Numbers are down for the Hilliard Bradley girls basketball team in coach Steve De Dent's second season.
The Jaguars have only 15 players in their program after finishing 6-17 overall and 4-10 in the OCC-Cardinal Division last season. As a result, they will have only varsity and junior varsity teams this winter.
Bradley returns four starters in senior guard Emily Marschhausen, senior forward Madi Phillis and junior guards Carly Callahan and Chloe Callahan.
"We have four solid kids coming back, and we'll have to fill out the rest with sophomores and freshmen," said De Dent, whose team opened Nov. 22 against Marysville. "We only have 15 girls in the program, so we may struggle with depth."
Marschhausen said the key to success might come down to everyone understanding their roles on the team.
"We have looked solid," said Marschhausen, who was named honorable mention all-league last season. "It's tough when we're this low on numbers, but I'm hopeful we can do well.
"Coach De Dent has been preaching discipline and knowing your role. We only have four upperclassmen, so he wants to make sure the younger girls know their roles on the court."
The Callahan sisters are entering their third season as starters. Chloe Callahan was honorable mention all-district and first-team all-league last season and has committed to Findlay, while Carly Callahan was honorable mention all-district and special mention all-league a year ago and is a Hillsdale commit.
"Right now, we would have the two Callahans starting with Emily Marschhausen, Madi Phillis and (sophomore forward) Macy Chapman," De Dent said. "But an injury here or there could really change things.
"For us to compete, things will have to go the right way. We have to stay away from injuries and foul problems. Madi Phillis will be a post player and an everyone else will be interchangeable."
Rounding out the roster are sophomores Abby Harden, Mackenzie Maynard and Megan Walker and freshmen Leigha Dennison, Marena Kraft and Hailey Parsell.
"We have competed in everything we have done in the preseason," De Dent said. "The kids have played hard, and they have done some good things and some not-so-good things. They are trying to do what we want them to do, and that's all we can ask."
The Jaguars played Olentangy Liberty on Nov. 26 and begin OCC-Cardinal play Tuesday, Dec. 3, at home against Darby.
"I feel we're playing well on defense," Phillis said. "We know when to be in help(-side defense) and we communicate well on defense."
Below are the coming schedules for the Bradley boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling, gymnastics and swimming & diving teams:
Nov. 30 -- Fishers (Ind.) Hamilton Southeastern in Ohio Valley Hoops Classic at Mason
*Dec. 3 -- Home vs. Darby
*Dec. 2 -- Groveport at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
Dec. 4 -- At Darby with Bradley, Davidson, Franklin Heights, Grove City and Westland
SWIMMING & DIVING
Nov. 30 -- Central Crossing, Davidson, Grove City and Westland at Hilliard YMCA