The Worthington Kilbourne High School girls swimming and diving team is excited about this season.

"This could be their best season in years," said 26th-year coach Jim Callahan, who also oversees the Thomas program. "They have a good balance of veterans and youngsters and they have a well-balanced lineup, including a strong diving team."

Two-time state qualifier Haley Banner is back for her senior season and is expected to lead the way. Also returning are three others who competed at district in senior Arianna Garver, junior Ellie Ishida and sophomore Lauren Richner.

In the Division I state meet last season, Banner placed 16th in the 100-yard freestyle (52.9 seconds) after placing 24th as a sophomore.

"Haley is very talented and wants to finish her career at Kilbourne in a big way, and my guess is that she will," Callahan said. "Ellie and Lauren were on our relays at district and they're back and Ariana is back in diving. Plus, (the girls team has) a couple of freshmen who are already contributing."

At district last season, the 200 medley relay placed 12th (1:53.25), the 200 free relay finished 13th (1:42.1) and Garver was 16th in diving (326 points). Banner and junior Angela Lu, who did not return this season, also were on both relays.

Junior Melanie Fisher and sophomores Ella Brown and Phoebe Saunders also have returned. Completing the roster are freshmen swimmers Nanami Campbell, Maria Cuozzo, Evie DeCarlo, Katie Rzymek and Abbie Needleman and three other divers in seniors Audra Gandert and Sami Fink and junior Joselin List.

"Campbell and DeCarlo lead the young girls and have looked good thus far. It's a good freshman crop," Callahan said.

The boys team is looking for improvement after scoring in just one event at district last year.

Junior Nolan Wilson is back after placing 15th in diving (284.9) at district.

Five others who competed at district a year ago have returned in seniors Jack Begley and Nathan Martin and juniors Aaron Chen, John Cuozzo and Mitchell Fisher. Begley and Cuozzo both competed in four events.

Also on the roster are six other swimmers in senior Haris Nuspahic, juniors Matt Gerold and Cameron Rung, sophomore Andrew Wingert and freshmen Conor O'Brien and Thomas Rzymek and two other divers in junior Michael Richardson and sophomore Kieran Malloney.

"Jack and Nathan are very hard workers and they have the ability to pull the rest of the team to a higher level," Callahan said. "I think the boys are going to have some good relays and I think they're set to have a good year overall."

Boys basketball team falls in league opener

The boys basketball team couldn't overcome a 44-25 halftime deficit and lost to host Jerome 74-68 in its OCC-Cardinal opener Dec. 7.

The Wolves, who lost to Westerville South 78-51 in their season opener Dec. 4, were 0-2 overall before playing Westerville Central on Dec. 11. They return to league play Friday, Dec. 14, against Hilliard Darby in their home opener.

Against Jerome, Gavin Baker had 19 points, Zach Wilson scored 15 and Ayden Parsons scored eight.

Scott helping to lead girls basketball team

The girls basketball team bounced back after losing its first two games.

The Wolves were 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the OCC-Cardinal Division before playing Thomas on Dec. 11.

Kilbourne held off Hilliard Bradley 30-27 in its league opener Nov. 30 and beat Watkins Memorial 55-50 on Dec. 1 before losing to Dublin Jerome 56-48 on Dec. 7 in a league contest.

Lauren Scott had a team-high 16 points against Jerome, followed by Amya Harris with 15 and Celeste Sloma with 12. Against Watkins Memorial, Scott scored 19 points, Julia Taylor scored 11 and Harris added 10.

bemerine@thisweeknews.com

@Brad_ThisWeek

Schedules

SWIMMING & DIVING

Nov. 30 -- Worthington/Westerville Invitational at Thomas

Dec. 1 -- Dublin Scioto at Thomas

Dec. 4 -- Marysville at Thomas

Dec. 7-8 -- Viking Invitational at Cleveland State

Dec. 11 -- Bloom-Carroll and Oberlin at Thomas

Dec. 14 -- Groveport at Thomas

Jan. 9 -- Worthington Sprint Invitational at Thomas

Jan. 11-12 -- Northeast Classic at Branin Natatorium in Canton

Jan. 16 -- Bexley at Thomas

Jan. 25 -- OCC-Cardinal diving meet at Thomas

Jan. 26 -- OCC-Cardinal swimming meet at Thomas

Feb. 1 -- Watterson at Thomas

Below are the coming schedules for the Kilbourne boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling, gymnastics, hockey and wrestling teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL

*Dec. 14 -- Home vs. Hilliard Darby

*Dec. 17 -- Home vs. Hilliard Bradley

GIRLS BASKETBALL

*Dec. 14 -- At Hilliard Darby

BOWLING

*Dec. 13 -- Pickerington Central at Capri Lanes

Dec. 15 -- Pioneer Baker Marathon at Columbus Square Bowling Palace

GYMNASTICS

Dec. 15 -- Hilliard Invitational at Hilliard Davidson

HOCKEY

Dec. 15 -- Olentangy Orange at Chiller Dublin

WRESTLING

*Dec. 13 -- Home vs. Dublin Scioto

Dec. 15 -- Findlay Invitational

*League contest