The Columbus Academy boys basketball team isn't out of the race for the MSL-Ohio Division championship, but coach Chris Jones knows his team will need some help if it is to win the league.

The Columbus Academy boys basketball team isn't out of the race for the MSL-Ohio Division championship, but coach Chris Jones knows his team will need some help if it is to win the league.

The Vikings dropped to 3-2 overall and 1-2 in the MSL-Ohio with a 61-55 loss to Whitehall last Saturday. Heath, which beat Academy 59-56 on Dec. 8, won its first three league games and Granville won its first two.

"It's always tough when you put your destiny in another team's hands," Jones said. "Even after the Heath loss, if we win the rest of our games, we could at worst tie for the league championship. Now we need some help from some other teams. I do believe Heath is going to be the class of the league. I also believe whoever is going to win this year is going to have a couple of losses. If we take care of business, we'll still be in the hunt."

The Vikings don't play again until Jan. 4 at Northridge. Jones said he will focus on rebounding when the team returns to practice after Christmas.

"We've given up a ton of offensive rebounds in both losses," Jones said. "It's just something we have to give a lot more attention to. We don't consistently go to the offensive boards the way we should. We always try to send three guys to the offensive boards."

Tim Eldridge is leading the team in scoring, averaging 16 points. Zach Ratcliff is second, averaging 12.6.

"We definitely have to get back to the basics on defense," Ratcliff said. "(Against Whitehall) some defensive errors were exposed. If we focus on the little things, our play will definitely pick up."

Eldridge scored a season-high 27 points in the loss to Heath. Ratcliff had a team-high 15 points against Whitehall, with Eldridge and Jared Harris scoring 11 apiece.

"When I look at the two losses, even though the other teams played really well, I feel if we played like we should have played, we would have come out on top," Jones said. "You'd rather be over .500 anytime you can and we are, but when you feel like the games are in your control, you have to take care of business. When you let them slip through your hands, it's always hard to deal with."

Academy originally was scheduled to play Hartley last Saturday, but the game was postponed because of the Hartley football team's state champ-ionship run. A makeup date has not been announced.

Academy picked up its MSL-Ohio win against Newark Catholic, winning 68-58 on Dec. 11. Last season, the Green Wave reached the Division IV state final before losing to Dayton Jefferson Township 59-52.

•The girls basketball team won its past two games and is 4-2 overall and 2-2 in the MSL-Ohio.

"I'm definitely happy with our record," coach Heather Gepper said. "We played some phenomenal games. Our two losses have come from Whitehall (36-31 on Dec. 9) and Newark Catholic (39-37 on Dec. 2). The games that we lost we were right there, so I would have liked to have those wins."

The Vikings will return to action on Jan. 4 at Lakewood.

Academy defeated Gahanna Christian 54-25 on Dec. 11 behind 13 points from junior guard LaShaun Ransom. The Vikings then beat Licking Valley 34-33 last Saturday behind 18 points from junior point guard Erin Simmons, who scored the winning basket with 10 seconds remaining.

"It's definitely nice to go into a nice break," Gepper said. "We've all been working really hard in practice and it's nice going into the break with a big win against Licking Valley. I'm looking forward to having a little time off, but the season is going so well. The girls are working so hard and they're just a fun group of kids to work with, so I'm going to miss them a little bit over the week that we won't see each other."

Simmons leads the team in scoring, averaging 15.7 points.

"Erin is a phenomenal athlete," Gepper said. "She's just playing great right now. I didn't expect her to be scoring as much as she is. I'm not complaining, but she is playing very well right now."

•With just three participants, the wrestling team faces an abbreviated schedule this season.

Academy competed in a quad meet with Linden-McKinley, Mifflin and Watterson on Dec. 9, with freshman Jeremy Schroeder (135 pounds) and junior Dan Leathery (145) each finishing 2-0 and sophomore Johnston Allinder (160) going 0-2.

Schroeder finished third and Allinder was fifth at the Briggs Junior Varsity Tournament last Saturday.

The Vikings return to action Jan. 8 at the Hudson Western Reserve Academy Duals.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Columbus Academy bowling and swimming and diving teams:

BOWLING

*Dec. 6 - Boys: Defeated Grandview 1,439-1,436; Girls: Def. Grandview 1,323-1,154

*Dec. 7 - Boys: Lost to St. Charles 1,932-1,472

*Dec. 10 - Boys: Lost to Mifflin 1,557-1,522; Girls: Def. Mifflin 1,285-884

*Jan. 3 - Linden-McKinley at Eastland Lanes

*Jan. 4 - Haugland Learning Center at Eastland Lanes

Of note: The boys are 1-2 overall and in the COHSBC-Central and the girls are 2-0 overall and in the COHSBC-Central.

*COHSBC-Central match

SWIMMING & DIVING

Dec. 3 - Boys: Def. Watterson 124-35; Girls: Lost to Watterson 106-64

Dec. 4 - Boys: Finished third (80) at Columbus Academy Relays behind Westerville South (86) and Delaware (82). Set pool record of 3 minutes, 19.29 seconds in 400-yard freestyle relay; Girls: Finished second (72) at Academy Relays behind Delaware (98).

Dec. 10 - Boys: Def. Bexley 118-50; Girls: Def. Bexley 91-78

Last Friday - Boys: Def. Mount Vernon 95-74, lost to Delaware 85-84 at Kenyon College; Girls: Def. Mount Vernon 104-66, lost to Delaware 97-72

Last Saturday - Boys: Finished ninth (58) at Grandview Yule at the Pool at Columbus Aquatic Center behind champion St. Charles (312); Girls: Finished third (132) at Yule at the Pool behind Pickerington Central (165) and Columbus School for Girls (157)

Jan. 7 - Westerville South at Westerville Community Center