Hilliard Davidson High School girls basketball coach Joy Taylor said her team has been competitive in the majority of its games thus far this season but has been hindered by defensive lapses.
Such was the case in a 51-46 loss to Olentangy Liberty in an OCC-Central Division game Jan. 3, as the Wildcats were outscored 20-5 in the first quarter.
"We're improving and we've played some really good defensive quarters, but we usually have a lapse where we give up 20 or 25 points in one quarter," said Taylor, whose team was 1-11 overall and 0-6 in the OCC-Central before playing Thomas Worthington on Jan. 7. "Our tendency has been to give up easy buckets and a lot of points in a quarter and we don't have enough experienced scorers to make up for it.
"We have to continue to learn from our mistakes and keep improving defensively so we can break that trend in the second half of the season."
Through 11 games, Hannah Fecht was averaging 8.8 points and 4.5 rebounds, Cambree Friedman was averaging 8.7 points and 4.5 rebounds, Charlee Clark was averaging 6.6 points and four rebounds and Lea Edler was averaging 3.5 steals and 2.9 assists.
Davidson recently welcomed back three players to its lineup in Maddie Oakley, Meghan Munson and Davwana Clark.
Oakley missed the first nine games with an ankle injury and Munson and Clark both missed the first 11 games with knee injuries.
"It's nice to have more depth," Taylor said. "Maddie's our tallest player (at 5-foot-11) and she's really athletic and a good rebounder. It will be nice to have most of our players healthy once again."
The Wildcats travel to Marysville on Friday, Jan. 10, for an OCC-Central game. They lost to the Monarchs 64-62 on Nov. 25, with Marysville post player Mikayla Hughes scoring the winning points on a putback as time expired.
"Marysville shot the (3-pointer) well against us, so we need to do a better job with our perimeter defense," Taylor said. "We lost on a buzzer-beater the first time, so we have to play with intensity and make sure we finish better."
Jaguars looking to pull out of slump
Bradley entered the week looking to get back on the winning track.
The Jaguars won their first six games but lost three of their next five, including back-to-back losses to Westerville North (47-38 on Jan. 3 in an OCC-Cardinal game) and Olentangy (63-41 on Jan. 4).
According to coach Kathy Lindsey, Bradley was missing two of its top seven players when it faced North and Olentangy, but she declined to identify who those players were or why they didn't play.
Against North, Shelby Haworth had 15 points, Ashley Hummel scored 10 and Meredith Miller added nine. Hummel had a team-high 15 points against Olentangy, with Haworth and Jenna Fodor adding 10 and eight points, respectively.
"We played a couple of tough teams and we were missing a couple of key players," said Lindsey, whose team was 8-3 overall and 4-1 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Dublin Scioto on Jan. 7. "We had used the same lineup for the first seven games and we had to make some big adjustments without those players. We had trouble finishing our inside shots and we had a low shooting percentage (against North). We gave up 19 points in the first quarter against Olentangy, and that's most points we've given up in a quarter in the first half all season."
With their full lineup available, the Jaguars won both of their games in the Watterson Christmas Classic, beating Hartley 42-31 on Dec. 28 and Cleveland Shaw 42-40 on Dec. 27.
Hummel had 16 points and Miller scored 11 against Hartley and Miller had 26 points against Shaw.
"Hartley's a good team and that was probably the best we've played all season," Lindsey said. "Our two inside girls, Miller and Hummel, are scoring and rebounding well for us. Shelby has done a nice job of coming off the bench for us and she played well while starting twice for us (last) weekend."
Bradley will play host to Darby on Thursday, Jan. 9, in an OCC-Cardinal game before traveling to Dublin Jerome on Saturday, Jan. 11, for a league contest.
The Jaguars beat the Panthers 43-34 on Nov. 26 behind 12 points from Christy Tieman and 10 from Hummel but have yet to face the Celtics this season.
"This is a big week for us and I'm not sure if we will have everyone back, so we may need to have a gut check and continue to make adjustments," Lindsey said. "We need to get back to playing solid, half-court defense because we struggled a little bit defensively last (weekend)."
Panthers looking to turn season around
Darby was 0-11 overall and 0-6 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Westerville Central on Jan. 8.
The Panthers lost to Scioto 42-35 in a league game Jan. 3 and lost to Central Crossing 39-26 on Jan. 4.
Kaitlin Snyder had 14 points against Scioto.