Bellaire’s girls’ basketball entered last season knowing it was in a rebuilding mode.
However, as the new season draws near, coach Tube Davis thinks his Big Reds will be a lot more competitive and will continue to make positive strides much like they did at the end of last season’s dismal 1-20 campaign.
‘‘Last year, I was looking more at us getting better,’’ Davis said. ‘‘And if you look at the second half of our season, you will see that we did get better. From looking at margins of victories from the first half of the season to the second half shows how much we got better.’’
Overall, Davis likes the makeup of his team, and he especially likes the fact that he’s got a team coming back that boasts some varsity experience.
‘‘We have a little bit more size than we normally do,’’ Davis said. ‘‘We’re not the strongest or fastest team, but these are good, smart girls. I think we have a lot higher expectations. I am not saying we’ll go out and beat up a lot of teams, but we’ll be a lot more competitive this year.’’
Bellaire lost three players to graduation, including Michelle Tomlan who did a lot of the work in bringing the ball up the floor and provided steady backcourt play, leaving a void to fill.
The Big Reds feel they boast solid inside play, but they will need their guards to be able to get the ball into the half-court game.
The Bellaire backcourt figures to feature junior Kylee Ney (5-foot-2), senior Monica Chase (5-6) and senior Bethany Steele (5-4).
‘‘Our guards understand that our strength is in the post,’’ Davis said. ‘‘They will only shoot if they are forced to shoot because their first look is inside, and their mentality tells them that.’’
Bellaire does boast a pair of inside players who enjoyed some bright spots last season.
Sophomore Megan Kowalczyk (5-9) is coming off a solid freshman season in which she came alive late became more familiar with the rigors of varsity basketball.
Junior Alyssa Ofat was in the same boat. She saw her first quality varsity action and developed more as the season went along. She’s one of the best shooters on this season’s squad.
Depth on the interior is being supplied by junior Victoria Ellison (5-11), who transferred from St. John. She’s yet to be cleared to play, but Davis hopes that issue is resolved sooner than later.
Sophomore Kara Bobka (5-6) is another Davis is looking for a contribution from on the varsity level.
Freshman Corie Trigg (5-5) is a player who will split time between reserve and varsity, but Davis is extremely high on this guard. Another guard who will provide minutes off the bench is Iesha Whetstone (5-2).
Fact BoxBellaire Girls
Nov. 16: at Union Local 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 19: at Bridgeport 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 26: St. Clairsville 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 29: at Harrison Central 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 1: at St. John 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 3: at Indian Creek 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 8: Martins Ferry 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 10: Edison 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 17: Buckeye Local 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 20: at John Marshall 7 p.m.
Dec. 27: at Edison 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 3: at Martins Ferry 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 14: Union Local 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 16: Steubenville 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 19: Harrison Central 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 21: at Buckeye Local 6 p.m.
Jan. 24: Indian Creek 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 26: St. Clairsville 5:30 p.m.