The Westland High School girls basketball team is looking to build on its first league win in two seasons.

The Westland High School girls basketball team is looking to build on its first league win in two seasons.

The Cougars were 1-3 overall and 1-2 in the OCC-Central Division before playing Thomas Worthington on Dec. 11.

Westland defeated host Central Crossing 37-35 on Nov. 27 to earn its first league victory since beating Hilliard Davidson 47-43 on Jan. 28, 2014. The Cougars went 0-14 in the OCC-Central last season after going 8-6 in 2013-14.

"It was very important to get that league win, especially after last year not beating a league opponent and not being close in a game when it came to a league opponent," coach Hugo Quint said.

The Cougars followed up the effort against Central Crossing with league losses against Marysville (60-40 on Dec. 4) and Hilliard Davidson (53-46 on Dec. 8). Despite the outcome, Quint said he saw continued improvement against Davidson.

Madison Dale hit two late free throws to help secure the win against Central Crossing. Camryn Moreno had a team-high 11 points and Mya McClure scored 10.

Quint said his team faltered defensively against Marysville, as the Monarchs built a 29-18 lead by halftime. Dale led the Cougars with 14 points and McClure added 10.

Against Davidson, the Cougars again trailed 29-18 at halftime but allowed just 24 points in the second half. Dale and McClure each had 12 points to lead Westland and Moreno scored 10.

"We've had some breakdowns on defense, but our defense should be able to keep the game close," Quint said. "We can't relax on defense. Other teams have a little more experience than we do, a bit more basketball IQ, and we have to overcome that by not making mistakes."

Westland will play host to defending OCC-Central champion Olentangy Liberty on Friday, Dec. 18, before traveling to Dublin Coffman on Dec. 22. Both the Patriots and Shamrocks are expected to contend for the league title this season.

"Right now, it's not about wins and losses," said Dale, a senior guard. "In the big picture it is, but getting my teammates, the underclassmen, ready for next year is important, too. We want to get better than we were last year."

Boys basketball team earns first league win

The boys basketball team also was looking to build on an early league win when it played Thomas on Dec. 11.

The Cougars were 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the OCC-Central before facing the Cardinals.

Westland bounced back from a 111-60 loss at Westerville North on Dec. 1 to beat host Marysville 52-45 on Dec. 4 behind 13 points from Amirah Johnson and 10 from Peyton Harris.

"We came out, moved the ball, got good looks, we defended well and we played with a pretty consistent effort," coach Scott Vayansky said. "That's the big thing with us. When we play with effort and we get after it, we're usually all right."

Last season, the Cougars finished 1-13 in the OCC-Central, with their lone win coming in the regular-season finale against Central Crossing, 67-64.

Westland lost to visiting Davidson 59-45 on Dec. 8 in a league contest. The Cougars led 27-24 at halftime but were outscored 36-18 in the second half.

Ben Harris scored a team-high 15 points against the Wildcats.

Westland visits Canal Winchester on Tuesday, Dec. 15, before traveling to Liberty on Friday, Dec. 18, for a league game.

"We have something to build on, something we can keep working at," Vayansky said. "We know we can play a little bit."

Through five games, Ben Harris was averaging a team-high 9.4 points, followed by Johnson at 9.2.

Gymnastics team opens season

The gymnastics team opened the season Dec. 7 with a quad-meet.

Westland finished second (97.55) to Central Crossing (113.65) and ahead of Westerville Central (97.4) and Franklin Heights (84).

Ines De la Fuente led the Cougars in the all-around with a 25.15, followed by Kailee Little (24.2), Vanessa Evans (23.9) and India Alston (21.3).