Last season: 22-6, 8-2 Girls Greater Catholic League
Coach: Rob Berry, 13th year (212-61)
Returning starters: Madison Schroeder (Sr.), Jenna Dirksen (Jr.)
RIVERSIDE — After advancing to the regional final for the third straight season last year, Carroll is in somewhat of a reloading mode. Coach Rob Berry must replace three starters and some subs from a team that was a basket away from the state semifinals.
But there is experience moving up the ranks as seniors Caroline Austria and Ashley Depoorter, both four-year varsity players, will slide from the bench into the lineup to join returning starters Madison Schroeder, also a senior, and junior Jenna Dirksen. Senior Stephanie Townsend is slotted as the other starter.
“It looks like we’re experienced, (but) they haven’t had a lot of starts,” Berry said. “We have confidence they all can do it. We just need to generate some points from some people in the past who have not had to score a lot.”
While upperclassmen will rule the starting lineup, Berry will have four freshmen on the bench, including Ellie Rumme and Morgan King, who may start early on for Depoorter and Dirksen while they recover from minor injuries. Berry said everyone has looked solid in preseason scrimmages, but the key will be whether they pick it up in the games.
Defense continues to be what Berry and his coaching staff stress the most.
The schedule will be daunting, to say the least. Carroll opens with five-time defending Division-II state champ Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown (which beat Carroll in the 2011 final) in a tournament in Reynoldsburg, and also plays perennial Division -I powers Cincinnati Mt. Notre Dame and Beavercreek in addition to a pair of games in that state up north. — Scott Halasz