The girls basketball season will get underway Friday and Saturday.
One new feature this season — for both girls and boys — is a number of conference have reduce warmup time between JV and varsity games to 15 minutes.
The Piqua girls basketball team will get started Friday night, traveling to Fairlawn.
It will be the first of four roads games to start the season for the Indians.
The Lady Indians will next travel to Troy Christian Tuesday.
“I think the thing we are looking for is to start winning games consistently,” Piqua coach Brian Gillespie said. “This is year four and I feel really good about where the program is at. I think we have the junior high and youth programs in a good place. But, we still need to win games. Winning isn’t everything, but it is part of it.”
Lehman Catholic girls will open the season Saturday, hosting Sidney.
““We play Sidney right out of the gate,” Lehman girls basketball coach Craig Hall said.“So, right off, we are playing against a Division I school.”
Covington has a double weekend, playing at Houston Friday night and hosting Fairlawn Saturday.
The Lady Buccs are coming off a 20-6 season and a district runnerup.
“I think they got a taste of that (the tournament run last year) and everyone was excited about that,” Covington coach Jim Meyer said. “Of course, you would like to take the next step. But, that is such a tough sectional. It all comes down to your draw and how you play.”
Houston coach Brad Allen is excited about his team.
“I’m really excited about the players we have in the program this year,” Allen said. “We have four seniors returning that will provide outstanding leadership and experience. In addition, we have five juniors on our varsity roster, Out of our nine players, six of them recorded quality minutes last year.”
Newton, who returns all-time leading scorer Tatum McBride, opens Friday at Milton-Union.
“We will try to match up with other teams in ways that give us the best chance to win games,” Fisher said. “We feel pretty good about things. We’ve got a lot of experience back, which always helps.”
Russia girls, 21-6 and district champions last year, host Sidney Friday.
“We hope to continue to get better throughout the year so we are playing our best late in the season and into the tournament,” third-year coach Andy Timmerman said. “We have a solid core of players coming back from last year, and we expect some others to compete and find their new roles on varsity.”
Three team will open the season in tournaments.
Versailles, the D-III state runnerup last season, is coming off winning the D-III state volleyball title this fall and returns four starters.
The Lady Tigers will open the season in the Tri-Village tournament, playing Greenon on the opening night.
“Late start to the season with the long volleyball tournament run so chemistry will be a struggle early on,” Versailles coach Jacki Stonebraker said. “The seniors have been playing together for a long time. I am excited to get the season started.”
Miami East has standout point guard Morgan Haney back from an ACL injury.
The Lady Vikings will open the season in Urbana’s Skeeter Classic.
“We’ve got great depth,” Miami East coach Bruce Vanover said. “We are excited. This is a fun group to be around. They play well together and they get along. We’ve got a lot of experience, obviously, and we are hoping that pays off for us this season.”
Bradford will open the season in Greenville’s Annie Oakley tournament.
“We have focused a lot on defense and have always been a primary man defense,” Bradford coach Patrick McKee said. “We will look to apply more pressure this year and use our athleticism and speed more often. We have some good pieces offensively but will still need to rely on playing selfless team ball on offense and sharing the ball to the open player will be a goal of ours.”
So, let’s get it started.