Skylar Fleak's confidence has grown as the season has progressed, and so has her offensive production.

Skylar Fleak's confidence has grown as the season has progressed, and so has her offensive production.

The 6-foot sophomore post player for the Big Walnut High School girls basketball team averaged 3.1 points through 11 games, with her highest point total being 10 in a 65-12 win over Franklin Heights on Dec. 2.

Over the next four games, however, Fleak scored in doubles figures three times and averaged 13.3 points. She had a career-high 18 points in a 68-30 win over Franklin Heights on Jan. 13, scored 11 in a 38-22 win over Marion Harding on Jan. 16 and scored 16 in a 58-44 win over Watkins Memorial on Jan. 19.

"I've gotten a lot more comfortable and confident and I've worked on my post moves," Fleak said. "But also my teammates have been good about getting the ball to me inside. We're trying to get more up-close shots, get as close as we can to the basket."

Through 15 games, Fleak was averaging 5.8 points, ranking fourth on the team in scoring average behind junior forward Emily Chucta (8.7), senior forward Megan Walters (7.6) and senior guard Kayleigh Hammond (7.2).

"She's always been very active around the boards and she's now figuring out how to score," coach Bob Scott said of Fleak, who is in her first full varsity season. "She's been coming on a little bit. She's only a sophomore, and sometimes it takes a little bit of time for a young player to become comfortable and gain confidence.

"As she matures and gets stronger, I think there's only one direction she can go."

Fleak led the Golden Eagles with eight points in a 46-25 loss to Olentangy Orange in an OCC-Capital Division game Jan. 24. According to Scott, she also had 14 rebounds and four blocks as Big Walnut's four-game winning streak was snapped.

"We were playing the seventh-ranked team in the state in Division I and they beat us by 21 points, which wasn't totally unexpected," said Scott, whose team lost 51-20 to Orange on Dec. 9 in the first round of league play. "But I thought we played pretty well. We were only down six points at one point in the third quarter.

"Confidence is a huge thing, and by and large, the last six, seven or eight games, our whole team has been playing with more confidence."

The Eagles' confidence may be boosted further by the anticipated return of Chucta, who has been sidelined since dislocating her left kneecap during the third game of the season, a 49-39 loss to Watkins Memorial on Dec. 6.

On Jan. 25, Chucta participated in her first team practice since being injured. According to Scott, if she did not return to the lineup against Hilliard Bradley on Jan. 27, she is expected to do so Tuesday, Jan. 31, at home against Horizon Science Academy.

"She's a really good post (player)," Fleak said of Chucta. "We're really excited for her to come back."

•Jason Griffith of the wrestling team was having what coach Luke Moore said was the best season of his high school career.

However, the senior's season - as well as his prep career - came to a premature end when he was injured during his final match in the Marion County Invitational, which was held Jan. 13 and 14 at Marion Elgin.

Moore declined to divulge the injury Griffith sustained, but said he would not compete again this season.

"It's too bad because he was wrestling really well," Moore said. "He was having a great season."

According to Moore, the injury occurred during the fourth-place match at heavyweight at Elgin. Griffith lost the match, finishing 4-2 in the meet and 20-4 on the season.

Griffith finishes his prep career with 93 victories. He was a Division II district qualifier in 2010 and finished 35-7 last season but failed to advance out of the Licking Heights sectional.

"(Losing Griffith) is a big blow to our team," Moore said. "He had a lot of success the last four years and was a big leader on our team. He was just seven wins shy of 100, and (getting 100 wins) was one of the goals he had set for himself."

Moore remains optimistic that junior Anthony Roberto (138 pounds) and sophomore Logan Crum (126) will return from injuries in time for the sectional Feb. 18 at home.

Roberto has been sidelined since early in the season with a back injury and Crum, a district qualifier last season at 112, suffered a broken nose during a match in the Marion Harding Classic, which was held Dec. 28 and 29.

"Anthony Roberto is still nursing a bad back. We're hoping to get him back for sectionals," Moore said. "Logan Crum broke his nose at Marion Harding and it ended up being displaced, so it's a wait-and-see process. He may end up needing reconstructive surgery. If he does, then we probably won't see him again on the mat (this season)."

In addition to missing Griffith, Roberto and Crum, Big Walnut does not have anyone to compete in the 113 and 132 weight classes. In a 54-16 loss to Bradley in an OCC-Capital meet Jan. 19, the Eagles had to forfeit six of the 14 weight classes.

"That makes it hard to win dual meets because it takes seven wins to win a dual meet," Moore said. "We're going to have to win some matches that we're not supposed to win to win dual meets, so right now we're focusing on meeting individual goals."

Entering a league dual against Delaware Hayes on Jan. 26, the Eagles had seven wrestlers with at least 10 wins, including Griffith. The others were seniors Aaron Gase (152, 23-5), Gene Hogg (220, 13-11) and Tyler Schenz (145, 23-7), junior C.J. Harness (160, 10-9), sophomore Alex Eisnnicher (170, 11-7) and freshman Donny Didion (106, 22-9).

"The guys are working hard," Moore said. "I'm proud of them. We're about at the point where we're going to peak."