The negatives have been tough to ignore for the Ready High School girls basketball team as it prepares for the final stretch of the regular season.

The negatives have been tough to ignore for the Ready High School girls basketball team as it prepares for the final stretch of the regular season.

Other than during their 47-27 victory over Yellow Springs on Dec. 2, the Silver Knights were held to 41 or fewer points in each of their first 10 games.

An example of Ready's struggles on offense took place Jan. 13 during a 44-28 loss to visiting Hartley.

After trailing 15-12 at halftime, the Silver Knights were outscored 18-1 in the third quarter and committed 17 second-half turnovers.

Although Ready took a step forward offensively last Saturday during a 55-52 loss to DeSales, finding answers has been a difficult task for a roster featuring few players who can consistently score.

"It's like we're in a chess match, but we're playing with checkers," coach Joe Lang said. "We compete for a half and when we've got to start making things happen, we don't understand how to score. We have no go-to player. This isn't football, where you sometimes can go out and win by only playing defense."

Dani Pugh is the only senior who sees regular playing time, and she and sophomore guard Kim Lloyd both average about nine points. Pugh put together a 24-point performance during a 44-39 victory over Marion Pleasant on Dec. 15, but scored in double figures only one other time during Ready's first 10 games.

Sophomore post player Alexis Mayle has been a bright spot of late. She scored 13 points during a 51-41 loss to Jonathan Alder on Jan. 6 and 10 in a 41-40 loss to Columbus School for Girls on Jan. 8.

Because of makeup games, the schedule is about to become another complication for a team that is trying to find its identity before the Division III district tournament.

Over a 10-day span beginning Jan. 27, Ready will play six games. In addition to facing Watterson on Jan. 27 and CSG on Feb. 5 in conference matchups, it will face Worthington Christian on Jan. 29, Hilliard Darby on Feb. 1, Grove City on Feb. 2 and Zanesville Rosecrans on Feb. 3.

The biggest positive thus far is that the Silver Knights' defense has kept them in games.

"We're playing hard and we're trying to mix it up," Lang said. "We're trying to keep teams guessing, but it's very hard to keep up the defensive intensity when you can't score. We have people who have had good games, but I never know who is going to have a good game. I think eventually we'll get it turned around, but right now we just make a lot of poor decisions."

•Although it resulted in just two wins over its first nine games, boys basketball coach Don Worstell wasn't disappointed with a defense that allowed an average of 50.5 points during that span.

"We're pleased with the kids right now," Worstell said. "They're working hard at it every day, although it hasn't shown up on game night, which has been frustrating. But it's starting to show. We're giving up a considerable amount of our strength to youth, but defensively I think we've been fairly sound all year. We value the defensive end and we've been reasonably good defensively, especially for us being such a young team."

The return of junior Derek Farmer from a shoulder injury over the holiday break has boosted an offense that was held to 41 or fewer points in eight of Ready's first nine games.

Farmer missed most of last season and all of summer conditioning in addition to not being available for Ready's first five games this season. He scored 10 points during a 43-40 loss to Celina in the consolation game of the Celina HALLiday Shootout on Dec. 30.

Farmer gives Ready another outside shooting threat to go along with junior Bo Hardy and sophomores Kris Clarke, Doug Strickler and Kyle Wilgus.

Freshmen Brady Taylor and Matt Yoho, who are 6-foot-4 and 6-2, respectively, are others who have begun to contribute to a program that had just one senior at the start of the season in Kyle Bergman.

Senior Christian Knapper, who averaged 2.0 points and played 10 minutes in the Division III state championship game last March, wasn't expected to play this season but has been cleared for activities. He has been recovering from a broken leg suffered during football.

"We put ourselves in bad situations because of our inabilities to handle pressure," Worstell said. "(Farmer) basically missed a year and a half, and even last year he missed all of the preseason. He definitely helps us, but if you're a perimeter shooter in basketball, conditioning is vital, so that's something he's working on.

"We're getting pretty nice contributions on the rebounding end from Brady Taylor, our freshman post (player), and Matt Yoho is starting to really rebound the ball for us."

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Ready boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling and wrestling teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL

Jan. 5 - Defeated Fairbanks 39-35

*Jan. 7 - Lost to Watterson 62-39

Jan. 11 - Game vs. Wellington postponed because of bad weather and rescheduled for Feb. 2

*Last Friday - Def. Worthington Christian 43-42

*Friday - Home vs. St. Charles

Tuesday - Home vs. Shekinah Christian

Of note: The Silver Knights are 3-7 overall and 0-3 in the CCL.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Jan. 6 - Lost to Jonathan Alder 51-41

*Jan. 8 - Def. Columbus School for Girls 41-40

Jan. 11 - Game vs. Grove City postponed because of bad weather and rescheduled for Feb. 2

*Jan. 13 - Lost to Hartley 44-28

*Last Saturday - Lost to DeSales 55-52

*Saturday - At Hartley

Of note: The Silver Knights are 4-7 overall and 1-3 in the CCL.

BOWLING

*Jan. 4 - Boys: Def. Centennial 1,767-1,748; Girls: Def. Centennial 1,842-1,335

*Jan. 6 - Boys: Def. Linden-McKinley 1,745-967; Girls: Def. Linden 1,806-542

*Jan. 10 - Boys: Lost to Hartley 2,103-1,822; Girls: Lost to Hartley 1,766-1,657

*Friday - Boys, girls: Brookhaven at HP Lanes

*Monday - Boys, girls: Columbus Academy at Western Lanes

Of note: The boys are 5-4 overall and 4-4 in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-Central Division and the girls are 6-2 overall and 5-2 in the COHSBC-Central.

WRESTLING

Jan. 8 - Finished second (205.5) at 11-team Olentangy Orange Invitational behind host Pioneers (252). Bobby Smith (112) was first and Josh Hall (119), Phil Halko (171) and Brandon Cooper (215) each was second.

Last Saturday-last Sunday - Finished eighth (113) at Catholic Invitational Tournament at Toledo Central Catholic behind champion Cincinnati Moeller (256)

Today - At Worthington Kilbourne

*League contest