The Central Crossing High School girls basketball team is looking to maintain its status as the best of the four South-Western City Schools teams.

The Central Crossing High School girls basketball team is looking to maintain its status as the best of the four South-Western City Schools teams.

The Comets had the most experience returning last season and proved it was a step ahead by beating Franklin Heights, Grove City and Westland (twice) to finish 4-0 against SWCS opponents.

At practice on Nov. 18, senior Beth Ward and junior Olivia Davis answered with a resounding "yes" when asked about repeating as SWCS champions.

According to coach Neil Hohman, the Comets are poised to improve on last season's accomplishments.

"So far things have been going pretty well for us" said Hohman, whose team was 8-13 overall and 5-9 in the OCC-Central Division last year. "We're feeling pretty good about where we are from where we were last year."

The team's chemistry continues to improve and one reason is Hohman is entering his second season with the Comets. It is the first time Ward and senior Allissa Turkovich have been with the same coach for two years.

Those two were on a team coached by Tracey Galloway in 2007-08 and by Sarah Chevalier the following season.

Hohman brings back a style of play that relies on pushing the ball on offense and physical defense in the post.

"I've been through three sets of coaches and with this year being consistent, it's really helped a lot," Ward said.

Davis, Ward and sophomore Jalynn Graham are all returning starters. Davis and Ward are post players and Graham is a guard. The big loss was guard Ganea Pleasant, who was the Comets' top scorer for two seasons before graduating. She averaged 13.7 points last year.

Also on the team are senior Lindsey Carmean, juniors Jordan Huth, Kourtney Inks and Lacy Patrick, and sophomores Jasmin Clark, Brittany Conner, Javon Graham and Regina Lewis.

Carmean was a key player under Chevalier, but transferred to London when the SWCS levy failure canceled fall sports in 2009. She returned to play for the softball team last spring.

Central Crossing expects to benefit from going through an offseason together after not being able to do so last year. The Comets weren't allowed to practice last season until the levy passed on Nov. 4, 2009.

This past summer, the Comets competed in a summer league at Hilliard Darby and two other tournaments.

"Last year we had to get to know the other girls," Davis said. "Once we were playing together, we got connected more. This year I feel we're a lot more connected. We're more of a family."

Central Crossing was sixth in the OCC-Central last season, behind Upper Arlington (13-1), Hilliard Davidson (10-4), Dublin Coffman (10-4), Thomas Worthington (8-6) and Hilliard Darby (8-6). The Comets finished ahead of Worthington Kilbourne (2-12) and Westland (0-14).

To become the top team in SWCS, Central Crossing beat Grove City 50-33 and Franklin Heights 71-29. The Comets beat Westland 59-30 in the first meeting and 73-43 the second time.

is one of three returning starters for the Comets, who open Tuesday at Pickerington Central.

Schedule

Nov. 30 at Pickerington Central

*Dec. 3 at Westland

*Dec. 7 vs. Dublin Coffman

*Dec. 10 at Hilliard Darby

Dec. 13 at Westerville North

*Dec. 17 at Hilliard Davidson

Dec. 18 vs. Grove City

*Dec. 21 vs. Upper Arlington

Dec. 30 at Hilliard Bradley

*Jan. 4 vs. Worthington Kilbourne

*Jan. 7 at Thomas Worthington

Jan. 8 vs. Franklin Heights

*Jan 14 vs. Westland

*Jan. 21 at Dublin Coffman

*Jan. 25 vs. Hilliard Darby

*Jan. 28 vs. Hilliard Davidson

Jan. 31 vs. Mifflin

*Feb. 4 at Upper Arlington

*Feb. 8 at Worthington Kilbourne

*Feb. 11 vs. Thomas Worthington

*OCC-Central game