Team concept made difference
The turning point for what became a second consecutive run to a Division III district title might have been the Worthington Christian High School boys basketball team's 49-34 loss to Ready on Jan. 5.
That night, the Warriors led 16-6 but scored just 18 points over the final three quarters to fall to 7-3.
Junior guard Sam Condon remembers something changing shortly after that.
"After the Ready game where we got blown out, we started showing more of the concept of a team," Condon said. "I think the biggest reason we were successful this year was because we became a really selfless team."
The Warriors went 6-5 during the remainder of the regular season, but that stretch included a 48-47 loss to eventual Division II regional champion Watterson on Jan. 18 and a 47-44 loss to one of the better teams in Division III, Columbus Academy, on Jan. 29.
Worthington Christian lost to Versailles 63-48 in a regional semifinal March 13 at Kettering Fairmont to finish 17-9.
Last season, the Warriors upset the district's top seed, Bloom-Carroll, 53-51 in a district final before losing to Lima Central Catholic 57-40 in a regional semifinal.
Sixth-seeded Worthington Christian opened the postseason by beating West Jefferson 41-40 on Feb. 27 and then avenged a pair of regular-season losses by beating second-seeded Academy 51-49 on March 5 and eighth-seeded Ready 46-38 in a district final March 7 at the Fairgrounds Coliseum.
In the tournament loss, Versailles sophomore forward Kyle Ahrens had 19 points and senior guard Chad Winner scored 15 points, all on 3-pointers.
Versailles made six of its first seven shots, including its first five 3-point attempts, and led 19-4 entering the second quarter.
The Warriors got as close as 25-17 with 3 minutes, 41 seconds left in the first half.
"Coach (Kevin) Weakley said in the locker room that you can definitely lose games in the first quarter," Condon said. "I thought we were playing good defense in the first quarter but we started off by only making two of 10 (shots)."
The Warriors lose four seniors in starters Nate Morris (forward), Frankie Myers (forward) and A.C. Taylor (guard) and backup Clayton Siders (guard).
Taylor made third-team all-district. He and Condon both averaged a team-best 9.7 points.
"This was the first year I've coached that we did not have a player average double figures," Weakley said. "We really relied on good defense and it really was kind of a team effort."
Condon leads a group of expected returnees that should include junior starting forward Seth Weygandt, sophomore forwards Johnny Wordlaw and John Routzahn and freshman guard Brian Fields.
Morris had 12 points and Condon had 11 to lead the Warriors against Versailles.
"We've got a lot of great underclassmen coming back," Condon said. "We definitely all need to hit the weight room and I think definitely the key is going to be defense again because we're going to be undersized."
"We had some seniors who stepped up, particularly A.C. Taylor," Weakley said. "The senior class of guys we'll have next year will have Seth Weygandt and Sam Condon, and we'll also have Johnny Wordlaw, John Routzahn and Brian Fields coming back. We've got a group of talented guys for next year."