When Hugo Quint returned as coach of the Westland High School girls basketball team this season, he realized it would probably take some time before success was achieved.

When Hugo Quint returned as coach of the Westland High School girls basketball team this season, he realized it would probably take some time before success was achieved.

The Cougars remain winless as they prepare to play in the Yule Classic at Liberty Union on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Westland will face the host Lions on Tuesday, with Amanda-Clearcreek and Heath playing in the other first-round game. The winners and losers will meet on Wednesday.

The Cougars are 0-7 overall and 0-5 in the OCC-Central Division after last Tuesday's 63-22 loss at Thomas Worthington.

"One of the things that we have to learn is how to play hard and that's a process," said Quint, who coached the Cougars for 10 seasons beginning in 1995-96 before stepping down. "It's not going to be done overnight. In order to play hard, it's an attitude. We lack some fundamental skills."

Thomas is 6-1 overall and tied with Hilliard Davidson atop the OCC-Central at 4-1. The Cardinals' superiority was evident from the start against Westland, as they jumped out to a 10-2 lead midway through the first quarter.

Junior point guard Taylor Horn led the Cougars with 10 points.

"We're playing more as a team than we have in the past," Horn said. "We're scoring more than we did last year and every game we get better. It's definitely a learning process because every day in practice we learn something new. (Quint) teaches us something new. It's just something you have to take in one step at a time."

Westland has lost its seven games by an average score of 64-28.

Against Thomas, Quint started freshmen Tanesha Dixon, Celeste Lewis and Christina Simpson.

"We're very young at very vital positions," Quint said. "We have kids who have not played basketball on a regular basis in a sense of doing more than just the basketball season. In order to be successful, you have to have people who are going to put a little more into the game."

To provide additional playing time, Quint decided to make each player on varsity except senior center Logan Horn available for the junior varsity game. The strategy helped lead to a 35-22 win, the j.v. team's first victory this season.

OHSAA rules state that each player is allowed to participate in five quarters on game night, Quint said.

"They're allowed to play those quarters, so we might as well use them," he said.

•The wrestling team will look to carry the momentum of a strong showing in the 10-team Wolfpack Classic at Worthington Kilbourne on Dec. 18 into the West Jefferson Invitational on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"It's a huge two-day tournament that I'm sure we're going to get tested in, but our kids are excited and we're ready take what comes at us," coach Bret Busby said.

Led by senior Scottie Haslam, the Cougars were fifth (134.5 points) at the tournament won by the host Wolves (239).

Haslam finished first at 125 pounds. Teammates Jacob Ball (112) and Cameron Ray (119) placed second, Jesse Carmack (171) was third, Eric Byers (140) and Zach Hall (215) were fourth, Tyler Thomas (135) finished fifth and Alec Morstadt (160) and Eric Holbrook (189) placed sixth.

"The fundamentals are coming," Busby said.

"The philosophy of team is coming. Our kids have such great fight. I was really happy. I thought a couple of those teams were pretty loaded. I have no complaints."

Last season at West Jefferson, Grove City (210) finished ahead of Circleville (148) in the large-school division and the host Roughriders (417) topped Nelsonville-York (269) in the small-school division.

Westland did not participate.

West Jefferson went on to finish fourth (56) in the Division III state tournament behind champion Monroeville (116).