SYRACUSE – Competitiveness, commitment, communication.

Those are the Wawasee girls basketball team’s three keys to success this season.

“We feel like if we can take care of those three areas, and brainstorm what that means to us as a team, that our play is slowly gonna come along,” said Wawasee coach Matt Carpenter.

“As a coaching staff, we know we lost a of leadership and a lot of veterans over the last two years, so we’re gonna have to be more patient.”

The Lady Warriors graduated Hannah-Marie Lamle, who was reliable on the boards. Their tallest player is junior Madison Mottern, who stands 5-foot-10, and they have several athletes of small stature.

“Hopefully what we lack in size, we make up for in tenacity and fundamentals,” said Carpenter, who is 23-24 heading into his third season as coach. “We do feel like we can put a line up on the floor that can spread the floor.”

That includes four players who can run the point in the absence of Aubrey Kuhn, who graduated last season.

The Lady Warriors will benefit from senior Casey Schroeder, whom Carpenter said is one of the best players in the area and is getting collegiate looks.

Schroeder is coming off an ACL injury that she suffered in the spring, and the Warriors are easing her back into the game. Carpenter expects her to return a few weeks into the season.

Schroeder is capable of playing multiple positions, including point guard, while sophomore Danielle Jenkins, junior Hannah Lancaster and freshman Jada Carter also are capable of running the point.

“We’re not hinging or depending upon one guard this year,” Carpenter said.

Without much size, Wawasee will aim to rebound through scrappiness and positioning.

“A lot of it is gonna be, are we all boxing out, are we all crashing, and are we all taking care of business?” Carpenter said.

Aside from Schroeder, the Lady Warriors will have just one other senior – Caitlin Wortinger.

“Nobody plays as hard as Caitlyn does,” Carpenter said.

Still, he hopes for other players to step into leadership roles as well.

“We’re gonna need a lot of leadership, and we’re gonna need a team that’s willing to work extremely hard,” Carpenter said. “I don’t think things are gonna come easy for us.

“We know that. We know that we’re small, we know that we have a lot of inexperience, so we’re gonna have to be willing to adjust as the season progresses until we find what we’re best at.”

Wawasee opens the season tonight at Mishawaka Marian.

The Lady Warriors will play seven of their first nine games on the road.