VANDALIA — After a very successful season last year, including 14 wins, the Lady Aviators Basketball team looks to continue their winning ways in the upcoming season. Last year, the Aviators reeled off 14 wins, their most since 2012, including victories over divisional rivals Troy and Piqua. Butler finished the season with an overall record of 14-9, with a second place finish in the Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division. Last season’s pedigree was a big stepping stone for the Aviators, one that they look to match and improve upon in the upcoming season.
Molly Bardonaro, head coach of the girls basketball team, said she feels that this season will be special, due to the strong work ethic and excellent leadership her players possess.
“This is going to be a fun, fast, and exciting team to watch,” said Bardonaro.
The Aviators are led by three seniors: Abby Grooms, Riley Clark, and Shelby Moses.
Abby Grooms is a returning starter who led the team in rebounds last season. According to Bardonaro, Grooms brings a strong inside presence to the Aviators, both defensively and offensively. Her rebounding skills, as well as the potential to score double digit points, should bode well for the Aviators.
Riley Clark is a new face to the starting lineup this season, but will have no issues stepping into a prominent role this season.
Bardonaro said that Clark is an extremely hard worker, giving everything she has, all the time. She will play guard for the Aviators, and look to move the ball as well as play solid defense.
Shelby Moses is a returning starter who was first team GWOC North and a top three-point shooter last year. Moses hopes to continue her success from last season, mixing it up with inside and outside shots, and playing well defensively, according to Bardonaro. She indicated that Moses also looks to be a leader for the Aviators, not only on the court, but outside as well.
These three seniors will not only be the backbone of this year’s squad, but will also be a role model for the younger players on this team.
The Aviators also have returning underclassmen that are looking to make a big impact on this season. Guard Brittney Petrosky will play a big role both offensively and defensively this season, according to Bardonaro. Olivia Schoenherr will provide some support in the post and will help the in scoring also.
Additionally, Brianna Fourman, Keonni Rakestraw and Tyree Fletcher are all new faces to the court this season. According to Bardonaro, these players will bring speed to the Aviators as well create scoring opportunities in the process. These younger players look to fill holes in the lineup for the Aviators, and help make big strides this season.
The GWOC North division and conference as a whole will be very strong this season and a true test for the Aviators. The Aviators finished second in the division last season, with a conference record of 7-3. Last year’s champions, Sidney, returned all starters, and were once ranked sixth in the state, proving to be a big test for the Aviators this year. Troy will also be a good test for the Aviators as well as Tipp City and Centerville.
“They are going to have to work hard every minute, but I have all the faith that if they believe in each other, they will come out on top this season,” said Bardonaro.
The Aviators will open their season on Friday, Nov. 20 as they play host to Tipp City. The Aviators will also be in action Saturday, Nov. 21st as they host Miami East. The “big” games of the year for the Aviators will be Jan. 9 against Troy, and Jan. 23 against Sidney. Both games will also be at Butler High School.
Friday, Nov. 20 Tippecanoe 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 21 Miami East 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 24 at Tecumseh 7:30 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 30 at Northmont 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 3 at Centerville 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 5 Fairborn 12:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 9 Miamisburg 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 12 at Springfield 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 16 at Xenia 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 19 at Sidney 7:30 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 4 Bellbrook 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 6 at Greenville 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 9 Troy 1 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 13 at Piqua 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 16 Arcanum 12 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 20 Trotwood-Madison 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 23 Sidney 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 27 Greenville 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 30 at Troy 1 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 1 at Oakwood 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 3 Piqua 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 6 at Trotwood-Madison 7:30 p.m.
Reach Gannon Godsey by contacting Greg Smart at 937-684-8088 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.com.