The Thomas Worthington High School girls basketball team has been seeking second and third scoring options all season to complement senior guard Frannie Frazier.
Lately, senior forwards Kamille Freeman and Mariana Bonilla have been stepping up in scoring and rebounding.
"Kamille has been doing a much better job attacking the basket, or filling the lane or finding open spots, and she's been scoring a lot more," coach Laurie Barr said. "She was very solid against Hilliard Darby (in a 46-40 win Jan. 22). She's stepping up her rebounding, too.
"Mariana is getting a lot of putbacks lately and has stepped out to hit some shots against some of the zone defenses we've been seeing."
Freeman scored eight points against Darby, as the Cardinals outscored the Panthers 18-5 in the fourth quarter. Frazier led with 15 points.
"I've been working harder at getting open and it's been working well," Freeman said. "We try to tell the younger girls that we're not a one-player team. As good as Frannie is, we don't always have to rely on her every time down the floor. We all have our strengths and we need to use them all to get better as a team."
Bonilla scored 11 and Frazier had nine in a 53-40 loss to Westland on Jan. 25. The Cardinals were outscored 39-27 in the second half. Thomas bounced back to beat Canal Winchester 49-46 the next day, outscoring the Indians 18-9 in the third quarter. Frazier scored 24 points and Freeman had nine.
The Cardinals were 6-11 overall and 2-8 in the OCC-Central Division before playing Dublin Coffman on Jan. 29.
"Our defense in the fourth quarter against Darby was very solid and three of their five points came on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer," Barr said. "We turned it up defensively. But I would like to see that on a consistent basis. When we play with great defensive intensity and we rebound as a team, we can be a good team."
Eight Cardinals scored against Darby.
The loss to Westland was a little more troubling for Thomas, after it beat the Cougars 42-39 on Dec. 14 in the first round of league play.
"Sometimes we're not focused on what we need to do," Freeman said. "It's frustrating at times because it feels like we're there because we have to be there, rather than we're there because we want to be there, play hard and win."
That could explain some of the inconsistencies that have plagued the team, according to Barr.
"I still think that comes from a confidence level that, at best, is streaky. When we fight through a cold spell, like we did against Darby when they were making some shots in the first half, we have the ability to come back. But there are times it seems that we're not fighting through or making a big play to change the confidence, to change the momentum.
"We trailed Darby by nine at halftime, but Frannie Frazier made two 3-pointers to start the second half. Then it was like bam, the lights went on and we were enthused and ready to go."
Kilbourne girls again fall to Central
For the second time this season, Kilbourne lost a close contest to Westerville Central to remain winless in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Darby on Jan. 29.
The Wolves lost to Central 43-38 on Jan. 25, after falling to the Warhawks 43-39 on Dec. 14.
Kilbourne, which was 5-12 overall and 0-10 in the league before facing Darby, trailed Central 10-2 after the first quarter of the rematch. Guard Kayla Pack scored 12 points and forward Carli Taute added eight.
Kilbourne has home league games against Hilliard Bradley on Friday, Feb. 1, and Dublin Jerome on Tuesday, Feb. 5. The Wolves lost to Bradley 61-27 on Dec. 21 and to Jerome 54-40 on Jan. 4.
The Wolves, who trailed Jerome 27-15 at halftime, had trouble containing post players Hannah Gibbs (16 points) and Sarah Auker (15 points).