Utilizing a mixture of man-to-man and various zone defenses, the Watterson High School boys basketball team held opponents to an average of 46 points through 12 games.

Utilizing a mixture of man-to-man and various zone defenses, the Watterson High School boys basketball team held opponents to an average of 46 points through 12 games.

During a six-game span, which began Jan. 4 and ended Jan. 21, the Eagles held their opponents to 42 points or fewer.

Unfortunately for the Eagles, they went 1-5 during that stretch to drop to 3-9 overall and 1-3 in the CCL heading into a non-league game at home against Zanesville Rosecrans on Jan. 25. The Eagles averaged only 36.5 points themselves in those six contests.

Watterson lost to DeSales 36-32 in a CCL game Jan. 21 at Otterbein, just seven days after losing to Hartley 34-32 in another league contest.

"Our kids have been playing outstanding defense, especially against two very strong teams in Hartley and DeSales," coach Vince Lombardo said. "We've done a good job of mixing up our defensive looks to hold teams down and that's kept us in games. We're having trouble winning some of these closer games, though, because we need to get better offensively."

The Eagles averaged 15 turnovers and only 41.1 points through 12 games.

Brad McCurdy was leading Watterson in scoring through 12 games, averaging 8.8 points. Connor Geraghty (8.3) was second, followed by Brian Dunlay (8.2), Jake Brobst (4.8) and Brad Horstman (4.4).

McCurdy had 10 points against Hartley and Geraghty scored 11 against DeSales.

"We need to take better care of the basketball, because we're turning it over way too much," Lombardo said. "Right now, we're not comfortable when we get sped up, and that's something we'll keep working on in practice. If we can be patient and get better looks at the basket, I believe we'll shoot better and gain a little more confidence."

The Eagles play host to St. Charles on Friday, Jan. 28, in a CCL rematch before playing host to Upper Arlington on Monday, Jan. 31, in a non-league game.

St. Charles lost to Olentangy Orange 56-55 on Jan. 22 to drop to 6-5 overall and beat Ready 60-39 on Jan. 21 to improve to 2-2 in the CCL.

Watterson lost to St. Charles 42-32 on Jan. 5, as 6-foot junior guard Jim Ryan scored 11 points and 6-3 senior forward Joe Spahr scored 10 to lead the Cardinals. Geraghty had 11 points to pace the Eagles.

"St. Charles has one outstanding player in (6-5 senior post player Dane) McLoughlin, but they have much better balance in their offense this year, so we'll have to guard them at every position," Lombardo said. "They play man defense and we've got to be prepared to handle their pressure."

UA defeated New Albany 61-51 on Jan. 22 to improve to 12-0, as senior guard Brian Sullivan scored 28 points and junior guard Carter Smith scored 14.

The Golden Bears defeated Watterson 62-58 last season.

"We're playing a challenging schedule and Upper Arlington's another undefeated team that's going to be a great challenge for us," Lombardo said. "Sullivan is an outstanding shooter who can hurt you badly. But the thing that makes them tough is they have a number of kids who can shoot it well and defend."

Dunlay and Max Bordine both returned to the lineup from injury against DeSales. Dunlay had missed six games and Bordine had missed five.

With his team getting back to full strength, Lombardo said the Eagles are going to use their final seven regular-season games to prepare for the Division II district tournament. Watterson won district titles the past two seasons.

"We typically play a challenging schedule because it helps us improve so we can make good tournament runs," Lombardo said. "We've had years where we've started slow and still made a good tournament run, and we're hoping to do something similar to that if we can get on a good roll here in the next three or four weeks.

"The key for us is going to be to figure some things out offensively, because we're playing good enough defense to win more games."

AT A GLANCE

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Watterson girls basketball, hockey, swimming and diving, and wrestling teams:

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Jan. 18 - Defeated Gahanna 42-41. Kayla Cook scored 10 points.

*Jan. 22 - Def. DeSales 55-52. Margaret Masty scored 14 points, and Celeste Cantwell and Cook scored 10 apiece.

*Jan. 27 - Home vs. Ready

*Jan. 29 - At Columbus School for Girls

Of note: The Eagles are 13-1 overall and 5-0 in the CCL.

*CCL game

HOCKEY

*Jan. 21 - Lost to Dublin Scioto 7-0

*Jan. 22 - Lost to DeSales 10-1

*Jan. 28 - Dublin Coffman at Chiller Dublin

*Jan. 30 - Worthington Kilbourne at Chiller Easton

Of note: The Eagles are 0-14 overall and 0-9 in the Capital Hockey Conference.

*CHC game

SWIMMING & DIVING

Jan. 27 - CCL championship diving meet at CSG

Jan. 28 - CSG and St. Charles at St. Charles

Jan. 29 - CCL championship swimming meet at St. Charles

WRESTLING

Jan. 26 - Competed against Whetstone

Jan. 29 - Raider Invitational at Benjamin Logan