XENIA CHRISTIAN AMBASSADORS
Last season: 13-10, 8-3 Metro Buckeye Conference
Coach: Beverly Moser, 7th year
Returning starters: Madie Castle (Sr.), Rachel Graver (Jr.)
XENIA — Veteran coach Beverly Moser will have a young squad on the court for the 2013-14 girls basketball season. After losing key players like Michaela Nelson (first in conference with 16.0 points per game; fourth with 9.4 rebounds per game; third with 1.7 blocks per game) and Maria Howarah (3.7 assists per game) from a team that fell to Yellow Springs 37-34 in the postseason last year, she will have to depend on young legs and leadership from returning players in order to have success.
“We’re young this year, we only have one senior and six freshmen. But they’re working hard,” she said. “I’ve been really pleased with how all the players from last year have stepped up in leadership. Hopefully they will continue that in games, step up and make up for some of the points and some of the rebounds that graduated last year.”
Moser said most of her lineup will consist of returning players and maybe a few freshmen, but lingering injuries from fall sports and good competition in practice have kept her from deciding on a starting five. Senior Madie Castle and junior Rachel Graver, who was third in the Metro Buckeye Conference last season with 11.3 points per game, will most likely play a key role.
“I have six to seven girls that could be the first five,” she said. “It’s a nice problem to have. At the same time, I’ve got to come up with the best to put out there to start our games off.”
Not having a go-to option like Nelson last year means that the Lady Ambassadors will have to rely on speed and athleticism on both offense and defense. Good ball movement and turnovers will be key to their success.
“I think we’re going to rely a lot again on our speed and athleticism. The girls have been working really well together in practice with their passing. They just kind of have that connection with each other. I’m seeing that a lot,” she said. “We’re a small team, there’s not a lot of height. So we’re going to have to do a really good job boxing out to try and get some rebounds.”
— Zach Gregory