Jamie Carpenter teaches math; so he's an expert at knowing when things add up.
And for him, the sum of the parts will the key to success for Barnesville's girls' basketball team this season.
"I love the fact we don't have the seniors so the younger players aren't looking up to someone else to take on the leadership role," said Carpenter, in his seventh year as the team's head coach.
PICTURED IS the 2013-14 Barnesville girls basketball team. Front row, from left, are Paige Huntsman, Layna Broomhall, Hannah Hannahs, Miranda Plumly, Emily Sleeth and Shaela Pabourek. Middle row, from left, are Shayla Markovich, Sydney Ralston, Avery Hanlon, Caitlyn Toohey and Katie Jackson. Top row, from left, are assistant coach Jeff Hunkler, head coach Jamie Carpenter and assistant coach Justin Little. T-L Photo MIKE PALMER
"Of the eight players seeing time on varsity, five are juniors and three are sophomorres. So they will all have to come together as a team and it's up to me to help blend all of that together.
"So far, the chemistry's been fine."
Don't get Carpenter wrong. He'd love to have a plethora of seniors on the squad. But he doesn't. So he's dealing with the hand he's been dealt the best way he can.
"We have 16 on the roster, including junior varsity," Carpenter explained. "We had a fairly good showing at the open gyms and we also went to the Huggins camp (during the summer).
"We had pretty good turnouts all summer long. That's all you can ask is the girls to come out and work hard."
The Shamrocks lost four seniors and return two starters from last year's 8-16 squad.
"So, we're very young and somewhat inexperienced," Carpenter said.
Carpenter hopes his team overcomes some of that youthfulness by moving the ball up and down the court at a heightened pace.
"Our speed is a definite asset," he said. "We should be a quick team. Plus, I don't think our shooting is too bad. We shoot the ball very well. And, everyone on the team can handle the ball very well."
The two starters back in the fold are junior Miranda Plumly and sophomore Shayla Markovich.
Plumly (5-10), also a standout spiker for the Shamrocks volleyball team, was the team's point guard last season.
"She's very athletic and very quick," Carpenter pointed out. "She also played the point a little bit as a freshman.
"We're expecting her to take more of a leadership role this year. Her strength will be speed and athleticism."
Markovich (5-9) was Barnesville's leading scorer as a freshman, popping in 13 points per game and pulling down 5.6 rebounds per outing.
"After getting over some early jitters she became our main threat last year," Carpenter said.
"At first, things were a little overwhelming for her. Once she started playing, though, she fit in just fine. She adpated well very quickly and we relied on her."
Markovich will serve as the anchor of the Shamrocks offense, which will also include four guards on the perimeter.
Sophomore Sydney Ralston (5-6) returns after providing a spark off the bench last season.
"She wasn't a full-time contributor last year, but we'll be asking her to step up her game this year," Carpenter said, noting Ralston really stepped up her game in the tournament.
Junior Layna Broomhall (5-6) split time last season between varsity and jayvee.
"She's a very good shooter and gives 120 percent all the time," Carpenter said. "She's a very good defender and she has the green light to take a shot. We expect her to be ready for that opportunity."
Paige Huntsman, a 5-7 junior, missed her freshman season due to illness and was eased into the varsity program last winter.
"She's a good role model as far as she's 100 perccent on task and is getting better," Carpenter noted. "We're relying on her to shoot the ball well from a guard position."
Rounding out the roster will be juniors Emily Sleeth (5-9), Shaela Paboucek (5-7) and Hannah Hannahs (5-7), along with sophomores Avery Hanlon (5-4), Katie Jackson (5-7), Caitlyn Toohey (5-10), Blake Castello (5-3), Chevy Pavell (5-9), Bailey Ramsay (5-5); and freshmen Hannah Swallie (5-6) and Mikayla Patrick (5-6).
"Emily is probably the best pure shooter on the team," Carpenter remarked. "we're looking for her to be more aggressive on taking the ball to the hole."
Barnesville's schedule will mirror last season's for the most part.
Carpenter said Harrison Central was replaced by Martins Ferry.
Carpenter is assisted by Justin Little and Jeff Hunkler. Little has been with Carpenter during his entire tenure, while Hunkler has been there all but one season.