The David Douglas Scots have a couple of new post players, a couple of recent victories and a new approach.
"I've never had posts like this," third-year head coach Mike Costello says. "We used to be more perimeter-oriented, but now we'll get the ball inside and work inside-out."
The players up front for David Douglas are senior Audrey Frison, a 6-0 senior transfer from Parkrose, and Gennah Schoen, a 6-2 sophomore.
Schoen is coming off a knee injury, though.
"She didn't play a lot last season, and we're trying to break her in and not rush things too much," says Costello, who spent several years as an assistant coach with the Scots before taking over the program.
Frison stepped right in for David Douglas, and she led the team to back-to-back victories over Benson 47-21 and Franklin 62-47 as the Scots entered their holiday break on a high. Frison had 22 and 24 points in the two games, with double-figure rebounding in both outings.
"She's obviously going to be one of our consistent contributors," Costello says. "She's athletic enough to bring the ball up the court, but she feels more comfortable playing down low. She likes to bang around on the block."
The Scots started the season with two close defeats, 43-39 at Sandy and 56-54 to Madison. Then came losses to Glencoe 72-36 and at The Dalles-Wahtonka 64-24, both at the Reynolds tournament.
"We've been stressing that you need to play four quarters," Costello says. "They did a much better job of that the last two games.
"We're not overly talented, so we have to play consistently well to win games. The girls are starting to take that message to heart."
The Scots have a new varsity point guard this season in Zariah Torregano, a 5-7 junior.
"She's going to be good," Costello says.
One setback for the team was a leg injury during volleyball season to senior Katherine Phonasa.
"She's starting to walk around after being in a walking cast/brace for four to six weeks," Costello says. "We may try to have her come back."
Central Catholic and St. Mary's Academy are expected to be Mt. Hood Conference frontrunners again, but Costello says he thinks third and fourth place in the league are up for grabs.
The top three automatically qualify for the state playoffs, "and that's our goal. The players had a meeting and set that as their goal."
David Douglas has a non-league game at 1:30 p.m. Friday at McKay (6-2), then is off until Jan. 7, when the Scots visit Hillsboro (6-0).
That will be the final tuneup for the MHC season, which starts for them on Jan. 10 with a home game against Gresham.