The Wolves' Mackenzie Wilson puts up a shot against Hilliard Darby earlier this season. Kilbourne will play host to Hilliard Davidson on Friday, Feb. 3.

The Wolves' Mackenzie Wilson puts up a shot against Hilliard Darby earlier this season. Kilbourne will play host to Hilliard Davidson on Friday, Feb. 3.

Before turning its attention to the postseason, the Worthington Kilbourne High School girls basketball team will close the regular season against two of the top teams in the area.

The Wolves visit Central Crossing on Tuesday, Feb. 7, before traveling to Dublin Coffman on Feb. 10 for their regular-season finale. They then will prepare for the Division I district tournament, which starts Feb. 14. The tournament draw will be held Sunday, Feb. 5, at Olentangy Liberty.

Kilbourne was competitive against both opponents in the first round of OCC-Central Division play, losing to the Comets 48-38 on Jan. 3 and losing to the Shamrocks 58-50 on Jan. 6.

Coffman, which was seventh in the Division I area coaches poll last week, sits atop the OCC-Central at 10-1. Central Crossing and Upper Arlington are tied for second at 9-2, followed by Hilliard Davidson (6-5), Thomas Worthington (4-7), Hilliard Darby (3-8), Westland (2-9) and Kilbourne (1-10).

"I want to beat those teams so badly," senior forward Maria Calvert said of Central Crossing and Coffman. "I can't even explain it. We were so close to them the first time we played. We just need to finish and play hard all the way through."

In the first contest against Central Crossing, Kilbourne and the Comets were tied at 38 with 2 minutes, 30 seconds left. However, Central Crossing, led by point guard Jalynn Graham, scored the game's final 10 points.

"Graham hit two 3s against us from the same corner," coach Steve Palmer said. "Those kinds of possessions are just heartbreaking.

"We played solidly for 29 minutes, 30 seconds. But you can't take the final 2:30 off. That stretch always comes back to haunt you. We played hard, but we just haven't finished. That's what we're working on."

Kilbourne, which was allowing 48.4 points through 15 games, also had trouble finishing against Coffman. The Wolves trailed 25-22 at halftime but were outscored 24-15 in the third quarter.

In a 53-22 loss to UA on Jan. 24, Palmer said his team played solid defense in the first half but couldn't capitalize on its offensive chances. The Wolves trailed the Golden Bears 25-14 at halftime.

"The good news was we held a good Upper Arlington team to 25 points in the first half," Palmer said. "The bad news was we just scored (14) points."

"I think we're a good defensive team, but I don't think we play well all the way through," Calvert said. "We need to keep fighting through the game."

Calvert, who was averaging six points through 15 games, has emerged as one of the Wolves' top defensive players this season. During the preseason, Palmer noticed a difference in her approach to the game.

"Last year, she was more hesitant. This year, she's a little more gung-ho," he said. "Her whole game has just elevated. She's playing a lot more aggressive defensively. She's a little more comfortable in her skin as a basketball player."

Among the areas in which Calvert has improved since last season is free-throw shooting. As a junior, she made 48 percent of her foul shots. Through 15 games this season, she was shooting 64 percent from the line.

"Last year, I think she went up to the line thinking, 'I don't want to shoot a free throw,'" Palmer said. "Now when she steps up to the line, she's confident and knocks them in."

"I hope to continue that," Calvert said. "I want to keep leading the team as a senior. I definitely think we're improving as a team, but I still think there is room for improvement."