There always has been a special chemistry between cousins and close friends Nick and Drew Bapst.
In basketball, that bond began in first grade while they were playing in a local youth league and it has continued to today, as both have been solid contributors this season for the Grove City High School boys team.
Led by the Bapsts, the Greyhounds were 10-4 overall before playing Dublin Jerome on Jan. 21. They are 5-3 in the OCC-Ohio Division.
"We know each other very well," Nick said. "I'm going to hit him when he's open and he's going to hit me when I'm open. We just work together very well. He's more of a wing (player), but he has to transition into a big man for us this year."
The Bapsts played together in youth basketball through sixth grade and at times were coached by Drew's father, David.
Nick attended Jackson Middle School and Drew played at Brookpark Middle School, but the two reunited this season on varsity as juniors. Both are 6-foot-4.
They also have played together at the AAU level.
"It's always been a dream to play (high school basketball) with a cousin," Drew said.
Nick and Drew are picking up where Nick's brother, Brandon, left off. A three-year starter, Brandon averaged a team-best 13.4 points last season and was first-team all-league. He is a freshman forward at Malone University in Canton.
Brandon and Nick helped the Greyhounds finish 15-9 overall last season and share the OCC-Ohio title with Newark, Pickerington Central and Reynoldsburg at 10-4. Nick was a sophomore guard on the team.
Nick believes that Drew, who played junior varsity last season, has helped fill the void left by Brandon's graduation.
"They're both the same kind of player," Nick said. "They can both transition (from power forward to small forward). ... The four (power forward) is a good position for someone like Drew to play. He's always getting the ball on the outside, so he always has the option to dribble in, penetrate or pull up for (a 3-pointer)."
Drew had a team-high nine rebounds in a 68-64 win over visiting Reynoldsburg on Jan. 17. He entered the week with a season high of 17 points in a 72-60 win at Westland on Jan. 14 and was averaging 9.3 points through 14 games.
"Drew is an undersized post guy and he goes and grabs boards," coach Greg Waits said. "Drew plays a lot bigger than what he is."
Nick was averaging a team-best 20.9 points and had reached double figures in each of the first 14 games.
Trailing Reynoldsburg 34-25 at halftime, Nick scored 13 of his game-high 22 points in the third quarter, helping the Greyhounds rally for the win while avenging a 76-66 loss to the Raiders on Dec. 10.
Scottie Luchini and Tyler Dunn each scored 11 points.
Grove City was 28-for-35 from the free-throw line, including 12-for-13 in the fourth quarter.
Nick scored 28 points against Westland on Jan. 14 and had a season-high 30 in a 107-48 win over the Cougars in the Grove City Tip-Off Classic on Nov. 29.
On what Waits considers an undersized team, Nick also handles jump balls to start games and provides rebounding.
"Nick is a special kid," Waits said. "He's a hard working kid. He's a typical Grove City kid. He's going to put the work in. He just loves the game."
Nick and Drew would like to play in college and both have received interest from schools.
"They're great kids," Waits said. "They're 'yes or no sir.' They'll run through a wall for you. You just tell them to do it and they do it. Those are the kind of kids we love."
Central Crossing boys look for win
The Central Crossing boys team looked to end a 10-game losing streak when it played Lancaster on Jan. 21.
The Comets were 2-11 overall. They are 0-8 in the OCC-Central.
Central Crossing lost at home to Olentangy Liberty 77-52 on Jan. 17, as Marc Russell scored 20 points.
The Comets also lost at Marysville 78-70 on Jan. 15. Russell scored 20 points, Faizal Cali had 12 and Clay Luebben added 10.
"We've been practicing speeding up our pace a little bit," coach Anthony Mangette said. "Marysville played that fast pace, too, so that helps us stay in the pace of the game and helps us stay in the flow."
Central Crossing recently lost two players to injuries. Senior post player Dwight Diggs injured his left knee against Westland on Jan. 10 and senior guard Luke Duncan broke his right hand, a non-basketball related injury.
Grove City girls beat Marion-Franklin
The Grove City girls team defeated Marion-Franklin 79-34 in the Ervin Crenshaw Classic on Jan. 18 at Westland.
Jen Draper scored 15 points, Bree Kilgus and Ally Hutchison each had 12 and Cayla Maddy scored 10.
The Greyhounds lost at Reynoldsburg 43-27 on Jan. 17 to fall to 1-8 in the OCC-Ohio. Draper scored eight points.
Grove City was 6-9 overall before playing Watkins Memorial on Jan. 21.
Central Crossing girls look to sweep Davidson
The Central Crossing girls team was 3-12 overall before playing Walnut Ridge on Jan. 22.
The Comets are 1-8 in the OCC-Central and will look for a sweep of Hilliard Davidson on Friday, Jan. 24, at home.
Central Crossing defeated the Wildcats 35-23 on Dec. 13.
The Comets lost at Liberty 32-29 on Jan. 17 as Michaela Dorsey scored eight points.