After beginning the season 5-5, the Tree of Life Christian School boys basketball team went 11-2 over its final 13 games to finish 16-7 overall.
The fifth-seeded Trojans opened the Division IV district tournament by defeating 10th-seeded Granville Christian 61-47 on Feb. 23 at home. Senior guard Mark David Wright scored 19 points, senior guard Zac Wooten had 16, senior forward Donnie Tong had 12 and senior guard/forward Nathan Durbin had 10.
Tree of Life then lost at fourth-seeded Danville 69-49 in the second round Feb. 27. Wooten scored 17 points and sophomore guard Melvin Shuler had 12.
"It was a tough loss, but it was to a quality team seeded higher than us," said coach Joe Arndt, whose team was outscored 38-23 in the second half. "The wheels came off in the second half."
Durbin was first-team all-MOCAL and all-district, and Wooten was second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district. Wright and sophomore guard Carl Jones were honorable mention all-league.
Tree of Life finished third (8-4) in the league behind Fairfield Christian (12-0) and Gahanna Christian (9-3) and ahead of Delaware Christian (5-7), Granville Christian (4-8), Grove City Christian (4-8) and Madison Christian (0-12).
"We ended up 16-7, which was very good for this team," Arndt said. "We had a lot of inexperience. Overall, we are very proud of the boys. They are all quality young men. I wish we could have ended better, but it is what it is."
Girls team finishes third in league
The girls team finished 15-7 overall and third (8-4) in the MOCAL behind Gahanna Christian (10-2) and Granville Christian (9-3) and ahead of Delaware Christian (7-5), Fairfield Christian (6-6), Madison Christian (2-10) and Grove City Christian (0-12).
After a first-round bye, eighth-seeded Tree of Life lost at sixth-seeded Granville Christian 41-18 in the second round of the district tournament Feb. 19.
"It was a tough loss," coach Steve Cawley said. "We simply didn't execute the way we had for most of the season and it hurt us big time. The season didn't end the way we would've scripted it, but we still had a very good season."
Senior wing player Kristin Crews (17.7 points, 7.5 rebounds per game) was first-team all-league and all-district. Freshman guard Megan King (10.8 points) was honorable mention all-league and all-district, and senior guard Hannah Murray was honorable mention all-league.
"We were playing very good basketball in December and through most of January, but hit a tough spot at the end of the season," Cawley said. "I feel with the non-conference schedule that we played it was a very good season to come out with 15 wins. I'm very proud of my team."