Considering the circumstances, the Wellington School girls basketball team did its best to hold its head high March 4 at New Albany.

Earlier in the day, three starters -- junior guard Macey Shock, junior forward Annie Taylor and sophomore guard Addie Shock -- as well as junior post player Ellie Kelleher left for a 12-day school trip to France.

Video •Watch an interview with Wellington girls basketball player Savannah Childress.

With several players thrust into different and more substantial roles, the fifth-seeded Jaguars lost to top-seeded Fairfield Christian 56-18 in a Division IV district final to finish 14-11.

The positive side of the equation is that Wellington earned just its second district trophy, with the other coming last season when it also was a district runner-up.

"They played with a lot of energy and heart," coach Bill Mitchin said. "We came out and played as hard as we could. I was very proud of their effort."

According to Mitchin, the trip originally was scheduled to begin March 5 before being moved up a day. Wellington tried to move the game from 6 p.m. to 3 p.m. March 4 to enable the four players to participate before leaving on the trip, but it was unable to change the game's start time.

"If we'd have been at full strength, I'm confident the outcome would have been different," Mitchin said.

The Jaguars will compete next season in the MSL-Cardinal Division along with Fairfield Christian, which improved to 24-1 with the victory.

After opening the district tournament with a 74-35 win over 15th-seeded East Knox on Feb. 22, Wellington beat seventh-seeded Madison Christian 53-29 in a district semifinal March 1 at Central Crossing.

Last season, the Jaguars lost to Granville Christian 49-24 in a district final.

Against Fairfield Christian, sophomore guard Savannah Childress had nine points and senior guard Sophie Barbour scored five.

The Jaguars had only two seniors in Barbour and wing player Bret Hairston, who scored two points against Fairfield Christian along with junior forward Jacquie Sierz-putowski.

Barbour averaged seven points and 5.5 rebounds.

Childress had to sit out the first 11 games after transferring from Columbus Academy but averaged 10.5 points and shot better than 50 percent from 3-point range over the final 14 contests.

Macey Shock averaged 10.5 points and three steals and shot 48 percent from the floor, Addie Shock averaged nine points and 2.7 assists and Sierzputowski averaged six points and four rebounds.

Others eligible to return include sophomore guard Jaedyn Gains and freshmen guards Eli Burkhardt and Ellie Weinburg.

"There were definitely some adjustments I had to make this year, but it was good to help me develop as a player and as a person," Childress said.

"We have a really competitive team. We have good court vision and a cohesive unit. We play extremely well together."

Boys basketball team
reaches district semi

The boys basketball team played fifth-seeded Cardington in a Division IV district semifinal March 8 at Cardington.

After opening the postseason with a 107-40 win over 21st-seeded Tree of Life on Feb. 27, the third-seeded Jaguars blew past 20th-seeded East Knox 83-41 in a second-round game March 2 at home.

"The first two games (of the tournament) showed that we're ready," junior guard Bob Faller said. "We're trying to figure it all out, but the pieces are there."

Faller, who missed all but the final three games of the regular season with an injury, scored 14 points against East Knox.

Dustin Harder had 16 points, Noah Berry scored 13 and Adam Porter added 11 as Wellington improved to 17-7.

The semifinal winner will play fourth-seeded Africentric or sixth-seeded Fairfield Christian in a district final at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 11, at Bloom-Carroll.

Wellington lost to Africentric 69-59 on Dec. 2 and fell to Fairfield Christian 46-41 on Dec. 15.

The district champion faces Waterford, Leesburg Fairfield, Reedsville Eastern or Ironton St. Joseph Central in a regional semifinal at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 14, at Ohio University.

The regional final is March 17 at OU.

Against Tree of Life, Wellington outscored the Trojans 62-20 in the first half and had five players score in double figures.

Berry had 30 points and Porter scored 15.

"We've played really good defense," coach Artie Taylor said.

"(Against East Knox) we started off a little lethargic. I'm very proud of the guys for sticking with it and working through the process."

julrey@thisweeknews.com

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