Coach Ray Corbett turned over a new leaf to start his 30th season leading the Grandview Heights High School boys basketball team.

Coach Ray Corbett turned over a new leaf to start his 30th season leading the Grandview Heights High School boys basketball team.

Corbett had a pair of freshmen in his starting lineup when the Bobcats opened Dec. 1 at Patriot Prep, something he never had done to begin a season.

The decision paid off as 5-foot-10 freshman guard Brian Collier scored 25 points and was 9-for-9 on free throws to lead the Bobcats past Patriot Prep 70-48.

The other freshman starter, 6-5 forward Luke Lachey, scored six points.

"We are so young," said Corbett, whose team finished 18-7 overall last season and won its first Division III district title since 2009. "I have never started two freshmen before, but they deserved it. They came in and worked their butts off and deserved the start. They made mistakes -- they're freshmen -- but they will get better."

The Bobcats lost to St. Bernard Roger Bacon 85-58 in a regional semifinal last winter after defeating Centerburg 43-40 in a district final. They finished fourth (9-5) in the MSL-Ohio Division behind champion Whitehall (13-1).

Senior guard Breon Backus (10.1 points; second-team all-league, honorable mention all-district) and junior forward James Lachey (4.1 points) are returning starters. Jordan Butler, a 6-6 senior forward, was the top reserve last season, averaging 7.2 points.

The Bobcats also won their second contest, 83-23 over Madison Christian on Dec. 3. Junior guard/forward Justin Johannessen (6-3) led with 24 points and six 3-pointers, and James Lachey (6-3) had 17 points. Backus (6-1) scored 12 points and Butler added nine.

"We have some experienced kids who will lead the way, and the freshmen will be learning on the fly," Corbett said. "The starting lineup will change throughout the season and won't be rock solid for a while. We have to make sure that we can go at least eight deep to be able to run up and down the floor."

Collier said the speed of the game has changed from middle school, but one thing has stayed the same -- working together as a team.

"We started slow (against Patriot Prep), but we got it going," said Collier, whose team trailed 7-0 to start the game and 10-8 after one quarter. "We came out and started playing as a team and that helped a lot."

Eli Hall, a 6-3 junior forward, also has been a starter for the Bobcats.

Rounding out the roster are senior Grant Hartman (6-4, forward) and sophomore guards Aaron Cincione (5-10) and Manny Day (6-0).

"We have good length," Corbett said. "We have a lot of kids who are 6-3 and 6-4 who can rebound and contest shots. Breon is long for a guard and both Justin Johannessen and Jordan Butler are long on the wing. You add the length of Grant Hartman, Eli Hall and Luke Lachey, and we can make it difficult for teams."

The Bobcats open MSL-Ohio play Friday, Dec. 9, at West Jefferson.

Graduation losses include point guard Micah Miller (11.1 points; first-team all-district and all-league) and guard Jake Bush (12.2 points; second-team all-district, first-team all-league).

Wrestling team limited by injuries

Nine athletes will be competing for a wrestling team that has been decimated by injuries and illness.

The Bobcats return sophomore Hudson Jump, who became the program's first freshman to place at state after defeating Gibsonburg's Madison Jaso 4-3 in the seventh-place match at 182 pounds in Division III. He finished the season 41-7.

However, the 195-pound Jump will miss at least three weeks with an illness.

Junior James Ely (220) likely will miss the first six weeks with a shoulder injury, and sophomores Jack Wallace (heavyweight) and Sam Pritchard (120) both will miss the season with knee injuries.

Sophomore Derek Tullis (113) is back after being a district qualifier at 106 last season and finishing 16-18.

"We were hit pretty hard," third-year coach Sam Mehling said. "It's frustrating, but we press on every day. The kids have to push each other to get better every day in practice."

The Bobcats lost four-time state qualifier Brendan Fitzgerald, who was the state runner-up at 138 last season after being edged out by Delta's Dustin Marteney 7-6 in the final.

Fitzgerald, now wrestling at Ohio State, had a career record of 156-21.

Grandview has one senior in first-year competitor Matt Smith (220/heavyweight).

Rounding out the roster are juniors Kyler Baker (145), Joe Kotte (182), Jory Lust-George (132) and Bryce Stanley (152) and freshman Patrick Drury (138).

"We have a big group of juniors who have been with me going into their third year," Mehling said. "They know what I want from them and they have high expectations."

The Bobcats opened Dec. 3 by finishing 10th (52) in the 11-team Lee Spitzer Golden Bear Invitational behind champion and host Upper Arlington (294.5).

Girls basketball team wins MSL-Ohio opener

The girls basketball team defeated West Jefferson 39-35 in its MSL-Ohio opener Dec. 1 after losing point guard Lauren Collier to a right ankle injury with four minutes left in the third quarter.

The senior scored 12 points before leaving the game.

"I have to give a ton of credit to the doctors and Kate Weale and her training staff at Grandview because they have Lauren on a fast track," coach Brian O'Mara said. "When I saw the discoloration of her ankle, I wasn't sure what to think. But they had her up and moving within 24 hours and there is a strong possibility that she will be back Thursday (Dec. 8, for a league game at Worthington Christian)."

Lizzie Van Deusen scored 14 points to pace the Bobcats, who led 26-18 when Collier was hurt but then allowed West Jefferson to score 10 consecutive points. Van Deusen had a 3-pointer and a layup as part of 6-0 run to end the third and give Grandview a 32-28 lead.

"When Lauren left the game, we had a lot of players step up and make plays for us," said O'Mara, whose team is 2-1 overall. "Lizzie hit some key shots and Emma Hall is only a freshman but was banging the boards and playing hard. I was very pleased with what I saw."

Van Deusen had 22 points to lead the Bobcats past Patriot Prep 37-27 on Dec. 3.

Maria Claypool scored 10 as Grandview lost its opener to Buckeye Valley 38-32 on Nov. 29.

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Schedules

BOYS BASKETBALL

Dec. 1 -- at Patriot Prep

Dec. 3 -- vs. Madison Christian

Dec. 6 -- vs. Northridge

*Dec. 9 -- at West Jefferson

*Dec. 14 -- vs. Worthington Christian

Dec. 17 -- at Watterson

Dec. 23 -- vs. Horizon Science

Dec. 27 -- Centerburg in Bobcat Holiday Classic

Dec. 28 -- Johnstown or Wellington in Bobcat Holiday Classic

*Jan. 6 -- at Whitehall

*Jan. 10 -- vs. Columbus Academy

*Jan. 14 -- vs. Bexley

*Jan. 20 -- at London

*Jan. 24 -- vs. West Jefferson

*Jan. 28 -- at Worthington Christian

Jan. 31 -- at Galion Northmor

*Feb. 7 -- vs. Whitehall

*Feb. 11 -- at Columbus Academy

*Feb. 14 -- at Bexley

*Feb. 17 -- vs. London

Feb. 21 -- vs. Gahanna Christian

WRESTLING

Dec. 3 -- Upper Arlington Lee Spitzer Invitational

Dec. 8 -- at Thomas Worthington with Hilliard Bradley and Westerville South

Dec. 10 -- Westland Joe Stora Invitational

Dec. 17 -- New Albany Eagle Invitational

Jan. 5 -- at Columbus Academy with Africentric

Jan. 7 -- Grandview Heights Invitational

Jan. 20 -- at DeSales

Jan. 27-28 -- Marion Pleasant Sally George Invitational

Feb. 4 -- MSL-Ohio tournament at London

Feb. 8 -- Columbus Academy quad

Feb. 15 -- West Jefferson tri-meet

Feb. 18 -- St. Charles Nye Cardinal Classic

*League contest

Below are the coming schedules for the Grandview Heights girls basketball, bowling and swimming & diving teams:

GIRLS BASKETBALL

*Dec. 8 -- At Worthington Christian

Dec. 13 -- At Fairbanks

BOWLING

Dec. 10 -- Holiday Baker Marathon at Columbus Square Bowling Palace

*Dec. 12 -- Columbus International at Sequoia Lanes

*Dec. 13 -- DeSales at Sawmill Lanes

SWIMMING & DIVING

Dec. 10 -- Wellington Jaguar Invitational at Columbus Aquatics Center

Dec. 12 -- Wellington at Columbus Aquatics Center

*League contest