Fifth-year coach Neil Hohman is excited about the skill level of his Central Crossing boys basketball team, but he wants to see his players get more in tune with each other on the court.
The Comets are looking to improve on a season in which they finished 8-15 overall and 4-6 in the OCC-Central Division.
"This year's group has some good skills, but we don't have one dominant player or just one really good athlete," Hohman said. "Everyone is able to handle the ball well, and they are good defenders. We're balanced and we don't have that one guy to look to every night.
"We have a lot of guys that haven't played together for a few years or not at all. They have to get used to each other."
The Comets have three players who started at one time or another last season in seniors Jalen Coles (forward), Logan Green (guard) and Devon Miller (post player). Miller was honorable mention all-league.
"We need to work on playing together," Miller said. "Offensively, we have everyone we need to be effective, but we need to know where everyone is most comfortable and be able to put up points."
Senior Anthony Lowe didn't return after he was an honorable mention all-district and first-team all-league guard last season. Instead, he has decided to concentrate on preparing to play college football.
Senior guard Jander Garcia was with the program as a freshman and returns after playing the past two seasons at Franklin Heights.
Senior point guard Matt Reed played as a freshman and sophomore and is back after focusing on baseball last winter. He recently committed to play baseball at Adrian College in Michigan.
Seniors Donovan Collins (6-foot-3, post player) and Tyler Ronevich (6-5, guard/forward) join Coles and Miller -- both of whom are 6-4 -- as the Comets' tallest players.
"We don't have a whole lot of height, so I need to get rebounds and take charges," Collins said.
"We always work on boxing out, and we have to play hard every night."
Senior guard Robert Wellnitz, juniors Jon Mathers (post player), Tristen Needham (guard/forward) and Rudy Risinger (forward) and sophomore guards Anthony Coleman and Marquise Loring-Svarda round out the roster.
"We're undersized, but the good thing about that is we're defensively sound," Miller said. "We take a lot of charges like last year, but we're also quicker and better at getting in the passing lanes and on one-on-one situations. Our defense has helped produce a lot of offense for us in scrimmages."
The Comets opened Nov. 29 with a 63-53 loss in three overtimes against Bascom Hopewell-Loudon, which is Hohman's alma mater.
"Last year, I thought we were a good team, but we didn't make shots," Hohman said. "We were around 40 percent overall and 30 percent on 3-pointers and around 70 percent on free throws. We have to make sure we make shots, but we can't be taking bad shots or forcing things."
Central Crossing opens league play Friday, Dec. 6, at home against Upper Arlington.
"I think overall we have more of a balanced league this season," Hohman said. "UA and (Dublin) Coffman still will be good, but this year the rest will be a little closer. The games will be more competitive no matter who you play."