Wellington School girls basketball coach Bill Mitchin would like to see his team build some momentum for the Division IV district tournament.
The Jaguars have three regular-season games remaining. They play Thursday, Jan. 30, at Columbus Academy, Feb. 7 at home against Temple Christian and Feb. 13 at Northside Christian.
The district tournament draw will be held Sunday, Feb. 2, with first-round games being played Feb. 15.
"All of these games are winnable," Mitchin said. "We just need to cut down on our number of turnovers because turnovers have been our biggest weakness the second half of the season."
Wellington, which was 5-12 before playing Delaware Christian on Jan. 25 and Columbus International on Jan. 29, was averaging 24.2 turnovers per game through 17 contests.
The Jaguars split their first eight games but lost eight of their next nine.
"When we've played quality transition basketball and executed our offensive sets the way we practice them, we've been a good team and won games," Mitchin said. "Early in the season, our defense was very solid. Halle Jefferson has blocked and rebounded well and Donnette Cox has rebounded well, too. Abbey Mayne has played good defense on the perimeter and she's done a good job of setting traps in our 3-2 defensive zone."
According to Mitchin, turnovers proved to be the difference in close losses to Patriot Prep Academy (44-40 on Dec. 4), Millersport (40-37 on Jan. 9) and Columbus School for Girls (42-24 in the final of the Jaguar Invitational on Jan. 18).
"We had three games -- Patriot Prep, Millersport and CSG -- that we could have won if we hadn't thrown the ball away too many times in the fourth quarter," he said. "We've had trouble finishing games. We just had too many unforced errors and quick shots in the final few minutes.
"We've been up and down this season and that's mostly an issue of maturity. Our players are very young and they need to learn to be more consistent."
Through 17 games, Cox was averaging 8.1 points, 11 rebounds, 2.3 blocks and 1.5 steals, Jefferson was averaging 8.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.9 steals and 2.1 blocks, Sophie Barbour was averaging 3.8 points and 5.8 rebounds and Mayne was averaging five points and 2.6 steals.
The Jaguars lost one of their starters, guard Mallory Tannous, to a season-ending ankle injury. Tannous, who averaged 5.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in seven games, was replaced in the lineup by Sydney Snow.
"Molly (Anderson) has given us good relief off the bench at multiple positions," Mitchin said. "Sophie Barbour and Bret Hairston are freshmen who are coming in and making positive contributions, too."
Swimmers getting set for sectional meet
The swimming and diving teams will close out the regular season against Grove City on Saturday, Feb. 1, at Columbus Aquatics Center before gearing up for the Division II sectional meet Feb. 8 at Upper Arlington.
Twenty-seven at-large berths for the district meet Feb. 14 at Ohio State will be awarded for each swimming event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectional sites. Divers do not compete until district.
"We'd like to get all three of our boys and girls relays and as many individuals as we can through to district," coach Bill Miller said.
The girls team finished second (140) in the four-team Stars Invitational on Jan. 25 behind Centennial (178).
Kate Miller won the 50-yard freestyle (28.84 seconds) and Abby Fleeter won both the 100 butterfly (1:10.98) and 100 backstroke (1:08.78).
The boys team finished fourth (100) in the Stars Invitational behind champion Whetstone (163).
Joe Campbell won the 200 free (2:01.2), Michael Haring finished first in diving (240 points), and Campbell, Matthew Xin, Josh Roseler and Trevor Kaufmann combined to win the 400 free relay (3:57.55).
"Our entire girls team swam really well and Kate Miller won an exciting, close race in the 50 free," coach Miller said. "We were missing a couple of boys who were out sick or we may have been able to finish third. Michael Haring came up with the second-best point total of his career, and Joe Campbell and Matthew Xin had good swims, too."
Boys basketball team continues to improve
Even though the boys basketball team continues to have trouble winning games, coach Craig Taylor has seen improvement.
Wellington, which is 3-13 after losing to Northridge 76-59 on Jan. 27, opened its Jaguar Invitational with a 59-58 overtime victory over Horizon Science Academy on Jan. 17, as Cameron Edmondson (19), Mason McIntyre (18) and Chandler James (11) scored in double figures.
The Jaguars then lost to Bexley 57-55 in the final Jan. 18 after having lost to the Lions 65-33 on Dec. 19.
Elliott Fite had 14 points and Edmondson scored 10 in the rematch with Bexley.
"Our players are adapting to our new system and starting to execute better offensively and defensively," Taylor said. "We lost to Bexley by 32 points a month ago and we pushed them to their limit this time, which shows that we've gotten a lot better. Our guys are just a lot more patient with the ball now."