The Central Crossing High School girls basketball team had its season end with an 64-33 loss to fifth-seeded Northland on Feb. 18 in the first round of the Division I district tournament.

The Central Crossing High School girls basketball team had its season end with an 64-33 loss to fifth-seeded Northland on Feb. 18 in the first round of the Division I district tournament.

The Comets finished 8-13 overall and 5-9 in the OCC-Central Division, but their record wasn't as important as the fact that they played this season.

For eight months it looked as though that wasn't going to happen. But after two levy failures, Central Crossing was allowed to field a team when the levy finally passed in November.

"For us (what stands out about the season) is the way all of the girls came together as a cohesive unit after the late start," coach Neil Hohman said. "We really stressed what we needed to do to come together as a group."

Unlike the other South-Western City Schools teams, Central Crossing returned a good portion of its production from last year. That fact showed as the Comets were 4-0 against the other teams in the district.

The Comets defeated Franklin Heights 71-29 on Dec. 1 and beat Grove City 50-33 on Dec. 19. They defeated Westland twice in OCC-Central play, winning 59-30 on Dec. 4 and 73-43 on Jan. 15.

Hohman said finishing undefeated against those schools was a team goal and a season highlight. He also said beating Thomas Worthington 37-34 on the road in the regular-season finale on Feb. 12 was another highlight.

"It gave us a win against one of the teams in the top half of the league," Hohman said. "And we consider them a pretty big rival of ours in the league."

Central Crossing finished sixth in the OCC-Central behind Upper Arlington (12-1), Hilliard Davidson (10-3), Dublin Coffman (9-4), Thomas (8-6) and Hilliard Darby (8-6) and ahead of Worthington Kilbourne (2-12) and Westland (0-12).

The Comets lose seniors Noor Abouchachine, Olivia Capehart, Rachel Dorsey, Celia Graham, Lauren Hall and Ganea Pleasant.

Pleasant, a three-year letterwinner, was the Comets' leading scorer, averaging 13.7 points per game.

Expected to return next season are juniors Alyssa Justus, Allissa Turkovich and Elizabeth Ward, sophomores Olivia Davis and Jordan Huth and freshmen Brittany Conner, Jasmin Clark, Jalynn Graham and Regina Lewis.

Davis, Jalynn Graham, Lewis, Turkovich and Ward could be the anchors of next year's team, which has the potential of returning a large class of freshmen who played junior varsity this winter.

"The big thing we're looking forward to is having an offseason of conditioning and building on some of the things that we had this year," Hohman said.

•Grove City also had its season end in the first round of the district tournament, losing to seventh-seeded New Albany 62-40 on Feb. 18.

Grove City finished 4-17 overall and 1-13 in the OCC-Ohio.

The Greyhounds had a big hill to climb this season with only one player returning from last year's team.

That one player, center Ashley McSheffery, also was the lone senior. McSheffery helped lead a team that started the season losing games by a wide margin before showing significant improvement.

"I don't think anybody has ever experienced what we did at the beginning of the year," coach Dale Corbett said. "In any sport, you spend a lot of time getting ready for (the season). We weren't allowed to get ready for it."

Nothing was more indicative of Grove City's improvement than its season series with OCC-Ohio opponent Groveport. The Greyhounds lost to Groveport 75-45 on Dec. 8 in their third game but beat the Cruisers 63-59 on Jan. 26.

Expected back next season are juniors Taryn Allmon and Caitie Cahill, sophomores Kayla Behrens, Alex Kyrsinskis, Allison Miller, Nicole Sprow, Danielle Terry, Caitlin Trein and Shelby Wilson and freshman Miranda Frase. On a team that started nearly from scratch, Allmon, Behrens and Frase eventually became focal points for the opposition.

Having so many potential returnees, Corbett is expecting a productive offseason.

"The two things that hurt us this year were the talent that left and that we weren't able to prepare," Corbett said. "This (coming) year we're going to be able to prepare. I'm looking forward to rebuilding it."

The Greyhounds finished eighth in the OCC-Ohio behind Pickerington North (14-0), Reynoldsburg (10-4), Pickerington Central (10-4), Gahanna (9-5), Newark (6-8), Lancaster (4-10) and Groveport (2-12).

At a glance

CENTRAL CROSSING

•Record: 8-13 overall, 5-9 (sixth) in the OCC-Central

•Seniors lost: Noor Abouchachine, Olivia Capehart, Rachel Dorsey, Celia Graham, Lauren Hall and Ganea Pleasant

•Key returnees: Olivia Davis, Jalynn Graham, Regina Lewis, Allissa Turkovich and Elizabeth Ward

GROVE CITY

•Record: 4-17 overall, 1-13 (eighth) in the OCC-Ohio

•Senior lost: Ashley McSheffery

•Key returnees: Taryn Allmon, Kayla Behrens and Miranda Frase