Last season, the Wellington School girls basketball team won four out of its first five, but when the new year started it lost four of its next five.

Last season, the Wellington School girls basketball team won four out of its first five, but when the new year started it lost four of its next five.

Coach Tiffany Smith said a three-week layoff didn't help a year ago. When she was building the schedule this season, she took just short of two weeks off.

"Last year we had players who were on vacation," Smith said. "It was hard to build momentum. You lose your conditioning even if you're off just three days. You forget the things you've been working on. You have a hard time concentrating on what the team is trying to do.

"I think just having 13-day break is going to make a large difference in the second half of the year. It allows us to stay in rhythm. It's going to help us get ready for the tournament."

Colleen Durfee, one of the players who stayed in Columbus during the break and practiced last year, said it's not just the fitness of a player that breaks down during a prolonged break. It's nearly impossible to simulate a game-like intensity a player needs in practice.

"You have to get readjusted to the pressure," Durfee said. "When you're practicing you don't necessarily feel like you have to make a certain shot or pass and do everything well like you do in a game. It's a different kind of situation. That break gets you out of that kind of mentality."

The Jaguars will play Garfield Heights on Jan. 3 in the Harvest Prep Classic. The Jaguars will play 10 games -- half of their regular-season schedule -- in a span of 30 days beginning with the Garfield Heights game.

Smith has been pleased with the defensive development of her team. Through five games the Jaguars were allowing an average of 40.4 points.

"We're able to get good stops whether it is as a team or as an individual. We're really getting after it," Smith said.

"We're moving forward. We're trying to get a little momentum and get after things. We're getting better each day."

Wellington's first two wins were over Gahanna Christian 49-32 on Nov. 29 and Worthington Christian 40-36 in overtime Dec. 2.

"I think we're doing really well," Durfee said. "We're getting back into the groove of things. We've gotten off to a slow start, but we're really picking it up. We're getting used to new players, new lineups and stuff.

"We're not going to have that long break where we're not scrimmaging or playing real live games. I think we will be a little more ahead of the game than we were a year ago."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for Wellington boys basketball, girls basketball and boys and girls swimming teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL

Last Saturday -- Def. Shekinah Christian 68-67.

Monday -- At Bobcats Holiday Classic at Grandview vs. Hartley. The Hawks, who beat Wellington 77-56 last year, were 1-2 after losing to Ready 66-65 on Dec. 13.

Tuesday -- At Holiday Classic vs. Grandview or Northridge

Of note: The Jaguars are 1-4.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Dec. 16 -- Lost to Highland 43-33. Colleen Durfee scored nine points.

Last Saturday -- Lost to Centennial 31-30

Jan. 3 -- At Harvest Prep Classic vs. Garfield Heights

Of note: The Jaguars are 2-4

SWIMMING

Last Saturday -- Competed against Pickerington Central

Saturday -- At Grandview Invitational

Jan. 3 -- Home vs. Centennial and Teays Valley