SELLERSBURG — Camille Leach turned around a struggling Shawe Memorial program a few years ago.
She would like to have a similar impact at Rock Creek.
"I hope to do the same thing here," said the 33-year-old who began her first season as the Lions' coach Tuesday night at Henryville.
Leach played for, and won a state championship under, Indiana Hall of Famer Donna Cheatham at Southwestern. She later coached the Rebels' junior varsity for three years before taking over at Shawe. She guided the Hilltoppers to a 4-17 record in her first year, a 7-15 mark in her second and a 10-15 ledger in her third before posting the program's only back-to-back winning seasons (13-12 in 2015-16 and 14-12 in '16-17) of the new millennium.
Leach, who took 2 years off from coaching after having her son (Ryker), has her work cut out for herself in her first season at Rock Creek. The Lions graduated the area's leading scorer — Abbey Guidry (23.6 points per game) — and return only a few players from the squad that went 4-19 last season.
“We have a lot of youth and inexperience for sure,” said Leach, whose staff includes her husband, Ryan. “I’ve got lots of girls who have never played. ... It’s definitely going to be a year of adjustment and growth."
Back to lead the way is 5-8 junior guard Leah Thompson (7.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg) and 5-7 forward Bre Sheckles (3.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg), the team's lone senior.
“They’re definitely going to play bigger roles this year,” Leach said.
Also returning are junior guard Maisy Reliford, sophomore forward Maggie Wimsatt and sophomore guard Trenity Grawemeyer. The rest of the roster is made up of newcomers.
"I'm just really focusing on improving," Leach said.
One big improvement the Lions, who have averaged 3.1 wins in the 14 seasons since their last winning campaign (14-8 in 2004-05), have is their new gymnasium.
“We are very excited about it,” Leach said. “Not everybody gets to experience a brand new gym, a brand new school — it’s unique for sure.”