Kyle Wade painfully remembers how he and his teammates on the Worthington Christian High School boys basketball team felt at the end of last season.

Kyle Wade painfully remembers how he and his teammates on the Worthington Christian High School boys basketball team felt at the end of last season.

The Warriors won four of their final five games of the regular season but lost in the second round of the Division III district tournament and settled for a 10-12 record.

Focused on bouncing back this winter, Wade and Worthington Christian's five other seniors turned that setback into a distant memory by winning the program's first district championship since 2008.

The Warriors lost to Lima Central Catholic 57-40 in a regional semifinal March 14 at Bowling Green to finish 15-9.

"We lost six seniors from last year, and last year our team lost in a sectional final," Wade said. "The feeling in the locker room after we lost in the tournament last year was that we had one of the most disappointing teams we've had and that Worthington Christian was losing its name in basketball.

"Throughout the offseason we all worked hard, and I think we got the program back to where we want it to be."

Against Lima Central Catholic, Brooks Weygandt made three 3-pointers and finished with 19 points, but a rough second quarter ultimately did in the Warriors.

Worthington Christian took a 7-0 lead, but the Thunderbirds went on a 19-0 run and built a 26-11 halftime lead.

The Warriors pulled within seven points late in the third quarter but couldn't continue the rally as Lima Central Catholic improved to 22-2.

Worthington Christian shot just 18-for-52 from the field, including 4-for-19 from 3-point range.

"They were good, and we didn't have our 'A' game," coach Kevin Weakley said. "They did a good job of limiting our penetration and we didn't shoot well."

Seeded sixth in the district, the Warriors had a first-round bye and defeated 11th-seeded West Jefferson 55-41 in the second round on Feb. 29 and fifth-seeded Fredericktown 46-33 in a district semifinal on March 6 before beating top-seeded and No. 1-ranked Bloom-Carroll 53-51 in a district final on March 8 at the Fairgrounds Coliseum.

The win over West Jefferson was the 200th of Weakley's coaching career.

"We were coming off an emotional win (over Bloom-Carroll), our bus didn't have air conditioning and we were out of our element a little bit," Weakley said after the loss to Lima Central Catholic. "I don't think those are the reasons that we lost, but for a team that hasn't had experience at that level before, physically we were ready but mentally we broke down a little."

Worthington Christian loses six seniors in Wade, Weygandt, Chris Bradley, Jacob Hayes, Brien Hodgson and Luke Rettstatt.

Weygandt made second-team all-district and averaged a team-best 13.5 points. He made five 3-pointers and scored a season-high 22 points against Bloom-Carroll.

Wade averaged 7.8 points and Rettstatt averaged 7.4. Among the colleges Wade is considering playing for are Defiance and Mount St. Joseph.

Against Fredericktown, sophomore Sam Condon scored a season-high 16 points. He averaged 5.0 points and should be among the top returnees next season along with junior Addison Taylor (6.6 points per game) and sophomore Isaiah Keene (5.1 ppg).

Also expected to return are juniors Danny Brennan, Nate Morris, Frankie Myers and Clayton Siders and sophomore Seth Weygandt.

"Obviously, the last few years we struggled, and last year at the end of the season the six guys who are seniors this year made a commitment in the offseason," Weakley said. "They got us back on track a little bit, and hopefully our younger players learned from that.

"(Weygandt) was tremendous for us this year. He started every game as a sophomore and, as a junior, I think he'd say that he took a little bit of a step back. Between his junior and senior years he really got after it."