“Last year’s success has raised expectations for everyone on team,” said Allen, who was rewarded for the breakout season with SWBL Southwestern Coach of the Year honors.
While the Hornets lost just Karley Gescuk to graduation, a bigger blow was suffered in the preseason.
Junior Katie Sloneker — part of the Hornets’ twin towers — suffered a torn ACL and is likely out for the season.
Sloneker, a versatile 5-foot-10 player, was a first-team All-SWBL selection after leading the Hornets in scoring (12.6) while adding 5.7 rebounds per game last year.
The other half of the towers returns in Sloneker’s sister Sophie, also a first-team All-SWBL player last season. She averaged 9.7 points and 3.9 rebounds per game as a sophomore.
Senior Jahsalyn Robinson returns after averaging a steady 6.5 points and 5.8 rebounds a season ago.
Seniors Erica Thompson and Maddy Wehry also return, along with sophomores Kylee Slone and Samantha Schwab.
Monroe got a huge boost with the transfer of Olivia Wells-Daniels.
Wells-Daniels, a sophomore transfer from Middletown, was second for the Middies in scoring (13.0) and rebounding (8.0) last year.
The transfer should help boost an already board-hungry group that grabbed an average of 28 rebounds per game in the breakthrough season.
GIRLS BASKETBALL SEASON PREVIEWS
Allen is also counting on a plethora of freshmen to come off the bench and spell players throughout the season.
“We are making progress,” Allen said. “We are still adjusting to losing Katie and getting rotations down and getting used to not having her there for us.”
The Hornets will be tested right out of the gate, traveling to Oakwood on Nov. 28 before opening up the home portion of their schedule on Nov. 30 against Brookville.
Allen said the bar has been raised for the program after recording tournament wins over Dunbar and Valley View before falling to Alter in 2016-17.
“Our expectations are to get better throughout the year,” Allen said. “Our expectations and goals are to win the league and to win a district title this year.”