By Jarrod Ulrey, THISWEEKSPORTS.COM
Familiarizing the members of the Worthington Christian High School girls basketball program with an altered style has been one of the early goals for Chris Joseph since his return as coach last spring.
Joseph, who led the Warriors to a Division IV state semifinal in 2000-01 and a 169-50 overall record with four district championships from 1997-2006, has taken over a program that has remained competitive since his departure.
Joseph, who replaced Tammi Evans, sees a program that eventually could hit a new plateau.
Under Evans, the Warriors went 87-34 with a regional runner-up finish in 2014-15.
“We’ll be competitive,” Joseph said. “At times (during the preseason), it was really, really ugly, and there were times we competed against good schools. They’re still unsure of things like, ‘Where do I cut? Where are my positions on defense?’ Once we start clearing that up and understand the intensity that’s necessary, I think we could be pretty good.
“I would like to get things going in the right direction this season and get the younger girls a feel of what we do. We’re going to do things a little differently. We want to get them familiar with the terminology and carry that down to the seventh- and eighth-graders.”
The Warriors finished 13-10 overall last season, including placing third in the MSL-Ohio Division at 6-4 behind Bexley (9-1) and London (8-2). London is no longer in the league, meaning that each team will now play eight league contests.
Worthington Christian opened Nov. 27 with a 44-27 home victory over Utica and beat host Grandview 46-22 in its league opener Dec. 1 before playing host to Tree of Life on Dec. 4.
The top returnee is 5-foot-9 sophomore guard Katherine Weakley, who averaged 11.5 points and was named second-team all-league last season.
The senior class is comprised of CeCi Dalton (5-9, post player), Amanda Mayotte (5-8, wing player) and Emma Morris (5-7, wing player).
Against Utica, Weakley and 5-7 freshman guard Blessing King both scored 14 points. Weakley had 13 points against Grandview.
Other key players include juniors Ashley Hall (5-3, guard) and Eliana Styer (5-4, guard) and freshman Anna Schwatz (5-9, forward). Also on the roster are sophomores Libby Dalton (5-6, guard) and Izzie Slaughter (5-7, guard) and freshmen Kendyl Burns (5-7, guard) and Jaeda Tagoe (5-6, guard).
The Warriors have 17 players in the program overall.
Joseph’s daughter, Maddy Joseph, is a 2013 Olentangy Orange graduate who is serving as an assistant.
“We have a nice young crew coming up,” Chris Joseph said. “We’ll have two freshmen get significant varsity time, and I’d say two sophomores are getting significant varsity time, so we’re young.”
To read more of Ulrey’s coverage of WC sports, including an update on the WC boys basketball team, click here.