The Lacey Township High School girls basketball team is on the right path.
Second-year coach Cheri Caravano, who played for perennial state power St. John Vianney and then Canisius University in New York, took over a young team last winter.
Though the Lions only return two starters - seniors Brittany Biele and Jenn Coleman - there is a good balance of veterans and newcomers on the roster.
"I'm looking for the returning players to take the younger kids under their wing," Caravano said. "Show them what the expectations are and the level of the teams that we play."
Lacey is a team primarily made up of guards, so defense and speed will be a huge focus. The Lions will look to aggressively pressure the ball and use their defense to generate offense.
Biele, a 5-foot-6 guard, will produce points for the Lions.
"We'll use our athleticism and push the ball as much as possible," Caravano said. "If we can get to the basket, we should be successful."
Also returning for the Lions are juniors Caylie Bowles and Taylor Goodheart. Coleman and Goodheart both provide size at 5-11.
Three promising freshmen round out Lacey's key players and each could have a chance to make an impact.
The Lions learned a lot in a rebuilding season last year. That knowledge - paired with roster turnovers on other Shore Conference A South teams - gives Caravano hope for a successful season in division play.
"We have the ability to be a little more competitive," she said. "We're way ahead of where we were last year at this point."
League: Shore Conference A South
Group: South Jersey Group III
Coach: Cheri Caravano (4-16, one season)
2012-13 record: 4-16
2013-14 prediction: Competitive - The Lions have a good mix of youth and experience and should challenge teams in their division
Key players: Brittany Biele, Sr., G, 5-6; Jennifer Coleman, Sr., F, 5-11; Caylie Bowles, Jr., G, 5-4; Taylor Goodheart, Jr., F, 5-11.
Top newcomers: Carly Kuhn, Fr.; Teaghan Darling, Fr.; Jamie Kazenmayer, Fr.