Pictured is the Senath-Hornersville high school girls basketball program.
"We were really young last year," Johnson said. "We had a number of freshmen and sophomores playing varsity last year. Those kids have all had a year of varsity experience and I think that will really help us."
Senath-Hornersville, which finished 12-13 at the varsity level in the 2011-12 season, looks to have a strong core of upperclassmen on this season's team.
"We've got some good senior leadership with Taylor Clifton and Karen Bracamontes," Johnson said. "The junior class is also strong number-wise. We are looking for a better season this season than we had last year.
"We've got some numbers," Johnson said. "We are going to run 10 to 11 deep. That means we've got some kids we can get significant minutes out of."
"We've got more tools" Johnson added. "We will see how we shoot the basketball compared to last year. I thought we shot it extremely well at times last year, but with youth comes uncertainty. But these kids have had a year of varsity and we are looking forward to them finally getting to play with kids their own age."
The girls basketball program's pre-season practice routine has included scrimmages with the Senath-Hornersville boys basketball program.
"We've been doing a lot of scrimmaging with the boys and trying to get more game-time in," Johnson said. "I think that will really help us. Anytime we can play before the season starts with kids within our own program it is really good for us. These girls have been taking some poundings with the boys, but it's good for them."
Senath-Hornersville will take on arch rival Kennett in the first-round of the Bulldog Classic on Nov. 26 at 5:30 p.m. at Multi-Purpose Facility in South Pemiscot. Senath-Hornersville has received the No. 4 seed in the 8-team tournament and three-time defending champion Kennett is seeded fifth.
"The seeds mean hardly nothing in the Bulldog Classic," Johnson said. "You just don't know who has what this early in the season, but it is always a great tournament and we always look forward to playing in it.
"We open up with Kennett and anytime we play Kennett it is usually an energetic game," Johnson said. "It's always fun to play them."
Senath-Hornersville is also slated to compete in the 16-team Lady Royals Classic at Twin Rivers High School in Broseley, Mo., the week before Christmas.
"The Twin Rivers tournament is loaded with competition," Johnson said. "It's somewhere where we start looking at where we are at and what we need to fix for the second half of the season. We'd like to go there and have a little better showing than we've had the last couple of years. We've won the consolation there and done some other things, but we'd really like to start moving into the winner's bracket instead of the loser's bracket so much.
"This bunch really enjoys playing, so tournaments like that shouldn't bother them," Johnson continued. "We may go up there and not do well, but it won't be because they are not ready. We may just run into a team a little bit better than we are right now."
Senath-Hornersville will compete in the Bootheel Conference with Campbell, Hayti, South Pemiscot, Portageville, Malden, Caruthersville and Kennett. Senath-Hornersville won its conference tournament at the varsity level in 2010. Kennett has defeated South Pemiscot in the championship game of the varsity tournament each of the last two seasons.
"I would say it's open," Johnson said of the Bootheel Conference. "I don't know much about Kennett and what they are going to have. I know what South Pemiscot has got because I've played them so many times the last couple of years. Carrie Shephard is going to be one of the top point-guards in the state of Missouri and she is hard for any team to handle. Portageville will also have a good club so on any given night any team can beat any team. As far as the conference goes, we want to have a chance to win it and be able to compete."
Senath-Hornersville will be in Class 2, District 1, for the next two seasons. Bloomfield will host Senath-Hornersville's basketball district, but does not have a girls basketball program. Girls teams competing in Class 2, District 1, are Senath-Hornersville, Campbell, Hayti, Portageville and South Pemiscot. South Pemiscot's girls won the district last season and advanced to the Class 2 state quarterfinals.
"It will be a good tournament," Johnson said of the district. "We hope to be right in the thick of it. Bloomfield is a great place to play and has great facilities. We've never played at Bloomfield so that will be a new experience for the girls. It always reminds me of the old gymnasium at Hoosiers with the atmosphere. You cannot beat it.
"Competition-wise it is wide open," Johnson added. "I know South Pemiscot is probably the front-runner because of their personnel, but it's a long season. Anything can happen and we wish everybody a lot of health, us too. I think if everybody stays healthy and we get in good shape we've got a good chance. And all we can ask for is a chance to be in the district championship."
Senath-Hornersville's first three regular-season girls basketball games will be at home in its recently remodeled gymnasium. Senath-Hornersville will host Campbell on Nov. 19, Armorel, Ark., on Dec. 3 and South Pemiscot on Dec. 6.
"I think our kids are really working hard and the parents would be really proud of the effort they are giving us," Johnson said. "They need to come out and watch if they get a chance to come to a game. It's going to be a lot of fun. We've got new facilities with new lighting. The administration has provided us with new air conditioning and heating in the gymnasium. It will be a fun, comfortable atmosphere to watch basketball games at this season. You should definitely catch a ball game if you can."