Westland High School boys basketball coach Scott Vayansky is hoping his team will find consistency in the new year.

Westland High School boys basketball coach Scott Vayansky is hoping his team will find consistency in the new year.

After winning at Canal Winchester 64-57 on Dec. 15, the Cougars lost at Olentangy Liberty 61-49 on Dec. 18 in an OCC-Central Division game.

Westland was 3-5 overall and 1-3 in the league before playing Dublin Coffman on Dec. 22.

"There's been one or two games where we've had no effort and got blown out," Vayansky said. "When we come ready to play and execute, we can play with these teams. The challenge right now is to get the consistent effort and play four quarters."

The Cougars trailed Liberty 19-13 after one quarter before outscoring the Patriots 15-8 in the second to take a 28-27 lead into halftime.

Westland, however, was outscored 23-10 in the third quarter and trailed 50-38 heading into the fourth and could not recover. The Cougars trailed by as many 21 points in the second half.

"We were up and we were playing well," Vayansky said. "The fourth quarter was even. It was the third quarter that got us. We had a pretty good first half."

Malik Butcher made three 3-pointers and finished with 14 points to lead Westland. Matt Mickens added 10 points.

Brendon White, an Ohio State football recruit, led Liberty with 26 points.

Westland will close out the 2015 portion of its schedule at home against Columbus South on Wednesday, Dec. 30. The Bulldogs beat the Cougars 77-51 last season and went on to finish 19-7, losing to Dayton Dunbar 72-54 in a regional semifinal.

It was South's first regional appearance since 1986.

The Bulldogs were 4-2 before playing Buckeye Valley on Dec. 22.

"Columbus South is pretty good," Vayansky said. "If we come with some energy and we execute, we can play with them."

Westland will play host to Hamilton Township on Saturday, Jan. 2. The Rangers were 3-4 before playing Logan Elm on Dec. 22.

"Hamilton Township plays hard," Vayansky said. "One good thing is they don't have any size like we see in the OCC on a nightly basis, but they're still a pretty good team. They play hard and they get after it. They're another Division I team, so it's a good non-league game for us."

The Cougars will return to league play Jan. 5 at home against Upper Arlington.

"It starts in practice," senior forward Alex Martin said. "We have to work hard in practice and get ready for the games. We have to keep pushing and move forward. We have to worry about the future and don't worry about the past."

Girls basketball team to host tournament

The girls basketball team will play host to the annual Mike Burbridge Holiday Invitational on Monday, Dec. 28, and Tuesday, Dec. 29.

On day one, the Cougars will play Grove City Christian and Grove City will face Independence. On day two, Westland will play Independence and Grove City will face Grove City Christian.

The Cougars went 2-0 in the event last season, defeating Whetstone 64-42 and Delaware 63-33.

Westland was 2-5 overall and 1-4 in the OCC-Central before playing Coffman on Dec. 22.

The Cougars lost at home to Liberty 63-37 on Dec. 18. Mya McClure had 15 points and Tajahnae Brown scored eight to lead Westland, which will resume league play Jan. 5 at UA.

Wrestlers to compete at West Jefferson

The wrestling team will compete in the West Jefferson Invitational on Monday, Dec. 28, and Tuesday, Dec. 29.

In the event last season, Westland finished 11th (240 points) of 19 teams, behind champion Millersburg West Holmes (446).

The Cougars will begin OCC-Central competition Jan. 7 at home against Coffman and Liberty.