In the midst of a midseason slump, the Dublin Jerome High School girls basketball team will look to teamwork to get back on track.

In the midst of a midseason slump, the Dublin Jerome High School girls basketball team will look to teamwork to get back on track.

Before playing Olentangy Liberty on Jan. 24, the Celtics has lost three of four games to fall to 6-7 overall and 5-4 in the OCC-Cardinal Division. Jerome began the stretch with a 47-42 loss to Dublin Scioto on Jan. 6. It then beat Westerville Central 53-29 on Jan. 13 before losing 25-23 to Dublin Coffman on Jan. 17 and 37-33 to Westerville North on Jan. 20.

"The tough thing was (against Coffman) we played amazing team defense and (against North) we came out with a lack of energy and played bad team defense," coach Matt Martin said. "Looking at those two games, the team brought a different energy level (against Coffman) and that's understandable because of the rivalry. But if we are to be successful as a team, we need that energy level no matter who we are playing."

Against Coffman, Kaitlin Beebe led Jerome with six points, with Kaitlin Miller, Lindsay Rieland and Madison Watson each adding four.

"I think we need to work together as a team," Rieland said. "We had a meeting (Jan. 21) and we talked about teamwork. We have been frustrated with how close we are to winning those games. We need to make that extra pass and not force shots. We need to work a little more as a team than we have been."

In the losses to Scioto, Coffman and North, the final margin was not more than five points, meaning the difference between winning and losing was miniscule.

Against North, Hadley Kiefer and Rieland both scored eight points, with Sarah Auker and Watson adding five points apiece.

"We had a one-point game the last time we played (North)," Martin said of a 29-28 win over the Warriors on Dec. 6. "We always have tight battles whenever we play Westerville North. They play a very physical game.

"We didn't do the small, fundamental things that can allow a team to win. We have to get back to paying attention to the details of going out and finishing around the rim and playing better team defense."

Entering play Jan. 24, Jerome was fourth in the OCC-Cardinal behind Olentangy (8-1), Scioto (7-2) and Westerville South (7-2) and ahead of Olentangy Liberty (4-5), North (4-5), Marysville (1-8) and Central (0-9).

The Celtics play Friday, Jan. 27, at South. Jerome lost to the Wildcats 41-37 on Dec. 16 as Miller had 12 points and Kiefer scored nine.

"South likes to get out and push the ball," Martin said. "We played them close last time and a lot of the games in (the OCC-Cardinal) have been close this year. We're all competing hard and having games come down to the very end."

"(The Wildcats) are a quick team and they have some really good shooting on the outside," Rieland said. "We have to pressure them on defense and try to create turnovers. We were pretty close the last time we played. We're ready to come back out there and try to win this time."

Injuries often come into play during the course of a season, but Martin said the Celtics have managed to remain relatively healthy.

"For the most part, we're pretty healthy," he said. "Kaitlin Miller was a trooper in our last two games (against Coffman and North), playing with a bum ankle and a bum wrist. But other than that, we've been lucky in that respect."