A tough schedule has made the transition more difficult for Dave Hale in his first year as coach of the Dublin Jerome High School boys basketball team.

A tough schedule has made the transition more difficult for Dave Hale in his first year as coach of the Dublin Jerome High School boys basketball team.

The Celtics won their opener against Teays Valley 53-26 on Dec. 3 then dropped four consecutive games to stand at 1-4 overall and 0-3 in the OCC-Cardinal Division before playing Olentangy last Tuesday.

"It definitely has been a tough schedule against some of the toughest teams in the league and the area," said Hale, whose team's four losses came against teams with a combined 15-3 record through last Saturday. "We're still trying to figure out who we are as a program and learn where we need to be on offense and defense. Hopefully, we can bounce back and do better in the next part of the season."

On Dec. 7, Jerome lost 79-61 to Westerville North, which was 3-1. Then the Celtics lost to Olentangy Liberty 55-44 on Dec. 10 with the Patriots being 4-1. Upper Arlington won 63-51 in a non-league game Dec. 14 and were 3-1, and Westerville South won 86-50 last Friday to improve to 5-0.

Ben Nesdore scored 10 points to lead a balanced attack against South and Luke Potter added nine points. Cam Wilson and Donavan Wilson both scored six points and Michael Martin had five.

"In our last game, Luke Potter really stepped up for us off the bench, and he was able to score inside and get a few key rebounds," Hale said. "It's not like any one person has dominated for us. We're just trying to play team basketball and get our best opportunity for a shot, not just get a shot for one person."

Cam Wilson leads the team with 10.2 points per game through five games followed by Nesdore at 8.6 and Nick Neale at 8.4.

"I think we've been happy with the effort given in games. They are playing hard and not giving in," Hale said. "We still have to work on execution and still figuring where we need to be on the court. We need to be in the proper position on defense and being where we need to be on offense."

•The girls team has won three consecutive games after defeating South 44-42 last Friday in an OCC-Cardinal contest.

Katelin Miller led the Celtics with 15 points, Katherine McCoy had nine and Sarah Auker added eight.

"I think the team is starting to bond and they are fulfilling their identity," said coach Matt Martin, whose team was 3-2 overall and 2-2 in the league before playing Olentangy last Tuesday. "We were starting to get everyone healthy, but after the Westerville South game, we were a little beaten up a bit."

Martin said Auker and Miller were dinged up against South and senior post player Katie Vaughn suffered a concussion during a 45-38 win over Liberty on Dec. 10. Add in a flu bug going through the roster, and it's understandable why the coach has been looking forward to Christmas break.

"We've been going through some adversity, but we're still winning games," Martin said. "The kids are starting to understand our offensive and defensive philosophies and that helps."

The Celtics have been led in scoring by Miller, a sophomore point guard averaging 13.8 points.

"Kaitlin Miller does what all good points guards do - she makes everyone else better," Martin said. "She jump-starts our offense. But as good as she is the leadership is still coming from our seniors. Brooke Carrel and Katie Vaughn are teaching the younger players the ropes at the varsity level and have been helping them come along."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Jerome boys and girls basketball teams:

BOYS

Dec. 14 - Lost to Upper Arlington 63-41. Ben Nesdore scored 10 points and Nick Neale had nine.

*Last Friday - Lost to Westerville South 86-50

*Last Tuesday - Played Olentangy

Today - Home vs. Centerville

Wednesday - Olentangy Orange in Delaware County Shootout at Olentangy Liberty

Dec. 30 - Home vs. Hilliard Darby

*Jan. 5 - At Marysville

*Jan. 7 - Home vs. Scioto

*Jan. 14 - At Westerville Central

Of note: The Celtics were 1-4 overall and 0-3 in the OCC-Cardinal before last Tuesday.

GIRLS

Dec. 14 - Defeated Zanesville 45-37 (OT). Katelin Miller scored 21 points.

*Last Friday - Def. Westerville South 44-42

*Last Tuesday - Played Olentangy

Tuesday - Upper Arlington at Watterson Tournament

Wednesday - Ready at Watterson Tournament

*Jan. 5 - Home vs. Marysville

*Jan. 7 - At Scioto

*Jan. 14 - Home vs. Westerville Central

Of note: The Celtics were 3-2 overall and 2-2 in the OCC-Cardinal before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Cardinal game