It didn't take long for the Delaware Christian School boys basketball team to show that this season could be a lot different from the program's recent past.

It didn't take long for the Delaware Christian School boys basketball team to show that this season could be a lot different from the program's recent past.

The Eagles defeated Madison Christian 72-53 in the opener on Dec. 3 for their first win in the MOCAL since the 2006-07 season. They had lost 35 consecutive league games, including records of 0-10, 0-12 and 0-12 in the previous three seasons.

To prove it wasn't a fluke, the Eagles topped league rival Grove City Christian 66-61 in their next game on Dec. 7. A 62-61 non-league victory over Granville Christian on Dec. 9 gave the Eagles a 3-0 start and their first three-game winning streak since 2006-07.

"The boys were ecstatic," said coach Kevin Quist, whose team was 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the MOCAL before playing Fairfield Christian last Friday and Gilead Christian last Saturday. "We had to try to keep the boys under control and keep their heads level.

"But it is a great thing because nobody is going to give us anything and we're not talented enough to just show up and win. We've got to outwork and outplay our opponents. It's going to be a struggle almost every game."

Last season, just being competitive was a moral victory. That's no longer the case. Winning close contests has infused the Eagles with confidence.

Senior Brandon Carroll scored all 12 of his points in the fourth quarter against Grove City Christian and Ryan Zinn made a pair of layups in the final 26 seconds against Granville Christian.

"Zinn scored on a drive and Hughie Kerins got a steal and passed to Zinn for a layup with 6 seconds left to give us the win against Granville Christian," Quist said. "Carroll was big down the stretch against Grove City (Christian). We've shown we can win close ones."

The Eagles lost to Gahanna Christian 74-66 on Dec. 11 to snap the win streak and lost to Millersport 75-68 last Tuesday.

"Everyone is playing hard and contributing and we're going 10 or 11 deep every game," Quist said. "We did everything but win against Millersport. We were down 13 points with 3 minutes left and cut it to two points with 48 seconds left and we had the ball. The two games we've lost, we've had higher turnover numbers.

"We're outsized almost every game, but as long as we take care of our three issues - defense, rebounding and taking care of the ball - we'll be in good shape."

The Eagles will have time to focus on those and much more, as they will have 16 days off after last Saturday's game before resuming play Jan. 4 against visiting Marion Catholic.

•After a slow start, the girls basketball team was hoping to find its way back.

The Eagles were 2-2 overall and 0-2 in the MOCAL before playing Gilead Christian last Saturday. They will play host to Marion Catholic on Monday before taking their holiday break. They return to play at Fairfield Christian, one of the league favorites, on Jan. 4.

Last Friday's game was expected to be the first for junior guard Haley Kirby. The first-team all-league selection and the team's leading returning scorer was cleared to play last Wednesday after undergoing an appendectomy in the preseason.

The Eagles also likely have lost sophomore guard/forward Brenna McCullough. She played the first two games, despite having her right shoulder pop in and out of place.

"Brenna had an injury a long time ago that apparently has worsened and was never taken care of," coach Jackie Boggs said. "Her shoulder is popping in and out of place more frequently, so she's going through physical therapy. If that doesn't work, she'll need surgery. She'll likely miss her entire sophomore (basketball) season either way."

Kirby, who was a two-year starting point guard, was expected to begin this season at point guard and move to shooting guard as the Eagles developed another point guard. In her absence, freshman Katie Morgan has been the point guard.

"Katie has been a scorer before, but we've worked with her to just concentrate on running the offense and breaking the press," Boggs said. "She has done a fantastic job. So Haley will come back and move directly to shooting guard because she is a natural scorer."

Junior guard Sarah Harp was averaging 16.5 points, 6.5 steals and 3.8 assists through four games. Sophomore post player Jessica Kapraly was averaging 8.8 rebounds.

"Jessica is playing basketball for the first time and has been a terrific addition to the team," Boggs said. "Sarah has been great as a leader, but she's really looking forward to having Haley back in the lineup. Unfortunately, we've lost two league games. But we haven't played the big two yet, Tree of Life or Fairfield. So we've really got to buckle down from here to get back in the race."