Garnet Valley girls' basketball coach Joe Woods plans to rotate his lineups heavily throughout the season, and he has an abundance of options, as he returns six seniors and a budding sophomore.
"I love it," senior forward/center Chelsea Brown said of the coach's philosophy to rotate players in and out of a game. "It gives everyone fresh legs and a chance to contribute to the team."
Brown highlights the group of returning players and has fine-tuned her game to add versatility, which she expects to result in spending some time at the small-forward position. During the summer, the 5-foot-9 senior worked extensively on her shooting, and she now says she is confident in her mid-range jump shot.
She already is known as a dominant defensive player, as teammate Coley Ricci referred to her as "the best shot-blocker I've ever seen."
"I like both aspects of the game," said Brown, who averaged 7.4 points and led the Jaguars in both blocked shots and rebounds last season.
Woods says another result of rotating his players into the game is the team chemistry it builds through "positive energy and team spirit that everyone is contributing."
Last season, the Jaguars used a 10-player rotation and three different starting lineups. Woods expects to do much of the same this season.
"We have great team chemistry, even outside basketball," said Brown, referring to events such as team dinners organized by players.
Senior guard/forward Alaina Bradley added that the team chemistry is strengthened by the willingness of each player to do what it takes to win. Woods referred to Bradley as a player willing to do anything, a leader on the team, and a solid all-around player.
The 5-8 senior said she isn't overly vocal on the court and can sometimes be quiet, but she said her example speaks for itself.
"I think [the team] can see it. You have to stay positive and be unselfish," Bradley said.
Along with Brown, the team will rely on sophomore guard Ricci to produce on the offensive end. As a freshman, Ricci averaged 7 points. Her older sister, Gina, is a junior guard for the Jaguars.
"It's competitive between the two of us, but in a fun way. We're both supportive of each other," Coley Ricci said.
After last school year, Ricci decided to stop playing soccer. That allowed her to focus more on basketball through AAU and summer workouts. She still plans to play lacrosse in the spring.
"We knew she was going to be a great freshman, so it wasn't surprising that she did so well," Bradley said of Ricci.
Ricci's commitment to another sport is not uncommon on the team, as Brown also plays tennis, Gina Ricci plays softball, senior forward Natalie Lang plays lacrosse, and junior guard Allyson Heavens already has committed to a lacrosse scholarship to Penn State.