CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Many of the necessary pieces for a deep postseason run return for the Buffalo girls basketball team a year removed from setting the program's single-season wins record.
Four starters return from last season's Bison team that finished 18-5 before losing in the Class A Region 4 Section 2 semifinals to Charleston Catholic. Among the key returnees, senior Chelsey Parkins will look to build upon her junior season in which she set program records for points and rebounds for a single year.
"She's one of the better players around," Buffalo Coach Jamie Ball said of Parkins. "We look to her whenever we need to score or whenever we need a defensive stop. She's our leader on and off the floor, not necessarily vocally, but by how hard she practices and she tries to do everything perfect."
Last season, Parkins averaged 18.7 points and 18.2 rebounds per contest. At 5-foot-11, Parkins maintains the size of a center, but also plays with the adeptness and outside shooting ability of a guard.
"When I say she can really do everything, she can really do everything on the basketball floor," Ball said.
Parkins, a Third-Team All-State selection as a sophomore and Second-Team selection last year, said she takes pride in being multi-dimensional on the court.
"I just think it's good to be able to do different things and not have to rely on just being tall or just being able to shoot," she said.
In addition to Parkins, the Bison return Paige Roush, junior two-guard Olivia Dunn and senior guard Katie Allen.
Ball said Roush, the team's point guard, represents Buffalo's barometer for success.
"We go pretty much as she goes," he said. "If she's running our offense and being the Paige the she can be in practice, the sky's the limit."
After the graduation of captain Tiffani Bailey, both Michela Lewis and Noel Dingess, among others, will vie for the fifth starting position.
With experience in good supply and an emphasis on preseason conditioning, Ball said he expects athleticism to be among the team's strengths.
"If we can, we're going to run every time up and down the floor," Ball said.