The good news for the Hauser girls basketball team is that it’s coming off its first winning season in four years.
The bad news for the Jets is that they lost their top four scorers. Their top rebounder and fourth-leading scorer from last season, junior Tessa Sims, has decided to concentrate on softball.
But Hauser does return a few other girls who contributed to a 14-9 record, plus a few others who played on a 12-5 junior varsity squad.
“We’re young, but the kids are working hard, and I feel like they have pretty good attitudes,” Hauser coach Brad Hamilton said. “It’s not the most talented group I’ve ever had individually, but sometimes, you can be better as a team is you have everybody working together.”
Sarah Tedder, a 5-foot-8 junior forward, is the lone returning starter. Tedder, who began last season on the JV, moved up to varsity and averaged 5.9 points and 3.1 rebounds a game.
Grace Hasler, a 5-6 junior, was pressed into starting point guard duties because of injuries to other players her freshman year. Last year, she split time between varsity and JV.
Also returning are 5-5 senior Ali Hoover, 5-7 senior Hailey Lange, 5-6 junior Lauryn Starnes and 5-10 sophomore Taylor Henderson. Hoover is recovering from a torn ACL from softball season.
Tori Chandler, 5-7 junior exchange student from Australia, also could contribute. Three sophomores — 5-5 Jada Asher, 5-6 Mykenzie Ault and 5-6 Anna Landis — are up from the JV.
“I think we have some pretty decent freshmen that are going to battle,” Hamilton said. “So far, they’re really working hard. I don’t know that any of them are ready (for varsity action) today, but by the end of the season, they could make some noise.”
After an Indiana Christian Schools Tournament title in 2014 and a National Association of Christian Athletes championship in 2015, the Crusaders took their lumps last season, going 3-17.
Tom Planalp, who played for the Columbus Christian boys team and was a manager for the women’s basketball team at Indiana Wesleyan, takes over the coaching reins from Jennifer Hardin. The first two weeks of practice, he had only six players.
Three of those players — seniors Madi Ochs and Hannah Lorimor and junior Taylor Ingram — were starters last year. Sophomore Grace Lorimor and freshmen Kylee and Macey Ramage also saw varsity action.
Planalp is hoping to pick up a couple more players off the Crusaders’ volleyball team, which won the NACA Division III national title last week in Tennessee.
“Our biggest goal this season will be making sure that we’re together as the team,” Planalp said. “I’m not sure what our record is going to look like at the end of the season, but if we can improve from the beginning of the season to the end, then I’m going to call that a success.”
Like Columbus Christian, the Panthers have a new coach this season. Kristi Sigler, a former Indiana University player and a Jennings assistant the past eight years, takes over for Carrie Manowitz.
In a 12-13 season, the Panthers lost three games by one point and two others by less than five points. One of those one-point defeats came at Bedford North Lawrence in the sectional semifinal.
“We want to compete in every game and put ourselves in a position to win at the end,” Sigler said. “We lost a lot of close games, and we have to get over that hump to know that we’re going to win those close games.”
Sidney Gerkin, a 5-7 senior, and 5-3 junior Brooklyn Gaines were full-time starters last season. Three other players — 5-2 junior Macy Roth, 5-5 junior Alexus Brown and 5-5 senior Eliza Gasper — were part-time starters.
Callie Wilder, a 5-10 sophomore, played last year until breaking her thumb a month into the season. Also returning is 5-7 senior Sydney Brown.
Emma McPeek, a 5-10 junior, is up from the JV team. Two sophomores — 5-6 Alana Daeger and 5-5 Kylee Matern — played some varsity last year and will begin the season splitting time between varsity and JV.
“We’re excited,” Sigler said. “For the most part, we’ve had pretty solid practices. We’re putting a big emphasis on defense this year.”
Although it went only 10-15 last season, Edinburgh avenged a pair of regular-season losses to win the second sectional title in school history.
Three starters are gone from that team, but the Lancers do return their top two scorers in 5-10 senior Allie Schooler (10.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg) and 5-8 senior Bri Howard (8.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.0 apg, 2.0 spg).
Taylor Tatlock, a 5-11 sophomore, will fill one of the other starting spots. Battling for the other two starting positions are 5-7 sophomore Sidney Beier, 5-5 junior Kenzie Hill, 5-4 junior Vanessa McManaway and 5-6 senior Abi Scrogham, all of which contributed last season, along with 5-4 freshman Destiney Ramey and 5-6 freshman Haven Link.
Two other players — 5-9 junior Mary Franklin and 5-10 freshman Kaylia Kelley — could see action.
“We’re going to be more of a defensive pressure team and get up and down the court a little more,” Edinburgh coach Amy Schilling said. “I definitely think we’ll be a deeper team this year. We won’t lose anything when we go to our bench.”
Three starters return for an Eagles team that will look to improve on a 4-21 season.
Maddy Edds, a 5-11 senior, led the team with 9.2 points and 7.1 rebounds last season. The other returning starters are 5-2 senior Ryanne Smith (3.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg) and 5-6 senior Azhia Morgan (3.1 ppg).
Savannah Lovins (3.0 ppg), a 5-11 junior, and 5-5 sophomore Dasia Wilkerson also saw significant action last season. Brown County also added 5-2 senior transfer Vanessa Hoskins, who averaged 5.5 points for Edinburgh last season.
Three freshmen — 5-9 Aubrey Hollander, 5-5 Allison Stogsdill and 5-7 Gracie Matlock — also figure to contribute.
“We’ve had a good couple weeks so far,” Brown County coach Matt Roberts said. “We’re excited to get things going. I think we’ll put some more wins on the board for sure.”
Last season started promising for the Cougars, who won their opener and two of their first four games. But they dropped 17 of their last 18, including their final 12 to finish 3-19.
Although three-year starter Brooke Helms, who averaged 10.0 points and led the team in rebounding, assists and steals, did not come out for basketball this season, the other four starters return.
Stacy Fox, a 5-5 senior, led the Cougars with 11.4 points a game and added 4.4 points, 2.1 assists and 1.7 steals. Taylor Best, a 5-4 junior (5.8 ppg), 5-9 sophomore Madison Owens (4.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and 5-9 senior Mackenzie Kopplin (4.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg) also started last year.
Sierra Deppe (1.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg), a 5-11 senior, was a part-time starter. Moving up to varsity are 5-5 sophomore Annie Gant and 5-10 sophomores Hannah Miller, Hannah Ballard and Samantha Goodfellow.
Pilar Gracia, 6-0 junior exchange student from Spain, could add depth. Sierra Lang, a 5-7 freshman, will split time between varsity and JV.
“We have to come out and play a little bit harder than we did last year,” South Decatur coach Kelly Fox said. “Last year, we started well, but were plagued by the injury bug. We have to be a little bit better in the paint this year and improve our rebounding.”
The Cougars welcome back four starters from a team that went 15-9.
Trinity did lose junior Maddie Roark, who averaged 19.1 and 20.6 the past two years, when she transferred to Seymour just after the beginning of this school year. But they return 5-5 senior Whitney Rogers (5.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg), 5-11 junior Abby Hackman (9.3 ppg, 9.3 rpg), 5-10 junior Piper Acton (6.2 ppg) and 5-5 junior Jodi Goecker (5.7 ppg).
Morgan Gabbard (6.0 ppg), a 5-9 junior, was the team’s fourth-leading scorer and could fill the other starting spot. Maddie Bell, a 5-4 sophomore, and 5-9 sophomore newcomer Savannah Harweger and 5-8 senior Laney Acton will provide depth.
Splitting time between varsity and JV will be 5-4 junior Savanna Setty and 5-9 sophomore Emilee Lang.
“We have had probably the best two weeks of practice that I’ve ever had,” Trinity coach Mike Lang said. “That has a lot to do with the experience coming back. We’re going to rely on our experience, which is something we haven’t had a whole lot of the past couple of years.”
The 2016-17 Hauser and Columbus Christian girls basketball schedules:
Nov. 10;at Milan;7:30 p.m.
Nov. 12;Trinity Lutheran;12:30 p.m.
Nov. 15;at Brown County;7:30 p.m.
Nov. 18;Waldron;7 p.m.
Nov. 21;Southwestern (Shelby);7:30 p.m.
Nov. 28;Jac-Cen-Del;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 2;Indianapolis Lutheran;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 6;at Indian Creek;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 8;South Decatur;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 13;Edinburgh, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 15;Triton Central;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 17;at West Washington;12:30 p.m.
Dec. 28;at Union City Tournament;4 p.m.
Dec. 29;at Union City Tournament;TBA
Jan. 10;at Oldenburg Academy;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 12;at Brownstown Central;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 17;Greensburg;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 19;at Morristown;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 24;North Decatur;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 26;at Shelbyville;7:30 p.m.
Nov. 15;Southside Christian;6 p.m.
Nov. 26;Bloomington Lighthouse;6 p.m.
Dec. 2;Horizon Christian;6 p.m.
Dec. 6;at Martinsville Christian;5:45
Dec. 9;at Crosspointe Christian;6 p.m.
Dec. 16;at Cannelton Tournament;TBA
Dec. 17;at Cannelton Tournament;TBA
Dec. 30;Providence Cristo Rey;4:30 p.m.
Dec. 31;Medora;4:30 p.m.
Jan. 13;at Southside Christian;6 p.m.
Jan. 14;at Cannelton;4:30 p.m.
Jan. 24;Madison Christian;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 31;at Colonial Christian;5:45 p.m.
Feb. 4;at Madison Christian;6:30 p.m.
Feb. 10;at Horizon Christian;6:30 p.m.