GIRARD — Nothing came easy for the Girard High School boys’ basketball team last season, as the Trojans fought hard to stay above .500 throughout a challenging CNC schedule.

With two seniors and four juniors returning, Girard hopes to hit its stride and make a push at winning state.

“We have good group of leaders returning,” GHS head coach Rod Westcott said. “Our guards have a year of experience under their belt, so we hope to build on that experience and continue to improve as the season goes on.”

Among the returning players are seniors Ethan Goff and Brett Ferguson, along with juniors Evan Troike, Caleb Muia, Carter Doherty and Zane Henderson.

With returning players all chipping in, the Trojans hope to finish better than they did last season when they went 12-9 on the year and 4-3 in CNC.

“I thought our guys improved as the year went on,” Westcott said. “I was proud of the way we battled night in and night out. Hopefully, we can carry over some of that toughness we showed and continue to improve as a team.”

Westcott said he will be keeping an eye out for standout underclassmen who could be another reliable option for him off the bench down the stretch.

“Defending and rebounding are keys for us to be successful,” Westcott said. “We also need to develop some depth at the varsity level.”

Depth will be important moving forward, as the CNC typically exposes any weaknesses within a team.

“The CNC is always tough year in and year out,” Westcott said. “To win a league title, we will have to be very disciplined in all aspects of the game.”

There are many unknowns for the Trojans heading into the new campaign, but they plan on improving each day and taking the season one game at a time.

“Our returners will all play a major role in the success of the team this season,” Westcott said. “For us to make a run in the playoffs, we must be playing our best basketball by the end of the season.”

 — Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at jbuckamneer@morningsun.net and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.