When coach Andrea Hackett took over the Marysville High School girls basketball program in July, she had what she thought were realistic goals.
While the players wanted to exceed last season's win total when the team finished 5-18, Hackett wanted a bit more.
"A lot of the players came in preseason meetings wanting to have five wins, six wins and I said I wanted to be above .500 overall and we've already (nearly) doubled our wins (from last year)," she said.
The Monarchs were 9-7 overall and 4-5 in the OCC-Central Division before playing Dublin Coffman on Jan. 24.
The four league wins were four more than last season as the Monarchs went 0-14 a year ago.
"I have very high expectations and they know that," Hackett said. "We could be a little bit higher record-wise, but they keep working hard."
The Monarchs defeated host Dublin Scioto 56-52 in overtime Jan. 21. Marysville trailed 23-18 at halftime before outscoring Scioto 19-4 in the third quarter for a 37-27 lead.
Marysville led by as many as 12 points early in the fourth before Scioto rallied to take a 47-46 lead with 52 seconds remaining in regulation. Mikayla Hughes hit one of two free throws with 5.9 seconds left to tie the game and force overtime.
Hannah Long, who led Marysville with 17 points, hit two free throws to give Marysville the lead for good at 51-49 with 3:30 remaining.
"We're hustling more this year, trying harder and listening to our coaches more," Long said. "As whole, we're more confident in ourselves and our capabilities."
Hughes finished with 16 points. Long had 10 rebounds, as Marysville outrebounded Scioto 44-24, but the Monarchs committed a season-high 31 turnovers.
Brianna Bell scored 30 points for the Irish.
"We just needed to have confidence," Hackett said. "We've just been so inconsistent this season and we needed a win and a tough win against a team that did not give up."
Boys basketball team completes busy stretch
The boys basketball team completed a busy stretch by winning four of five games in eight days.
The Monarchs were 9-5 overall and 3-5 in the OCC-Central before playing Coffman on Jan. 24.
Marysville capped the stretch by winning 57-54 on Jan. 17 at Westland on Jevon Knox's 3-pointer as time expired. Logan Roston scored 14 points and Drew Mellen added 12.
"It was nice to see us finish a game like we did," coach Ryan Grose said.
"We played five games in eight days, so our practice time was limited. A lot of it was watching film and walkthroughs to make sure we had our legs. The guys were able to make adjustments through that."
The Monarchs then pulled away in the second half to defeat Scioto 62-42 on Jan. 21 at home. Marysville outscored the Irish 37-20 in the second half.
Mellen scored 20 points and Roston had 14.
Through 14 games, Roston led the team in scoring at 15.3 points per game, followed by Mellen at 11.3.
Wrestling team reaches regional semifinal
The wrestling team advanced to a regional semifinal of the Division I state team tournament by defeating Piqua 73-6 and Coffman 50-22 on Jan. 22 at home.
The Monarchs face Beavercreek in a Region 6 semifinal Wednesday, Jan. 29, with the winner meeting Hilliard Davidson or Central Crossing in a regional final after the semifinal. Marysville is seeded first in Region 6-B and Beavercreek is seeded third.
The regional champion advances to the state quarterfinals Feb. 8 at Ohio State.
Against Piqua, winners by pin were Jordan Welch at 106 pounds (1:35), Hayden Lee at 113 (1:07), Derek Sharp at 120 (1:06), David Sparks at 138 (1:27) and Darius Walker at heavyweight (55 seconds).
Against Coffman, winners by pin were Lee at 113 (1:15) and Sparks at 138 (47 seconds).
Marysville finished seventh (124 points) in the Top Gun Tournament on Jan. 17 and 18 at Alliance. Clovis (Calif.) won with 302 points as 42 teams scored.
Lee was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler after winning the title at 113. Austin Pfarr finished first at 220, while Taleb Rahmani was second at 145 and Sparks was fifth at 138.
Boys swimmers defeat Thomas
The boys swimming and diving team defeated Thomas Worthington 106-64 on Jan. 22 at Union County YMCA.
Winners included Gavin Mickelson in the 200-yard freestyle (1:54.64) and 100 backstroke (57.1), Connor Hall in the 200 individual medley (2:12.54) and 100 free (54.0) and T.J. Borawski in the 50 free (24.49) and 100 breaststroke (1:13.11).
The girls team lost to Thomas 116-54.
The teams competed in the OCC-Central meet Jan. 25 at Thomas.
Gymnastics team finishes 4th in meet
The gymnastics team finished fourth (115.6) in a home meet Jan. 22 behind Coffman (135.35), Westerville Central (127.175) and Dublin Jerome (124.9) and ahead of Scioto (105.575).
Selena Sorensen was second on floor exercise (9.0) and third in the all-around (32.45).
The Monarchs compete Feb. 3 against host Coffman and Big Walnut.