The Gahanna Christian Academy girls basketball team entered play this week realizing it controlled its destiny in the MOCAL.
The Eagles were tied for first in the league with Granville Christian at 6-1 before the teams played at Gahanna Christian on Jan 22.
Gahanna Christian is seeking the program's first league title.
"We're telling the girls that we really want to win out," coach John Grubich said. "Each game is just going to get tougher and tougher. It's easy to go out and be .500. We're trying to do something that not too many people can do and it gets tough."
Gahanna Christian defeated Granville Christian 49-39 in overtime Dec. 14.
The Eagles visit Fairfield Christian on Friday, Jan. 25, looking to avenge a 39-36 loss on Dec. 20.
"The first time we played Fairfield Christian none of our shots were falling and we weren't rebounding as well as we should have," senior post player Alex Sutton said. "We really need to get strong underneath the basket and connect on our shots."
Before Jan. 22, Tree of Life was third in the league at 5-2 and Fairfield Christian was fourth at 3-3.
Gahanna Christian will play host to Tree of Life on Jan. 31 looking for a regular-season sweep after defeating the Trojans 41-31 on Dec. 22.
Gahanna Christian prepared for its key stretch by defeating Grove City Christian 73-25 on Jan. 17 at home. Sutton scored a game-high 23 points.
"Alex has really been working hard," Grubich said. "She's a great senior leader. Everybody calls her mom on the team. She just works hard and doesn't complain."
Sophomore guard Dana Parkman scored 10 points in the second quarter and finished with 20. Senior guard Christina Grubich scored 11.
Grove City Christian was playing without its leading scorer, senior guard Lisa Zeller, who was out with a sprained right hand.
The Eagles also completed a regular-season sweep of Delaware Christian with a 50-45 home win Jan. 19 as Grubich scored 15 points and Sutton scored 14. The Eagles won the first matchup 53-28 on Dec. 11.
Gahanna Christian is hoping a successful regular season will lead to success in the postseason, which begins Feb. 16.
"We have amazing potential and we're only getting better," Sutton said.
Boys basketball team also has big goals
The boys basketball team entered the second half of the season with big goals as the Eagles look to remain in the MOCAL title chase.
Gahanna Christian is 4-1 in the MOCAL as it prepares to play host to Grove City Christian on Thursday, Jan. 24.
"Our goal is to become recognized in our league and around the city, and making it to the (Fairgrounds) Coliseum to cut down the nets," sophomore post player Michael Walker said of possibly winning a district title.
Fairfield Christian was first in the league at 5-0 before playing Tree of Life on Jan. 22.
Gahanna Christian's league loss came against Fairfield Christian 53-39 on Jan. 10 at home.
"It was a three-point game in the third quarter and we had three quick turnovers, silly turnovers that they scored on each time," coach Chris Joseph said. "You just can't do that with a really good team and that was the difference in the game, that little one minute spurt."
Senior guard Anthony Hebron led Gahanna Christian with 11 points.
Gahanna Christian bounced back to defeat Horizon Science Academy 54-40 on Jan. 11 and Madison Christian 80-30 on Jan. 15.
Against Horizon Science, freshman guard Emmanuel Dapaa scored 16 points, junior forward Caleb Walker scored 14 and Hebron scored 10.
Against Madison Christian, Hebron had 18 points, Dapaa had 14, senior guard Caleb McLaughlin had 12 and Walker had 10.
Hebron leads the team in scoring at 13.1 points per game, followed by Walker at 12.1 and Dapaa at 9.2.
"We're getting better and better," Joseph said. "We've beaten some teams that we're even with. We've beaten the teams we should and lost to some teams that were probably better than us. I'd like to get to the point where we beat the teams that are better than us. We have to get more organized and get our offense down, and working together as a team. It's a whole new system and they're getting it, but there's a lot of breaking it down and doing it well, too."