The Worthington Kilbourne High School boys basketball team finally caught a break.
Thomas Wilson scored off an offensive rebound with 4.6 seconds remaining and the Wolves held on to beat host Fort Recovery 55-54 on Jan. 13, snapping a nine-game losing streak.
"It was about time we finally got a bounce to go our way," said coach Tom Souder, whose team was 2-10 overall before playing Gahanna on Jan. 16. "It was a great win for the kids. Ian Schupp tipped the rebound to Thomas Wilson, who grabbed it and scored. Then we forced a tough shot to win the game."
The Wolves, who hadn't won since beating Dublin Jerome 66-49 on Dec. 8, are 1-4 in the OCC-Cardinal Division entering a game at Jerome on Friday, Jan. 19. The next day, they will play a league game at Thomas in a makeup from Jan. 12.
The contest against the Cardinals will follow the Kilbourne-Thomas girls game, which begins at 6 p.m.
"We'd like to keep the momentum going this week, but we face some tough competition," Souder said. "Gahanna is one of the three teams we play who are currently in the top seven or eight teams in the district. Our kids wanted to play a tougher schedule and we added Westerville South, Westerville Central and Gahanna in our non-league schedule.
"Then you have Thomas this week, and that's always a fun, yet brutal game because the kids from both teams really go at each other with a lot of pride, determination and effort. As the saying goes, you can throw out the records for that one."
Against Fort Recovery, the Wolves rallied from a 16-4 first-quarter deficit and completed their comeback by outscoring the Indians 20-12 in the fourth quarter.
Jake Hirschy had 13 points and Zach Wilson and Brayden Carter both scored 10. Thomas Wilson added nine points.
"We trailed big early, but it wasn't from lack of execution or turnovers or anything like that," Souder said. "We were getting good looks, but we just weren't knocking them down. The kids were working their tails off, as they have all season, which is why I love this team.
"They never stop working. Things haven't gone their way. We've been in every ballgame except for two in the second half or fourth quarter. This time, they clawed just hard enough to end up on the right end of the scoreboard."
The Wolves lost to Canal Winchester 69-65 on Jan. 9, going only 7-for-17 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.
"The kids are resilient and they keep putting themselves in position to win," Souder said. "Sooner or later, it was bound to happen. Now we've got to use this as a springboard. In other years, our kids may have quit on the season, but not this group."
Against Canal Winchester, Hirschy had 17 points, Cayden Dougherty scored 12, Schupp scored 11 and Thomas Wilson added 10.
Through 12 games, Hirschy was averaging 12.5 points and Zach Wilson was averaging 10 points and 3.1 assists. Gavin Baker was averaging 8.6 points and 4.1 rebounds, Chase Brown was averaging six points and a team-best 5.5 rebounds and Dougherty was averaging 5.4 points with 3.9 assists.
Girls basketball team gets past Presidents
The girls basketball team won its only contest last week, holding off host Marion Harding 63-59 on Jan. 9 behind 30 points from Maggie Crozier.
The Wolves were 4-10 overall before playing New Albany on Jan. 16 and are 1-5 in the OCC-Cardinal. They have league games Friday, Jan. 19, at home against Jerome and Saturday, Jan. 20, at Thomas.
The contest against Thomas is a makeup from Jan. 12.
Playing league games on back-to-back days may not be ideal, but it shouldn't matter, according to coach Jim Strode.
"These teams are rivals and would play each other with intensity no matter what day of the week it is," Strode said of the matchup with the Cardinals. "I would think the intensity and adrenaline of the game would keep all players on both teams from getting too tired."
Against Marion Harding, Crozier made 10 field goals and was 10-for-13 from the free-throw line. Julia Taylor added 12 points and Morgan Schutte scored nine.
Boys bowlers look to get back on track
The boys bowling team was hoping to get back on track after going 1-2 last week.
The Wolves were 5-3 overall before competing against Olentangy Orange on Jan. 16 and were 3-2 in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-B Division entering a match against Pickerington Central on Jan. 17.
Kilbourne has three matches next week, competing against Hilliard Davidson on Monday, Jan. 22, at Ten Pin Alley, Reynoldsburg on Tuesday, Jan. 23, at Capri Lanes and Hilliard Darby on Wednesday, Jan. 24, at Capri Lanes.
The Wolves lost to Delaware 2,181-2,120 on Jan. 9, beat Hilliard Bradley 2,346-2,107 on Jan. 10 and lost to Pickerington North 1,985-1,700 on Jan. 11.
Kilbourne is 2-2 in the OCC-Cardinal. Entering the week, Groveport was 3-1 in the league, while Newark, Delaware and Darby all were 2-1.
Through eight matches, Evan Place led the Wolves with a 208 game average, followed by Michael Barnewall (182.7), John Catanzarite (181.2), Zac Legue (179) and Colby Sutherland (173.2).
The girls team was 3-5 overall, 3-3 in the COHSBC-B and 2-2 in the OCC-Cardinal entering the week.
Last week, the Wolves lost to Delaware 1,944-1,468 but defeated Bradley 1,798-1,663 and Pickerington North 1,515-1,432.
Meghan Gaines (153.4) and Casey Knuth (150) led Kilbourne in average entering the week.
Woods named baseball coach
Dustin Woods has been named baseball coach.
Woods, 28, coached Fort Recovery in 2016 after guiding Maria Stein Marion Local in 2014 and '15. He did not coach last spring.
A 2008 graduate of Celina, he played at Manchester University in Indiana in 2009 and '10 before ending his playing career and transferring to Ohio State, from which he graduated in 2013.
Woods is a substitute teacher for grades 7-12.
"It's tough not knowing where you'll be working from day to day, but I have had a chance to meet the boys and see them work out," he said. "I like the fact I have had the opportunity to meet them and know them without knowing their talent level. That way, every position is open to competition when we begin."
Woods replaces Mike Yinger, who went 29-24 in two seasons with the Wolves before leaving to become athletics director at Buckeye Valley.
Below are the coming schedules for the Kilbourne boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling, gymnastics, hockey and wrestling teams:
*Jan. 19 -- At Dublin Jerome. The Wolves beat the Celtics 66-49 on Dec. 8.
*Jan. 23 -- Home vs. Hilliard Bradley. The Wolves lost to the Jaguars 59-34 on Dec. 19.
*Jan. 19 -- Home vs. Jerome. The Wolves lost to the Celtics 40-26 on Dec. 8.
*Jan. 23 -- At Bradley. The Wolves lost to the Jaguars 41-40 on Dec. 19.
*Jan. 22 -- Hilliard Davidson at Ten Pin Alley
*Jan. 23 -- Reynoldsburg at Capri Lanes
*Jan. 24 -- Hilliard Darby at Capri Lanes
*Jan. 18 -- At Thomas with Olentangy and Olentangy Orange
Jan. 24 -- Home vs. Marysville and Thornville Sheridan
Jan. 20 -- New Albany at Chiller Easton
*Jan. 18 -- At Bradley
Jan. 20 -- Hamilton Township Classic