After coming off of a couple of rough years, the Troy High School girls’ basketball team looks to get back on top of the GWOC North division, as the Trojans open their season Friday night at Northwestern.

“We had a couple of back-to-back down years for our standards,” Troy coach Nathan Kopp said. “The kids have played hard, but have been on the losing end and have struggled to score. We have seven seniors which is the most we have had, so that mixed with some good underclassmen with bog roles will hopefully get us back on track.

Two seniors return for their fourth season with the Trojans, as Sierra Besecker and Maddie Taylor hope their experience can lead this squad.

“Sierra (5-foot-5) picked up the slack last year, and is the glue on and off the court,” Kopp said of the Tiffin University soccer signee. “She was second-team all-conference and I look for her to have similar numbers.”

“Maddie is a four-year letterwinner like Sierra, and has always been steady where she needs to be. Her and Sierra both lettered the last time we won the league, and they want to get back.”

Also back is senior 5-foot-6 shooting guard Bailey Dornbusch, who is a vocal leader and good defender according to Kopp.

“She can hit the open shot and we will rely on her leadership,” he said.

Kayla Niswonger also is back as a 5-foot-10 senior, who is coming back from an injury last season.

“She led us in rebounding last year before her season was cut short,” Kopp said. “She will be a three-year letterwinner and is always in the right spot.”

Three more seniors will bring their leadership and athleticism to the team, as 5-foot-11 Stephanie Chavis, 5-foot-11 Taylor Stookey and 5-foot-6 shooting guard Alexis Otstot all look to provide depth.

Three juniors all will play a key part in the Trojans success. 5-foot-6 Jenna Kaup returns after starting some games both her freshman and sophomore seasons. Also back is Bailey Hess, a 5-foot-11 guard who is versatile according to Kopp. “She can guard the best player, run the floor and look to help provide us with a spark.”

Also back after a year absence is high-scoring Kennedi Kyzer, and will being immediate scoring to the Trojans lineup.

“She has a chance to be one of the best players ever at Troy,” Kopp said. “She is an outside threat to 25-feet, and can take it to the rim. Her scoring should allow us to do some good things offensively.” Kyzer was the GWOC North Player of the Year as a freshman.

Sophomores Alaura Holycross and Jordan Short also will be a factor, as will freshman Kiyha Adkins and Gabbi Johnson.

“In the GWOC as a whole, it is a very tough league,” Kopp said. “Our division goes through Sidney, they won it last year and returns everyone. We need to split with them or even beat them twice. They had a record setting year.”

“Butler and Trotwood are the next two teams, and we feel we are right there with them. Defense has been our strong suit, keeping teams down, but we need to score a few more points than last year.”

Troy opens at Northwestern on Friday night, then returns home to host Oakwood in their home opener on November 24.

*Troy held their annual Preview on Saturday with 18 teams coming in to get a dress rehearsal before the season tips off this weekend.

“Each year we pick a local charity to donate the money too,” Kopp said. “This year it went to the Jeff Roberts Memorial Scholarship Fund.” He was the husband of Barb Roberts, junior high athletic director and cross country/track coach. She lost her husband in a short battle with cancer and the money will be donated to that fund.