The Olentangy Orange girls basketball team hopes to model itself after first-year coach Danielle Roe.
The energetic Roe wants to bring a fast-paced, up-tempo attack to the Pioneers, who finished 5-18 overall and 1-9 in the OCC-Buckeye Division last winter.
Roe was an assistant women's basketball coach and recruiting coordinator at Sinclair Community College in Dayton last season. She also was the coach at Harvest Prep from 2016-17 and an assistant at Springfield Shawnee from 2010-13.
"I'm a high energy and up-tempo coach," said Roe, who replaced Bob Scott after five seasons. "You'll never see me sitting down.
"I'm coming from a game of shot clocks and media timeouts. We're matching and molding our style to that. I'm bringing a college feel here and I want to get Olentangy Orange up to speed. The girls are coachable and they want to learn. They want to shift the culture back to the Taylor Agler era (when the Pioneers reached a Division I state semifinal in 2013)."
Orange opened Nov. 22 against Thomas Worthington and begins league play Tuesday, Dec. 3, at Westerville North.
Senior guard Joy Gimei said the Pioneers are making progress in the new system.
"We have a lot more speed and we are working together as a team instead of being individuals on the court," she said. "I have seen a lot of growth in our scrimmages and we have been growing progressively."
Gimei returns along with a pair of forwards in senior Madi Riley and junior Reese Miller. Joining the program is junior London Davis, who did not play in her first two years at Orange but was first-team all-state as an outside hitter in volleyball this fall.
"We have Madi, Reese and Joy back along with London making her debut," Roe said. "(Davis) will allow us to have a rebound outlet and she gives us the ability to push the ball a little bit."
Also new to the program are a pair of freshman guards in Emma Delmore and Kayla Delmore.
"Emma and Kayla will switch at (point guard and shooting guard)," Roe said. "They are very mature and they bring a lot of composure for being freshmen."
Rounding out the roster are junior guard Brooke Thompson, junior forward Hailey Schwade and sophomore guards Ellie Beck, Kate Collins and Quinn Shannon.
"The players are hungry and we're co-creating this team together," Roe said.
Hockey team hungry for success
The hockey team wasn't satisfied after finishing 13-14-0-2 overall last season and placing second (18 points, 9-7) in the Capital Hockey Conference-White behind Olentangy (20, 10-6).
"I'm excited because we have a hungry group of guys who were a little dissatisfied with last season," second-year coach J.D. Damrath said. "I'm not sure how good we can be, but they are hungry to find out. We have a long time to climb, but we're eager to find out how well we can do."
Damrath said the team's strength last winter was a defense led by seniors Aaron Johnson and Jake Morrone (honorable mention all-league), junior Ethan Muth and sophomore Grant Hendrickson. Orange also returns two goaltenders in senior Carter Goodknight (.829 save percentage) and sophomore Kyle Diehr (.875 save percentage).
Senior forward Cam Miller scored nine goals last season in league play, and senior forwards Nathan Hazel and Eddie Muller also return. Junior forward Austin Knupp joins the program after playing AAA club hockey.
"We have improved on our discipline, but we still need to stay out of the penalty box," Damrath said. "If someone takes liberties with you, don't retaliate. You let them take the penalty.
"We need to shoot more. We need to get the puck to the net and maybe get some 'ugly goals.' "
The Pioneers started the season with CHC games against St. Charles on Nov. 22 and Dublin Scioto on Nov. 24.
"I like how we have come together," Damrath said. "We had minicamp (in early November) and they all are in a good mood and they work hard together."
Below are the coming schedules for the Orange boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling, gymnastics, hockey and swimming & diving teams:
Dec. 3 -- Home vs. Delaware
Nov. 29 -- At Watkins Memorial
*Dec. 3 -- At Westerville North
*Dec. 2 -- Westerville Central at Columbus Square Bowling Palace
*Dec. 4 -- Westerville North at Columbus Square Bowling Palace
Dec. 4 -- At Marysville
Nov. 29 -- Hilliard in Chiller Thanksgiving Classic at Chiller North
Nov. 30 -- St. Charles and Strongsville in Chiller Thanksgiving Classic at Chiller North
Dec. 1 -- TBD in Chiller Thanksgiving Classic at Chiller North
SWIMMING & DIVING
Nov. 30 -- Westerville South at Westerville Community Center