The past few months have included a few highs, along with some emotional moments, for Anisja Harris.
After averaging 12.5 points and making first-team all-OCC-Buckeye Division for the Westerville North girls basketball team last season, the 5-foot-9 guard/wing player ended up enrolling at Gahanna Lincoln High School late in the summer because of a family situation.
She's picked up where she left off from an offensive perspective, averaging a team-best 12.6 points for the Lions through seven games.
"I feel like I fit into the team really well," said Harris, a senior. "It's definitely a different style (at Gahanna). The defensive end, there's some stuff I'm not used to, but I'm adjusting to it fine. The plays are run somewhat differently, but I'm adjusting to it. I knew some of the other girls on the team (from AAU) so that's helped."
Harris has joined a cast that was expected to be led by junior Madison Hensley and sophomores Edyn Battle and Morgan Darnell. Battle, who averaged 12 points and was first-team all-OCC-Ohio last season, was averaging 12.3 points through seven games.
Hensley (9.3 points) and Darnell (8.6 points) also have been key contributors.
Another sophomore, Kennadi Harris, is a transfer from Reynoldsburg who was averaging 5.7 points through seven games.
Gahanna was 3-4 overall before playing Westerville South on Dec. 19, and the Lions are 0-3 in the OCC-Ohio heading into their game Friday, Dec. 22, at Grove City. The Greyhounds were 2-5 overall before playing Franklin Heights on Dec. 19 and are 0-3 in the league.
Gahanna beat Grove City 42-38 and 58-49 last season.
The Lions bounced back from a 61-52 loss to Reynoldsburg on Dec. 8 by beating Anisja Harris' former team, Westerville North, 46-29 on Dec. 12. But they couldn't hold a 35-18 halftime lead and lost to Pickerington North 55-52 on Dec. 15.
Anisja Harris made four 3-pointers and finished with 26 points in a 73-68 win over Logan on Nov. 29. She had three 3s and 20 points in a 59-53 loss to Pickerington Central on Dec. 5.
She also has battled a minor ankle injury.
"She's fitting in really well on and off the court, which is important," coach Betsy Baker said. "Being in that new system and even playing for a new coach is different. ... She's very (versatile). She's not scared of handling the ball, which definitely helps us all the way down to being a presence inside at times. She's an animal on the boards, so that's something we were concerned about for our team."
Anisja Harris has signed with Wright State, where she'll follow in the footsteps of 2015 Westerville North graduate Symone Simmons, who inspired her to consider the Horizon League program.
Anisja is the oldest of five children. Her father, Maurice Harris, encouraged her to try basketball when she was younger, but she didn't give the sport a full shot until she was in eighth grade.
"I was way behind and (my father) made me train so much," she said. "There were some early mornings but I was really determined to get better. I loved it once I started (playing basketball)."
Boys basketball team making progress
The boys basketball team continues OCC-Ohio action Friday, Dec. 22, at home against Grove City, which was 4-2 overall before playing Franklin Heights on Dec. 19 and is 1-1 in the league.
The teams split last season, with Gahanna losing 72-66 on the road and winning the rematch 76-71 at home.
With a 54-40 loss to Pickerington North on Dec. 15, the Lions are 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the league.
Although Indiana recruit Jerome Hunter did not play for the Panthers, Miami University recruit Eli McNamara had 17 points and 13 rebounds as North outrebounded the Lions 34-22.
Junior guard Josh Corbin averages 15.2 points but was held to five.
Gahanna lost to Westerville South 61-58 on Dec. 1 in its opener but began league play Dec. 8 by beating Reynoldsburg 67-59 as Corbin scored 24, senior guard Chase Rankin had 15 and junior guard Elijah Thomas added 12.
Senior Mike Reeves and sophomore Jaiden Davis have been key players in the post.
The Lions followed with wins over Mifflin (77-56 on Dec. 9) and Whitehall (68-60 on Dec. 12).
"As a coaching staff we're very proud of our guys," coach Tony Staib said. "In game No. 1 against Westerville South, we didn't show much composure and poise. We sort of got rattled. I thought (against Reynoldsburg) it was the polar opposite.
"(We're) just (looking for) continuous improvement on both ends, little by little. When we get three guys (scoring) in double (figures), that's huge."
Wrestlers prep for Medina tourney
The wrestling team should face some of its toughest competition to date when it competes in the Medina Invitational Tournament on Wednesday, Dec. 27, and Dec. 28.
Last season, the Lions finished 42nd (21) of 44 teams behind champion Wadsworth (213).
On Dec. 15 and 16 in the Olentangy Liberty Classic, Gahanna took sixth (97) of 25 teams behind the first-place Liberty Blue (214.5).
Placing in the top six for the Lions were Anthony Swanson (fourth at 106), Cristian Salazar (sixth at 113), Max Wright (sixth at 152), Brian Walthaw (fifth at 170) and Adam Grimard (fifth at 182).
Girls bowling team off to strong start
Before opening OCC-Central action Dec. 19 against Marysville, the girls bowling team was 3-0 overall and in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-A Division.
The Lions beat Big Walnut 2,208-1,843 on Dec. 12 as Shannon Gonzales averaged 203.0, Lilu Smith averaged 196.5, both Briann McKnight and Taylor Burns averaged 175.0 and Delaney Ferguson averaged 172.5.
Then on Dec. 13 in a 2,112-1,647 win over Westerville North, Smith averaged 196.0, Gonzales averaged 191.0 and McKnight (171.5), Burns (167.5) and Ferguson (159.5) rounded out the scoring.
The boys team was 2-1 overall and in the COHSBC-A before facing Marysville.
Both teams face Olentangy on Thursday, Dec. 21, at Delaware Lanes before continuing league action Jan. 4 against Hilliard Davidson at Ten Pin Alley.
Below are the coming schedules for the Gahanna Lincoln boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling, hockey, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Dec. 22 -- Home vs. Grove City
*Dec. 22 -- At Grove City
*Dec. 21 -- Olentangy at Delaware Lanes
*Dec. 22 -- Upper Arlington at Chiller Easton
SWIMMING & DIVING
Dec. 22 -- Lancaster at Lancaster YMCA
Dec. 27-28 -- Medina Invitational