The Tree of Life Christian School boys basketball team appears on target for an eighth consecutive MOCAL title.

The Tree of Life Christian School boys basketball team appears on target for an eighth consecutive MOCAL title.

The Trojans entered last Tuesday's game against second-place Fairfield Christian at 13-1 overall and 7-0 in the league, with the loss to Horizon Science 56-55 on Jan. 6. Fairfield Christian was 5-1 in the MOCAL.

"We've been playing well and improving throughout the year," said coach Joe Arndt, whose team has games at MOCAL-rival Madison Christian on Saturday and Licking Heights on Tuesday. "I certainly didn't expect to be 13-1 at this point, but we'll take it."

"A MOCAL title would mean a lot," senior Ryan Spengler said. "It would mean we continued the tradition that we inherited from the guys who graduated when I was a freshman and they were seniors. It's a big accomplishment."

Tree of Life defeated Madison Christian 80-59 on Dec. 12.

"You have to show up to play," Arndt said. "Some of these teams that we've beaten have not been horrible teams. We've just happened to play very well."

Despite the impressive record, the Trojans realize they will need to improve as the Division IV district tournament nears.

"Every day in practice we try to get better in some way," Spengler said. "Every game we try and improve some way."

Before last Tuesday, Jeremy Hays led the Trojans in scoring at 17.1 points per game followed by Bryan Redic (14.9) and Spengler (9.1). Redic led the team in rebounding (10.0). In a 92-25 win over Village Academy last Friday, Dannye Winkfield led the Trojans with 19 points.

Tree of Life, which was fifth in last week's area coaches poll, was averaging 68.2 points per game and allowing 44.2 through 14 games.

"We've had a successful run of good players," Arndt said. "We've been able to mesh younger players in with older players to when the seniors graduate we still have some guys with some experience coming back and they understand the system that we're running. We're just very blessed that they're good players."

•The girls team will look to keep its MOCAL title hopes alive when it plays host to Delaware Christian on Friday. The Trojans defeated the Eagles 74-18 on Dec. 16.

Tree of Life, which is 8-7 overall and 7-2 in the MOCAL, will play host Tuesday to Northside Christian, which it beat 56-16 on Jan. 8.

Tree of Life stands at 7-2 in the conference and 8-7 overall.

After losing three consecutive games, including two in the MOCAL, the Trojans have won their last two, over Madison Christian 58-37 on Jan. 20 and Gahanna Christian 50-26 last Saturday.

They played without leading scorer Becca Crouch in the three losses. Crouch, who was out with a sprained wrist, leads the team in scoring at 19.3 points per game. She had 18 last Saturday.

Tori Thompson is second on the team in scoring (8.8) and leads in rebounding (9.3), followed by Kelly Huston (5.4).

Tree of Life is second in the MOCAL behind Fairfield Christian, which swept the Trojans 37-23 on Dec. 2 and 52-35 on Jan. 16 and is 9-0 in the league.

"We have to make sure we come out and make sure we play our game and don't sink to another level," coach Steve Cawley said. "We come out and pressure the ball, get our defensive pressure and go down and make it a running game. Right now we're trying to make every game that we can a running game because we run the floor pretty well."