The schedule for the Grandview Heights High School girls basketball team is getting a little hectic.

The schedule for the Grandview Heights High School girls basketball team is getting a little hectic.

The final three weeks of the regular season look more like a baseball schedule, with nine games in a span of 19 days. That certainly wasn't what coach Steve Hall had envisioned when he made the schedule last spring, but three postponements between Dec. 30 and Jan. 16 have forced the Bobcats into a tough situation stretch.

"The tough part now is that we don't really have many teaching days," Hall said Jan. 20 after the Bobcats lost to Harvest Prep 51-45. "When you're a basketball coach, you're also a teacher of the game. So most of our prep time now is going to be focused on who we're playing next."

Starting with a game today at Worthington Christian, which was originally scheduled Dec. 30, the Bobcats have five games in the next 10 days. They won't get a break of more than three days until after a Feb. 7 home game against West Jefferson. After today's game, Grandview will play host Friday to Fisher Catholic and will play Tuesday at Liberty Union and Feb. 5 at Berne Union.

So far, the Bobcats have reacted well to the busy schedule. After a 14-day break, Grandview hung with Harvest Prep, which was ranked fourth in Division IV in the state poll released Jan. 21. In that game, Grandview led 40-39 with seven minutes left.

Grandview then dismantled Millersport 70-14 on Jan. 22 and cruised past Licking Heights 58-35 on Jan. 6. After losing to Bloom-Carroll 46-41 last Monday, the Bobcats were 7-7 overall. They are fourth in the MSL-Cardinal Division at 5-4, behind Harvest Prep (10-0), West Jefferson (7-2) and Liberty Union (7-3).

Hall said a big reason the Bobcats were able to play so well against Harvest Prep was their improved health. The Warriors won the first meeting 59-31 on Dec. 6, but Bobcats guard Hilary Ells was out with an ankle injury and center Paige Lachey was less than 100 percent because of an illness.

Ells has been effective since her return, averaging 7.3 points in the previous four games before last Monday. Lachey has been a catalyst all season.

"We count on Paige to do so much," Hall said. "I know she only had five points (against Harvest Prep), but she breaks the press for us and gives us an outlet on the offensive end when we're being trapped. She plays good defense and rebounds the heck out of the ball.

Those things you don't always see in the box score, but when you take her out of our lineup, it requires other people to fill her shoes."
•With the bowling team nearing the end of its regular-season schedule, coach Paula Frank likes the progress the Bobcats have made the past two months.
"We haven't had a lot of wins, but I feel like that we have grown individually with our averages and scores," Frank said. "We've got a lot of new bowlers, and they're definitely showing some promise."

The boys team lost to DeSales 2,016-1,670 last Monday to drop to 2-9 entering matches last Tuesday against Mifflin and last Wednesday agains Westerville South. The girls team was 2-8.

The Bobcats will finish with matches Friday at Sawmill Lanes against Olentangy Liberty, Tuesday at Sawmill against Dublin Coffman, Wednesday at Rainbow Lanes against Africentric and Feb. 5 at Sawmill against Watterson.

Frank said the next hurdle for her younger bowlers will be handling the pressure of competition, which has forced some competitors back into bad habits and away from the technique they've developed in practice.

"Especially during competition, when things are a little more tense than just during practice, we're working on how to keep your composure," Frank said. "That's when things can really get hairy for them. They get excited and, all of a sudden, it gets hard to concentrate."

For the boys team, Mic Martina has been the team's most consistent bowler, averaging a 166 before last Monday. Freshman Sam Thomas has been a pleasant surprise, averaging 141, followed by Drake Trares (138). Van Miller was fourth at 134, but his status is uncertain after breaking his wrist outside of competition last week. Bert Bland and Casey Martina, who had been splitting time in the fifth spot, likely will fill the final two spots with Miller out.

For the girls, Samantha Meyer led the team with a 125 average, followed by Jessica Frank (124), Tiffani Bauer (113), Kendra Runyon (100) and Michaela Dempsey (95).

The Bobcats will compete in the sectional tournament Feb. 13 at Eastland Lanes. Frank said the odds of Grandview advancing to district as a team aren't particularly high, but she said Mic Martina, Meyer and Frank all are capable of qualifying individually.