Coach Lamont Tillman is looking for ways to jump-start the offense of his Westerville North High School girls basketball team.
For nearly an hour after the host Warriors lost to Olentangy Orange 38-29 on Jan. 11, Tillman sat in the locker room trying to figure things out with his assistant coaches. Then he realized it was getting late and decided to step away from the meeting of minds until the following morning.
North was 6-7 overall before playing Dublin Jerome on Jan. 15 and 2-4 in the OCC-Buckeye after losing to Orange to begin the second half of league play.
"We just need a little bit more consistency," Tillman said. "When you look at us, our issue is on the offensive end. We have to consistently put the ball in the basket, and when we can do that it gives us some leeway to work through some mistakes, work through some youth, work through some inexperience.
"When we have struggled this year, we have had a problem putting the ball in the basket. That has magnified our youth and inexperience."
The Warriors were averaging 35.7 points while surrendering 43.4 per game through 13 contests. Their highest scoring output came in a 57-51 victory over Logan in the Phil Brown Classic on Dec. 27 at Otterbein. Their lowest point total came in a 66-14 loss Jan. 4 to Westerville South, which also had the most points scored against North this season.
"We're generally a good defensive team, but when you are struggling to put the ball in the hole and you are missing makeable shots, it can be deflating," Tillman said. "It can take a lot out of you on the defensive end and over the course of a 32-minute game."
Alyssa Wright, who led the Warriors with 10 points against Orange, said the players need to figure out what they need to do to improve.
"We haven't been consistent and that shows on the court like it did (against Orange)," she said. "We need to become a team and we need leaders. I admit that I haven't been a great leader lately and we need to work on that instead of being a bunch of individuals.
"We were consistent at the beginning of the season and then we lost some focus. We have to figure out what we need to work on. We need to look in the mirror a lot of times instead of pointing fingers."
The Warriors defeated Marysville 41-40 on Jan. 8 on a last-second 3-pointer by Charia Smith, who led the way with 12 points.
Tillman said his team would need to hang its hat on staunch defense as it worked toward becoming better offensively.
"We continue to defend," he said. "Even when you look at the scores of the game, we're not giving up a ton of points. We're just not scoring the ball."
Bernsdorf leads swim teams in Canton meet
Andrew Bernsdorf won the 200-yard individual medley and placed third in the 100 backstroke to lead the boys swimming and diving team in the Northeast Classic on Jan. 12 at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
The senior finished the 200 IM in 1 minute, 51.26 seconds, setting a meet record with his personal-best performance. The Warriors' program record in the event was set last year when 2018 graduate Jason Mathews placed third in the Division I state meet in 1:50.43 in the same pool.
Bernsdorf also set a program record of 51.54 in the 100 back. The boys were 18th (36 points) behind champion Jerome (232) as 42 teams scored.
"I knew he would swim well because he always does well at competitions like that, but I was shocked at how well he swam," coach Rich Morris said. "He had a couple of meet goals we were working on and he put it together. It was beautiful."
The girls tied Worthington Christian for 30th (16) behind champion North Canton Hoover (243) as 48 teams scored.
Junior Janessa Mathews was third in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.07) and 17th in the 200 free (1:57.09). Junior Christy Harper was 21st in the 100 back (1:00.59).
"Janessa did well and she has been in a hard (practice) cycle, and Christy did well but she will get a lot faster in the next five or six weeks," Morris said. "They all swam well despite having a really hard week of workouts."
Boys basketball team earns first league win
The boys basketball team had won two consecutive games to improve to 6-6 overall before playing Watterson on Jan. 15.
The Warriors defeated Orange 69-65 in overtime Jan. 11 to improve to 1-4 in the OCC-Buckeye. Charles Perkins had six points in overtime and finished with 18 to lead a balanced attack.
Jeremiah Keene (14), Philip Alston (12), Chace Perkins (12) and Noah Lawrence (11) also scored in double figures.
Keene scored 22 points, Charles Perkins had 14 and Alston added 11 in a 66-60 win over Marysville on Jan. 8.
Below are the coming schedules for the North boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Jan. 18 -- At Westerville Central. The Warriors lost to the Warhawks 57-55 on Dec. 7.
Jan. 22 -- Home vs. Upper Arlington
*Jan. 18 -- Home vs. Central. The Warriors lost to the Warhawks 36-25 on Dec. 7.
Jan. 22 -- At UA
*Jan. 18 -- New Albany at Gahanna Lanes
Jan. 19 -- Central District Preview at Columbus Square Bowling Palace
SWIMMING & DIVING
Jan. 18 -- Canal Winchester at Westerville Community Center
*Jan. 17 -- At Olentangy Orange
Jan. 18-19 -- Licking Heights Invitational