In the locker room after the Central Crossing High School boys basketball team defeated Briggs 71-50 on Jan. 3, coach Neil Hohman called Keason Lowe in front of his teammates.
The 5-foot-9 senior had just led the Comets with 16 points and three 3-pointers to start a 10-game January schedule with a victory. It's what Hohman has come to expect from his three-year starter at point guard.
"Keason played great against Briggs, especially in the second half," said Hohman, whose team was 4-6 overall before playing Groveport on Jan. 9 and is 0-4 in the OCC-Central Division. "After the game, I brought him in front of the team and told them that this is what senior leadership looks like. We were tied (at 29) at half, but Keason hit two 3s right away (in the third quarter) and the team used that momentum to take off and roll with it."
Through 10 games, Lowe was averaging 8.1 points and team highs in assists (3.2) and steals (1.3). Last season, he was honorable mention all-league after averaging 7.2 points, 3.6 assists and 1.4 steals.
"The strongest part of my game is getting people open to make plays," Lowe said. "I drive in the lane and draw defenders in there, then kick it back out to the open guy. I look for the smartest play to get someone open and if no one is open, then I look for (my shot) second."
However, whether it's a standout performance like in the game against Briggs or a frustrating two-point output in a 61-38 league loss to Dublin Coffman on Jan. 5, Hohman said Lowe's demeanor doesn't change.
"Keason has been the point guard for three straight years and he just loves playing basketball," Hohman said. "Any time we have a basketball activity, he's here ready to go and to be a good leader for us.
"He's a great leader even though he's not the most vocal guy. He controls the ball well, but his calm demeanor helps everyone around him. He doesn't get too high or too low. He just stays even-keeled all the time."
Lowe believes keeping his teammates in the game and ready to play is one of the primary roles of a point guard. The five players on the court have to be working in tandem and fulfilling their roles on the court.
"I think what makes a good point guard is leading the floor and getting everyone into the offense and getting them where they need to be," he said. "A point guard helps back up any slipups. We're like a coach on the floor.
"You have to keep the team (spirits) up even when things are not going well. I tell them that they have to get back on defense and make a stop. If we don't make a bucket, we need to get a stop so we can get another chance (in the offensive end)."
Lowe wasn't sure if he was ready for varsity when he started in his sophomore season, but over time he has gained the confidence to become successful.
"When I walked on the court as a sophomore, everyone was 6-4 or 6-5 and they were older and huge," Lowe said. "I just tried to sneak in there and make plays when I could. This year, I have a lot more confidence."
Hohman said that confidence is apparent, especially with performances like the one against Briggs.
"He's not hesitant to shoot some 3s and he was (hesitant) when he started as a sophomore. He's not afraid to shoot when he's open now," Hohman said. "Also, as a senior, I have given him some free rein a little bit to call some plays and do some things defensively. I allow him to take some ownership and lead the team in that aspect. He's a good kid who does things he's supposed to do and you would like to have a ton of kids like him."
Girls basketball team loses six in a row
After winning four of its first seven contests, the girls basketball team had lost six consecutive games before playing Groveport on Jan. 9.
The Comets were 4-9 overall and hadn't won since Dec. 11, 60-13 over Franklin Heights.
Central Crossing will get a chance for its second OCC-Central victory Friday, Jan. 12, at home against Westland. Haley Cox had 21 points, Sam Poor scored 20 and Kennedy Edwards added 12 to help defeat the Cougars 74-62 in the first meeting Dec. 5.
The Comets lost to Coffman 83-27 on Jan. 5 to go 1-4 in the first round of league play. Cox led with 10 points.
Wrestlers finish fourth at Marion Harding
Jaden Mattox led the wrestling team in the 32-team Marion Harding Classic on Dec. 29 and 30, winning the 160-pound weight class.
The Comets finished fourth (124 points) behind Dublin Scioto (166), Thornville Sheridan (151) and Harrod Allen East (136.5).
Mason Morris (170) and Noah Ross (106) both placed second, Hudson Leapley (120) was fifth and Omari Green (heavyweight) finished sixth.
Below are the coming schedules for the Central Crossing boys basketball, girls basketball, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Jan. 12 -- At Westland
Jan. 13 -- Home vs. Hamilton Township
*Jan. 12 -- Home vs. Westland. The Comets defeated the Cougars 74-62 on Dec. 5.
Jan. 16 -- Home vs. London
SWIMMING & DIVING
Jan. 13 -- Teays Valley Invitational at Pickaway County YMCA
*Jan. 11 -- At Dublin Coffman
Jan. 12-13 -- Mike Casey-Maumee Bay Classic at Oregon Clay