Kynadee Anthony and Camryn Woodrow's continued development as senior inside players for the Canal Winchester High School girls basketball team has provided several benefits for the Indians.
Interim coach Hillary Kessler has started both Anthony and Woodrow on occasion, and in other games will use a three- or four-guard lineup and bring Woodrow off the bench depending on the matchup.
When both are in the game, Anthony and Woodrow say they are working as well together as they have since first becoming friends and teammates in elementary school.
"We're pretty similar," the 5-foot-11 Woodrow said. "Our passes find each other. Most of my baskets lately have come from her assists."
Woodrow was averaging 4.5 points and 4.9 assists through 20 games for the Indians, who were 11-9 overall before playing Pickerington North on Feb. 5 and are 5-4 in the OCC-Capital Division entering their regular-season finale Friday, Feb. 8, at New Albany. The 6-foot Anthony was averaging 5.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists.
Anthony had scored in double digits five times before Feb. 5 with a high of 12 points, which she scored three times.
Anthony, Shalea Byrd, Amanda Rarick and Natalie Rarick regularly start, while the fifth spot alternates between guard Ariana Coleman and Woodrow. Anthony always plays center when she is in the game, while Woodrow plays power forward when Anthony is in and center when she is not.
"We've been running an inside game that's worked because they've been able to look for a pass from each other and they know what they're expecting," said Kessler, whose team beat Franklin Heights 80-23 on Feb. 1. "Both of them have really improved. Cam has a lot of confidence in herself and is making some great post moves and she's also hitting an outside jumper. Kynadee is still a presence inside the key, but she's also improved on her passing and improving on her jumper. I can count on Kynadee if we're having trouble getting pressed. With her size and with her knowledge, she can see the floor."
Woodrow said being a vocal leader naturally meshes with her personality.
"I'm naturally extroverted. When I talk about being in a job, I want to be the boss," Woodrow said, laughing. "The seniors in the past have paved the way for us to be more vocal leaders. They set a great example in not just being a vocal leader, but one that leads by example and how to play on the varsity level. (Anthony and I) both take the role personally, too. It's an important role."
Anthony, who has overcome a stress fracture in her left foot, said she and Woodrow also are better shooters from 10 to 15 feet away from the basket.
"I think I could be a better rebounder this season, but Cam and I work really well together," Anthony said. "We're pretty similar, for the most part. We both like to be inside, but we both can shoot if we're a little farther outside."
The Indians is seeded 18th for the 45-team Division I district tournament. They took a first-round bye and will visit 11th-seeded Teays Valley or play host to 34th-seeded Olentangy Orange in the second round Feb. 22.
Natalie Rarick was averaging team-highs of 11.8 points and 5.7 rebounds through 20 games, ahead of Amanda Rarick (10.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists) and Byrd (8.5 points, 11.2 rebounds).
Kessler hopes that versatility makes the Indians a tough matchup in the postseason.
"We don't have a certain type of basketball we're playing right now. We're just seeing what's working and what's not," Kessler said. "A lot of it depends on who we're playing. We haven't played many teams that are as big as we are, so it's been helpful to start big and then when I have Ari (Coleman) and Anaya (Edwards) coming off the bench, they're able to give us a lot more pressure."
Wrestling team preps for home invitational
After not having had a match since Jan. 24, the wrestling team will play host to Newark in OCC-Capital competition Thursday, Feb. 7, before conducting the 17-team Canal Winchester Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 9.
According to coach Harrison Rosch, top teams in the event include Bellefontaine, Dresden Tri-Valley and two-time defending OCC-Capital champion Groveport.
Tri-Valley is the fifth seed in the district for the coming Division I postseason. Bellefontaine had three state-ranked wrestlers last week, according to BoroFanOhio.net, in Jordan Crace (145 pounds), Garrett Gross (195) and Bruno Pattison (220).
Crace, a Michigan State recruit who was state runner-up at 120 as a sophomore at St. Paris Graham, was top-ranked last week in Division II. Pattison was fifth and Gross was 13th.
Rosch considers 132 the deepest weight class in the event, one headlined by last year's state runner-up at 126 in Northridge's Klay Reeves. He was ranked third in Division III at 132 last week by BoroFanOhio.net.
"132 is probably the toughest weight class with three wrestlers ranked in the state (Central Crossing's Hudson Leapley, Reeves and Duncan Falls Philo's Shaun Pletcher), plus three other returning district qualifiers," Rosch said. "This should be a good tournament. We're very excited."
The Canal Winchester Invitational is in its third season. Last year, the Indians finished fifth of 20 teams on the strength of second-place finishes from Chance Brown (145) and Cian Rose (106) and a third-place finish by Michael Gallagher (132).
Rounding out the field are Centerburg, Columbus South, Hamilton Township, Johnstown, Liberty Union, Madison Plains, Pickerington North, Ready, Walnut Ridge and Westland.
The Indians are 0-3 in the OCC-Capital entering their match against the Wildcats.
Boys team remains tied atop league
The boys basketball team shook off its first loss of the season by winning its next two games, hitting 11 3-pointers in a 79-70 win over visiting Hilliard Darby on Jan. 30 and using a huge second half to beat host Franklin Heights 73-48 on Feb. 1.
The Indians, who outscored the Falcons 48-23 in the second half, lost 70-64 at Groveport on Jan. 25.
Brady Snyder had 22 points against Darby and 27 against Franklin Heights in a win that kept Canal Winchester tied for first place in the OCC-Capital with Newark. Both teams are 7-1 in the league.
The Indians, who were 17-1 overall before playing Pickerington North on Feb. 5, conclude the regular season Feb. 15 at Newark
Bilal Sow added 16 points and Zach Miles scored 13 against Darby. Cole Metzler had 17 points and Sow added 15 against Franklin Heights.
The win over the Falcons marked the 14th time this season that Canal Winchester has had at least three scorers in double figures.
Below are the coming schedules for the Canal Winchester boys basketball, girls basketball, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Feb. 8 -- Home vs. New Albany. The Indians defeated the Eagles 65-48 on Jan. 4.
Feb. 12 -- At Teays Valley
*Feb. 8 -- At New Albany. The Indians defeated the Eagles 66-56 on Jan. 4.
SWIMMING & DIVING
Feb. 9 -- Division I sectional at Upper Arlington. The winner of each event automatically qualifies for district Feb. 15 at Ohio State. In addition, 27 at-large district berths will be awarded in each event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectional sites.
*Feb. 7 -- Home vs. Newark
Feb. 9 -- Canal Winchester Invitational