CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Charleston Catholic's girls basketball suffered a down year last season with a 9-16 record, but played well enough to make it to the regional co-championship where the Irish were one win from the State Tournament.
This season, first-year Coach Zack Bogan hopes that experience in the playoffs and another year of maturity can help the Irish improve from last year's sub-.500 record.
Bogan, a 2007 Charleston Catholic graduate, was an assistant for the last month of the 2012-13 season before taking over the team in the offseason. Prior to that he served as coach for the soccer team at Charleston Catholic Middle School. That has helped the new coach from the standpoint of getting familiar with his team.
"I had a familiarity with a lot of the players," he said. "Even some of the freshman I coached during soccer season last year. They had either played for me or knew who I was and I knew who they are. It's nice being able to come in and not have to go through the process of learning who everyone was."
The Irish return a mostly young squad but do have two seniors back for this season - guards Anna Whelan and Hannah Gallian. The seniors, Bogan said, have also been helpful during the coaching transition.
"It is nice to have them, especially from the leadership standpoint," he said. "They've been in the program and have seen the ups and the downs. They know what to expect."
Whelan and Gallian will be called on often in Bogan's guard-oriented, fast-paced offense. Catholic does not possess much in the way of size but does have a roster full of speed.
"We have a lot of guards so whether or not I want to do it we're handcuffed," Bogan said. "We're playing as fast as possible with them under control. I like to play fast, get up and down the court and they seem to like that as well. We want to utilize our speed and put pressure on opposing teams, and we have a lot of speed."