CAMDEN — After winning 14 games a season ago, the Preble Shawnee Arrows bring a young team to the 2015-16 girls’ basketball season but head coach Joe Webster is not making any excuses.
“Young doesn’t mean anything to me,” he said. “We have a system in place and when the kids learn the system, then we will win games.”
Webster continued, “We still expect to compete — we are brutally young but will compete, there is no doubt in my mind. Where we end? I don’t know. I can handle winning and I can handle losing as long as the kids compete and play hard.”
The team will rely on one senior for leadership on and off the court, and that senior is Allison Began.
Joining Began in leadership roles will be two returning juniors, forward Elise Walker and guard Riane Woodard.
The rest of the roster is made of underclassmen, including three sophomores who are returning — Ashton Collins, Shelby Brown and Malorie Plaugher. Webster called his group young, but also noted they are an experienced young team.
Rounding out the roster are freshmen Chloe Smith and Nicole Sims.
The young Arrows will be tested early as they face seven road games during the first 10 of the season. The team faces several difficult challenges with Hamilton Badin, Miami Valley and Fenwick on the schedule as non-league opponents. Webster noted, the schedule might be the most difficult one he has faced as a coach.
Webster expects the strength of his team to be the same as in the past and that is creating turnovers. Over the past three seasons, according to Webster, the team has averaged 18-19 steals per game and he said his team will bring pressure again this season.
Webster knows his team may hit a few road bumps early, but expects them to be capable of being quick learners. “The first half of the season will be very challenging because we play some serious competition,” he said. “We play some very good schools to start our season and that doesn’t count Madison, Carlisle and the other teams who are good in our league.”
Signs of what the team could be were evident in its two scrimmages, as the team won 10 of the 12 quarters they played in them.
Despite the youth, Webster is still excited for the chances of a strong season. “We will be pretty good,” he said. “I honestly believe we will be, we have a very hard working group. I’m old school, we’re old school — we are going to win by working hard and playing hard.”
Reach Austin Schmidt at 937-683-4062.