Consistency has made a difference for Kyle Christman.
Through 11 games, the 6-foot-6 senior post player led the Dublin Jerome High School boys basketball team in scoring (12.1 points per game), field-goal percentage (43-for-83, 51.8 percent) and 3-point percentage (11-for-24, 45.8 percent). Christman also was second in rebounds (5.1 per game) to senior post player Austin Sherman (5.5) and had made 36 of 48 free throws (75 percent).
"The big thing Kyle is able to give us is consistency," coach Dave Hale said. "He has been a consistent scorer both inside or outside. He's a big guy who shoots well from the perimeter, he makes his free throws and he has good strength from working hard in the weight room."
Christman said it's his job as a senior to keep the Celtics headed in the right direction.
"As a senior, I have been playing with a lot of confidence," he said. "I have been trying to lead both vocally, but mainly I lead through my actions. I try to be someone who helps with the momentum, but also try to be a calming sense when we need that."
The Celtics were 4-8 overall before playing Thomas Worthington on Jan. 22. They moved to 2-5 in the OCC-Cardinal Division by defeating Hilliard Bradley 68-54 on Jan. 18.
Christman said the team has played better than its record indicates.
"I feel as though the team has played well together and our record doesn't show the hard work we have put in," he said. "We're pretty close to turning the corner. No one is giving up and we have put in the work in practice to get better."
Christman has thought about playing college basketball, but doesn't believe that will happen because he wants to select a college primarily for academic purposes. He has a 3.9 GPA.
"I thought about college basketball, but we'll see how this year turns out," Christman said. "I have thought about majoring in mechanical engineering or business. But I'm looking at some pretty big schools like Ohio State and Kentucky, which kind of put basketball out of the picture.
"I look at (basketball) like being prepared for a test in class. The game would be the test to show how much work you put in practice, which is like studying."
Christman said the Celtics got serious during offseason preparation and he can see a difference in their play.
"We definitely put in a lot more work in the summer than we have in my other three years," he said. "(Freshman guard) Seve Stavroff, his father (Matt Stavroff) owns a training facility called Elevate Basketball Academy (off of Sawmill Road). We worked out three times a week there with one of his trainers, Anthony Fuss-Cheatham, whose brother Brandon played basketball at Ohio State. We really worked hard in the offseason."
The work has paid off for Christman, who said all areas of his game have improved.
"I have been fairly efficient in scoring, shooting above 50 percent from inside (the) 3-point (line) and I have rebounded well," he said. "I probably need to work some on seeing the court better. I could probably get more assists because this is really the first time that I have played out from underneath of the basket.
"I've been pretty happy with my performance so far, but I'd like to be able to do more in order to get more victories. We have done a good job of spreading the ball around and doing what's best for the team."
Girls team facing league challenges
The girls team was 10-4 overall before playing Dublin Coffman on Jan. 22.
Jerome improved to 6-3 in the OCC-Cardinal by defeating Bradley 35-32 on Jan. 18 as senior post player Madison Colvin had eight points, senior post player Sarah Auker scored seven and senior post player Hannah Gibbs added five.
In the OCC-Cardinal, Jerome is third behind Westerville North (9-0) and Dublin Scioto (7-2) and ahead of Bradley (5-4), Westerville Central and Westerville South (4-5), Hilliard Darby (1-8) and Worthington Kilbourne (0-9).
The Celtics have a pair of league games ahead in Darby on Friday, Jan. 25, and Westerville North on Tuesday, Jan. 29. They defeated Darby 48-40 on Dec. 14 as junior guard Christy Chou had 11 points and junior post Madison Watson added nine.
Jerome lost to Westerville North 55-31 on Dec. 4 as Auker scored 12 points.