At this time last year, the Canal Winchester High School boys basketball was undefeated and preparing for a game against eventual Division I state champion Newark.

At this time last year, the Canal Winchester High School boys basketball was undefeated and preparing for a game against eventual Division I state champion Newark.

The Indians lost that game 71-57, but they regrouped and lost just once more before making a run to a Division II regional.

Canal Winchester is 4-0 overall and 3-0 in the MSL-Buckeye Division entering Saturday's non-league contest against Licking Valley. The Panthers have had a slow start, having to postpone some games because of the extended playoff run of the football team. As many as seven players expected to play for Licking Valley were members of the football team. The Panthers were 2-1 before defeating Whitehall 72-59 last Friday and Utica 57-46 last Saturday.

"They haven't played much and they've got a new coach. They've got a lot of athletic kids but also a lot of new faces and a new coach, so we know they'll compete hard," coach Kent Riggs said.

Canal Winchester will play another non-league game at Thomas Worthington on Monday. Thomas finished 18-5 last season but must replace four starters. Led by coach Bob Miller, the Cardinals were 0-5 after a 69-48 loss last Friday to Dublin Coffman.

"They'll be very fundamentally sound and play well defensively," Riggs said. "They lost some close games so far and they played Hilliard Davidson and Upper Arlington tough. They lost a lot of guys from last year so maybe that inexperience hurt them, but it will be a tough game for us.

"Anytime you play a team coached by Bob Miller, I tell the guys we have to play the right way to win. If you don't play fundamentally, you won't win. That's what you have to do when playing OCC teams."

"I think we'll match up well with (Thomas Worthington)," guard Wes White said. "It's going to be a tough game but those are the kind we like.

Canal Winchester defeated Circleville 76-54 last Friday at home. The Indians opened the second quarter on a 13-2 run and started the third quarter on an 11-4 run. White scored 21 points, Darian Cartharn had 12 and Jarmod Woodley had 10.

•The girls basketball team has two tough non-league games coming up against two OCC opponents. The Indians will play Saturday at home against Central Crossing and Tuesday at home against Groveport.

Central Crossing was 4-3 after a 51-31 loss last Friday to Hilliard Davidson. With a new coach and a pressure defense, the Comets have become a winning team for the first time since the 2004-05 season.

Groveport was 2-5 after beating Newark 51-48 last Friday. Canal Winchester is more familiar with the Cruisers, having played them three times in a summer basketball league.

"Groveport is very athletic. They can shoot the ball well and shoot well from outside," coach Adam Twiss said.

"They do a good job of finishing and they run a lot of defenses so it will be a good opponent for us."

Canal Winchester has defeated one OCC team this season, downing Worthington Kilbourne 49-37 on Dec. 13.

The two games represent a chance for the Indians to continue to progress.

"I think we continue to move in the right direction and that's a good thing to see," Twiss said. "We need to continue throughout the Christmas break on working on playing together, understanding the shots we need to get in our offense and we also need to work more on defense and create more opportunities."

•The wrestling team won the 24-team New Albany Invitational last Saturday, an event which featured a "pools and duals" format.

The Indians were seeded first for the duals portion after leading the field in pool competition. They beat Shelby 38-33 in a semifinal and Willard 50-18 in the final.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Canal Winchester boys basketball, girls basketball and wrestling teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL

*Last Friday -- Defeated Circleville 76-54. Wes White scored 21 points.

Saturday -- At Licking Valley

Monday -- At Thomas Worthington

Of note: The Indians are 4-0 overall and 3-0 in the MSL-Buckeye

GIRLS BASKETBALL

*Dec. 16 -- Game vs. Hamilton Township postponed. No makeup date has been announced.

*Last Saturday -- Lost to Logan Elm 59-35. Tay Stokes led with 14 points and Ashley Dexter added 11 points.

Saturday -- Home vs. Central Crossing

Tuesday -- Home vs. Groveport

Of note: The Indians are 2-4 overall and 0-4 in the MSL-Buckeye.

WRESTLING

Dec. 18 -- Def. Briggs 73-6; def. Ashland 43-28.

Last Saturday -- Finished first in New Albany Eagle Invitational

Monday-Tuesday -- At Medina Invitational Tournament

*MSL-Buckeye game