Of the five players who scored for the Gahanna Lincoln High School girls bowling team in the Division I district tournament last season, four are back.

Of the five players who scored for the Gahanna Lincoln High School girls bowling team in the Division I district tournament last season, four are back.

The boys team also has an experienced look as five of its top seven players have returned.

"With my girls team, I basically only have a few new girls and I only have one senior," fourth-year coach Kelly Ferguson said. "They're looking good so far.

"With my boys, I have five seniors. Two of the seniors are new, but they've bowled for a long time. I'm excited about the team."

The girls team finished 14th in the 20-team district tournament last season. Returning are senior Emily Klopfer, junior Breanna White and sophomores Delaney Ferguson, Shannon Gonzales, Breann McKnight and Olivia Michael.

Ferguson, McKnight, Michael and White all scored at district, with White finishing 51st (464) and McKnight placing 54th (457). The team's top scorer at district, Samantha Toale (37th, 485), was lost to graduation.

Sophomore Lauren Teutsch and freshman Taylor Burns also are looking to contribute.

The girls were 3-0 overall and in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-North Division after beating Olentangy 2,173-1,848 on Dec. 10 and Olentangy Orange 1,991-1,844 on Dec. 11.

Last season, the Lions tied Orange for third (8-3) in the COHSBC-North behind Westerville South (11-0) and Westerville Central (9-2).

Cris Ferrante and Jake McKnight are helping to coach the boys team.

The top returnees are seniors Tim Mathews, Jason McCann and Austin McKnight and sophomores Sal Ferrante and Julian Nitsch.

Also contributing are seniors Wesley Michael and Nick Vernon, juniors Tommy Bray and Kolton Ebright and sophomore Alex Minzler.

The boys were 3-0 overall and in the COHSBC-North after beating Olentangy 2,130-2,121 and Orange 1,931-1,796.

Girls basketball team still out to hit stride

On Dec. 8 in an OCC-Ohio contest at Reynoldsburg, the girls basketball team led 20-6 early in the second quarter.

The Lions then couldn't seem to find the bottom of the basket, making just three shots from the floor in the second half and losing 47-39.

It was an example of some of the inconsistencies Gahanna has endured so far.

The Lions then lost to Newark 58-30 on Dec. 11 to fall to 3-4 overall and 1-3 in the OCC-Ohio.

"I'd like to see us continue to pass the basketball better," coach Rick Hauser said. "We've got some players who need to be a little more active taking it to the rim."

One player Hauser expects to settle into a consistent comfort zone is junior guard Sam Jenkins.

She scored 21 points in a 59-48 win over Springfield Kenton Ridge on Nov. 22 and 19 in a 56-45 loss to Pickerington Central on Nov. 27, but then averaged just 7.8 points over the next four games.

Gahanna has two more league games before the end of the 2015 portion of its schedule: Friday, Dec. 18, at home against Lancaster and Tuesday, Dec. 22, at Grove City.

The Lions also play Dec. 19 at Eastmoor Academy, which won a Division II district championship and its first City League title last season.

Girls soccer team seeking coach

The girls soccer program is looking for a new coach after Natasha Churches didn't have her contract renewed for next season.

In three seasons under Churches, the Lions went 30-17-6 overall, including 11-4-3 this fall.

"It was a very difficult decision that was made looking at the big picture," athletics director Dustin Cullen said. "We are looking for people who are professional, who are leaders and role models. I felt like the girls soccer program needed a change. Coach Churches did a great job the last three years putting a winning product on the field.

"There were a lot of factors. It was not a knee-jerk reaction, just a combination of things throughout the season."

Gahanna went 5-10-2 in Churches' first season in 2013 but improved to 14-3-1 and tied for second (5-2) in the OCC-Ohio behind Pickerington Central (7-0) in 2014.

This fall, the Lions tied for second (5-1-1) in the league behind Pickerington North (6-0-1). They were seeded fifth for the Division I district tournament and lost to fourth-seeded Thomas Worthington 2-1 in a district semifinal.

Gahanna lost in a first-round tournament game in 2013 and in a district semifinal in 2014.

Churches, who is a teacher at the school, was disappointed in the decision.

"I am beside myself," she said. "I've been so great for that program."