The Wellington School girls basketball team plays only one game in the next 13 days, which has its benefits and drawbacks.

The Wellington School girls basketball team plays only one game in the next 13 days, which has its benefits and drawbacks.

The Jaguars, who improved to 3-3 after defeating Shekinah Christian 39-29 on Dec. 17, play Walnut Ridge at the World Harvest Classic on Monday. Their next game will be Jan. 7 at home against Columbus Academy.

"You have some time off so everyone can rest and recuperate, but it hurts not having games," said guard Kelly Sonnett, who had 14 points in a 36-33 loss to Sparta Highland on Dec. 15 and scored 14 against Shekinah Christian. "But you don't push (yourself) in practice the way you would in games. You lose that tempo of the game. If we don't push each other enough in practice, we won't do that in a game.

"We'll try to scrimmage each day and push each other as hard as we can. We're going to get tired of playing each other by the end of the break."

Coach Tysha Crump said the layoff comes at a time when the Jaguars are still trying to figure things out as a team. Wellington have not won consecutive games.

"There are still some things we have to work on, but there are a lot of areas I do see real progress on, like the execution of plays," Crump said. "Having time off sets you back a ways. We're going to get a chance to work on quite a few things. But there's a difference in the intensity and competitiveness that you face in a game.

"It's a setback to have that long of a break without playing a game. Games allow you to see where you are at. You're seeing different defenses and working against different offensive sets. Other teams show you where you are at."

The Jaguars' measuring stick will be its game against Walnut Ridge. The Scots improved to 3-2 with a 55-23 win over Columbus South last Friday.

Among the things Crump said the Jaguars will work on over the break is rebounding. Against Shekinah Christian, Wellington held the Eagles scoreless for the first 4 minutes, 44 seconds of the third quarter but had several one-shot possessions that kept it from adding to its lead.

"There are still some things we need to fine-tune, like boxing out," Crump said. "Instead of getting one shot up and not being able to crash the boards, we have to drill into their heads to send four people up and have one person go back on defense."

COACHING CHANGE -- Next fall, the boys soccer team will have its third coach in as many seasons as Brian Galvin resigned and was replaced by Kyle Hamrick, who was as an assistant last season.

The Jaguars finished 7-7-3 last season, losing to Grandview 5-1 in a Division III district semifinal.

"The thing I enjoyed about Brian was his enthusiasm and the youthful energy he brought to our program," athletics director Max Ness said. "He told me he was committed to our program for a long time, but his wife got a great business opportunity in New York City. It was an opportunity they couldn't turn down."

Ness liked what he saw in Hamrick last fall.

"In observing coaches in games and in practices, I try to look at the way they interact with kids," Ness said. "He knows how to keep that line between a coach and a (student). He's a good disciplinarian. He knows soccer, he loves soccer and he really loves this school."

Hamrick said working with the program last season and working as a substitute teacher at Wellington will give him a head start on next season.

"I'm here at least four or five days a week," he said. "I get to see all of my guys all the time. It's challenging for the players to adapt to their third coach, but they have done a great job in responding to adversity.

"The nice thing is the three coaches, Tyler Thompson (who resigned after the 2008 season), Brian and I have very similar coaching strategies. It has been a pretty smooth transition so far."

Hamrick, who played with Galvin at Cincinnati Northwest High School, said he will emphasize possession-oriented soccer.

Wellington loses only two seniors in forward Jeremy Guinn, who led the team with 13 goals and was named first-team all-district, and midfielder Saarik Gupta.

"We have a great team defensively for next year," Hamrick said. "We're going to be stacked with seniors next year."