The Hilliard Bradley High School boys basketball team continues to find ways to win despite battling injuries.
In the first month of last season, four-year starting point guard Braden Norris suffered a foot injury, but was able to return for the postseason. During a 60-51 win over Dublin Jerome on Dec. 21 in OCC-Cardinal Division play, the Jaguars lost post player Jack Pugh indefinitely to a left foot injury.
The Jaguars were 9-0 overall and 5-0 in the league before playing Dublin Scioto on Jan. 8.
"The reality is that you have each team for one year," coach Brett Norris said. "As good as last year went for us (winning the program's first Division I district title and reaching a regional final), it would have gone ever better if Braden had been healthy. I would say the same right now because Jack is a great player and (the injury) has an effect on us.
"One thing it says is that we have a program and we have other guys on the ready. Whether it's (sophomore guard) Keaton (Norris), (senior guard) Winston (Stone) or (senior guard) Colin (Foreman), those three in particular all have more of a role now and have been producing for us."
Pugh was evaluated earlier in the week to determine his fate for the remainder of the season. The 6-foot-6 sophomore had 16 points against Jerome and had averaged 9.6 points through the first five games.
"We really don't know what to expect yet," coach Norris said. "He had an X-ray and there's a chipped bone. We'll know more when he has an MRI on it. If the ligaments are OK, then he can return. If not, he'll have surgery and won't.
"This game is so highly decorated for the individual, but it's played as a team. I think that's the way we approach it, and we always have. I'm disappointed for Jack because he's been vested and worked so hard and now he isn't playing. We still have to play and get better."
Before facing Scioto, the Jaguars had won 34 consecutive league games, 27 games in a row at home and 23 consecutive regular-season contests.
"We still have the same standards and mindset," said junior guard Matt Allocco, who was averaging 16.3 points through nine games. "It's a tremendous loss with the player Jack is, but we have to be as great as we are as individuals. We have to do what we can to keep winning."
Allocco has been doing his part. He scored 21 points to lead the Jaguars in a 57-46 league win over Delaware on Jan. 4 and followed up that performance with 28 points in a 54-44 victory over Walnut Ridge in The Challenge on Jan. 5 at Africentric.
Senior forward Zach Hummel and sophomore guard A.J. Mirgon both added eight points against the Scots.
"It's definitely a challenge, but Jack supports us and coaches us up on the sideline," said Hummel, who has signed to play football at the University of Cincinnati. "Guys are stepping up and filling in for his spot."
Wrestling team preps for Porter Memorial
The wrestling team will be host to the Porter Memorial Tournament on Saturday, Jan. 12.
Last year's tournament was canceled because of bad weather. Coach John Riggs said the event is always exciting because all of the Hilliard teams participate.
"You have all three (Hilliard) high schools and all three (Hilliard) middle schools at the Porter and we pack the place for it," he said. "It was canceled last year because of snow, which is something that hasn't happened before. We have had to modify it and switch things around before, but we never have had to cancel it."
The Jaguars finished 18th (70.5 points) of 48 teams in the Greater Miami Valley Wrestling Association Holiday Tournament on Dec. 27 and 28 at Vandalia Butler, behind champion St. Paris Graham (286).
Zander Ellison placed fourth at 138 pounds and Dylan Ball was eighth at 182.
Girls basketball team showing improvement
The girls basketball team had won three of its previous four games before playing Scioto in an OCC-Cardinal contest Jan. 8.
The Jaguars improved to 3-8 overall and 2-4 in the league by defeating Delaware 39-35 on Jan. 4. Carly Callahan had 17 points, including four 3-pointers, and Emily Marschhausen added eight points.
Bradley picked up its first victory of the season by defeating Jerome 44-42 on Dec. 21 in league play. The Jaguars then competed in the Watterson Christmas Classic, defeating Grandview 54-26 on Dec. 27 before being edged by Cincinnati Seton 41-40 in overtime on Dec. 28.
Below are the coming schedules for the Bradley boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling, gymnastics, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Jan. 11 -- Home vs. Darby
*Jan. 18 -- At Thomas Worthington
*Jan. 11 -- Home vs. Darby. The Jaguars lost to the Panthers 40-32 on Dec. 4.
Jan. 15 -- Home vs. Upper Arlington
*Jan. 10 -- Pickerington North at Rule 3
Jan. 11 -- Whitehall at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
Jan. 12 -- Ashland Baker Bash at Luray Lanes
*Jan. 15 -- Groveport at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
Jan. 12 -- McGee Invitational at Dublin Coffman
SWIMMING & DIVING
Jan. 12 -- Central Ohio Splash Invitational at Thomas
*Jan. 10 -- Home vs. Dublin Scioto
Jan. 12 -- Porter Memorial Tournament at home