Grove City Christian boys basketball coach Chris Timlin is encouraged by his players' desire to improve.

Grove City Christian boys basketball coach Chris Timlin is encouraged by his players' desire to improve.

Last season, the Eagles finished 4-17 overall and went 2-10 in the MOCAL to place sixth, behind Fairfield Christian (12-0), Tree of Life (9-3), Delaware Christian (7-5), Gahanna Christian (7-5) and Granville Christian (5-7) and ahead of Madison Christian (0-12).

They concluded last season with a 55-49 loss to Fairfield Christian in the first round of the Division IV district tournament.

Grove City Christian is 2-1 overall and 1-0 in the MOCAL heading into a game Friday, Dec. 21, at Delaware Christian.

"They want to get better," said Timlin, who is in his third season. "They do a good job watching film. They do a good job in practice. They want to learn how to execute at a higher level. I'm looking forward to seeing how everything gets going as we move along."

Grove City Christian returned four players in senior Derek Vaughn (6-foot-1, forward) and juniors Ben Aulick (6-1, guard), Tyler Elgin (6-2, guard) and Michael Howard (6-2, guard).

Last season, Vaughn averaged a team-high 16.7 points and 8.3 rebounds and was named second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district. Howard averaged 8.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists and was honorable mention all-league.

Rounding out the team are sophomores Josh Harkness (6-1, forward), Alex Poling (6-0, forward), Casey Stauffer (5-8, guard), Tristan Taylor (5-10, guard) and Aaron Whitaker (5-10, guard).

According to Timlin, Taylor is being counted on to be a key contributor after scoring 20 or more points in seven games last season on junior varsity. He had a game-high 20 points in the Eagles' opener, a 55-53 win over Tree of Life on Nov. 30.

Vaughn added 17 points against the Trojans.

"That was fantastic," Timlin said. "The respect that I have for those two guys (Tree of Life co-coaches Joe Arndt and Jim Morgan) and what they've done over at Tree -- it's the first time in school history that we beat them. The kids knew that. It was a significant win. Very few teams have an opportunity to do something very significant during the opener and (we) did. It was a good win and the guys were ecstatic. That's a pretty big monkey in terms of trying to get it off their back."

Grove City Christian lost to Berne Union 58-54 on Dec. 10 but rebounded to defeat Patriot Prep Academy 69-49 on Dec. 13. Berne Union is in Division III.

According to Vaughn, the Eagles are looking to break the program record for victories in a season. The mark was set in the 2009-10 season, when Grove City Christian finished 12-8.

"That's definitely a goal," Vaughn said. "That's probably our main goal. This team deserves it. We worked really hard in the offseason. We've all bonded together. There's no individuals. It's all a team and we're all focused on that goal."

Girls basketball teamearns two early wins

The girls basketball team has lost four games in a row after winning its first two.

The Eagles opened Nov. 27 with a 40-37 win over Columbus Academy and defeated Wellington 49-25 on Nov. 30.

Baily Graves had 18 points and Lisa Zeller scored 12 against Academy and Graves had 23 points and Zeller scored 10 against Wellington.

The Eagles dropped to 2-4 overall with a 70-29 loss to Worthington Christian on Dec. 15. Zeller had 13 points against the Warriors.