Grove City Christian School girls basketball coach Mindy Bankey said her team showed promise in a season of "ups and downs."
The Eagles finished 6-17 overall with a 44-31 loss at fifth-seeded Granville Christian in the second round of the Division IV district tournament Feb. 21. Both teams had a first-round bye.
The Eagles, who were seeded 13th of 18 teams, trailed just 9-6 after one quarter but were outscored 11-2 in the second quarter. They fell behind by as many as 23 points in the fourth before trimming the deficit to 13.
"They never give up," Bankey said. "I'm very proud of them, especially for the seniors. It's hard to see them go because they've worked hard and we've had ups and downs, but yet they continued to persevere and they kept coming in with the right attitude and kept encouraging everybody all along."
Junior guard/forward Naomi Cotter led Grove City Christian with 13 points. She averaged a team-high 10 points and seven rebounds and was named first-team all-MSL-Cardinal Division.
Sophomore forward/guard Madeline Lewis averaged six points, three steals and three blocked shots and was honorable mention all-league.
Forward Jessalyn Hoyt led a three-member senior class, averaging a team-best nine rebounds.
Grove City Christian played without sophomore forward Sophia Hoyt for most of the second half of the season after she suffered a broken wrist during the Parkway Holiday Invitational in late December. She returned against Granville Christian and scored two points.
Other players eligible to return include sophomore guards Natalie Bankey, Madeline Bliss, Sarah Frye and Juliana Hunt and freshmen Olivia Carson (guard) and Tara Johnson (forward).
"The fortunate thing is we're young," Bankey said. "When you look at the depth of our bench, the majority are sophomores. Naomi is going to be the only senior next year. ... If they work hard this summer, we're going to surprise a number of teams next year. There's good chemistry. It's just a matter of not giving up on themselves."
Grove City Christian went 3-11 in the MSL-Cardinal to finish sixth behind Fairfield Christian (14-0), Berne Union (12-2), Wellington (9-5), Zanesville Rosecrans (9-5) and Fisher Catholic (6-8) and ahead of Harvest Prep (2-12) and Millersport (1-13).
Boys basketball team opens postseason
The sixth-seeded boys basketball team was 8-14 before playing fourth-seeded Shekinah Christian in the second round of the Division IV district tournament Feb. 27.
The winner plays fifth-seeded Tree of Life or eighth-seeded Northside Christian in the third round Friday, March 2 at the home of the better seed, with the winner playing second-seeded Danville, 11th-seeded Millersport, 12th-seeded Delaware Christian, 15th-seeded Morral Ridgedale or 17th-seeded Patriot Prep in a semifinal Wednesday, March 7, at a neutral site to be determined.
The district final is March 10 at Ohio Dominican.
The Eagles defeated Millersport 58-40 on Jan. 18 and 77-39 on Feb. 16 in MSL-Cardinal contests. They lost to Danville 65-47 on Feb. 10.
Swimmer competes at sectional meet
Sophomore swimmer Maggie Isner closed the season by competing in a Division II sectional meet Feb. 10 at Upper Arlington.
She finished first in the 500-yard freestyle (7 minutes, .82 of a second) and third in the 100 butterfly (1:21.65).
Isner accounted for the Eagles' 28 points, as they finished third of three teams behind Grandview (406) and Wellington (243).
The Eagles featured two other swimmers, seniors Jaiden Whittredge and Martina Baruffaldi.
Whittredge and Baruffaldi, an exchange student from Italy, missed the sectional meet because of illnesses. Whittredge qualified for district the previous two seasons.
The Eagles finished 11th (18 points) in the 14-team MSL meet Jan. 27 behind champion and host Columbus Academy (342).
@ThisWeekFrankAt a glance
*Record: 6-17 overall, 3-11 (sixth) in MSL-Cardinal
*Seniors lost: Savanah Carter, Jessalyn Hoyt and Dalina Phomphengchane
*Key returnees: Naomi Cotter, Sophia Hoyt and Madeline Lewis
*Finishes: 11th in MSL; third at sectional
*Seniors lost: Martina Baruffaldi and Jaiden Whittredge
*Key returnee: Maggie Isner