Five games into the OCC-Ohio Division schedule, Grove City High School girls basketball coach Dale Corbett's assertion that the league will be balanced from top to bottom is looking like it's holding true.

Five games into the OCC-Ohio Division schedule, Grove City High School girls basketball coach Dale Corbett's assertion that the league will be balanced from top to bottom is looking like it's holding true.

With all the evenly matched teams, part of the Grove City's development has been learning how to win close games. It has become apparent that the Greyhounds are contenders, and a few league games have come down to a point here or there in the final quarter.

The Greyhounds nearly beat Pickerington North on Dec. 6, losing 55-52, but they beat Reynoldsburg 42-38 three days later. They held the lead for most of the game against North before faltering.

"We learned to keep our heads up and keep playing," guard Chelsea Damron said. "We can't remember the things that go wrong. We have to keep looking ahead."

Against North, the Greyhounds allowed 22 points in the third quarter, but still led 42-38 going into the fourth. The struggles from the third quarter lingered through the fourth and eventually North look the lead and the win.

"We were six to eight points ahead of (North) the whole game and we knew it was (North) and they were going to start making plays," Corbett said. "They made the plays and we didn't. And then the next time with Reynoldsburg it was the same type of situation and the same type of lead that was slipping away, but when (Reynoldsburg) made plays, we responded."

Grove City answered the Raiders, who scored more points in the third quarter (16) than they had at halftime (15). Since then Grove City beat Groveport 58-30 on Dec. 12, Lancaster 70-38 on Dec. 19 and Newark 51-48 on Dec. 23.

A year ago, all seven of the Greyhounds' losses in the regular season came in league play.

Now, at 4-1 in the OCC-Ohio, they are tied with Central and North for first, just ahead of Reynoldsburg at 3-2.

But there are plenty of league games -- nine -- remaining.

"We just let it go," Corbett said. "I don't want to make too big out of every game. Just like (Reynoldsburg coach Jack Purtell) said, there's a long way to go in this season. We have a pretty tough stretch of games coming up after the break. You just can't worry about (the league race)."

Grove City will play Tuesday at Gahanna, then has rematches against Pickerington Central on Jan. 9, North on Jan. 17 and Reynoldsburg on Jan. 23. The North and Reynoldsburg games are on the road.

The Greyhounds won't be able to sneak up on any of those teams. Grove City should know what those opponents might be thinking after the Greyhounds nearly lost to Newark, winning 51-48 Dec. 23. They had defeated the Wildcats 61-39 when the team's met last year in the first round of the Division I district tournament, but this season the Greyhounds team found themselves trailing late -- and Newark was 1-3 in the league before that contest.

"We've surprised a couple of teams this year," Damron said. "Against Newark, we got surprised. Everyone in this league is good. There's not any team where we can come out and think we're going to win. We have to play."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules of the Grove City girls basketball team:

*Dec. 9 -- Def. Reynoldsburg 46-42. Shicole Watts scored 21 points.

*Dec. 12 -- Def. Groveport 58-30. Courtney Swart scored 16 points and Ellen Conti had nine.

*Dec. 19 -- Def. Lancaster 76-38. Chelsea Damron scored 17 points and Chelsea McKnight had 14.

*Dec. 23 -- Def. Newark 51-48. Ayrealle Beavers scored 14 points and Watts had 11.

Last Monday -- Played Jonathan Alder in Lady Vikings Holiday Invitational at Teays Valley

Last Tuesday -- Played Teays Valley or Ready in Lady Vikings Holiday Invitational

*Tuesday -- At Gahanna

Of note: The Greyhounds were 6-1 overall before last Monday and are 4-1 in the OCC-Ohio.

*OCC-Ohio game

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules of the Central Crossing girls basketball team:

*Dec. 9 -- Lost to Dublin Coffman 50-31. Ganea Pleasant scored 14 points.

*Dec. 12 -- Lost to Hilliard Darby 46-37. Whitney Fullen scored 11 points and Pleasant had 10.

Dec. 16 -- Defeated Fairbanks 49-41. Pleasant scored 16 points and Olivia Davis had 11.

*Dec. 19 -- Lost to Hilliard Davidson 51-31. Pleasant scored 15 points.

*Dec. 23 -- Lost to Upper Arlington 53-44. Fullen had 11 points.

Last Saturday -- Def. Canal Winchester 61-51. Pleasant had 14 points and seven steals.

Saturday -- Home vs. Teays Valley

*Jan. 9 -- Home vs. Worthington Kilbourne

Of note: The Comets are 5-4 overall and 1-4 in the OCC-Central.

*OCC-Central game