The Grandview Heights High School girls basketball team needed only four games to surpass last season's win total, but the Bobcats remain a work in progress.
That was evident Dec. 11 in a 26-22 home loss to Berne Union in an MSL-Cardinal Division contest. The Bobcats led 12-7 at halftime, but scored only 10 points in the second half.
Grandview allowed an average of 29.6 points while winning three of its first five games. Defense is an area in which coach Michelle Chavanne said her team always can excel, even if its offense sputters.
"We gave up a lot of offensive rebounds (to Berne Union), but if you only give up 26 points, you should win the game," said Chavanne, whose team finished 2-19 last season. "We have been able to win games on defense, but we have had a hard time maintaining the goals we are trying to accomplish on offense."
The Bobcats averaged 23.9 points per game last season. This year, their average was up to 32.4 points through five games. Grace Palmer was leading the team in scoring average at 8.6 points through five games, followed by Megan McCauley (4.8 ppg), Connor Skeen (4.4 ppg), Ali Lachey (4.2 ppg), Morgan Taylor (3.4 ppg) and Emma Bulla (3.2 ppg).
"We have proven that we can buckle down on defense, but we can't always get it going on offense," Chavanne said. "We're doing things too fast and not finding the open person."
Chavanne said her team has had problems against strong defenses, which is what the Bobcats will face when they play at defending league champion Liberty Union on Friday, Dec. 21.
"We don't know how to break down a good, disciplined defense like we'll see against Liberty Union," she said. "Maybe we'll have to make seven or eight passes before we score, because we have been trying to make things happen too soon.
"Maybe we'll do some 3-on-3 in practice or maybe run the offense without dribbling or pass the ball four times before shooting or hold the ball for four seconds before going live. There are a lot of things we can do. We have had positives, a lot of them in fact, but we need to improve on our offensive execution."
Boys basketball team seeking consistency
Boys basketball coach Ray Corbett said the Bobcats have been "spurty."
They improved to 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the MSL-Cardinal with a 57-44 win over Berne Union on Dec. 17.
"At times, we have looked good, and then there are moments that we look like we have never seen a basketball," he said.
Corbett said the inconsistency might rest on his shoulders. He has been giving everyone several minutes per game in an effort to find the right combination on the floor.
"Maybe we're playing too many kids. Maybe we'll have to change that," Corbett said. "For whatever reason, we haven't been consistent."
In an 81-48 win over Delaware Christian on Dec. 1, junior guard Nick Eaton led Grandview with 13 points and eight players scored at least six points.
Senior forward Andy Treasure scored 16 points to lead the way in a 64-54 win over Fisher Catholic in the MSL-Cardinal opener Dec. 8. Five players scored at least six points.
Through three games, Treasure was averaging 12.3 points, sophomore forward Hunter Schmalz was averaging 9.7 points, junior forward Tim Murphy was averaging 5.7 points, Eaton was averaging 5.3 points and senior guard Adam Cincione was averaging five points.
"I do think one of our strengths is getting a lot of kids to contribute, having different kids leading us and sharing the playing time," Corbett said. "The kids have stayed relatively fresh even though we have tried to establish a fast tempo. Hopefully, we can wear people down, which is what we have tried to do early on."
Grandview plays host to the Bobcat Holiday Classic on Dec. 27 and 28. The event opens with Heath playing Wellington at 6 p.m. Dec. 27, followed by Horizon Science Academy against the Bobcats.
The consolation game is at 6 p.m. Dec. 28, with the championship to follow.
"A lot of the things that we want to do are not there yet," Corbett said. "We're not happy with our consistency. Our effort is there most of the time, but not always. Mentally, we're there most of the time, but not always. For us to become a top-quality team, we have to be consistent."