With his first season as coach of the Grove City Christian School boys basketball team winding down, Chris Timlin continues to see progress by his players.

With his first season as coach of the Grove City Christian School boys basketball team winding down, Chris Timlin continues to see progress by his players.

However, one of the areas in which the Eagles still need to improve is putting away an opponent after building a sizable lead. They have squandered leads in several games this season, including a 63-60 loss at Delaware Christian on Jan. 22.

Grove City Christian led 37-25 in the second quarter, only to watch Delaware Christian rally in the second half to pull out the MOCAL win. Grove City Christian also had a double-digit lead in the teams' first meeting on Dec. 7 before Delaware Christian rallied to win 65-61.

Timlin said his team also had a sizeable lead against Madison Christian on Jan. 4 before losing 63-56.

"We really have to figure out a way to win these games in which we come out and play really good basketball," he said.

Timlin is hoping a couple lineup changes will provide a spark for his team. Junior Ben Whitaker was moved from shooting guard to point guard for the rematch against Delaware Christian.

Junior Alex Stewart was moved from point guard to a wing position.

"I thought that went really well," Timlin said of the position changes. "I was very pleased with how Ben and Alex handled that switch. We definitely got great looks as far as Ben running the offense and Alex got a lot of good looks. Alex is the kind of guy that can score and we want Alex to feel like he gets opportunities to score."

"It was a new experience for me because I've never really brought up the ball through the whole game," Whitaker said. "I like challenges, so it was nice."

Timlin also has been pleased with the play of sophomore forward Derek Vaughn, who had 14 points and 12 rebounds against Delaware Christian and 13 points and 16 rebounds in a 68-59 win against Gahanna Christian on Jan. 14.

"I am thrilled with the intensity that Derek has been playing with lately," Timlin said. "I believe that he is gaining confidence, too. If he continues to work on individual development, he could become one of the most productive players in the area by his senior year."

Senior Jonathan Clark and Vaughn were leading the Eagles in scoring through 11 games, as each was averaging 10.2 points. Senior Sam Hatfield was averaging 9.8 points.

"We've come a long way this year," Whitaker said. "We're getting acclimated to coach Timlin's system. I like how we're improving a lot."

•The girls team had its losing streak extended to five games with a 53-52 loss to Westfall on Jan. 22.

Westfall's Alyssa Lamb was fouled as time expired with the score tied at 52 and made the first free throw to give the Mustangs the win.

Megan Keating led the Eagles with 17 points and Shelby Mayeran scored 16.

Four of the losses during the Eagles' losing streak came against MOCAL opponents, dropping Grove City Christian to 2-4 in the conference.

Mianna Webber led the Eagles with 16 points in a 62-49 loss at Delaware Christian on Jan. 21.

Grove City Christian fell behind 22-9, but started the second quarter on a 13-0 run to tie the score at 22. However, Delaware Christian regained control in the fourth quarter, outscoring Grove City Christian 19-12.

Coach Megan Little has been pleased with the recent play of senior center Arion Taylor, who had two points against Delaware Christian.

"She has really stepped it up," Little said. "She has come in as our post sub, and she's gotten several key rebounds, several key putbacks. I'm proud of her and the way that she has stepped up her game."

Despite the recent losses, Little believes her team is ready to turn around its fortunes.

"This is so exciting," she said. "My girls are playing amazingly. For the first time in Grove City Christian history, the girls believe that they're good and they know how awesome they can play now. I see it in their eyes, and that's the best victory that this team and myself as a coach could ever have this year."

AT A GLANCE

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Grove City Christian basketball teams:

BOYS

*Jan. 14 - Defeated Gahanna Christian 68-59

*Jan. 22 - Lost to Delaware Christian 63-60

Jan. 25 - Played North Union

Jan. 28 - Home vs. Gilead Christian. The Eagles defeated Gilead Christian 69-31 on Dec. 3.

*Feb. 1 - At Tree of Life. The Eagles lost to Tree of Life 69-43 on Dec. 17.

Of note: The Eagles were 3-8 overall before Jan. 25 and are 1-5 in the MOCAL.

GIRLS

*Jan. 7 - Lost to Fairfield Christian 54-29

*Jan. 20 - Lost to Gahanna Christian 45-32

*Jan. 21 - Lost to Delaware Christian 62-49

Jan. 22 - Lost to Westfall 53-52

*Jan. 25 - Played Fairfield Christian

Jan. 28 - Home vs. Gilead Christian. The Eagles lost to Gilead Christian 67-34 on Dec. 7.

Of note: The Eagles were 3-9 overall and 2-4 in the MOCAL before Jan. 25.

*MOCAL game