The Worthington Kilbourne High School gymnastics team has struggled with injuries this season and, with the OCC-Cardinal Division meet set for Saturday, Feb. 10, at Hilliard Davidson, illness also has been an issue lately.
"We've had a few injuries and a lot of illness, so we are hoping to just field a full team on each event in the league meet," coach Cindy Fushimi said.
The good news, according to Fushimi, is that many younger girls have gained experience since the start of the season.
"I have been really pleased with our progress this year," Fushimi said. "Many of the younger girls have stepped up into positions that they may not have thought they were ready for, and they've done a great job. They have been receptive to adding harder skills to their routines in hopes of scoring higher for the team."
The biggest loss to injury was sophomore Abby Deitrick, who suffered a fractured tibia over winter break and is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
Last season, Deitrick was a state alternate on uneven bars after finishing 10th (8.45) in the district meet, and ended up competing at state because of an injury to another gymnast and scored a 7.55 to place 34th.
In last year's league meet, Deitrick finished sixth in the all-around (32.75), second on balance beam (8.875) and fourth on both floor exercise (8.9) and vault (8.5). She scored a 6.475 on bars.
"With Abby lost, our top all-arounder is Emily Mosic," Fushimi said. "She is a freshman and her best events are vault and beam.
"As a team, floor has been our most consistent event. Bars and beam have been a bit of a struggle. Bars requires a great deal of strength and it takes the most time to gain skills on. Beam is just a lack of confidence and we have been trying to work on that."
In last year's league meet, the Wolves finished third (126.5) behind Hilliard Bradley (133.95) and Hilliard Darby (128.3) and ahead of Dublin Jerome (121.625), Delaware (118.6), Thomas (117.9) and Dublin Scioto (55.4). Bethany Lange, a 2017 Kilbourne graduate, shared the all-around title with Bradley's Greta Planck.
Among those who have filled in throughout the season are seniors Tania Craig and Marissa Giordano, juniors Jenaiya Burrell and Nuriza Kochkonbaeva, sophomore Trinity Leo and freshmen Sophie Baker, Sophie Seculov and Mackenzie Stevens.
Leo finished 13th in the league in the all-around (29.975) last season.
"Marissa has really made improvements this year," Fushimi said. "As a senior, she made a huge effort to add harder skills to her routines. I love seeing that drive and determination from seniors. They realize this is their last chance to ever do gymnastics and they make the most of it and challenge themselves."
Boys basketball team riding momentum
Junior guard Zach Wilson scored 38 points and the boys basketball team continued to ride its second-half momentum by beating host Scioto 70-51 on Feb. 2.
It was the Wolves' third win in a row and sixth in eight games after opening the season 1-10.
Wilson did most of his damage at the foul line, where he made a program-record 24 free throws on 29 attempts. According to the Ohio High School Athletic Association, 24 is the sixth-highest total of made free throws in a game in state history.
Wilson's point total against Scioto ranks third in program history. The Wolves' record is 43, set by Kyle Vanetta in 2001.
"I am very proud of Zach stepping to the free-throw line and continually knocking them down after being fouled," said coach Tom Souder, whose team was 7-12 overall and 5-5 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing at Delaware on Feb. 6. "I loved his focus and I love the team's focus right now.
"We are just continuing to work and focus on the process. The team is getting the fact that hard work and being a great teammate are essential to having success."
Jake Hirschy and Gavin Baker added 11 and eight points, respectively, against Scioto.
Girls basketball team topples Irish
The girls basketball team upset visiting Scioto 53-50 on Feb. 2 behind a strong performance at the foul line.
Kilbourne made 20 of 28 free-throw attempts, including 11 of 16 in the fourth quarter.
It was just the second league loss for Scioto, which was 7-2 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing league-leading Thomas (9-1) on Feb. 6.
Julia Taylor led the Wolves with 14 points. Maggie Crozier scored 12, Amya Harris scored 10 and Morgan Schutte added seven.
Kilbourne, which lost to Hilliard Davidson 52-40 on Jan. 30, was 6-15 overall and 3-8 in the league before closing the regular season Feb. 6 at home against Delaware.
The Wolves are seeded 37th of 50 teams in the Division I district tournament and will play at 20th-seeded Lancaster in the first round Feb. 17.
Below are the coming schedules for the Kilbourne boys basketball, gymnastics and swimming & diving teams:
Feb. 9 -- At Watterson
Feb. 10 -- OCC-Cardinal meet at Hilliard Davidson
Feb. 14 -- Home vs. Westerville Central and Olentangy
SWIMMING & DIVING
Feb. 10 -- Division I sectional at Thomas. Winner of each swimming event automatically advances to district meet Feb. 17 at Ohio University. In addition, 27 at-large district berths will be awarded in each event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectional sites. There is no diving at sectional.