By Drew Terhall
DARKE COUNTY — The high school girls’ basketball season is now underway. Teams can officially start to play regular season games on Nov. 18. Teams from around the county will start with one or two games between Nov. 18-19.
All the hard work from practices and scrimmages can be put on display now in games that will be counted. There will be quite a few changes from last season with each program. While some changes can be viewed as a negative, you never know what can happen during the course of a full season.
Here is a short preview of each team in the county as the season begins.
Last season: 5-16 (3-8 conference record)
This Ansonia team figures to be different than last season’s team. They do have a few new players coming in as Keenan Leichty enters his first year as the head coach of the program. He will bring a new style of basketball to the program.
The oldest group of players on this team are juniors. There are no seniors on the team. No matter how this season turns out for Ansonia, this will be a great first step towards building up the program under Leichty. This season will help Leichty get connected with the program. Next season will feature a roster that has more varsity experience and experience in Leichty’s systems.
Last season: 21-3 (10-1 conference record)
The Lady Trojans will be facing an uphill battle this season. The program won’t have the numbers they had a season ago and lost their whole starting lineup from last season. The team will feature a lot of players who don’t have varsity experience.
But Arcanum will have no trouble tackling this challenge head on. Even with a shorter team, they will try and play at least two quarters of JV basketball to help give the girls some experience. This group is still capable of playing Arcanum basketball. As the season goes on, Arcanum should become a better and better team.
Last season: 16-9 (6-5 conference record)
Unlike most teams, looking at last season for Bradford doesn’t pertain to this year as much. The team is returning two players from last year’s team. That’s all that is returning from last season’s team.
Head coach Josh Siedling is entering his first year as the head coach of the program. His team doesn’t have any game experience when it comes to playing together. They seem like the wildcard in the WOAC. As much as a lack of team chemistry hurts a team, Bradford worked on playing as a team during the summer. Sometimes, teams can just click together and they can start the season playing like they have been on the court together for years. That could be the case for the Lady Railroaders.
Last season: 3-20 (3-8 conference record)
There is one major change happening from last year to this year for the Lady Jets. They lost their leading scorer from a season ago.
On the bright side, they are returning a few players with varsity experience and should have the ability to play more players this season. Franklin Monroe should be able to keep up their defensive intensity as they sub players in and out. On offense, they will take a more balanced approach. They won’t rely on one single player to score for them.
Last season: 5-16 (5-13 conference record)
Greenville played some freshmen last season and experienced some growing pains. They had their ups and downs during the season.
This season, they will bring a lot of their production back. They will have seniors at many different positions to help provide consistent, senior leadership throughout the team. Even if they play some freshmen or some players that don’t have varsity experience, the team should go through less growing pains than last season. Greenville is poised to compete in more games this season.
Last season: 13-10 (6-5 conference record)
It was a really good year for the Lady Blackhawks last season. They got production out of their younger players and had one of their most successful seasons in recent history. Mississinawa Valley did that while trying to balance two type of play styles.
This season, everyone is ready to play more up tempo this season. From the younger players to the seniors, Mississinawa Valley is ready to play fast. With a good amount of their production returning, Mississinawa Valley could end up with a better record this season.
Last season: 25-3 (11-0 conference record)
The Lady Patriots made it all the way to the Division IV Regional Finals last season after going undefeated in conference play. They had three players named to the All-WOAC First Team last season.
Two of those players are returning for their senior year. They also have a third senior returning after being named to the All-WOAC Second Team. There’s still a lot of talent on the roster this season. But they will sprinkle in some players who don’t have a lot of varsity experience. If it all comes together, Tri-Village could end up with another WOAC title this season.
Last season: 6-18 (3-7 conference record)
Versailles entered last season being a young team. There was a learning curve during the season. It seemed like they were starting to put everything together as they closed out the regular season. In their last six regular season games, they went 3-3.
They will have another young roster this season. There could be some players who don’t have a lot of experience playing at some capacity this season. But there is reason to believe they will start the season out better than they did last season. During the summer, head coach Tracy White said the team gained a lot of confidence. Having that confidence does help the team play better. Even if the team couldn’t scrimmage this offseason, they could improve after the first few games and build on last season.
Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]