BARNESVILLE — Entering the new season, the Barnesville High girls’ basketball squad will need to replace a trio of players who each played big roles in the Lady Shamrocks’ 7-15 campaign last winter.
Graduation took three starters from a year ago in Dulcie Christman, Sarah Powell and Abby Starr, whose spots head coach Jamie Carpenter, entering his 12th season guiding the Barnesville girls’ program, will be looking to fill.
"We were led by our three seniors last year — Dulcie Christman, Sarah Powell and Abby Starr — for sure," Carpenter offered. "They did the majority of our scoring and were the focal points in most everything we did. So they will be big shoes to fill this season."
Christman averaged a double-double with 12.0 point and 10.2 rebounds per game; Powell checking in at 12.6 points and 4.2 rebounds; and Starr at 6.0 points and 7.7 rebounds per outing.
Christman finished her Barnesville career with a big senior season that included earning special mention all-Ohio Division III, first team all-District 12, second team all-Eastern District and second team all-Ohio Valley Athletic Conference 3A honors and she also played in the OVAC Samuel A. Mumley All-Star Basketball Classic and the Pepsi/District 12 All-Star Basketball Classic.
Powell was tabbed to the first team All-District 12; third team all-Eastern District; first team all-OVAC 3A and played in the OVAC Samuel A. Mumley All-Star Basketball Classic, while Starr was named honorable mention all-Eastern District.
Barnesville returns a total of six lettermen from last year, led by a trio of seniors — two-year letter winner Annastashia Carpenter (5-7, G) — and one-year letter winners Madyson Little (5-6, G) and Mallory Connor (5-6, G).
Rounding out the returning letter winners are seniors Sydney Leach (5-6, G) and Paige Morgan (5-9, F) along with sophomore Rylee Stephens (5-6, G).
"I really like the work ethic of this group," Carpenter explained. "We have a lot of unknowns going into the season, but one of those is not how hard this group works each and every day. I’ve been really pleased with their effort level and desire they give me every night."
Carpenter and Stephens were both starters last year, with the rest of the veterans filling more complementary roles last season — something that will change this winter.
"The girls played some last year, enough to get a letter," Carpenter explained, "but as far as experience, Rylie and Annie were both in the starting five last year. Mallory and Paige both contributed a good bit, so not a whole lot of playing experience overall."
Carpenter is the leading returning scorer for the Lady ‘Rocks at 5.7 points per game, with Stephens next in line at 4.6 ppg.
"Those girls have some experience, just not the production numbers you want to see," Carpenter offered. "Mainly because they filled just roles without much being expected from them.
"This year. they will need to just step up and take on bigger roles for us," the Barnesville coach said. "They are working hard and adjusting to being the ones we will look to for scoring and handling the ball."
With Carpenter being the head coach’s daughter, he will be looking for her to assume much more of a leadership roles this season for the Lady ‘Rocks.
"Naturally with Annie being my daughter, I’m going to expect a lot out of her," Carpenter offered. "I feel she is ready to step into the leadership role we are looking for."
Stephens will take over the point-guard spot for Barnesville, after getting some minutes at the position last year in preparation for this opportunity.
"Rylee will be our point-guard this year," Carpenter stated. "We got her some varsity time at that spot last year, knowing we would need her this season. I think that will really help her out as she makes that transition.
"We will need her to get us into our offense and handle the ball for us," the BHS boss offered. "I feel confident she’s ready to step in and do a great job for us."
Rounding out the Barnesville varsity roster are senior Addy Wildes (5-5, G), junior Regan Hanlon (5-6, F) and sophomore Kinzie Kaplet (5-6, F).
Carpenter feels not having only a couple of players to focus on that his squad will grow into a more balanced team with multiple offensive threats.
"Hopefully, teams will not be able to try and shut down just one or two players and we can use that to our advantage," he said. "It will just be an adjustment for our girls, and hopefully they can gain confidence in themselves and their teammates as the season moves along."
Barnesville’s coaching includes Justin Little and Alicia Jefferis as varsity assistants while Shayla Markovich and Shelia McFarland will guide the junior high program.
Making up the junior varsity team for Barnesville this season are juniors Jaiden Butler (5-4, G), Kassie Steele (5-3, G) and Aleah Day (5-6, F); sophomores Grace Detling (5-2, G), Shayla Hunter (5-5, F) and Kortnie Luyster (5-6, F); and freshmen Kendal Lucas (5-7, F), Kaylee Wehr (5-6, G), Karlee Wehr (5-6, G), Anna Yater (6-0, F) and Breanna Meade (5-9, F).
New to the BHS schedule are two games with St. John Central replacing a pair of contests against Shenandoah.
"Our schedule is pretty much unchanged from last year except dropping Shenandoah and adding St. John Central," Carpenter said. "We have some good teams on there like Cambridge and Bellaire, who both should be pretty good."
"We just want to come out every night and compete," Carpenter explained. "If we can do that, I feel we can have a pretty successful season this year. We e have some kids in bigger roles and I’m excited to see how it goes."
Barnesville already has two games under its belt. Next up for the Lady ‘Rocks is a home game on Monday against Buckeye Trail.