Thomas Worthington High School girls basketball player Brooklyn Martinez remained confident that her team could beat Upper Arlington even though the Cardinals trailed 27-19 at halftime last Friday.

Thomas Worthington High School girls basketball player Brooklyn Martinez remained confident that her team could beat Upper Arlington even though the Cardinals trailed 27-19 at halftime last Friday.

Little did the senior guard know that she would play a big role in the comeback.

With 2.5 seconds left, Martinez hit an uncontested 3-pointer to lift the Cardinals to a 45-42 victory over the previously undefeated Golden Bears.

"At halftime, I knew something good was going to happen," said Martinez, who scored seven points. "This game just gives us a lot of confidence. UA was leading our division. Now we know we can beat anyone in our division. There's no doubt about it."

Thomas improved to 8-7 overall and 5-4 in the OCC-Central Division with the win and rode a five-game winning streak into its league game against Hilliard Davidson last Tuesday. Upper Arlington, which was second in the Division I state poll last week, fell to 12-1 overall and 7-1 in the league and saw its streak of consecutive regular-season wins end at 19.

Coach Laurie Barr is hoping the momentum gained in the win will carry Thomas through a demanding stretch of games, including Friday when the Cardinals play host to Dublin Coffman.

The Shamrocks have won four consecutive league titles but entered last Tuesday's game against Westland second in the OCC-Central at 6-2, one game behind co-leaders Upper Arlington and Davidson.

Thomas pushed Coffman before losing 55-51 in overtime on Dec. 18. Kelsey McAlpine led the Cardinals with 16 points and Erika Rousculp scored 15. Andrea Baylin, a 6-foot-1 wing, led the Shamrocks with 24 points, including three 3-pointers.

"We need to take the momentum (from the UA game) and do what we need to do," Barr said. "We know they're going to be ready for us."

Martinez was an unlikely hero against Upper Arlington. She had a sprained her left ankle against Coffman and had missed eight games before returning to the lineup against the Bears.

With the game tied at 42, Barr said the plan was to get the ball to one of the guards because Rousculp, who finished 19 points and eight rebounds, likely was going to be double-teamed inside.

"(Rousculp) got the ball but she saw I was open," Martinez said. "I thought, 'Man, I hope this goes in. The ball hit every part of the rim before it fell in. Everyone's heart just stopped there."

Kilbourne senior post player Aubrey Wilson believes her team is better than it was at the end of last season but has little to show for it.

The Wolves were 2-11 overall and 1-7 in the OCC-Central before playing Upper Arlington last Tuesday.

"It's discouraging," Wilson said. "We're trying really hard and I think we're more of a team than we were last year, but we have these five- or six-minute stretches that really affect the team."

In a 41-21 loss to Hilliard Darby last Friday, that stretch came in the third quarter. The Wolves trailed only 14-10 at halftime but were outscored 13-1 in the third quarter.

Kilbourne has an opportunity to build its confidence when it plays host to Westland on Friday.

The Cougars dropped to 1-9 overall and 0-9 in the OCC-Central with a 69-21 loss to Davidson last Friday.

The Wolves have won the last three meetings with Westland, including a 57-34 win on Dec. 18. In that game, Kilbourne outscored the Cougars 19-2 in the second quarter. Darby McMullen led the Wolves with 16 points.

"It's important to learn how to win again," coach Steve Palmer said.

"That's something we've struggled with. Hopefully, we can get a couple of wins that will help us down the road."


At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Kilbourne and Thomas girls basketball teams:

KILBOURNE

*Last Friday -- Lost to Hilliard Darby 41-21. Kilbourne was outscored 13-1 in the third quarter. *Last Tuesday -- Played Upper Arlington *Friday -- At Westland. Kilbourne won 57-34 on Dec. 18. Saturday -- At Harvest Prep *Tuesday -- Home vs. Hilliard Davidson. Kilbourne lost 44-23 on Dec. 15.

Of note: The Wolves were 2-10 overall and 1-7 overall in the OCC-Central before last Tuesday.

THOMAS

Jan. 18 -- Defeated Olentangy Liberty 57-38 at All-Ohio Prep Shootout at Pickerington Central. Erika Rousculp scored 14 points and Tyler Eiland and Kelsey McAlpine each scored 12. *Last Friday -- Def. Upper Arlington 45-42. Thomas outscored UA 13-4 in the fourth quarter. Rousculp scored 19 points. *Last Tuesday -- Played Hilliard Davidson *Friday -- Home vs. Dublin Coffman. Thomas lost 55-51 in overtime on Dec. 18. *Tuesday -- Home vs. Westland. Thomas won 72-29 on Dec. 22.

Of note: The Cardinals were 8-7 overall and 5-4 in the OCC-Central before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Central game