The Central Crossing High School girls basketball team entered halftime of its game Dec. 16 against Fairbanks trailing 18-13.

The Central Crossing High School girls basketball team entered halftime of its game Dec. 16 against Fairbanks trailing 18-13.

The season was six games old and the Comets -- who eventually won that game 49-41 -- still were still getting used to each other and their new coach. They had opened with wins over Franklin Heights (49-25 on Dec. 2), Hamilton Township (45-35 on Dec. 4) and Westland (49-41 on Dec. 5), but after losses to Dublin Coffman (50-31 on Dec. 9) and Hilliard Darby (46-37 on Dec. 12) they were in danger of losing grip on that fast start by falling to a Division IV team.

"I tend to lose my temper when things aren't going well and our first half we were down," Genae Pleasant said after a 39-26 win over Jonathan Alder on Jan. 20. "We were down to (a lower division) team."

Pleasant was a reserve guard last year and got more playing time as the season progressed, This year for coach Sarah Chevalier, she was being counted on to play a major role from the beginning as a starter. She earned her playing time with strong perimeter defense and her scoring ability.

She was expected to complement point guard Whitney Fullen. Against Fairbanks, her increased role was giving her more headaches than handshakes and she needed some guidance. But she wasn't the only one who was getting acclimated to a new role. Team leaders, including Fullen, also were new to their position.

Chevalier was counting on Fullen, a third-year starter, to be a vocal leader. In past years, Fullen said, she preferred to lead by example. But at Fairbanks with Pleasant struggling, Fullen had to do something.

"I love playing with Whitney," Pleasant said. "She knows what to say to me. She knows me so well. She's really good. She talked to us and told us to start off fresh."

Pleasant may have put it nicely.

"It wasn't those words exactly," Fullen said with a smile that suggested that her demeanor was a little more forceful.

But whatever she said was effective.

The Comets came back and dominated the second half. Pleasant ended up with 15 points, and since then the two have been a big part in the Comets' success.

They won their remaining non-league games to finish 7-0 against teams not from the OCC-Central Division.

"This year I've had to be more vocal," Fullen said. "It's hard to keep vocal when things aren't going right and you lose confidence. Now I have to make sure that I keep talking."

Fullen's leadership may be needed even more as the Comets may have to play a few games without Pleasant. She injured a foot during a 39-26 win over Westland on Jan. 16 and is being evaluated on a weekly basis. They're hoping to have her back by season's end.

"I look at the point guard as kind of the coach on the floor," Chevalier said. " (Fullen is) not off the floor very often. She's strong defensively and she's can take the ball inside. She's good at recognizing when we need to score."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Central Crossing and Grove City girls basketball teams:

CENTRAL CROSSING

Jan. 20 -- Defeated Jonathan Alder 39-26. Taylor Trejo scored 11 points.

*Last Friday -- Lost to Dublin Coffman 75-22

*Last Tuesday -- Played Hilliard

Darby

*Friday -- Home vs. Hilliard Davidson. The Wildcats, who won the first meeting 51-31 on Dec. 19, beat Westland 54-27 last Friday to improve to 10-5 overall and 8-1 in the OCC-Central.

*Tuesday -- At Upper Arlington. The Bears, who won the first meeting 53-44 on Dec. 23, beat Thomas Worthington 78-56 last Friday to improve to 7-7 overall and 5-4 in the OCC-Central.

Of note: The Comets were 10-5 overall and 4-5 in the OCC-Central before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Central game

GROVE CITY

*Last Friday -- Def. Reynoldsburg 53-44. Shicole Watts scored 19 points and Chelsie Damron had 17.

Last Saturday -- Def. Dublin Jerome 76-39. Courtney Swart scored 15 points and Watts had 13.

*Last Tuesday -- Played Groveport

*Friday -- At Lancaster. The Gales, who lost the first meeting 76-38 on Dec. 19, lost to Pickerington Central 60-52 last Friday to fall to 3-10 overall and 1-7 in the OCC-Ohio.

*Tuesday -- Home vs. Newark. The Wildcats, who lost the first meeting 51-48 on Dec. 23, lost to Gahanna 53-28 last Friday to fall to 6-8 overall and 2-7 in the OCC-Ohio.

Of note: The Greyhounds were 11-3 overall and 6-3 in the OCC-Ohio before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Ohio game