Grove City High School boys basketball coach Greg Waits and his staff again have assembled a team that will rely on quickness and pressure defense.

Grove City High School boys basketball coach Greg Waits and his staff again have assembled a team that will rely on quickness and pressure defense.

The players have impressed Waits with their athleticism and work ethic.

"We're going to get after you full court the whole game," said Waits, who is in his 14th season. "I like our attitudes. We have a bunch of good kids. They're fun to be around. They show up and play every day, we work at it. We run. We ask a lot out of them and they clock in and get after it."

The Greyhounds should be led by seniors P.J. Jones (6-foot-1, guard) and Anthony Tyree (6-4, forward). Last season, Jones averaged 10.4 points and was named honorable mention all-league, and Tyree averaged 7.9 points.

"Every year we want to win the OCC, go to (at least a) district (semifinal) and get better every day," Jones said.

The Greyhounds opened by splitting a pair of games in the Grove City Tipoff Classic on Dec. 2 and 3.

Grove City defeated Mifflin 67-60 on Dec. 2 as Tyree scored 17 points, Jones and senior Zach Sammeth (6-3, guard) each scored 15 and senior Matt Burgess (5-11, guard) scored 10.

Sammeth averaged 7.6 points last season.

The Greyhounds lost to Olentangy Liberty 66-54 in the title game Dec. 3 as the Patriots closed the contest on a 12-0 run.

"We played really well for 30 minutes," Waits said. "It was a great game for the first 30 minutes and we just didn't finish it off. The last two minutes we decided that we weren't going to guard and we were going to get back-screened and give up layups. We stopped communicating. This is a good learning experience. It's a long season."

Senior Isiah Dewberry (6-5, guard) scored 20 points and Sammeth added 15.

"We're never happy about second place, but it's early in the season and we can bounce back from it," Jones said.

Other players are senior Bobby Damron (6-2, guard), juniors Nolen Hawkins (6-5, forward), Jason Meggyesy (6-1, guard), Dominic Reinier (6-0, guard), Jared Warner (5-11, guard) and Evan Whitaker (6-6, forward) and sophomore Brandon Beavers (5-11, guard).

Grove City endured a disappointing season a year ago, going 8-15 overall and 3-11 in the OCC-Ohio Division to finish seventh behind co-champions Gahanna and Pickerington Central (12-2).

The Greyhounds, Lions and Tigers remain in the league with Lancaster, Pickerington North and Reynoldsburg. Groveport and Newark have moved to the OCC-Capital.

Grove City begins OCC-Ohio play Friday, Dec. 9, at Lancaster.

"Our league is a top league from top to bottom throughout the whole state, bar none," Waits said.

The Greyhounds lost eight players to graduation, including Sam Saxton, who averaged a team-high 13.5 points last season and was second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district.

Wrestling team starts with strong effort

The wrestling team expects to be led by two returning district qualifiers.

Senior Dane Whittier was 0-2 at district at heavyweight and finished last season 22-15, and junior Tanner Stevens was 0-2 at district at 182.

Stevens is competing at 220 this season.

"This team has dedication," Whittier said. "No one misses practices, everyone is loyal to each other, there's no bickering or arguing. We're really a team. Everyone works hard. We never quit."

The Greyhounds opened Dec. 3 by finishing second (265 points) in the 12-team Tony Pizzurro Memorial Classic at DeSales behind champion Liberty (300). Stevens, Whittier and senior Tanner Kennaw (182) won titles, and freshman Blake Stevens (113) finished second.

Kennaw missed last season with a right ACL injury.

Also looking to contribute are seniors Chris Desmarais (160) and Rudy Madero (220), junior Chase Jones (145), sophomores Hunter Barker (152) and Justin Swavely (132) and freshmen Zac Johnson (126), Jackson Kuhn (106), Schuyler Marinelli (138), Kody Nancarrow (170) and Max Petty (195).

"We have a young team," said coach Jay DiMasso, who is in his 10th season. "We have six freshmen in our lineup, so we'll see how that works. (There could be) a lot of growing pains, I'm sure, transitioning from the middle school to the high school."

The Greyhounds must replace senior Marcus Najdusak, who transferred to Mason after going 0-2 at state at 106 last season. He finished 33-9.

Grove City went 5-2 in the OCC-Ohio to finish third behind champion Lancaster (7-0).




Dec. 2 -- Mifflin in Grove City Tipoff Classic

Dec. 3 -- Olentangy Liberty in Grove City Tipoff Classic

*Dec. 9 -- at Lancaster

Dec. 13 -- at Groveport

*Dec. 16 -- vs. Reynoldsburg

Dec. 17 -- vs. Hilliard Darby

Dec. 20 -- at Franklin Heights

Dec. 30 -- at Teays Valley

Jan. 3 -- vs. Newark

*Jan. 6 -- vs. Gahanna

Jan. 10 -- at Central Crossing

*Jan. 13 -- at Pickerington Central

Jan. 14 -- at Watterson

Jan. 17 -- at Hilliard Davidson

*Jan. 20 -- vs. Pickerington North

Jan. 24 -- vs. Westland

*Jan. 27 -- vs. Lancaster

*Feb. 3 -- at Reynoldsburg

*Feb. 7 -- at Gahanna

*Feb. 10 -- vs. Pickerington Central

*Feb. 17 -- at Pickerington North


Dec. 3 -- Tony Pizzurro Memorial Classic at DeSales

Dec. 7 -- vs. Hilliard Darby

Dec. 21 -- vs. Central Crossing, Franklin Heights and Westland

Jan. 7 -- Grandview Invitational

*Jan. 12 -- at Lancaster

Jan. 14 -- Porter Memorial Tournament at Hilliard Bradley

*Jan. 19 -- vs. Pickerington Central

Jan. 21 -- Comet Classic at Central Crossing

*Jan. 26 -- at Pickerington North

Jan. 28 -- Hamilton Township Classic

Feb. 2 -- at Franklin Heights

*Feb. 9 -- vs. Reynoldsburg

Feb. 11 -- All-North Tournament at Dublin Jerome

*Feb. 16- at Gahanna

*League contest

Below are the coming schedules for the Grove City girls basketball and swimming & diving teams:


*Feb. 9 -- Home vs. Lancaster


Dec. 9 -- Grove City Christian, Hilliard Bradley, Jonathan Alder and Ready at Grove City YMCA

Dec. 12 -- Whetstone Invitational at Columbus Aquatics Center

Dec. 13 -- Lancaster at Lancaster YMCA

*League contest