Dublin Scioto High School hockey coach Morgan Langworthy knew his team would face growing pains this season in its return to varsity-level play.

The Irish, who primarily played a junior varsity schedule the past three seasons, are 3-20-1 overall and 1-11 in the Capital Hockey Conference-Blue Division with three league games remaining.

"We knew it would be a bumpy road this year. We haven't got as many wins as we would like, but the team is skating and working hard every game," Langworthy said. "We've improved, and they're having a good time, having some fun."

Scioto went 0-3 in the Olentangy Orange Pioneer Classic on Jan. 18 and 19 at Chiller North, but the event's games on Jan. 20 were canceled because of bad weather. The Irish lost to Athens 3-2 on Jan. 18 and fell to Springboro 12-4 and Oxford Talawanda 10-1 on Jan. 19.

Scioto defeated first-year Olentangy Berlin 7-6 in overtime Dec. 7 for its only league win.

"We had an overtime winner against Berlin that was actually a lot fun for the team," Langworthy said. "It was a league win for our new goalie (Will Clark). We were behind and fought back and won in OT, so that was a fun one."

Senior forward Avery Langworthy, the coach's son, scored the game-winning goal.

"Avery has worked hard all four years he's been in the program, so to see him get an opportunity like that to make a big difference is fun as a dad," coach Langworthy said.

Junior defenseman Matt Gast has 22 goals and 10 assists for 32 points and junior forward Pete Hrelec has 15 goals and 16 assists for 31 points. Hrelec had 24 goals last season.

Freshman forward Ryan Wallace has eight goals and nine assists for 17 points and Langworthy has seven goals and nine assists for 16 points.

Coach Langworthy has been impressed with the development of Clark, a first-year goaltender.

"He has an absolute perfect mindset," coach Langworthy said. "He works hard every practice. Dave Caruso, our goalie coach, (Clark) hangs on every word and takes all the instruction from Dave. (Clark) knows the (shots) that he's supposed to save and the ones that maybe the team needs to help him out a little more."

Scioto has added a game against Worthington Kilbourne on Feb. 1 at Chiller Dublin. The Irish are preparing for the league tournament, the Blue Jackets Cup, which begins Feb. 7. They then will compete in the district tournament, which begins Feb. 11.

Girls team remains in league title chase

The girls basketball team remains in contention for its second consecutive OCC-Cardinal title.

The Irish were 10-6 overall and 8-1 in the league before playing Hilliard Darby on Jan. 22. The Panthers, who defeated Scioto 62-59 on Dec. 18, and Thomas Worthington both were 7-2 in the league before Jan. 22. The Cardinals played Delaware that day.

Last season, Scioto and Thomas shared the league title at 9-3. There are 14 league games this season with the addition of Berlin.

The Irish bounced back from a 56-37 loss to Olentangy Liberty on Jan. 16 to defeat Berlin 51-48 on Jan. 18.

Lauren Erickson had 20 points and Natalie Hutras scored 11 against the Bears, while Karleigh Rothe had 16 points and Erickson scored 12 against the Patriots.

"Liberty is a good team and it's a good one to play because in a month we have (Division I district) tournament time," coach Jen Music said. "We need to face some pretty tough teams, especially one that can shoot pretty well."

Boys basketball team looks to avenge loss

The boys basketball team will look to avenge an earlier loss to Delaware when it plays host to the Pacers on Friday, Jan. 25.

The Irish, who were 8-6 overall and 4-4 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Darby on Jan. 22, lost to Delaware 64-57 in overtime on Dec. 14.

Dapreis Owens had 13 points and Drew Bryant scored 10 in a 48-34 win at Berlin on Jan. 18.

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank