A strong returning senior class has the Worthington Christian High School boys basketball team hoping for big things this winter after receiving a Division III district runner-up trophy last season.

A strong returning senior class has the Worthington Christian High School boys basketball team hoping for big things this winter after receiving a Division III district runner-up trophy last season.

The top returnee is 6-foot-4 senior guard/forward Jay Joseph, a Mount Vernon Nazarene University commit who averaged 16 points last season and was named district Player of the Year.

Worthington Christian opened Dec. 3 by beating Bloom-Carroll 54-48 and begins MSL-Ohio Division play Friday, Dec. 9, at home against London.

"We've got four good seniors," 17th-year coach Kevin Weakley said. "Jay kind of does a little bit of everything, and we'll need our other three seniors to be strong contributors. I think we're going to have some ups and downs because we've got a very challenging schedule. It's going to be a process."

The other seniors are Mitchell Naim, Jayden Turner and Mark Shoemaker, each of whom is a 5-10 guard.

Turner averaged 11 points and joined Joseph on first-team all-MSL-Ohio last season, while Shoemaker averaged 7.1 points and was honorable mention all-district.

Also returning are juniors Kyle Smith (6-4, forward) and Collin Kimbrough (6-4, forward).

Senior Coty Michael (6-0, guard/forward), junior Grant Mudge (6-0, forward) and sophomore Jacob Nowak (5-9, guard) are others who should contribute.

The Warriors, who were the district's top seed last season after placing second in the MSL-Ohio at 12-2 behind Whitehall (13-1), lost their best inside presence when sophomore post player Taylor Currie transferred in September to a prep school in Michigan. Now listed at 6-9, he averaged eight points and 7.5 rebounds and was honorable mention all-league and all-district last season.

Worthington Christian's non-league opponents include Wellington (Feb. 10), a Division IV state semifinalist last season; Waterford (Jan. 16), a Division IV district runner-up a year ago; and St. Charles (Dec. 23), a Division I program.

Girls basketball team looks to take step up

The girls basketball team has the reigning Division III district Player of the Year in senior Bridgette Rettstatt to lean on after going 15-8 overall a year ago.

The Warriors are hoping Rettstatt (6-1, guard/forward) and a strong corps of returnees can bounce back from a first-round district tournament loss after winning a Division IV district title in 2015.

"This is a season where I look for us to go from good to great," fourth-year coach Tammi Evans said. "We want to be doing the little things well, whether it's at practice or at a game."

The Warriors opened Nov. 29 with a 61-8 win over Wellington, a Division IV district runner-up a year ago. They then opened MSL-Ohio play Dec. 1 with a 52-47 loss at London before beating Canal Winchester 59-58 on Dec. 3.

Rettstatt, a Liberty University signee who began the season with 1,208 career points, scored 22 against Wellington. She averaged 23 points and 9.7 rebounds and shot 78 percent from the free-throw line last season.

Other returnees are juniors Alex Evans (5-3, guard), Emily Hall (5-3, guard) and Emma Lineham (6-0, post player) and sophomores Caroline Cole (5-4, guard), CeCi Dalton (5-9, forward) and Ellie Montgomery (5-4, guard).

Junior Ellie Bowers (5-7, forward) also is back after missing last season with a knee injury.

Rettstatt was named first-team all-league last season as the Warriors went 10-4 to tie London for second behind West Jefferson (12-2). Evans and Linehan were second-team all-league and Hall was honorable mention.

Linehan averaged 8.1 points, Evans averaged 6.7 and Hall averaged 4.2.

"We're looking forward to a great season," coach Evans said.

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek

Schedules

BOYS BASKETBALL

Dec. 3 -- vs. Bloom-Carroll

Dec. 6 -- at Johnstown

*Dec. 9 -- vs. London

*Dec. 14 -- at Grandview

*Dec. 17 -- vs. Columbus Academy

Dec. 23 -- at St. Charles

Dec. 30 -- vs. Galion Northmor

Jan. 3 -- at Watterson

*Jan. 6 -- at Bexley

Jan. 7 -- at Columbus East

Jan. 10 -- vs. Gahanna Christian

*Jan. 14 -- vs. Whitehall

Jan. 16 -- at Waterford

*Jan. 20 -- at West Jefferson

*Jan. 24 -- at London

*Jan. 28 -- vs. Grandview

Jan. 31 -- vs. Horizon Science Academy

*Feb. 3 -- at Columbus Academy

*Feb. 7 -- vs. Bexley

Feb. 10 -- vs. Wellington

*Feb. 14 -- at Whitehall

*Feb. 17 -- vs. West Jefferson

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Nov. 29 -- at Wellington

*Dec. 1 -- at London

Dec. 3 -- vs. Canal Winchester

Dec. 6 -- vs. Centerburg

*Dec. 8 -- vs. Grandview

*Dec. 10 -- at Columbus Academy

Dec. 13 -- at Ready

*Dec. 16 -- vs. Bexley

Dec. 22 -- vs. Utica

Dec. 28 -- Buckeye Valley in Yule Classic at Liberty Union

Dec. 29 -- TBD in Yule Classic at Liberty Union

*Jan. 3 -- at Whitehall

*Jan. 7 -- vs. West Jefferson

*Jan. 13 -- vs. London

*Jan. 17 -- at Grandview

*Jan. 21 -- vs. Columbus Academy

Jan. 23 -- vs. Marion Pleasant

*Jan. 27 -- at Bexley

*Feb. 4 -- vs. Whitehall

*Feb. 10 -- at West Jefferson

Feb. 11 -- vs. Franklin Heights

Feb. 15 -- at Johnstown

*League contest