South Decatur had its first winning girls basketball season in more than a decade last year, and if the Cougars are going to do it again, they'll have to do it with fewer numbers.
Only eight players are out for this year's squad, meaning South Decatur won't have a junior varsity team. One of the eight players is recovering from a knee injury.
"It makes for some interesting practices," third-year coach Amy Macy said. "We don't have a lot of numbers, but we have our leading rebounder, some of our top scorers and top assist (girl). We had a pretty good summer, and we hope to build on that and keep preparing for sectional."
Macy, a former Columbus East player, directed the Cougars to a 12-10 record last season. She has three starters back in 6-foot-1 junior Julia Miller (10.0 ppg, 7.2 rpg), 6-0 junior Ashley Johannigman (7.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg) and 5-8 senior Sam Miller (6.8 ppg).
"They're going to have to take a little bit more of a scoring role than what they have in the past," Macy said.
Megan Niese (2.6 ppg), a 5-7 sophomore, will take over as the starting point guard. Battling for the other starting spot are 5-4 junior Courtney Billingsley (0.6 ppg), 5-9 sophomore Sydney Callahan (1.3 ppg), 5-7 sophomore Olivia Watkins (1.4 ppg) and 5-10 freshman Jessica Herald.
Watkins is nursing a knee injury suffered during volleyball season.
"Megan started to take on a bigger role this summer as far as handling the ball," Macy said. "Courtney, Olivia and Sydney are all going to be counted on to score more."
Macy said the Cougars would like to have another winning record and win Mid-Hoosier Conference and sectional championships.
"It's not just me having high expectations," Macy said. "The girls have high expectations for themselves. They've been working hard. We had a good summer. They're really ready to go."