Westland High School girls basketball coach Matt Jaynes hopes history repeats itself.

Before taking over the program this season, Jaynes coached at Briggs the previous seven seasons, serving one year as a boys assistant and one year as a girls assistant before leading the girls program for five years.

After finishing 5-16 in his first season as girls coach in 2011-12, Jaynes guided the Bruins to a 51-44 record over the next four years.

He's hoping for similar results at Westland after the Cougars finished 1-22 overall and went 0-10 in the OCC-Central Division.

"I took a challenge at Briggs and turned around from my first season at 5-16," Jaynes said. "Obviously, at Briggs (there) was a little less competition, but I turned it around and had four straight winning seasons. If history repeats itself Westland will be back on the map pretty soon."

On Feb. 24, Westland lost at second-seeded Dublin Coffman 93-31 in the second round of the Division I district tournament. The 45th-seeded Cougars had a first-round bye.

Senior guard/forward Madison Evans led Westland with 15 points and senior point guard Tajahnae Brown added 13.

It was Westland's third loss to Coffman this season, as the Shamrocks won 89-7 on Dec. 16 and 90-23 on Feb. 6 in OCC-Central play.

"The four years flew by," Evans said. "It's really disappointing because not everything went the way I wanted it, but it was still an unbelievable career."

Brown was named second-team all-league and sophomore forward Atira Hoard, who averaged a team-best 10.3 rebounds, was honorable mention all-league.

Evans completed a four-year varsity career and Brown played for two seasons, while senior Najma Jama was a first-year player.

"It's always difficult to have seniors who don't know you and always want to do their own thing," Jaynes said. "I had one senior (Jama) that never played her whole life and she came out and she learned basketball and she learned how to be a teammate. She's learned the game and she's leaving it loving the game. That was my objective for this first year."

Brown averaged 12 points and Evans averaged 8.4.

Other players eligible to return are juniors Haley Hall (forward), Carlie Henry (center), Miranda Kirker (center) and Kaylee Schwart (guard) and sophomores Emma Hutchinson (forward), Khiayla Powell (forward/guard), Marlene Sanchez (guard), Mariah Speakman (guard) and Halie Waddle (guard).

Westland finished sixth in the OCC-Central behind Coffman (10-0), Upper Arlington (8-2), Marysville (6-4), Hilliard Davidson (4-6) and Central Crossing (2-8).

"It's the toughest division in the state," Jaynes said. "Our three best ballplayers in the division are sophomores (Coffman's Jacy Sheldon, Davidson's Emily Simon and UA's Macy Spielman)."

Sheldon was named league Player of the Year.

The Cougars' win came against Franklin Heights (35-26 on Jan. 3). They were competitive in losses to Whetstone (41-37 on Nov. 29), Briggs (39-32 on Dec. 12), Central Crossing (44-34 on Dec. 6), Walnut Ridge (47-40 on Dec. 29) and Whitehall (45-37 on Feb. 2).

"Coach did a good job," Evans said. "There was definitely a change in the culture of girls basketball overall."

Three wrestlers
qualify for district

Three wrestlers competed in the Division I district tournament March 3 and 4 at Hilliard Darby.

Edgar Cruz entered district at 26-16 at 106 pounds, Willie Juarez was 23-21 at 126 and Soriba Kaba was 24-17 at 220.

"My goal was five (district qualifiers), but to get three I'm happy," coach Chas McCutcheon said. "The guys who got in were definitely happy with how they wrestled (at sectional) and some of the younger guys who didn't make it in definitely took it as a learning experience."

In the 11-team UA sectional Feb. 25, Cruz finished third and Juarez and Kaba both were fourth as the top four finishers in each weight class advanced to district.

DeMarco Hamby was fifth at 138 and was a district alternate. Placing sixth were Steve McPeek at 132, Paris Green at 145, Jacob Lewis at 182 and Kyle Newman at 195.

The Cougars finished seventh (82) at sectional behind champion Olentangy Orange (240).

At district, the top four finishers in each weight class advanced to state Thursday, March 9, through Saturday, March 11, at Ohio State.

Boys basketball team
opens postseason

The boys basketball team played at top-seeded Pickerington Central in the second round of the Division I district tournament March 3.

The 47th-seeded Cougars had a first-round bye and entered the game at 2-20.

Central, which was 21-2, defeated 42nd-seeded Hamilton Township 82-49 in the first round Feb. 25.

The second-round winner plays 19th-seeded Mifflin in a semifinal Wednesday, March 8, at a neutral site to be determined, with the winner playing 17th-seeded Grove City, 18th-seeded Coffman or 26th-seeded Olentangy in a district final Saturday, March 11, at Ohio Dominican.

Westland lost to Coffman 88-53 on Dec. 16 and 79-57 on Feb. 3 in OCC-Central contests, and fell to Grove City 93-63 on Jan. 24.

Gymnasts close
season at district

The gymnastics team closed its season in the 23-team district meet Feb. 25 at Thomas Worthington, finishing 22nd (111.675) behind champion Thornville Sheridan (138.65) and ahead of Coffman (94.225).

Freshman Kennedy Budd led the Cougars, placing 20th of 90 gymnasts in the all-around (33.125). The top nine individuals in each event and the all-around advanced to state March 4 at Hilliard Bradley.

Budd tied for 12th on balance beam (8.825), tied for 20th on uneven bars (8.125), tied for 41st on vault (7.925) and tied for 43rd on floor exercise (8.25).

Ines De la Fuente was 81st (27.4), Vanessa Evans was 82nd (27.1) and Kylie Tighe was 88th (24.050) in the all-around. All three are sophomores.

Westland went 1-6 in OCC-Central duals and finished sixth (111.825) in the league meet Feb. 11 at Bradley, behind Marysville (128.85), UA (127.25), Davidson (124.125), Grove City (123.175) and Central Crossing (114.125) and ahead of Coffman (93.425) and Franklin Heights (22.775).

The Cougars tied Coffman (2-5) for sixth in the overall league standings with 10 points, behind Marysville (32, 7-0), UA (28, 6-1), Davidson (24, 5-2), Grove City (4-3, 20) and Central Crossing (16, 3-4) and ahead of Franklin Heights (4, 0-7).

Coach Lavon Maynard, who also guides Central Crossing and Franklin Heights, was named league Coach of the Year.

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