Wellington School boys basketball coach Brian McCants hopes his team uses the nine-day layoff between its regular-season finale and its Division IV district tournament opener wisely.

Wellington School boys basketball coach Brian McCants hopes his team uses the nine-day layoff between its regular-season finale and its Division IV district tournament opener wisely.

Seeded seventh, the Jaguars have a first-round bye and will play third-seeded Fairfield Christian or Grove City Christian in the second round at 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, at Granville. Fairfield Christian and Grove City Christian meet in the first-round Thursday, Feb. 23.

"We're going to give the kids a couple of days off and then we're going to work," said McCants, whose team concluded the regular season with a 65-42 win over Mansfield Christian on Feb. 18 to improve to 11-8. "It sounds like a lot of time, but it really isn't.

"We have some situational things we have to work on and we want to get a scrimmage in with one of these Division III schools to break the boredom up in the middle of the week."

Wellington has not played Grove City Christian this season, but the Jaguars are quite familiar with the former. Fairfield Christian defeated Wellington 64-59 in overtime in the championship game of the Jaguars Invitational on Jan. 21.

The Jaguars missed a pair of free throws with five seconds left in regulation with the score tied at 55.

Last season, Fairfield Christian defeated the Jaguars 45-40 in the second round of the tournament.

"I sat with my coaches and I said, 'You know what, fellas? I have a lot of juniors and seniors on this team and if they can't get up for Fairfield Christian after what happened last year and this year, there's something wrong with them,'" McCants said with a laugh. "We're going after them. We can play with them and we can beat them."

Fairfield Christian enters the postseason with a 16-4 record. Grove City Christian is 4-16.

In this year's meeting with Fairfield Christian, the Jaguars had trouble containing the Knights' Hayden Welch and Steven Carpenter, as Welch had 28 points and Carpenter scored 21. Junior guard Jonathan Robinson led the Jaguars with 18 points and senior guard/forward Tarren Taylor scored 16.

•The girls basketball team also has had a long layoff between its regular-season finale and its Division IV district tournament opener.

Wellington faces sixth-seeded Fairfield Christian in the second round at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, at Lakewood. Both teams had a first-round bye.

The Jaguars, who are 7-13 after losing their last three regular-season games, haven't played since Feb. 11 and Fairfield Christian hasn't played since improving to 13-6 with a 53-29 win over Corning Miller on Feb. 6. The Knights are led by Kristen Dewese, who is averaging 13.6 rebounds and shooting 51.2 percent from the floor.

The second-round winner plays fourth-seeded Tree of Life or Danville in a district semifinal at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 29, at Lakewood.

Wellington lost to Tree of Life 38-28 in its regular-season finale on Feb. 11 but has not played Danville this season.

In the Jaguars' final five regular-season games, senior guard Sophie Knowles averaged 10.6 points and senior guard Aris Troy averaged 6.8 points.

•Two members of the swimming and diving teams advanced to the Division II state meet.

Freshman Michael Haring scored 325.15 points to win the boys diving competition in the district meet Feb. 17 at Ohio State as the boys team finished 23rd with 24 points behind champion Granville (325.5).

Sophomore Brittany Anderson won the girls district title in diving with a pool-record 435.2 points as the girls team finished fifth (137) behind champion Granville (475).

Haring and Anderson competed at state Feb. 22 at Branin Natatorium in Canton.

Haring is in his first year diving after competing in gymnastics for four years.

"I definitely think those (gymnastics) skills have helped me do well on the diving board," said Haring. "In gymnastics, you want to land on your feet all the time and you really want to avoid landing on your head. It was a challenge to learn how to do flips to your head."

Haring is the boys team's first state qualifier in diving as well as its first district champion.

"It's pretty cool to get this opportunity to go to states as a freshman," he said. "I came into this thinking it was going to be fun. I never dreamed I'd be going on to state."

Anderson entered the district meet determined to make it to state after finishing third last year at district when the top two qualified for state. She said nailing a reverse one-and-a-half pike in the first dive of the second round helped her take the title.

"Once I got past that, I felt pretty comfortable," she said. "I'm really happy to make it to the state meet. Last year I was kind of sad I didn't make it, but I've improved a lot since then."

Only the top finisher in boys diving at district qualified for state. The top three finishers in girls diving advanced.