NEWCOMERSTOWN — With his rookie season in the books, Coach Chase Addy is hoping a second year of chemistry will lead to overall success to the Newcomerstown High girls’ basketball team.
The Lady Trojans finished last season 2-20, but Coach Addy believes better days are coming for his squad.
"I think they are starting to buy in to what we are trying to do here," he said. "I can see it in practice. I would like to see improvement on the little things this season like boxing out, handling the ball and being in the right positions on defense. Those are the things I would really like to see going forward with a relatively young group."
Newcomerstown will be without four seniors from last year’s team including Amaris Wells, Brea Garretson, Kayla Gibson and Cheyenne McMullen.
Wells was the second-leading scorer from last season, averaging 6.4 points per game as well as 4.0 rebounds per game. She was awarded honorable mention on the all-Eastern District Division III, all-IVC and all-District 5 all-star lists. Garretson only played in 14 games last year, but averaged 5.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.
"Amaris was one of our leading scorers and was a really good defender,’ Addy said. "Brea was a great leader, so we will miss her as well. We will definitely miss Kayla’s length as she was our tallest girl and Cheyenne gave us some really valuable minutes off the bench."
Despite the losses, there are several sophomores ready to step up and take on bigger roles for Newcomerstown including Taylor Lafferty, who led last year’s squad in scoring as a freshman with 6.6 points per game to earn all-Eastern District Division III honorable mention.
"I really look for the sophomores to fill their shoes," offered Addy. "Taylor was a really bright spot who came on at the end of the season last year. I also expect a lot out of Christina Miller, Autumn Lahmers, and Arianna Stull. Arianna was out all last year with a concussion, but I think she can give is some good minutes on the varsity team."
Others slated for varsity time for the Lady Trojans include seniors Gabby McPeek, Keyera Dean, Allizi Simpson, Sierra McMullen and Jade Johnson; junior Maddie Fish; sophomore Jaden McPeek; and freshmen Cori Lake, Cameron Dodd, Addison Guy and Melanie Gibson.
"I think the expectations are a little more clear this year," Addy said. "The past several years, they kind of shuffled through coaches so they are kind of getting used to what we’re trying to do.
"I think one of our strengths is our athleticism," he continued. "I think we will be quick and have a lot more foot speed on the floor than we did last year. We have some tough kids too. They aren’t afraid to get on the floor for the loose balls."
Coach Addy talked about his offensive game plan for the season.
"We are going to try to run the floor a little bit," he stated. "We are going to try to get to the five spots and have a four-in, one-out look. I want utilize our guards’ speed and quickness more than we have in the past."
Newcomerstown will have some stiff competition again this year competing in the always-tough Inter-Valley Conference, but Addy is confident his team will surpass last year’s win total.
"I would like to obviously win more than two games," he stated. "Looking down through the schedule, I think there are quite a few opportunities for us to win some games, but it all depends on the girls. I would like us to go out and play our best basketball every night and if we do that, I think that is a successful season for us."
The Lady Trojans, who opened last Friday against New Lexington, are back in action Saturday with a road trip to East Canton. NHS has its first five games on the road, with the home opener not until Wednesday, Dec. 12 against perennial state power Hiland.