Canal Winchester High School girls basketball coach Gary Burke said his players must maintain their confidence and not dwell on mistakes in order for his team to be successful in the Division I district tournament.
"When we do make a mistake, we can't drop our heads because mistakes can be corrected," Burke said. "If people weren't meant to make mistakes, they wouldn't put erasers on pencils. Making a mistake isn't going to cost us a game. How we respond after we make a mistake will determine how successful we are."
Seeded 37th of 47 teams, Canal Winchester will open tournament play in the second round Wednesday, Feb. 19, at ninth-seeded Dublin Coffman or at home against 41st-seeded Watkins Memorial.
"On paper, Dublin Coffman should win their first game and then beat us. But fortunately, we don't settle these games with who is better on paper," Burke said. "We've played well against teams with better records than us and we've even beaten one of them recently in Westerville Central (50-46 in an OCC-Cardinal Division game Jan. 24). We're going into this game expecting to win it."
Canal Winchester was 6-15 overall and 4-9 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Hilliard Darby in its regular-season finale Feb. 11. The Indians lost to Westerville North 63-33 in a league game Feb. 7 and entered the contest against Darby having lost 12 of 15.
However, Burke said his team played well in some recent games, including the win over host Central, a 53-50 home win over Thomas Worthington on Feb. 1 and a 41-34 league loss to host Dublin Jerome on Feb. 4.
Against Thomas, Raven Hamilton had 16 points and Jasmine Smith scored 13. Hamilton had 17 points and Smith scored 15 against Jerome.
"Raven and Jasmine have played well and have been our two biggest scorers, but we need more scoring from our other three spots," Burke said. "I'm confident we can beat more teams with good records because we've shown signs of it. We played well against Dublin Jerome and we had only two or three turnovers in the entire first half. We just made several mental mistakes, rather than physical mistakes, in the second half that cost us.
"If we can cut down on our physical and mental errors, we'll be a tough opponent for just about anybody we play in the tournament."
Meade leads girls swimmers at sectional
Lexie Meade led the girls swimming and diving team in the 13-team Division I sectional meet Feb. 8 at Upper Arlington.
The junior placed third in the 50-yard freestyle (25.52 seconds) and fifth in the 100 free (55.42) and teamed with Miaya Green, Devon Shull and Kasey Pastor to place third in the 200 free relay (1:45.87) and fifth in the 200 medley relay (1:58.53).
The Indians scored 76 points at sectional to finish sixth behind champion UA (494).
"Our girls swam well overall and they all dropped time," coach Julie Pastor said. "Our 200 free relay dropped almost two seconds off its best time and our 200 medley relay dropped more than a second."
The top two placers in each swimming event in the district meet Saturday, Feb. 15, at Ohio State automatically advance to the state meet Feb. 20-22 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. In addition, 16 at-large state berths will be awarded for each swimming event based on times statewide.
The top three boys divers and top four girls divers at district also advance to state.
Canal Winchester did not have any state qualifiers last season.
"We'd like to get a relay to state, but the competition is going to be tough," coach Pastor said. "Lexie really wants to make it to state in one of her events and she isn't fully tapered yet, so I think she has a chance."
The boys team did not score at district.
Competing for the Indians were Ward Bright, who finished 28th in the 50 free (27.86) and 32nd in the 100 free (1:03.72), and Romey Noseworthy, who finished 32nd in the 50 free (29.6) and 36th in the 100 free (1:13.13).
"We had only two boys swim at sectional," coach Pastor said. "Neither of them will qualify for district, but Ward dropped time in both of his events and that's all you can ask for."
Boys basketball team set for season finale
The boys basketball team will close the regular season Friday, Feb. 14, at home against Dublin Scioto in an OCC-Cardinal game.
Canal Winchester, which defeated the Irish 40-35 on Jan. 10, then will prepare for the Division I district tournament. The Indians are seeded 34th and have a first-round bye. They will play Feb. 26 at sixth-seeded Pickerington Central or host to 36th-seeded Columbus West.
The Indians lost to Westerville North 63-55 on Feb. 7 to drop to 7-13 overall and 2-11 in the OCC-Cardinal and carried a four-game losing streak into their contest against Hartley on Feb. 10.
Brendan Snyder had 21 points, Daltyn Colley scored 13 and DeAndre Slappy scored 11 against North.
The Indians also lost a league game to visiting Jerome on Feb. 4, falling 71-51 after being outscored 21-3 in the first quarter.
Kamon Craine and Slappy each had 14 points against the Celtics and Snyder scored 11.