WINTERSVILLE - Despite not having enough players to field a junior varsity team and, at times, having only two players off the bench due to injuries, last season's Indian Creek girls basketball team claimed a sectional crown.
Unfortunately for the Redskins' competition, nothing was lost to graduation, and an influx of young talent provides the team with much-needed depth it lacked last season.
"We return the entire team from last season plus 10 freshman," Indian Creek coach Erin DeSantis said.
"We will have enough to have a JV team and that is a big plus I believe we can be competitive for our area and hope to be as successful as we were last season."
Leading the way for the Redskins is 6-foot-5 Division I prospect Bre Berryman at center. Berryman, a junior, is a preseason all-state pick has nearly averaged a triple-double over her first two seasons.
Joining Berryman in forming one of the most imposing post presences in the state is 6-2 senior and Wheeling Jesuit commit Kiarra Kamarec.
"Our strength will be our inside game," said DeSantis.
Senior Brooke Mains returns to hold down the point guard slot. Mains ability to break the press throughout the season was a huge part of last season's success as well as her ability to hit the outside shot.
Fellow senior Kristen Shimko returns to provide leadership and a spark on the defensive end.
The final returning starter is sophomore Bethany Davis at guard. Davis was a welcome addition as a freshman last season, providing a talented backcourt mate for Mains.
"We are dealing with some injuries and some health issues so at this time the starters are kinda up in the air," said DeSantis. "All nine returners will see a great deal of playing time."
The remaining four returners consist of a junior and three sophomores in Jenna Callahan, Ashley Durbin, Cassidy Ruckman, and Alaina Taylor.
Adding even more depth, and providing an opportunity for a JV team, is a deep group of ninth graders consisting of Karli Celestin, Jessica Callahan, Taylor Mazzaferro, Hallie Schmitt, Madison Smith, Juanita Slappy, Rhain Lumpkin, Carlee Lukacena, Peyton Vaughan, and Kaitlyn Whitaker.
"Because of our injuries it's possible that some freshman will get the opportunity to step up and help," said DeSantis.