The Greenwood Christian Academy girls basketball team made dramatic strides last year.

Coming off a one-win campaign the previous season, the Class A Cougars went 14-12, tying the school record for wins. More significantly, they advanced to the sectional championship game, where they lost to host Morristown.

With all but one rotation player back and a promising new addition, the Cougars are confident of building on last year’s success.

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Leading the way is senior Hannah Peters, who moved from point to shooting guard last year and averaged 12 points and seven rebounds per game. She is on pace to pass the 1,000 career points this season.

Joining Peters in the backcourt will be point guard Katie Cruse, a junior who averaged 6.0 points and 3.5 assists per game. Sophomores Grace Peters and Grace Apgar will provide backcourt depth.

Senior Brianna Lawrence spent her sophomore year in the backcourt and her junior year in the frontcourt. With a little more size on this year’s roster, she will shift to the wing to display her outside shooting skills. Faith Clark, a junior, has moved to the post, which coach Alan Weems said has boosted both her confidence and her play.

Entering his fourth season at Greenwood Christian Academy, Weems said the returning Cougars have been tested and are ready to break though.

“These kids have been through a lot,” he said. “Hannah and Bri went from being complementary players on a 13-9 team, to being point guard and shooting guards on a 1-20 team, to playing key roles last year on a 14-win team. This year, you can just see the difference in them.

“They know what they have to do. They know what they want to do. And they’ve done a great job in leading the younger kids.

Weems also expects immediate contributions from newcomer Sarah Mangan. The 5-foot-11 sophomore is listed as a center but might be the most versatile player on the roster.

“She’s an inside player, but she can play outside, too,” Weems said. “She can guard every position except for the point. She’s athletic and has long arms, so she can really rebound well. She’s complementary to (Peters and Lawrence). She’s good at creating, so she’ll have the ball in her hands quite a bit.

“She really brings a lot.”

With Mangan and Clark inside, Weems said, he expects better rebounding, which should help an offense that averaged just over 46 points per game last season.

“That will allow us to push the ball more. We want to get up and down,” he said. “We want to be in the mid-50s every night. We are a much more physical, hard-nosed team that we have been in the past. They’ve reached the point where they just won’t give in anymore.

“When you start thinking about our top eight or nine kids, I feel comfortable with any of them being in the game at one time. We haven’t been there before.”

At a glance

2015-16 SCHEDULE



Thursday;at Arlington;7:30 p.m.

Saturday;at Decatur Central;7 p.m.

Nov. 21;Morristown;2:30 p.m.

Nov. 28;at Waldron;1:30 p.m.

Dec. 1;at Speedway;7 p.m.

Dec. 4;at Eminence;7:30 p.m.

Dec. 7;Bethesda Christian;7 p.m.

Dec. 8;at Indiana Deaf;6 p.m.

Dec. 10;Edinburgh;7:30 p.m.

Dec. 18;at Central Christian;6 p.m.

Jan. 4;Shortridge;6:30 p.m.

Jan. 5;Lutheran;7:30 p.m.

Jan. 8;Attucks;6 p.m.

Jan. 12;at International;6:15 p.m.

Jan. 14;Irvington Prep Academy;6 p.m.

Jan. 15;PAAC playoff;TBA

Jan. 18;at Manual;7:30 p.m.

Jan. 21;Central Christian Tournament;TBA

Jan. 26;at University;7:30 p.m.

Jan. 28;Southwestern (Shelby);7:30 p.m.

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Ken Severson is a sports correspondent for the Daily Journal.