The Big Walnut High School girls basketball team is looking to get a few more bounces as it prepares to face OCC-Capital Division opponents for the second time this season.
In a 42-39 loss to Westerville Central on Jan. 9, the Golden Eagles made just 11 of 53 shots from the field.
"We're getting a lot of quality looks and getting a lot of quality shots up, but the ball hasn't been bouncing our way the last few games in terms of making some baskets," said coach Jason Crawford, whose team was 7-5 overall and 2-3 in the OCC-Capital before playing Groveport on Jan. 12.
Forward Katie Cochran scored 16 points against Central and was averaging just under 14 points through 12 games to lead the Golden Eagles, ahead of guards Avery Schone (9.0) and Erin Boehm (8.0).
Big Walnut was shooting 41 percent from the field through 12 games.
"We've been looking to get that second and even third scorer up in double digits, but for whatever reason, we haven't been shooting the ball all that great from the field," Crawford said.
The Golden Eagles hope to break out of their shooting slump as they look to remain competitive in a league that's been dominated by Newark, which was 11-0 overall and 5-0 in the OCC-Capital before playing Canal Winchester on Jan. 12.
Big Walnut will be looking to avenge a 49-47 overtime loss to Canal Winchester on Dec. 8 when it plays host to the Indians on Friday, Jan. 19, to open the second round of league play. The Golden Eagles missed 21 free-throw attempts in the first matchup.
Big Walnut's next five opponents -- Canal Winchester, Olentangy (Jan. 23), New Albany (Jan. 26), Dublin Scioto (Jan. 30) and Newark (Feb. 1) -- all have winning records.
The difficult schedule only emphasizes the need to quickly solve the shooting woes.
"When we're doing our shooting drills, we've been trying to emphasize game shots at game speed," Crawford said. "We've been missing a lot of shots in the paint, so we've been working on finishing in the paint with contact."
Big Walnut had three players in double figures in a 79-15 victory over Franklin Heights on Jan. 5, as Cochran, Schone and center Abbie Facemyer each scored 10 points.
Eleven players scored for the Golden Eagles, who led the Falcons 52-9 at halftime.
Boys basketball team wants more consistency
While the boys basketball team already has matched last season's victory total, coach Brett Bartlett knows what will be needed in the coming weeks.
"I think our guys are starting to understand that to compete with and play with and have a chance to beat some of the better teams on our schedule that we have to put four quarters of good basketball together," Bartlett said. "We've shown signs ... that we can play with those teams ... but we've got to show up every single night for four quarters."
The Golden Eagles were 4-6 overall and 2-2 in the OCC-Capital before playing Groveport on Jan. 12.
Entering play Jan. 12, Big Walnut was tied with Canal Winchester, Groveport and New Albany for second behind Newark (4-0). Franklin Heights was 0-4.
The Golden Eagles begin the second round of league play Friday, Jan. 19, at home against Canal Winchester, a team Big Walnut defeated 56-50 on Dec. 8 behind 13 points from post player Kegan Hienton and 12 from guard Brody Lawhun.
Through 10 games, guard Jordan Koebel was averaging 11.1 points, followed by Hienton (9.2) and Lawhun (9.1).
Lawhun had 11 points in a 50-36 loss to Westerville Central on Jan. 9.
"We've shown signs that we're a solid basketball team," Bartlett said. "We've dug ourselves a hole against some of the better teams on our schedule. It's really hard for us to score offensively at times, and that makes it even more of a challenge to get back into a game."
Swimmers gaining momentum
The boys swimming and diving team continues to improve times and add victories as it heads into a meet against Gahanna on Friday, Jan. 19, at Gahanna/John E. Bickley YMCA.
The Golden Eagles won the Mount Vernon Small School Invitational on Jan. 6 at Kenyon College, defeating Bloom-Carroll 252-29, Mount Vernon 232-114, Coshocton 249-38 and Hamilton Township 254-6.
Winning were Dominic Carifa in the 200-yard individual medley (2 minutes, 3.87 seconds) and 500 freestyle (5:08.17), Caleb Meade in the 100 free (1:06.07) and 100 breaststroke (1:20.33), C.J. Rockwell in the 50 free (25.17) and 100 free (55:06), Sam Delfino in the 200 free (2:02.95), Stacy Derek in the 200 free (2:26.68), Braden Keck in the 100 backstroke (1:25.12), Cole Wecker in the 50 free (28.63), the 200 free relay of Carifa, Rockwell, Will Hefner and Delfino (1:41.53) and the 400 relay of Carifa, Rockwell, Delfino and John Grumney (3:41.97).
The girls team finished second in the Mount Vernon Small School Invitational, defeating Hamilton Township 166-0, Coshocton 158-42 and Bloom-Carroll 222-102 but losing to Mount Vernon 227-127.
Finishing first were Leksi Murnieks in the 200 free (2:17.46) and Mary Gray in the 100 back (1:46.7).
Big Walnut competed in the Central Ohio Splash Invitational on Jan. 13 at Thomas Worthington.
Mosher to compete in track at Ohio State
Senior Brandon Mosher has committed to compete in track and field at Ohio State.
Last spring, Mosher placed eighth in the shot put (56 feet, 6 inches) as a first-time Division I state qualifier.
Below are the coming schedules for the Big Walnut boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling, gymnastics, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Jan. 19 -- Home vs. Canal Winchester. The Golden Eagles defeated the Indians 56-50 on Dec. 8.
Jan. 20 -- Home vs. Centerburg
*Jan. 19 -- At Canal Winchester. The Golden Eagles lost to the Indians 49-47 on Dec. 8.
Jan. 17 -- Whetstone at Sequoia Pro Bowl
Jan. 19 -- London at Capri Lanes
Jan. 15 -- Olentangy Invitational
SWIMMING & DIVING
Jan. 19 -- Gahanna at Gahanna/John E. Bickley YMCA
*Jan. 18 -- Home vs. Canal Winchester
Jan. 20 -- Ron Thomas Sr. Invitational at Jonathan Alder