Watkins Memorial High School girls basketball coach Kyle Oyster is looking on the bright side of his team's lengthy layoff before its opening game in the Division I district tournament.

Watkins Memorial High School girls basketball coach Kyle Oyster is looking on the bright side of his team's lengthy layoff before its opening game in the Division I district tournament.

The Warriors, who had a first-round bye, will meet ninth-seeded Upper Arlington with a berth in a district semifinal up for grabs on Thursday, Feb. 24, at Hamilton Township. Watkins Memorial hasn't played since defeating Franklin Heights 62-35 in the regular-season finale on Feb. 11, giving the Warriors nearly two weeks to prepare for the postseason.

"It is a long break, but I think it can be pretty beneficial," Oyster said. "We're losing five seniors, so our other girls are going to have to step up next year. This gives them a lot of extra practice time.

"I used to be a volunteer (football) coach with my uncle (Chris Kubbs) at Marion Pleasant, and I saw how those extra practices really helped the following year. We have this extra opportunity and we're going to use it."

Still, the lack of live action didn't necessarily come at a good time. The Warriors, who also defeated Mount Vernon 48-42 on Feb. 8, won consecutive games to end the regular season and went 5-5 during the second half. They are 5-15 overall and finished 3-11 in the OCC-Capital Division to tie the Yellow Jackets for sixth place behind champion Olentangy Orange (13-1).

"We're playing good basketball at the right time," Oyster said. "At the beginning of the year we knew we had all the right pieces; we just couldn't get over the hump."

The Golden Bears advanced with a 67-37 victory over Grove City in a first-round game on Feb. 17 to improve to 16-5. They went 13-1 to capture the OCC-Central title.

Led by guards Mary Corbett and Sarah Hobbs, Upper Arlington thrives on the perimeter and can put a game out of reach in a hurry. Corbett shot 50.7 percent (37 of 73) from behind the 3-point line during the regular season to lead the district. Hobbs was right behind her at 48.1 percent (38 of 79).

The Warriors haven't won in the postseason since defeating Grove City 61-59 in overtime in a first-round game in 2002. They lost 80-31 against 10th-seeded Pickerington Central a year ago.

"Upper Arlington's a tough game for us, no question," Oyster said. "But we're probably as ready for a game like that as we have been all year."

•School officials announced late last week that girls soccer coach Michelle Lisy had stepped down. She was at Watkins Memorial the past three seasons after previously coaching the boys team at Licking Heights. The Warriors went 12-32-6 under Lisy, including a Division I tournament victory in 2008. They finished 5-9-3 last season.

AT A GLANCE

Below are the recent results and coming schedule for the Watkins Memorial girls basketball teams:

*Feb. 11 - Def. Franklin Heights 62-35 in regular-season finale. Kim Coyle scored 16 points to lead the Warriors, who posted consecutive victories for the second time this season. They also defeated Mount Vernon 48-42 on Feb. 8.

Feb. 24 - Ninth-seeded Upper Arlington in second round of Division I district tournament, 6 p.m. at Hamilton Township. Winner plays Olentangy Liberty or Pickerington North in district semifinal, 6 p.m. March 1 at Liberty.

Of note: The Warriors are 5-15 overall and finished 3-11 in the OCC-Capital.

*OCC-Capital contest

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Watkins Memorial boys basketball, swimming and wrestling teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL

*Feb. 11 - Defeated Franklin Heights 40-37. Chase Dupps scored a season-high 17 points to lead the Warriors, who snapped a 13-game losing streak and posted their first OCC-Capital victory.

Feb. 15 - Lost to St. Charles 71-40. Kevin Crawford and Thomas Osickey scored eight points each for the Warriors.

*Feb. 18 - Played Hilliard Bradley in regular-season finale

Feb. 25 - Top-seeded Westerville South or Lancaster in second round of Division I district tournament, 6 p.m. at Worthington Christian Middle School. Winner plays Independence, Marion-Franklin, Pickerington Central or Rey-noldsburg in district semifinal, 10 a.m. March 6 at Fairgrounds Coliseum.

Of note: The Warriors were 2-17 overall and 1-12 in the OCC-Capital before Feb. 18.

SWIMMING

Feb. 12 - Boys: Did not score at Division I sectional meet at Thomas Worthington, won by New Albany (238.5); Girls: Tied Newark for 13th (4) at 14-team sectional at Thomas, won by host Cardinals (194)

Feb. 19 - Competed in district meet at Ohio State. The top three finishers in each event advanced to the state meet Feb. 25-26 in Canton. At-large bids based on statewide performances also were available and will be announced Sunday, Feb. 20.

Below are the district qualifiers with sectional time and district seed:

BOYS - 200 medley relay (2:10.38, 28th); 200 free relay (1:48.23, 28th); 400 free relay (4:17.53, 28th)

GIRLS - Hannah Rush: 200 IM (2:26.85, 23rd), 500 free (5:41.65, 20th); 200 medley relay (2:08.38, 24th); 200 free relay (1:55.02, 22nd); 400 free relay (4:27.71, 28th)

WRESTLING

Feb. 19 - Competed in Division I sectional meet at Marysville. The top four individuals in each weight class advanced to the district meet Feb. 25-26 at Hilliard Darby.

Of note: The Warriors went 3-4 to finish fifth in the OCC-Capital behind Mount Vernon (7-0), Hilliard Bradley (6-1), New Albany (5-2) and Olentangy Orange (4-3) and ahead of Big Walnut (2-5), Delaware (1-6) and Franklin Heights (0-7).

*OCC-Capital contest