The Central Crossing High School girls basketball team again fell short of its goal of advancing past the second round of the Division I district tournament.
The 18th-seeded Comets lost at 12th-seeded Dublin Scioto 59-51 on Feb. 20 in a second-round game.
Central Crossing finished 13-10 overall and went 6-8 in the OCC-Central Division to tie Westland for fifth, behind co-champions Dublin Coffman and Hilliard Davidson (12-2), Olentangy Liberty (9-5) and Upper Arlington (8-6). Thomas Worthington (3-11) and Marysville (0-14) rounded out the standings.
The Comets have yet to win a second-round tournament game. The school opened in 2002.
"That was our goal going in to win that second-round game and we just didn't quite get there," coach Neil Hohman said.
Central Crossing won at 15th-seeded Dublin Jerome 49-32 in the first round Feb. 16.
The Comets never led against Scioto, but they tied the game at 32 on senior guard Brooklyn Wooten's basket inside with 3 minutes, 33 seconds left in the third quarter. Scioto then went on a 16-6 run to build a 48-38 lead with 3:24 remaining.
Irish senior guard Anna Buhigas scored six points in the decisive run and finished with 29.
"We had it tied a few times and they came out and scored a couple baskets," Hohman said. "We got it close again in the fourth and we just couldn't get those buckets when we needed them. It was typical in nine of our 10 losses."
Senior guard Jalynn Graham led the Comets with 21 points and Wooten added 14.
Scioto also defeated visiting Central Crossing 52-51 in overtime Jan. 19.
Graham and Wooten, who were two of six seniors on the team, have verbally committed to play at Division II Walsh University in North Canton.
Graham reached a milestone late in the second-round tournament game, as her basket with 25 seconds remaining gave her 1,000 career points. The only other Central Crossing player to reach that mark was 2006 graduate Andrea Moore, who finished with 1,005 points.
"I didn't realize I was that close until towards the end of the season, so that was one of my goals to see if I could reach it," Graham said. "I wasn't striving for it, but it was always there. It was something in the back of my mind."
Graham was first-team all-league. She led the Comets in scoring (14.4 points per game) and rebounding (10.5 per game).
Wooten, who averaged 11.5 points, missed the final five games of the regular season with a concussion. She was second-team all-league.
Junior guard Michaela Dorsey was honorable mention all-league.
Other players expected to return include juniors Hunter Taylor (forward) and Danazjha White (forward) and sophomores Cari Allen (guard), Ally Johnson (guard), Demi Knight (guard), Mackenzie Pugh (forward) and Maggie Swallows (forward).
"We have a good group of girls coming back," Hohman said. "They work hard. They just have to improve this spring, summer (and) fall to get better for next year."
Frase, Mesler led Grove City
Grove City finished 8-14 overall after losing at 17th-seeded Liberty 57-22 on Feb. 16 in the first round of the Division I district tournament.
The Greyhounds were seeded 26th.
"Coming into the season, I told a friend I thought we'd win eight to 10 games and they said no way," coach Dale Corbett said. "I thought we were better. We could have gotten a couple more wins."
Grove City was led by senior guard Miranda Frase, who averaged 8.0 points and was special mention all-OCC-Ohio. She added a team-high 54 assists and 36 steals.
Senior center Kristen Mesler averaged a team-high 7.1 rebounds and was honorable mention all-league.
Frase and Mesler were two of five seniors on the team.
"If your seniors aren't strong people you're in for a long year, so ours were just strong kids," Corbett said. "They were pretty low maintenance."
Junior forward Bree Kilgus led the team in scoring, averaging 8.4 points.
Other players expected to return are juniors Michaela Antrobus (guard), Megan Darst (forward) and Jordan Sargent (guard), sophomores Hannah Hawkins (forward), Cayla Maddy (guard) and Kayla Mitchell (guard) and freshman Ally Hutchison (guard).
Grove City went 2-12 in the OCC-Ohio to finish seventh, behind Reynoldsburg (14-0), Gahanna (11-3), Pickerington Central (9-5), Pickerington North (9-5), Newark (6-8) and Lancaster (5-9) and ahead of Groveport (0-14).
"The chemistry on this team was really good, which in turn made it good for the coaches, too," Corbett said. "This was a real good group."