Keegan Parsons has been a big part of the Gahanna Christian Academy boys basketball team the last four seasons.

Keegan Parsons has been a big part of the Gahanna Christian Academy boys basketball team the last four seasons.

The 6-foot-7 senior forward, who was averaging a team-high 13.4 points through 13 games, has helped the Eagles bounce back from a slow start this season. They lost five of their first seven games but went 4-3 in their next seven and were 6-8 overall and 3-4 in the MOCAL before playing Madison Christian on Jan. 24.

"I have been doing this a long time and Keegan is the rare player that's our best player and also our hardest worker," coach Roger Edwards said. "Not just during the season, but all summer and all (preseason). He's been here for four years leading the way."

In a 61-58 loss to Delaware Christian on Jan. 21, Parsons was in foul trouble early in the game and finished with six points.

Gahanna Christian trailed 41-25 at halftime but outscored Delaware Christian 20-7 in the third quarter to pull within three points heading into the fourth quarter. The Eagles tied the game at 53 on a put-back by Parsons with 5 minutes, 40 seconds remaining but could not take the lead.

Caleb McLaughlin led Gahanna Christian with 19 points and Anthony Hebron scored 10.

"We won the second half 35-20," Edwards said. "We've been really defending well. I don't know what the deal was in the first half. We didn't show up."

Parsons was among the area leaders in rebounding last week, averaging 13.5 through 11 games. He scored a season-high 27 points in a 64-60 loss to Delaware Christian on Dec. 13.

According to Edwards, Hebron, a junior point guard, also has been a key contributor to the Eagles' turnaround. Through 11 games, he was among the area leaders in assists, averaging 6.1.

Hebron had 34 assists in the three games before playing Madison Christian, Edwards said.

"A lot of people have stepped up and we have a real good foundation for the future with all of the younger players," Parsons said.

Last season, the Eagles finished 12-9 after losing to Wellington 65-60 in overtime in the first round of the Division IV district tournament. The Eagles tied Fairfield Christian for second (7-3) in the MOCAL behind Tree of Life (8-2).

Parsons, who was second-team all-MOCAL and all-district and honorable mention all-state last season, also excels in soccer as a sweeper and in baseball as a first baseman, but basketball is his primary sport.

"Basketball is my favorite," he said. "There is more intensity than in those other sports."

Parsons is looking to play basketball in college and has received interest from Colorado Christian University in Denver and Muskingum University.

"I'm going for the best education and if I can play basketball, too, that would be great," he said.

•The girls basketball team have won five of seven after losing to Shekinah Christian 48-42 on Jan. 23.

"We always know that we can get better, so we're really trying to speed up the game and be better defenders as individuals and as a team," coach John Grubich said. "That's what we've been working on. If we play better defense, we'll do better individually and as a team."

The Eagles are 5-4 in the MOCAL entering a game Thursday, Jan. 26, at Tree of Life. The Trojans, who beat Gahanna Christian 34-32 on Dec. 17, entered the week in first in the league at 7-0.