Thomas Worthington High School boys basketball coach Bob Miller was starting to feel good about the way his team was executing its offense after a 75-64 win at Independence on Jan. 14.

Thomas Worthington High School boys basketball coach Bob Miller was starting to feel good about the way his team was executing its offense after a 75-64 win at Independence on Jan. 14.

The contest marked the first time this season in which the Cardinals had scored more than 60 points.

But after being held to a season-low point total in a 34-30 loss at Upper Arlington in an OCC-Central Division game on Jan. 20, Miller said his squad desperately needs to become more consistent offensively.

With six seconds left and UA leading 32-30, Golden Bears guard Carter Smith blocked a 3-point field-goal attempt by forward Julian Henderson, grabbed the loose ball and was fouled. Smith then made two free throws with 2.5 seconds remaining to seal the outcome, as UA improved to 7-1 in the OCC-Central.

The Cardinals dropped to 3-7 in games decided by six points or fewer and were two games behind UA in the OCC-Central standings heading into a contest against Hilliard Davidson on Jan. 24.

"Our kids played with tremendous intensity and heart, and we defended Upper Arlington about as well as we possibly could, but we were inept offensively," Miller said. "We felt like Smith got Julian's arm and some ball on that shot at the end, but that's not what decided the game because we had plenty of other chances.

"We've had some good games offensively, but we've been inconsistent throughout the entire season, and that's created some problems for us. Upper Arlington is certainly in the driver's seat in our conference standings now."

Post player Jordan Cowgill was averaging a team-high 14.7 points through 14 games, followed by guard Will Hill (11.9) and Henderson (10.8). No other players on the team were averaging more than 4.5 points.

"We need to do the best job we can to improve offensively the rest of the way," Miller said. "Everyone needs to know our game plan, and everyone needs to understand their role and what they need to do based on what our opponents are doing defensively."

The Cardinals will play another OCC-Central game on Friday, Jan. 27, at Dublin Coffman.

On Dec. 16, Thomas opened a 12-point lead against the Shamrocks before losing 55-51.

Kyle Molock, a senior guard who has verbally committed to St. Joseph's University, scored 22 points to lead the Shamrocks, who outscored Thomas 22-8 in the fourth quarter.

Hill scored 17 points and Henderson scored 10 to lead the Cardinals.

"We played well offensively through three quarters, but we didn't execute during crunch time," Miller said. "We had a difficult time guarding Molock, who took over the game down the stretch."

Coffman was 8-5 overall and 5-3 in the OCC-Central before playing Westland on Jan. 24, but the Shamrocks were 1-4 since Molock suffered a season-ending left knee injury in a 42-37 loss at Hilliard Davidson on Jan. 3.

Other key players for the Shamrocks are 6-foot-11 senior center Eric Weisenbach, 6-4 junior forward Jason Hall and senior guard Brad Schulze.

"We feel badly for Molock to have something like that happen as hard as he's worked, but Coffman's had several games to change what they're doing since they lost him and they've been getting better every game," Miller said.

"We're going to have a couple of big guys battling it out, with Cowgill at 6-10 against Weisenbach at 6-11. We need to continue to play good defense and we'll need to be more consistent on offense to beat a team like Dublin Coffman."

•Kilbourne bounced back from a 43-38 loss to Thomas on Jan. 13 by defeating Hilliard Darby 58-40 on Jan. 20.

Brian Hanks scored a season-high 21 points, Connor Dahn had 12 points and eight rebounds and Tyler Stern-Tucker had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

"The loss to Thomas took a little bit of air out of our sails and we had a tough day of practice (Jan. 16), but we got back after it the following three days to get ready for Darby," coach Tom Souder said. "We got back to some things that had been working for us early in the season, such as putting more pressure defensively and doing a better job of rebounding. We attacked the basket well and we were plus-eight on rebounds. It was just a good, all-around effort by the kids."

Kilbourne will play host to Westland in an OCC-Central game on Friday, Jan. 27.

Westland beat the Wolves 58-51 on Dec. 16, as senior center Kris Carius scored 16 points, junior guard J.J. Smith scored 11 and senior guard Will White and junior point guard KyJuan Grace both scored 10. Stern-Tucker scored 15 points and Hanks scored 12 to lead Kilbourne.

Westland was 7-6 overall and 5-3 in the OCC-Central before playing Coffman on Jan. 24.

"Westland has a lot of different guys who can score in a number of ways and they can play at a bunch of different tempos, so we'll need to play good defense, do a good job on the boards and take care of the ball," Souder said.