Garrett Lieb took a pass at the top of the key for the Westerville North High School boys basketball team and sent the ball in flight.

Garrett Lieb took a pass at the top of the key for the Westerville North High School boys basketball team and sent the ball in flight.

The third-quarter shot swished through the net as part of Lieb's season-high 14 points during a 62-57 non-league victory over Heath on Jan. 22. The output didn't surprise coach Kevin Thuman, who knew Lieb could step forward in several ways for the Warriors.

"Garrett doesn't shoot a lot, but when he does he takes good shots. We have the confidence that he can step up and make the shots when he takes them," Thuman said. "We have two or three guys who do most of our scoring, but he can step up when we need him."

The 6-foot-3 senior forward averaged only 3.7 points in his first 12 games, but he has scored a combined 28 points in his last three.

"Whenever they give me a task, I try to put my mind to it and do what they want me to do," Lieb said. "You just have to keep going and take things one day at a time and not look past anyone."

Lieb is a member of a small senior class that also includes 6-2 forward Tucker Arthurs and 6-5 center Drake Jackson. He said he learned a lot from last year's team that had a seven-player senior class, including two four-year starters in Kenny DeBoer and Ralph Hill.

"I watched how they approached things on the court and how they handled themselves," Lieb said. "It's awesome to be a senior and it's great to be leader on the team. I try to keep the whole team together and focused on the court because we are a young team."

Despite having only one player - junior forward Matt Rhodes - with significant varsity experience, the Warriors still won 10 of their first 13 games.

It came as no surprise to Lieb.

"I think our chemistry has been better than any team that I have ever played on," he said. "I think a lot of the younger guys have played together in the past, they know how to play and how to react to each other on the court."

Lieb also plays baseball at North. He was a letterwinner as a sophomore and started as a junior as a right-handed pitcher, shortstop and first baseman. He said he sees parallels to the baseball team.

"We are going to have a young team this year (in baseball) with several juniors who haven't really played a lot of varsity," he said. "I think this experience can help me when baseball begins and I can take a similar approach there."

Thuman said Lieb has earned the respect of his teammates.

"Garrett is one of the kids who does the right things at school and on the floor, and that has helped him to gain the respect of his teammates," Thuman said. "He has done a great job for us defensively and has the ability to guard both inside and outside. He also has been one of our more consistent rebounders."

Lieb said rebounding is something he takes pride in doing and is an area where the Warriors need to improve in the coming weeks.

"I think we really need focus on rebounding because we have been getting hammered on that lately," he said. "We're kind of a smaller team, so we have to put our minds to it and box out on the defensive end of the floor. Sometimes we try to use our athleticism too much, but if we just box out, we'll be fine."

AT A GLANCE

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Westerville North boys and girls basketball teams:

BOYS

*Jan. 21 - Defeated Dublin Jerome 69-53. Matt Rhodes led with 22 points and four 3-pointers. Jack Gibbs scored 16 points and was 6-for-7 on free throws.

Jan. 22 - Def. Heath 62-57 (OT). Gibbs and Rhodes both scored 15 points, Garrett Lieb had 14 and Adrian Cook added 13.

*Jan. 25 - Played Westerville Central

*Jan. 28 - At Dublin Scioto

Feb. 1 - Home vs. New Albany

*Feb. 4 - Home vs. Olentangy Liberty

Of note: The Warriors were 10-3 overall and 5-3 in the OCC-Cardinal before Jan. 25.

GIRLS

*Jan. 21 - Def. Jerome 44-38. Monique Jones scored 16 points with three 3-pointers and Caitlin Kusan added 13 points.

*Jan. 26 - Played Central

*Jan. 28 - Home vs. Scioto

Feb. 2 - Home vs. Northland

*Feb. 4 - At Liberty

Of note: The Warriors were 11-3 overall and 7-2 in the OCC-Cardinal before Jan. 26.

*OCC-Cardinal game