Frontier girls’ basketball coach Erik Rinard is looking for a couple of big things from his team this season — consistency for four quarters and a carryover from the final game of last year’s regular season.
The Cougars, who finished 12-7, picked up one of the biggest upsets of the campaign in their final outing, a prized victory against 19-0 Buckeye Trail.
However, Rinard knows one game does not make a season and that his team will have to play hard four quarters every night to compete.
“I thought we played well last year after losing some pretty good senior leadership,” Rinard said. “We picked up our biggest win in our last regular-season game, but then lost in the sectional final.
“My hope is that we will be able to play four quarters night in and night out and not have any letdowns. It seems like there were a lot of games last year where we played two or three good quarters, but would lose with one or two bad ones.
‘‘Being more consistent on the free throw line is also a big need.”
Rinard will welcome back three starters from last season’s co-sectional runnerup squad and two more players that logged considerable playing time.
Pacing Frontier will be 5-foot-10 senior guard/forward Mallory Hoff, a three-year letterman who was also the Cougars’ leading scorer as a junior. The other two returning starters are also three-year letterwinners, in seniors — forward/center Alissa Kirkbride (6-0) and forward Chelsea Binegar (5-9).
Joining that trio in the starting lineup will be senior point guard Shay Dunn (5-6) and junior pivot Meagen Rinard (6-1).
The Frontier bench could also play a major role, led by 5-7 junior point guard Tricia Chuge. Others off the pine will include junior guard Kayla Bowersock (5-5), sophomores Lexie Hoff (5-7) and Tiffany Allen (5-6) and freshman Heather Booth (5-8).
“We have a lot of leadership coming back with our three senior starters,” Eric Rinard said. “Hopefully that experience will be a big benefit for some of our younger players.
“This team is going to need penetration and scoring from Hoff and Binegar with Kirkbride cleaning up the boards and also lending a hand on the perimeter.
“Dunn and Rinard both played a lot last year and will also be counted on for leadership while Chuge does an excellent job handling team’s pressure.”
Eric Rinard also feels that a deep bench could play a big part in his team’s success.
“We will be fairly deep,” he said. “We have a nice bench and like to sub a lot, and I really don’t think there is a big dropoff when the other girls take the floor.
“Our main goals are to get some experience early, which should help us become a better team by the middle of the season and also get us ready for tournament time.”
Fact BoxFrontier Girls
Nov. 16: Buckeye Trail 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 21: Monroe Central 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 24: at River 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 26: at Shenandoah 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 3: at Buckeye Trail 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 8: Caldwell 2:30 p.m.
Dec. 13: Fort Frye 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 17: at Beallsville 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 22: at Z.Rosecrans 2:30 p.m.
Dec. 27: Shenandoah 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 29: River 1:30 p.m.
Jan. 7: at Fort Frye 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 10: at Mon. Central 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 14: Waterford 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 17: Beallsville 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 21: at Caldwell 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 24: at St. Marys Tourney TBA
Jan. 26: at St. Marys Tourney TBA