The Watkins Memorial High School boys basketball team clearly has had its ups and downs, but Le'Trel Taylor has no regrets about returning for his senior season.

The Watkins Memorial High School boys basketball team clearly has had its ups and downs, but Le'Trel Taylor has no regrets about returning for his senior season.

Taylor, who did not play as a junior last winter as he focused on indoor track and field, said he believes the situation is what he makes of it.

"I love basketball," he said after the Warriors suffered a 75-35 home loss to New Albany on Jan. 24. "And this is about playing with my friends, too. I know I may never get this experience again."

The 6-foot-2 Taylor, who started at shooting guard as a sophomore, is playing the point this season as first-year coach Pat Dimmick has looked to take advantage of his athleticism and experience following Devonte Marable's graduation last spring.

Taylor led the Warriors with 12 points against New Albany as his team slipped to 3-11 overall and 1-8 in the OCC-Capital Division. He was averaging 14.1 points, also a team high, before the Warriors attempted to snap a seven-game losing streak Jan. 27 at Delaware.

"We've got a lot of losses, sure," Taylor said. "But playing a team sport with friends, that's always good. We've hung out and had some fun. We're learning every day, too, and that's what counts."

Taylor is one of six seniors on the team. The others are Brady Coward, Evan Werner, Chase Dupps, Taylor Fuss and Devin Baker.

Against New Albany, the Warriors once again played hard start to finish. In the closing seconds, for example, Werner still was closely defending his man even though the outcome long had been determined. Players continued to chase down loose balls throughout the fourth quarter.

"Coach always says never give up," Taylor said. "So we just keep going hard."

New Albany made 12 of 26 3-point attempts, and that's been a recurring theme this season for the Warriors. They surrendered 88 of them through 14 games, an average of 6.3 per contest.

"If that's not a strength for a team, it sure seems to be when they play us," Dimmick said.

Taylor played wide receiver and running back for the football team. A sprinter in track, he anchored the 800-meter relay to a fourth-place finish (1 minute, 29.53 seconds) in the Division I regional meet last spring when it qualified for state. He also was an individual regional qualifier in the 400 for the Warriors, who were the district 2 team runners-up and won a fourth consecutive OCC-Capital title.

•The wrestling team will play host to the Watkins Memorial Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 4.

The 10-team field also will feature Big Walnut, Canal Winchester, Central Crossing, Licking Valley, Marysville, Rey-noldsburg, Sparta Highland, Steubenville and Teays Valley.

Steubenville captured last year's team title (289.5 points) as the Warriors finished seventh (124).

Licking Valley, which was fourth (201.5), has been ranked first in the Division II district coaches poll all season. Watkins Memorial senior Joey Cameron won last year's title at 152 pounds and was the team's only champion.

It figures to be a hectic day for coach Mark Kurth and his staff, which is usually the case for most home tournaments.

"I'm running it myself," he said. "It can be tough wrestling at home. It should be a pretty good tournament competition-wise."