Despite not having a long winning streak thus far this winter, the Watterson High School girls basketball team likes where it stands with one-third of the regular season remaining.
The Eagles, who won 15 games in a row last season to help propel them to the fifth seed in the Division I district tournament, were 10-5 overall before playing Canal Winchester on Jan. 16.
Four of Watterson's losses were by one or two points.
In CCL action, the Eagles beat Hartley -- a defending Division II district champion -- 44-38 on Jan. 11 to improve to 3-0.
"We have four losses by a total of seven points," coach Tom Woodford said. "Our record doesn't jump out at you, but we're one shot out of four of five games (from having) one loss."
Among Watterson's losses was a 43-41 decision Jan. 6 at home against Olentangy Orange, but Woodford considers his team's performance against a Pioneers team that lost 10 of its first 13 games to be an aberration.
The Eagles responded with a 44-26 victory over Dublin Jerome on Jan. 8 as sophomore guard Paige Woodford scored 16 points.
Woodford had a team-high 13 points against Hartley, while senior guard Lainey Billing scored 10.
The Eagles' success starts with defense.
"We defended the pass so much better (against Jerome) than we did (against Orange)," coach Woodford said. "We try to turn our defense into transition."
Senior guard Gretchen Glanzman, senior forward Elizabeth Van Paepeghen, junior guards Elizabeth Rabold, Lauren Lucki and Julianna DiSabato and freshman guard Danielle Grim all have found ways to contribute of late, according to coach Woodford.
"We're showing a toughness that we felt was lacking," coach Woodford said. "We do need to learn to win tight games, and unfortunately that's when lack of experience rears its ugly head."
Bowling teams charge into title contention
Entering its match against Mifflin on Jan. 16 at Sawmill Lanes, the boys bowling team was leading the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-D Division at 5-0.
The Eagles, who were 6-0 overall before facing the Punchers, also are 2-0 in the CCL entering their match against DeSales on Thursday, Jan. 18, at Capri Lanes. Their match Jan. 12 against St. Charles at HP Lanes was postponed.
In a 1,831-1,583 victory over Independence on Jan. 11 at Sawmill Lanes, Jesse Pulsinelli averaged 237.5, Danny Callaghan averaged 152.5 and Seth Peyton averaged 146.0 to lead the way.
Pulsinelli was 14th in the COHSBC with a 203.5 average through six matches.
"They're going to come out before the end of the year shooting better," coach Jerry Wagner said. "We need to get up above 2,000 (for a match score). (We) just (need to be) getting more spares."
The girls were 5-1 overall and 5-0 in the COHSBC-D after beating Independence 1,443-1,237 on Jan. 11 and before facing Mifflin on Jan. 16. They are 2-0 in the CCL.
Through six matches, Mary Pulsinelli and Anna Rose both were averaging 150.8.
Against Independence, Rose averaged 136.5, followed by Pulsinelli (133.5) and Ella Riedinger (133.0).
The match against the 76ers was the first for the Eagles since both the boys and girls teams beat Eastmoor Academy on Dec. 21.
"They're starting to get back into shape a little bit," Wagner said. "It just takes time."
Swimmers on track for strong finishes
The boys and girls swimming and diving teams have just two meets remaining before the CCL meet on Jan. 27 at St. Charles.
Both teams put together strong performances in the six-team Delaware Invitational on Jan. 6 at Ohio Wesleyan.
The girls scored 260 points to earn a runner-up finish behind Delaware (262).
Elizabeth Intihar won the 200-yard freestyle (2 minutes, 1.51 seconds) and 500 free (5:10.7), Cecilia Moore won the 100 backstroke (1:01.96) and Mia Brown tied for first in the 50 free (24.96). The 200 medley relay (1:55.31) and 400 free relay (3:49.78) also finished first.
"Mia is in a great position to qualify to the state meet championship final in one to two individual events this season," coach Megan Downing Teeters said. "Elizabeth swam exceptionally at her first state meet last year and I think with that experience under her belt she can make top 16 in at least one event at the state meet and qualify in an additional event. Cecilia qualified to the state meet in the 100 backstroke (in 2016) and is in a good spot to repeat that this season."
The boys scored 193 points to place third in the Delaware Invitational behind Delaware (365) and Westerville South (224).
Thomas Clark won the 200 individual medley (2:03.44) and 100 butterfly (54.07). The 200 medley relay (1:43.26) finished first and the 200 free relay (1:31.02) tied for first.
"The boys team is in a great position to crack the top 10 as a team at the state meet this year," Downing Teeters said.
Below are the coming schedules for the Watterson boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling, hockey and swimming & diving teams:
*Jan. 19 -- Home vs. Hartley. The Eagles lost to the Hawks 51-32 on Dec. 8.
Jan. 23 -- Home vs. Jonathan Alder
*Jan. 20 -- At Ready
*Jan. 18 -- DeSales at Capri Lanes
*Jan. 22 -- Africentric at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
*Jan. 19 -- Olentangy at Chiller North
*Jan. 20 -- DeSales at Chiller Dublin
*Jan. 21 -- Cincinnati Moeller at Chiller Dublin
SWIMMING & DIVING
Jan. 19 -- At Upper Arlington with St. Charles