With limited experience heading into this season, the Worthington Christian High School boys basketball team's focus has been about the process rather than results.
Entering its game Jan. 9 against Centerburg, the defending Division III district champion Warriors were just 3-7 overall.
There have been some positive moments to build on, though, such as when they beat London 56-34 on Jan. 4 to improve to 1-3 in the MSL-Ohio Division.
"Until we get to the point where we're playing for 32 minutes, (doing so is) the most important thing," coach Kevin Weakley said. "You have to have that first before you can think about the Xs and Os. Our guys think they're playing hard, but they need to play even harder. Our players outside of Kyle Smith are learning how to play at the varsity level."
Smith, a 6-foot-5 senior forward who was named honorable mention all-district a year ago, is the only returning starter and was averaging 11 points through 10 games.
Senior forward Collin Kimbrough, who saw limited action last season, was averaging 10 points and sophomore forward Nakimba Mullins was averaging nine.
Freshman guard Tyler Kindberg also has been a key contributor for the Warriors, who wrap up the first round of league play Friday, Jan. 12, at Bexley.
"Every time we're in the game, it's a new learning experience for us," Weakley said. "Collin just needs to become more consistent. His scoring seems to coincide with really getting after it on both sides of the floor, so we're trying to focus on just really getting after it. All the other things will fall into place."
Bowling teams out to strong starts
The boys and girls bowling teams each should face one of their toughest opponents to date when they compete against Whetstone on Thursday, Jan. 11, at HP Lanes.
Before a match against St. Charles on Jan. 10, the boys team was 5-1 overall and 3-1 in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-C Division and the girls were 6-1 overall and 4-0 in the league.
Whetstone's girls team was 8-0 overall and first in the COHSBC-C at 4-0 before facing Briggs on Jan. 9 and the Braves' boys team is 7-1 overall and 5-0 in the league.
Through seven matches, Coral Varian led the girls team with a 157.5 game average, followed by Amber Ralston (157.2), Alyssa Weishaar (157.0), Natalie Opava (139.8) and Emily Weishaar (139.0).
"I'm very impressed," coach Matt Hamilton said. "A lot of the girls have stepped up and looked amazing. Some of the younger ones are coming along well."
Seth Parsell led the boys team through eight matches with a 209.8 average, followed by Caleb Slagle (177.2), Barrett Bowen (167.5) and Garrett Rowda (155.8).
Girls team seeking to play better defense
After closing the 2017 portion of its schedule with victories over Whitehall (47-6 on Dec. 23) and Liberty Union (50-31 on Dec. 30), the girls basketball team lost by double digits in its first two games of the new year.
According to coach Tammi Evans, the Warriors are focusing on defense and fundamentals in the second half of the season.
"We know that great teams develop the discipline of being exceptional in these two areas of the game," Evans said. "The girls are playing hard and are very coachable. We're ... adjusting to fit our personnel's strength. (Being) balanced in stats can be difficult to defend."
The Warriors were 4-6 overall before playing Mount Vernon on Jan. 9 and are 2-3 in the MSL-Ohio heading into their matchup Saturday, Jan. 13, at home against Grandview.
Although Worthington Christian returned two seniors who were second-team all-league last season in guard Alex Evans and post player Emma Linehan, freshman guard Kat Weakley has emerged as a key offensive player.
Weakley was averaging 12 points through 10 games, followed by Evans (8.0) and Linehan (7.0). Evans and senior guard Emily Hall both were averaging two assists and Linehan and junior wing player CeCi Dalton both were averaging six rebounds.
Below are the coming schedules for the Worthington Christian boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling and swimming & diving teams:
*Jan. 12 -- At Bexley
Jan. 15 -- At Grove City Christian
*Jan. 13 -- At Grandview. The Warriors lost to the Bobcats 40-34 on Dec. 2.
Jan. 16 -- Home vs. Wellington
*Jan. 11 -- Whetstone at HP Lanes
Jan. 15 -- Pioneer Classic at Westgate Entertainment Center in Lima
*Jan. 16 -- Columbus West at HP Lanes
SWIMMING & DIVING
Jan. 13 -- Central Ohio Splash Invitational at Thomas Worthington