The Centennial girls basketball team improved as last season went along, giving third-year coach Pete Baumann a reason for optimism about the Stars' chances this winter.
Another reason for optimism is his senior trio of Jayana Harley (5-foot-5, guard), Tyler Johnson (5-8, forward) and Naa Dromo Korley (5-8, forward).
"We have three seniors that have played quite a bit and we're going to be relying on them quite a bit," Baumann said. "The ceiling is pretty high. I think we've taken some good steps in the last couple of years and now, with this group of three, I think the possibility is there to have a really successful season."
The Stars, who opened Nov. 26 against Westland, finished 10-13 overall and 7-7 in the City League-North Division last season after losing five of their first six games. They were 4-18 in Baumann's first season.
"We are continually throughout the season learning and getting better," he said. "We're usually pretty far behind (in the beginning), but by the time January and February rolls around, we've hit our stride a lot better."
Centennial lost Shamara Bridges and Neveah Brown to graduation. Bridges was second-team all-league and Brown was honorable mention.
The Stars will be leaning heavily on Harley, Johnson and Korley.
"They all bring something different, but when you put them together, it's a good group of seniors," Baumann said.
"We talked a lot in the offseason, just normal, everyday life talk outside of the (gym)," Korley said. "I feel like that's the most important part because we're actually a sisterhood. ... We're together."
Korley averaged 10 points and 11 rebounds last season.
"She's been second-team all-City the last two years and was honorable mention all-district last year," Baumann said. "She's incredibly strong and physical. Her motor is just amazing. She goes so hard all of the time. She brings a level of physicality and intensity that really helps us."
Harley averaged 6.0 points and 2.0 steals last year and was honorable mention all-league, and Johnson averaged 7.0 points and 6.0 rebounds while shooting 43 percent from the floor and blocking 21 shots.
"Tyler Johnson is a long, crafty left-handed kid and she can get really hot," Baumann said. "She can score in bunches and she does a lot of things for us defensively. Jayana Harley is someone we rely on to handle the ball a lot. We don't necessarily have a point (guard), but the ball is in her hands quite a bit. She's a good shooter (and) can knock down 3s for us."
Junior CiCi Dingess (5-11, forward) and sophomores Lauren Bailey (5-10, forward), Amari Scott (5-6, guard) and Z'niya Peterson (5-8, forward) are expected to fill out the rotation.
"(The league) is going to go through those schools on 161," Baumann said. "Northland and Beechcroft are going to be really tough. Linden has a new coach, so I don't know what to expect, but they've got really tough kids. We expect to be competing with those top teams."
Below are the coming schedules for the Centennial boys basketball, girls basketball and bowling teams:
Dec. 2 -- Home vs. Hilliard Davidson
Dec. 2 -- Home vs. Delaware Christian
*Dec. 3 -- Home vs. Mifflin
*Dec. 2 -- Columbus Academy at Sequoia Pro Bowl
*Dec. 4 -- Worthington Christian at HP Lanes