After ending a two-game losing streak with a victory over Westerville Central, the Westerville South High School boys basketball team has remained in the hunt for its 10th OCC championship.

After ending a two-game losing streak with a victory over Westerville Central, the Westerville South High School boys basketball team has remained in the hunt for its 10th OCC championship.

The host Wildcats defeated Central 52-50 on Jan. 20 and headed into play Jan. 24 at 6-2 in the OCC-Cardinal Division, tied with Westerville North for second behind Olentangy Liberty, which was 8-0.

South's league losses came to the Warriors (59-53 on Jan. 3) and the Patriots (55-54 in overtime on Jan. 13).

While the Wildcats will get rematches against North on Feb. 7 and Liberty on Feb. 17, there's plenty of work ahead for South before those potential showdowns. Progress is what coach Ed Calo is looking for from his team, which plays Friday, Jan. 27, at Dublin Jerome.

The Wildcats beat the Celtics 82-52 on Dec. 16.

"Life, as well as basketball, is filled with ups and downs," Calo said. "What we do when we experience that prosperity or that adversity tells us a little bit about ourselves. This is a work in progress. This is something we try to do every year. We're here to teach, we're here to build, we're here to learn, we're here to move and evolve forward as a team. We don't worry about the last game. We just make sure we learn from it, we grow and we get better."

South trailed Central 34-24 midway through the third quarter before rallying for the win. The Wildcats also beat the Warhawks by two points in the first round of league play, 70-68 on Dec. 6.

In the most recent matchup, Ellis Byers made two free throws with 12 seconds remaining to help seal the win. Stephen O'Daniel and Isiah Rogers each had 15 points to lead the Wildcats, with Marcus Ball scoring 11.

"Coach tells us all the time to stay poised, chip at the lead and we're going to come back," O'Daniel said. "We're a strong team. We have weapons. We're going to be fine."

•The girls team entered its game against Scioto on Jan. 24 tied with the Irish for second in the OCC-Cardinal at 7-2, behind Olentangy, which was 8-1.

Olentangy has won the last two OCC-Cardinal titles. South will play host to the Braves in the regular-season finale Feb. 10. The Braves won the first meeting this season, 59-20 on Jan. 6.

South completed a regular-season sweep of Central, beating the Warhawks 46-17 on Jan. 20 after winning 76-16 on Dec. 5.

"We didn't shoot the ball from the 3-point line particularly well, but we found other ways to score," coach Silas Williams said of the rematch with Central. "Rylee (Holman) had her best offensive game with 15 points and seven rebounds and freshman post (player) Chanelle Moore had seven points and 12 rebounds. That's the balance we want. We are getting better in both areas, so we are headed in the right direction."

South will play host to Jerome on Friday, Jan. 27. The Wildcats beat the Celtics 41-37 on Dec. 16.