TORONTO - Year 1 is complete, and Toronto girls' basketball coach Mallory Blanton is looking forward to her second season leading the Red Riders on the hardwood.
"Our main goal is to be better than last year," Blanton said. "I'm more focused on team chemistry. They need to develop the bond you acquire working together on the court.
"They need to develop into their roles and realize it's a team sport."
As the program continues from the initial growing pains into legitimate development, Blanton foresees the changes she wants to implement.
"Last year was more of a learning year," she said. "They are remembering what they did then, and they are already starting to apply it to this year.
"I also haven't had to spend as much time on the little things. Now, I want the team to play at a faster pace. We want to run and gun. We don't even want to set up an offense if we don't have to.
"From a mental standpoint, I'd like to see the team be mature and handle things a little better."
Blanton was the first to admit she also needed to grow into her position of authority as well.
"I've gained confidence," she said. "I need to display the trust in myself so the team can trust in me. I'm learning as well, and I believe it's a good thing that we are all young on this team and growing together."
Toronto does not have a single senior on its roster, so the youth within its program will be asked to shoulder the load immediately.
Juniors Kayla Brown and Shane Sears have been appointed team captains.
"I expect them to lead the team and keep everyone on the same page," Blanton said.
Lindsay Bodnar was the Knights' leading scorer as a freshman
Mariah Turner will be "doing a lot in the post area," Blanton said.
Meanwhile, Blanton also complimented Carley Cooper and Katie Spadafora.
"Carley continues to get better at guard," the coach mentioned. "She's more intense than she was last year.
"Katie Spadafora has come a long way since last year. She's tall and aggressive. So, we'll be using that to our advantage."
Nov. 25: Conotton Valley7:30 p.m.
Dec. 1: Steub. Catholic7:30 p.m.
Dec. 5: at Bridgeport7:30 p.m.
Dec. 8: St. John7:30 p.m.
Dec. 12: at Weirton Madonna7:30 p.m.
Dec. 15: Bishop Donahue7:30 p.m.
Dec. 17: at Jeff Co. Christian1:30 p.m.
Dec. 21: at Wellsville7:30 p.m.
Dec. 22: Southern7:30 p.m.
Jan. 5: at Bishop Donahue7:30 p.m.
Jan. 11: at St. John7:30 p.m.
Jan. 18: Bridgeport7:30 p.m.
Jan. 23: at Conotton Valley7:30 p.m.
Jan. 26: at Steub. Catholic7:30 p.m.
Jan. 30: Weirton Madonna7:30 p.m.
Feb. 2: Jefferson Co. Christian7:30 p.m.
Feb. 13: Wellsville7:30 p.m.
Feb. 15: at Southern7:30 p.m.