Kathy Snyder finds herself having to adapt in her 35th year as Southern Regional High School's girls basketball coach.
Snyder has won 525 career games, most of them with dominant post players. This season, though, she'll have to do it with guard play.
"We've always had that inside dominant big kid that we've been able to relieve a lot of the pressure from the perimeter on," Snyder said. "We've developed a different type of offense because of (the lack of height this season). … Our height is in the eighth grade right now."
A trio of talented guards will be the Rams' strength.
Tierny Goetz returns after starting at point guard as a freshman last season.
"She's very difficult to stop," Snyder said. "She penetrates well and plays good defense."
The other two guards, juniors Allison Spaschak and Dana Errico, have worked to become more complete players. Snyder said Spaschak has improved her defense, while Errico, always a top defender, "really has come around offensively."
Southern won just six games last season, but Snyder expects substantial improvement with most of her key players returning. And they all should be back next season, too, when the Rams expect to add some talented freshman post players.
"We look at this as an opportunity to really develop our guards," Snyder said. "Then (next season), we'll be able to go back to the style that we do like.
"The nice thing is whatever we do this year, we know we'll have everyone back next year."
Contact Jason Mazda:
League: Shore Conference A South
Group: South Jersey Group IV
Coach: Kathy Snyder (525-300, 34 seasons)
2011-12 record: 6-20
2012-13 prediction: Rebuilding - Southern has most of its key players back from last season but still no seniors.
Key players: Allison Spaschak, Jr., G; Dana Errico, Jr., G; Tierny Goetz, So., G; Virginia Kretschmer, Jr., G; Katie Elassar, Jr., F; Victoria Mancini, Jr., G; Lexi Brown, Jr., F; Shelby Swenor, Jr., G.
Top newcomers: Lizzie Schmoll, So., G; Mary Conroy, So., G; Vicky Caiazzo, So., G; Bianca Nicolini, Fr., G; Madison Skeie, Fr., G.
Games to watch: 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 26 vs. Hammonton; 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4 vs. Jackson Memorial; Tuesday, Jan. 22 vs. Lacey Township (time TBA); 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11 vs. Central Regional.
Dec. 14: at Toms River East, 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 17: at Lacey Township, 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 20: vs. Toms River North, 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 26: vs. Hammonton, 12:45 p.m.
Dec. 28: vs. TBD (home), time TBA
Jan. 4: vs. Jackson Memorial, 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 5: at Long Branch, 11:30 a.m.
Jan. 7: at Brick Memorial, 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 10: at Toms River South, 6:15 p.m.
Jan. 15: vs. Brick Township, 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 18: vs. Toms River East, 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 19: at Cherokee, 11:30 a.m.
Jan. 22: vs. Lacey Township, 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 24: at Toms River North, 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 26: at Middletown South, 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 29: vs. Jackson Memorial, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 1: vs. Brick Memorial, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 4: vs. Toms River South, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 7: at Brick Township, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 9: vs. Burlington Township, 11:30 a.m.
Feb. 11: vs. Central Regional, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 14: vs. Manasquan, 6:30 p.m.