player) and Claire Melville (guard), sophomore guards Regan Comstock and Grace Heilman and freshman guard/forward Sofia Sheridan round out the roster.
"It's been really exciting and we have been busy making sure we get all of the different drills and plays in," said Baugh, who teaches government and U.S. history at the high school. "It's exciting to teach new things to the kids, but we're not as far along as I would like to be. The girls are working hard and picking things up fast. Practices have been a lot of fun."
The Lions opened Nov. 22 against London and begin league play Dec. 6 against Worthington Christian.
Below are the coming schedules for the Bexley boys basketball, girls basketball and boys bowling teams:
Nov. 29 -- Home vs. Whetstone
Dec. 3 -- Home vs. Granville
Dec. 4 -- At Hartley
*Dec. 2 -- Briggs at Holiday Lanes