In a season in which the Columbus School for Girls basketball team has yet to find much offensive rhythm, it might stand to reason that defense sometimes has been the highlight.

In a season in which the Columbus School for Girls basketball team has yet to find much offensive rhythm, it might stand to reason that defense sometimes has been the highlight.

A few examples came during a non-league game Jan. 18 at Berne Union. Senior guard Jamilla Holland dived to the court on a handful of occasions to cause deflections or steals, sometimes finding teammate Jackie Carroll for a driving layup, and that inspired their teammates to increase their speed and play an effective half-court game.

The dilemma for the Unicorns is those situations have been all too rare.

While CSG entered the week having held six teams to 53 points or fewer, it had scored 30 or more points just twice this season. The Unicorns entered a Jan. 25 game at Hartley with records of 1-12 overall and 0-6 in the CCL.

"Our defense has gotten a lot better. We've progressed," Carroll said after the Unicorns' 53-31 loss to Berne Union. "The girls have been able to find their niche and anticipate the ball better. We've been working hard on getting our press breakdown. If we can do that, we'll be in much better shape."

CSG hadn't won since its opener, a 28-26 victory over Grandview on Nov. 29.

Considering the Unicorns lost four starters from the team that made a surprise run to a Division III district final last season, second-year coach Stephanie Jones knew rebuilding might take time. It has, and has involved a handful of younger players.

In addition to Carroll, a 6-foot senior forward and the only starter who returned, contributors have included sophomore guard Ashley Harrington and freshmen guards Taylor Turley and Myrial Harrison.

"There is some progress," Jones said. "We're still looking for other people to step up offensively. Jackie looks to score most of the time. We're just still looking for an offensive flow."

The Berne Union game got away from the Unicorns in the third quarter, when the Rockets went on a 20-0 run. But a last-minute flurry got CSG over 30 points, at that point its best offensive output of the season.

The Unicorns exceeded that three days later in a 76-37 loss at Ready.

"They just need to apply what we're teaching them, which will come with time," Jones said. "There are a couple freshmen I've asked to carry a huge load on varsity. Just last year, they were playing at the middle-school level."

•FITNESS COORDINATOR HIRED - Lindsey Smith recently was named the school's fitness coordinator, strength and conditioning coach and athletics administrative intern.

An Indiana native, Smith participated in basketball, soccer and track and field at DePaul University. She has participated in the Reebok CrossFit Games - a multi-faceted international event testing the training and endurance of its competitors - for the past three years, finishing fifth in 2009, 10th in 2010 and 16th in 2011.

Smith previously worked as a physical education teacher at Trinity Episcopal School in Austin, Texas. She and her husband, Webster, have a 4-year-old daughter, Alexis.