The Central Crossing High School boys basketball team enters its game Saturday, Dec. 28, at Groveport hoping to avenge a buzzer-beating loss from last season and end a four-game losing streak.
The Comets fell to 2-5 overall and 0-4 in the OCC-Central Division with a 71-50 loss at Dublin Coffman on Dec. 20.
Last season, visiting Groveport defeated Central Crossing 51-48 on C.J. Crowder's 3-pointer as time expired.
The Cruisers are 5-3 overall and 1-3 in the OCC-Ohio.
"We had (Groveport) down to the wire last year and they hit a shot at the buzzer to beat us, so I'm really (looking forward to) that one," coach Anthony Mangette said. "We have to go there and they're 5-3, and they're playing real well right now. It's not going to be easy. They have some good guards that we're going to have real trouble with on the perimeter."
Against Coffman, Central Crossing trailed 19-12 after one quarter and by as many as 26 points in the second half.
"We showed a lot of energy coming out and I was really proud with the way we played," Mangette said. "We couldn't sustain it, and consistency is something we're going to have to work on, but from start to finish the energy was there. We got some good conversions in the first quarter that kept us in the game. (Coffman) made a run and they're pretty good."
Dwight Diggs led the Comets with a game-high 17 points and Marc Russell added 15.
"I played better than I ever have these past two years," said Diggs, a 6-foot-3 senior forward. "We just want to keep pushing the ball and keep the turnovers down."
Central Crossing visits Teays Valley on Monday, Dec. 30, before resuming league play Jan. 3 at home against Thomas Worthington.
"We can't dwell on things," Mangette said. "This is a season-long improvement cycle. We have to work on the positives."
Mangette said 6-4 sophomore forward Noah Stephens is out for the season with a stress fracture in his back and 6-6 post player Matt Dwane has left the program.
"We just lost two of our players, so we're hoping to keep things going," Diggs said. "I'm a captain on the team, so I'm going to try to keep us as close as possible."
Central Crossing girls lose at home
The Central Crossing girls team lost at home to Coffman 53-22 on Dec. 20.
The Comets trailed 29-13 at halftime and were outscored 13-0 in the third quarter.
Mackenzie Pugh scored six points for Central Crossing.
The Comets lost at home to Upper Arlington 41-27 on Dec. 16 as Hayley Whitt scored 10 points.
Central Crossing is 2-6 overall and 1-3 in the OCC-Central.
Grove City boys look to bounce back
The Grove City boys team will look to rebound from a home loss to Pickerington Central when it plays host to Franklin Heights on Friday, Dec. 27.
The Greyhounds lost to Central 83-64 on Dec. 20 to fall to 5-2 overall and 2-2 in the OCC-Ohio.
The Tigers led 23-19 after one quarter and 47-32 at halftime.
Nick Bapst led the Greyhounds with 17 points and Ryan Grooms had 10.
"We got beat by a good team, but we just decided we weren't going to step up and play very good defense," coach Greg Waits said. "We tell our kids no one in the country shoots it great every single night, but one thing you can do is play great defense every night and we didn't play very good defense. We sort of shied away from some of their athletic ability."
The Greyhounds picked up a league win Dec. 17, beating host Newark 60-51 as Drew Bapst scored 14 points and Nick Bapst scored 11.
"Anybody in our league can beat anybody on a given night," Waits said. "That's already been proven. (There's) a long way (to go) and probably (a team with) two or three losses might win the league because I think our league is so competitive from top to bottom."
Grove City girls defeat London
The Grove City girls team improved to 3-5 overall by defeating London 81-39 on Dec. 21 at home as Jen Draper scored 13 points, Kayla Mitchell scored 11 and Megan Darst and Jordan Sargent each scored 10.
The Greyhounds lost at Pickerington Central 62-53 on Dec. 20 to fall to 1-4 in the OCC-Ohio. Draper scored 13 points and Mitchell had 12.
The Greyhounds also lost at home to Newark 77-46 on Dec. 16 as Mitchell scored 14 points.