After a 62-58 loss Jan. 10 at Pickerington Central, Gahanna Lincoln High School boys basketball coach Tony Staib expressed disappointment when told his team had given up 29 points to Tigers senior guard Connor Kern.
During a 55-53 loss Dec. 13 to visiting Newark, the Lions struggled on offense down the stretch and had what Staib called mental lapses.
A 54-47 win over Newark in the second round of OCC-Ohio Division play Jan. 24 proved Gahanna had grown from the earlier losses.
Not only did the Lions have their biggest offensive quarter of the game in the fourth when they scored 18 points, but they led 45-37 with about two minutes left.
Senior Javon Bess scored 18 points and went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line in the final minute.
Entering action Jan. 28, Gahanna was 13-2 overall and 7-2 in the league before playing Reynoldsburg, Pickerington Central was 8-1 in the league before facing Pickerington North and Newark was 7-2 in the OCC-Ohio before meeting Grove City.
The Lions play league games Friday, Jan. 31, at home against Lancaster and Tuesday, Feb. 4, at Grove City.
In a 71-39 win over Lancaster on Dec. 20, Bess scored 22 points and Nick Ward and Junior Arrey each had 10.
In a 79-52 victory over Grove City on Jan. 3, Bess had 27 points, Manny Powell scored 16 and Matt Moyer added 11.
Girls swimmers win league title
After coming up just short of the OCC-Ohio title a year ago, the girls swimming and diving team scored 354.5 points in the league meet Jan. 25 at Thomas Worthington to easily win the championship.
Pickerington North, which won the title last year, placed third (221) behind Reynoldsburg (222) and ahead of Lancaster (157.5), Pickerington Central (135) and Grove City (85).
Winning titles were Annie Devaney in the 100-yard freestyle (59.12 seconds), Regan Nolan in the 200 free (2:07.78), Kirstyn Thomas in the 50 free (26.45), Ally Wharton in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.48), the 200 free relay (1:47.57), the 400 free relay (3:51.16) and Lauren Payne in diving (365.25). Morgan Belli was second in the 200-yard individual medley (2:14.3) and 100 backstroke (1:01.33), Nolan was second in the 500 free (5:43.61) and Maddie Rapp was second in diving (363.1).
The boys team placed fourth (209) behind North (330), Grove City (232) and Lancaster (211) and ahead of Central (132) and Reynoldsburg (27).
Winning titles were Jon Chang in the 100 back (59.13) and Josh VanDervort in the 500 free (5:25.94). Major Belli was second in the 200 IM (2:09.3), Patrick Mason was second in diving (205.7) and the 200 medley relay also was second (1:47.9).
Girls basketball team preps for tourney
The girls basketball team's Division I district tournament draw will be determined Sunday, Feb. 2.
The Lions were 11-7 overall and 6-4 in the OCC-Ohio before playing Reynoldsburg on Jan. 28.
After beating Olentangy Orange 54-30 on Jan. 22, Gahanna lost to Newark 54-47 on Jan. 24 in a league game and fell to Watterson 41-40 on Jan. 25.
The Lions led Watterson 40-39 with 18 seconds left. Yasmin Norman had 11 points and Trinity Hunter and Rachel Browne each scored seven.
Hockey team set to close regular season
The hockey team has regular-season games remaining Friday, Jan. 31, against St. Charles and Saturday, Feb. 1, against Thomas before it competes in the Blue Jackets Cup from Feb. 6-9.
The Lions are 15-8-2 overall and 6-7 (12 points) in the CHC-White Division, tied with DeSales (6-7, 12). St. Charles leads the CHC-White at 10-2 (20), followed by Upper Arlington (8-2-2-1, 19).
Gahanna lost to UA 7-3 on Jan. 25. Its game Jan. 26 against St. Charles was postponed because of bad weather.
-- Jarrod Ulrey