The Wellington School boys basketball team defeated Village Academy 61-50 on Dec. 13 despite having a season-high 34 turnovers.
First-year coach Craig Taylor said the 15th-seeded Jaguars will need to do a much better job handling the ball when they travel to 14th-seeded Village Academy in the first round of the Division IV district tournament Saturday, Feb. 22.
The winner plays at top-seeded Harvest Prep in the second round Feb. 28.
"It's rare that you're going to win a game when you turn the ball over 34 times, so our goal is to have only half that many turnovers or less when we play at Village Academy in the tournament," Taylor said. "We've cut down on our turnovers quite a bit as our kids have learned our system and gotten smarter with the basketball. We'll need to keep that up to win games in the tournament."
Taylor said his team also will need to do a better job defending Village Academy center Dael Clark, who had 25 points in the first meeting.
Village Academy beat New Hope Christian 64-63 on Feb. 11 to improve to 13-9, getting 19 points from Sean McLoughlin and 17 from Clark.
"Their center hurt us bad in the first meeting," Taylor said. "Our kids have developed into much better players over the course of the season, but our front line play has to pick up. We'll need better rebounding from (our post players) and for them to shoot a higher percentage as well."
The Jaguars had a season-low 17 turnovers in a 53-45 victory over Granville Christian on Feb. 11 and beat Ridgeway Ridgemont 61-32 on Feb. 13 for their third in four games before losing to Hartley 71-37 on Feb. 15 to fall to 6-16.
Through 21 games, point guard Cameron Edmondson was averaging 12.1 points, 2.5 steals and 1.8 assists, guard Elliott Fite was averaging 12.1 points and 1.5 steals and center Chandler James was averaging 8.3 points and 5.9 rebounds.
"Our entire team has a better understanding of how to compete and how to play basketball than it did at the start of the season," Taylor said. "Our five starters are playing well and we're getting a lot of quality minutes off the bench from Ben Sloneker and Sterling Adiansingh on the front line and Connor Weber in the backcourt."
Anderson, Haring vie for diving titles
Brittany Anderson of the girls swimming and diving team competed in diving in the Division II state meet Feb. 19 at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
The senior and University of Michigan recruit was looking to win her first state title after placing second each of the past two years.
Last year at state, Anderson scored 415.5 points to finish behind DeSales' Andrea Aquista (419.25).
Anderson scored 473 points to win the district meet Feb. 14 at Ohio State and secure an automatic state berth and was the top seed at state. Columbus School for Girls' Syreeta Palackdharry (420.3) was district runner-up.
Wellington finished 11th (58) at district behind champion CSG (413) as 30 teams scored.
Michael Haring of the boys team also competed in diving in the Division II state meet Feb. 19.
The junior finished 11th (340.45) at state last year, behind champion Alex Gonzalez (511.75) of Canton Central Catholic.
Haring scored a program-record 409.1 points to win the district title Feb. 14 at Ohio State and was seeded sixth at state. The Jaguars finished ninth (83) at district behind champion Dover (225) as 41 teams scored.
"Michael won his third district title and Brittany won her second district title, so our divers both did really well," coach Bill Miller said. "It was a great day for both of our teams all-around, with everyone swimming their fastest times."
Girls basketball team starts postseason play
The girls basketball team won three of its last four regular-season games and was 8-14 before playing third-seeded Danville in the second round of the Division IV district tournament Feb. 19.
The 18th-seeded Jaguars and Danville both had first-round byes.
The second-round winner faces fifth-seeded Granville Christian or 11th-seeded Northside Christian in a district semifinal Feb. 27 at Westerville North.
After losing to Delaware Christian 45-18 on Feb. 10, Wellington bounced back to defeat Columbus International 55-47 on Feb. 12, as Donnette Cox had 19 points and Molly Anderson scored nine.
The Jaguars then won their regular-season finale Feb. 13, beating Northside Christian 39-35, as Halle Jefferson had 18 points and Abbey Mayne scored seven.