The Hartley girls basketball team wants to continue the growth it displayed a year ago during a season of ups and downs.

The Hawks also are striving for a third consecutive CCL title.

Hartley had just two seniors last season when it finished 12-10 overall and 6-1 in the CCL to share the league title with Watterson, and the Hawks have only one this year in 5-foot-10 forward Sa'Haia Clark-Lee.

Still, many of the Hawks' expected key players filled a role last season.

"Things have been going pretty well," Clark-Lee said. "We've been practicing hard to try and get ready for our season. Our team's hopes and outlook for this season is to stay focused and try to (win three consecutive) CCL championships. We're looking forward to trying our hardest for our basketball season."

Clark-Lee averaged seven points and seven rebounds last season, while junior Kami Kortokrax (5-10, forward/guard) averaged 10 points.

Kortokrax, an Ohio State softball commit, was the Hawks' second-leading scorer last season behind 2019 graduate Chiamaka Nwokolo, who averaged 10.3 points and now plays volleyball for Pittsburgh.

Junior Milayna Williams (5-7, guard) and sophomores Lexi Cashwell (5-9, guard) and Bella Parker (5-4, guard) are other key returnees.

Parker will be the point guard after 2019 graduate Israel Strickland filled that role most of last season. Strickland, who missed the final five games with an injury, averaged 7.5 points and now plays for Clarion.

Junior guard Shania Davis (5-6) has moved up from junior varsity and is what fifth-year coach Donald Dennis calls a "really good defender and a really hard-working, gritty kid."

Sophomore guard Makailah Walker (5-6) should see more playing time after dressing varsity late last season.

Freshman Ella Brandewie, who already has received college scholarship offers in volleyball, is a 6-3 post player who could be an immediate contributor.

Also in the mix is Kiarra McElrath, a 5-6 freshman who can play both point guard and shooting guard.

Hartley opened Nov. 26 at Granville and has eight other non-league games before opening CCL action Jan. 9 at DeSales. The Hawks play host to Bexley on Wednesday, Dec. 4.

The Lions finished 15-10 last season but lost to Hartley 46-26.

On Jan. 18, Hartley will play host to the inaugural Battle of the Hawks Nest, which will feature seven games, including a matchup against Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit.

"We've got some kids back coming off our second consecutive CCL championship," Dennis said. "It's been going well. I've been really happy with it. It's a really hard-working group of kids. The kids really get along well with each other and it's a close-knit group and a fun group to coach. Hopefully, we'll be competitive. We're looking forward to competing in the CCL."

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek

Schedules

Below are the coming schedules for the Hartley boys basketball, girls basketball and swimming & diving teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL

Nov. 30 -- Grandview in All-Ohio Nike Hoops Showcase at Pickerington North

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Dec. 4 -- Home vs. Bexley

SWIMMING & DIVING

Nov. 30 -- Dublin Scioto at Dublin Recreation Center