The Tree of Life Christian School boys basketball team hasn't missed a beat as it takes aim for an eighth consecutive MOCAL title. The Trojans were 4-0 in the MOCAL and were 5-0 overall before facing Centennial last Tuesday.

The Tree of Life Christian School boys basketball team hasn't missed a beat as it takes aim for an eighth consecutive MOCAL title. The Trojans were 4-0 in the MOCAL and were 5-0 overall before facing Centennial last Tuesday.

Tree of Life will return to action Tuesday at Ridgedale.

Last season, the Trojans finished 19-3 overall and 12-0 in the MOCAL. Fifth-seeded Tree of Life fell to second-seeded Harvest Prep 86-57 in a Division IV district semifinal. Coaches Joe Arndt and Jim Morgan are looking for continued success this season, with hopes of advancing further in the district tournament.

"We always want to try to put ourselves in position to win our conference," Arndt said. "When the postseason gets here, we want to see if we can have some success and try to get (at least to a district semifinal). That's always our goal."

Back are senior guard and forward Ryan Spengler (6-foot-6) and junior guard and forward Bryan Redic (6-4). Both were first-team all-MOCAL last year, and Spengler was second-team all-district.

Also back are senior center and forward Jeremy Hays (6-3), who was second team all-MOCAL, and senior guard Jon Emrick (5-11), who received honorable mention.

Hays and Redic were honorable mention all-district.

Sophomore Nick Levin (5-11) will be the point guard.

Seniors Nick Bell (6-2 forward), Marcus Krall (6-1 guard) and Jeremy Morgan (6-2 guard), juniors Joel Lutsch (6-6 center) and Dannye Winkfield (5-11 guard) and sophomore Tremayne Blanks (6-2 guard/forward) round out the roster.

"We want to do well for the seniors," Arndt said. "They're just a great group of boys. All six of them are. They're very accepting of the younger kids that we have."

•The girls basketball team enters Tuesday's game against Berne Union at 3-3 overall and 3-1 in the MOCAL.

"We had a brutal two weeks of the season," coach Steve Cawley said. "We had five games in two weeks, and three of those in five days. We had a real tough stretch, not against easy competition, but we're heading in the right direction."

Last season, Tree of Life finished 8-14 overall and 6-6 in the MOCAL.

Senior captain Becca Crouch (5-7) has been leading Tree of Life. Last season, she led the team in scoring at 15.4 points a game. She was named first-team all-MOCAL, second-team all-district and honorable mention all-state in Division IV.

Also back are senior Stephanie Kariuki (5-7) and juniors Lisha Badea (5-6) and Hailee Daugherty (5-8).

Sophomores Kelly Huston (5-10) and Joung Oh (5-5) have cracked the starting lineup.

Junior Taqueedia Patton (5-9), sophomores Jennifer Emrick (5-7) and Sarah Hackshaw (5-8) and freshman Victoria Thompson (6-1) also are on the roster.

"They are a team," Cawley said. "When they play together they're really starting to grasp some of the concepts we're asking them to grasp. They're starting to get the ideas of what we want them to get, offensively and defensively. We still have room to grow, but I like where the program is heading."

Cawley expects Fairfield Christian to be the team to beat in the MOCAL again. The Trojans opened with a 37-23 loss to Fairfield Christian on Dec. 2.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Tree of Life boys and girls basketball teams:

BOYS

*Dec. 5 -- Defeated Northside Christian 73-21 in opener. Jeremy Hays scored 15 points.

*Dec. 9 -- Def. Fairfield Christian 66-53. Tree of Life trailed 13-2 early. Hays had 20 points and seven rebounds.

*Dec. 12 -- Def. Madison Christian 80-59. Hays scored 25 points.

Dec. 16 -- Def. Mansfield Temple Christian 68-48. Hays scored 30 points.

*Last Friday -- Def. Gahanna Christian 80-54. Hays and Jon Spengler scored 16 points.

Last Tuesday -- Played Centennial

Tuesday -- At Ridgedale

Of note: The Trojans were 5-0 overall before last Tuesday and are 4-0 in the MOCAL.

GIRLS

*Dec. 2 -- Lost to Fairfield Christian 37-23. Becca Crouch scored eight points.

*Dec. 4 -- Def. Gahanna Christian 58-7

Dec. 6 -- Lost to Gilead Christian 64-40

Dec. 9 -- Lost to Danville 60-44. Crouch scored 26 points.

*Dec. 12 -- Def. Madison Christian 57-32. Crouch scored 27 points.

*Dec. 16 -- Def. Delaware Christian 74-18. Crouch scored 27 points.

Tuesday -- At Berne Union

Of note: The Trojans are 3-3 overall and 3-1 in the MOCAL.

*MOCAL game