Area basketball fans should easily be able to recognize the new girls basketball coach at Washington High School.

Adam Fischer, a 1999 Borgia graduate and former standout basketball player for the Knights, takes over as the Lady Jays’ head coach, replacing Greg Traffas.

Fischer, who also played basketball at Fontbonne University, graduating in 2003, previously was the head golf coach and assistant boys basketball coach at St. Clair High School. He’s also spent time as an assistant boys basketball coach at Washington.

“I’m very excited to be back coaching in the Washington community,” Fischer said. “The girls have shown a great interest to improve their basketball skills. They have done everything I have asked them since I was offered the job last year. We have spent countless hours working in the gym and weight room to prepare for this season. The girls at Washington are due to have a great season.”

Washington returns two starters from last season’s team that had a 6-17 overall record.

Returning starters are 5-11 senior forward Kirstie Leslie and 5-6 junior guard Courtney Kedroski.

Seven other players on the roster have varsity experience.

According to Fischer, other varsity returners are 5-4 junior guard Megan Bauche, 5-8 sophomore guard Megan Freitag, 5-6 junior guard Alex Ready, 5-9 senior forward Kaitlin Evans, 6-2 junior forward Rachel Kackley, 5-11 senior forward Hannah Leslie and 5-10 senior forward Helena Ballmann.

The top varsity newcomer is freshman Paige Carpenter.

Practice sessions have been going well.

“The girls have had a great two-and-a-half weeks of practice,” Fischer said. “We have worked extremely hard in practice with putting in the new system and learning how each other operates.”

Fischer likes the makeup of his team.

“We are going to be a very athletic team that puts a lot of pressure on the ball,” Fischer said. “We believe we can improve on their record from last year.”

Washington opens its season Monday, Dec. 3, at home against New Haven.

The Lady Jays will play in tournaments at Sullivan, Union and Borgia.

Washington has been assigned to Class 5 District 10 with Northwest, Rolla, Lebanon and Waynesville.

This season’s district tournament will be played at Rolla High School.