Consistency has been a concern for coach Connie Allen and her Johnstown-Monroe High School girls basketball team.

Consistency has been a concern for coach Connie Allen and her Johnstown-Monroe High School girls basketball team.

Last Wednesday, the Johnnies fell to 5-10 overall with a 44-34 loss to Grandview in a non-league road game. The loss left Allen scrambling for answers.

"It all starts with focus," said Allen, whose team played an MBC game last Saturday against Northridge. "We're constantly repeating ourselves with what we need to do ... and it's not things that they can't do. I really think they can do it."

The Johnnies started slow, trailing 10-5 after one quarter, before rallying to close the deficit to 21-18 at the half. But Grandview gained the upper hand in the third quarter.

"I think one thing we need to work on is defense," said Allen, whose team plays MBC games Thursday at Loudonville and Saturday at home against Fredericktown. "We only have one player (Courtney Dingess) who scores in double digits, so we need to count on our defense, but it hasn't been there for us."

Allen said the solution may boil down to one word: communication.

"There has been no communication out there on the floor, and that's so important on defense," Allen said. "We need communication out there, especially on the switches and the help-side, and no one is saying a word."

Dingess led Johnstown with 14 points. Holly Sammons and Lydia Ulry added six points apiece.

Perhaps the Johnnies are experiencing mid-season blahs, but Allen isn't going to accept that as an excuse, though they have lost seven of their last eight games before last Saturday.

"I think that with our numbers, some of the kids get worn down, tired and even injured, but those seem to be the girls that are gutting out the most," Allen said. "They need to be digging down on a positive level and figure what they need to do to turn things around and fix it."

•The wrestling finished 22nd out of 27 teams in the Josh Hephner Memorial Invitational at Austintown-Fitch behind champion Medina (323). Joey Dismuke finished 3-3 at 171 pounds and R.D. Williams was 2-2 at 215. Ben Davis was 2-3 at 112.

"We got what we were looking for from the tournament," coach Ric Block said. "We were looking for a two-day tournament so we got to get the feel of that atmosphere and we got to go up against some tough competition.

"That competition will definitely help us down the road at the league meet and in the postseason."

Scott Robinson, a 152-pound senior, might be back from a knee injury as soon as the MBC Tournament on Feb. 13 at Utica, but Block said the return might be more likely set for the Division III sectional Feb. 19-20 at either Utica or Cardington.

"The swelling has gone down and he's walking on it, but they don't want to rush things," Block said.

"I guess Scotty has a sprained ACL and there might be a micro-tear on it that will not require surgery, but it has to be healed or it could turn into a full-blown tear. That's what we're trying to avoid."

Robinson, who is 16-1, was injured in the championship match of the Thornville Sheridan Invitational on Jan. 16. Last season, he was an alternate to the Division III state meet at 145 after finishing fifth in the district at Steubenville.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Johnstown-Monroe boys and girls basketball teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL

*Jan. 22 -- Defeated Danville 91-77. Shawn Block scored 24 points, Cody Green added 18 points and Riley Cannon had 14 points. Taylor Atwood scored 13 points, Michael Kessler had 12 points with three 3-pointers and Matt Smith scored 10 points. *Last Tuesday -- Lost to Utica 43-41 in overtime. Cannon scored 16 points and Smith added 10. *Last Friday -- Played East Knox Tuesday -- Home vs. Whitehall. The teams did not play last season. The Rams were 4-7 before playing Granville last Friday. *Friday -- At Northridge. The Johnnies won 63-43 on Dec. 22 as Cannon led with 18 points, 13 rebounds and three steals and Block added 16 points. Green finished with 12 points and three steals. *Feb. 9 -- At Loudonville. Johnstown won 57-49 on Jan. 9 as Smith had 13 points, Block added 11 points and Kessler had 10 points.

Of note: The Johnnies were 8-5 overall and 6-3 in the MBC before last Friday.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

*Jan. 23 -- Lost to East Knox 47-44. Courtney Dingess scored 13 points with Holly Sammons, Sarah Thomas and Lydia Ulry all scoring eight points. Last Wednesday -- Lost to Grandview 44-34 *Last Saturday -- Played Northridge *Thursday -- At Loudonville. Johnstown lost 38-35 on Dec. 19 as Dingess had 12 points with four 3-pointers and Ulry also scored 12 points *Saturday -- Home vs. Fredericktown. The Johnnies lost 38-35 on Dec. 19 as Dingess had 12 points with four 3-pointers and Ulry also scored 12 points. Feb. 8 -- Home vs. Granville. Johnstown lost 63-48 last season.

Of note: The Johnnies were 5-10 overall and 3-7 in the MBC before last Saturday.

*MBC game