The Hilliard Bradley High School girls basketball team had a four-game winning streak snapped with a 33-23 loss to Westerville South on Dec. 14, and coach Kathy Lindsey is hoping that her players learned from the setback.
"We weren't tough enough physically or mentally," Lindsey said. "Westerville South was physical and athletic and they're a dangerous team. We played well enough on defense and we shot horribly, especially in the first half, and we only trailed by two at halftime. So our defense was fine. It was everything else."
The Jaguars got the message loud and clear from their coach, according to junior guard Christy Tieman.
"We all had a bad game together," Tieman said. "It was a little bit of everything. We played the (previous) four (games) at home and that was our second road game. They played physical and we didn't give it back."
The lack of physical play was most evident when the Jaguars had the ball.
"We were weak taking it to the hoop," Tieman said. "Every time we drove the lane, we ended up with a loose ball. They were knocking it away from us and we just weren't strong enough. Coach has been preaching to us that we have to be stronger on those drives or we need to take a short jumper rather than going all the way down the lane."
Bradley will be looking to get back on track Friday, Dec. 21, when it plays host to Worthington Kilbourne in an OCC-Cardinal Division game.
"The Kilbourne game is the only game we have in a stretch of about two weeks, so we're going to have some time to work on things," Lindsey said. "Our teams here in our first three years have shown great improvement over the holiday break and have come back and looked strong in January. I expect the same this season.
"We lost four (players from last season to graduation), so we're awful young and I think now that we've seen some things, we'll be able to work on them and fix them during the break. We need to come back, starting with Kilbourne, and get back to winning in the OCC."
The Jaguars defeated Hilliard Darby (35-22 on Nov. 30), Dublin Jerome (51-40 on Dec. 7), Teays Valley (39-31 on Dec. 8) and Westerville Central (47-24 on Dec. 11) during their winning streak.
Meredith Miller averaged 14 points during the winning streak, with a high of 19 points against Central, and Ashley Hummel averaged 9.3.
Lindsey said the most consistent player so far has been Jenna Fodor.
"Jenna is doing a lot of things on the court," Lindsey said. "She may not lead in any statistical category, but she has a hand in everything. She's and Feaira (Crews) are guarding the other teams' top scorers."
The Jaguars are allowing an average of 32.2 points per game.
"We've played pretty well defensively, without a doubt," Lindsey said. "We've only been outrebounded once and that was against Westerville South. Where we need to improve most on is scoring, and turnovers have been a big part of that.
"We're turning the ball over 19 or 20 times a game and we've got to get that down around 15. We're giving up extra possessions. The unforced errors are the ones that hurt most. We've got to make good decisions and we've got to learn to take mid-range jumpers."
Boys squad still looking for first win
The boys team heads into its OCC-Cardinal game on Friday, Dec. 21, at Kilbourne still looking for its first win.
The Jaguars, who are 0-7 overall, are averaging 39.3 points and allowing an average of 56.7. They lost their opener to Central Crossing 45-44 on Nov. 30 and fell to Franklin Heights 48-41 on Dec. 4 in their second game.
However, their last five losses haven't been close. The smallest margin of defeat in those games came Dec. 15, when they lost to St. Charles 48-36.
Brady Simpson is leading the team in scoring, averaging 10.6 points.