With the Division I district tournament quickly approaching, Dublin Scioto High School boys basketball coach Mike Moler is willing to try just about anything to snap his team out of its recent struggles.
The Irish had lost five consecutive games and were 9-11 overall before playing Marysville on Feb. 12.
The day after a 61-51 loss to Thomas Worthington on Feb. 5, Moler held a longer-than-usual film session with his players.
"We have to figure some things out," Moler said. "I'm willing to try a lot of things at this point, but if I knew what we needed to do, it would have been done and at this point I'm just trying to stick with what we know and do what we're good at. Right now, we just have too many breakdowns at key moments."
The Irish, who are 5-8 in the OCC-Cardinal Division, close the regular season Friday, Feb. 15, with a league game at Jerome. They lost to the Celtics 56-43 on Jan. 11.
Moler and his players are hoping a strong effort against Jerome will provide some momentum heading into the district tournament. Seeded 30th of 47 teams, the Irish will play at 15th-seeded Gahanna in the first round Feb. 23.
"We love matchups against Jerome," senior Dapreis Owens said. "It's another rival game for us. The first time we played Jerome, we lost our way a little bit, but we're ready."
Scioto lost to visiting Hilliard Bradley 48-22 on Feb. 8. Drew Bryant had a team-high nine points against the Jaguars, who have clinched their third consecutive league title.
Before losing to Bradley, the Irish had a chance to win their previous four games, but fell short.
"We had chances in the fourth quarter on each one of those games and haven't been able to make the plays at the end," Moler said. "It's very frustrating from a sense that we know what to do when I ask them. It's just not getting it done right now."
Victor Mwamba had 12 points and Owens and Bryant both scored 10 against Thomas.
Through 20 games, Owens was averaging a team-high 9.8 points, followed by Mwamba (8.4) and Zach Gawronski (8.0).
"It's that time of the year. You're either getting better or staying the same and right now I'm not sure we're getting better," Moler said.
Owens believes the Irish can have success in the district tournament.
"We're more than capable of bouncing back," he said. "The postseason is like a second season. Once we get in that tournament mode, things will be a lot better for us."
Girls team finishes second in league
The girls basketball team settled for second place in the OCC-Cardinal after dropping its final two regular-season games.
Scioto lost at Thomas 57-47 on Feb. 5 and was edged by host Bradley 34-30 on Feb. 8 to fall to 13-9 overall and finish 10-4 in the league, second behind Hilliard Darby (12-2).
Marlae Davis had 12 points against Bradley, and Lauren Erickson had 14 points and Natalie Hutras scored 12 against Thomas.
The Irish are seeded 17th of 45 teams in the Division I district tournament and play host to 22nd-seeded Marysville in the first round Saturday, Feb. 16. The winner plays 19th-seeded Marion Harding in a second-round game Feb. 22.
"Marysville is going to be aggressive. They're going to be physical, they're going to be scrappy," coach Jen Music said. "We'll have to be ready for that."
Hockey team falls in Cup opener
The hockey team lost to 16th-seeded Gahanna 5-2 in the play-in game of the Blue Jackets Cup consolation tournament Feb. 6 at Chiller Dublin to fall to 5-23-1 overall.
Pete Hrelec and Nick Gould scored for the 17th-seeded Irish and goaltender Will Clark had 28 saves.
Scioto is seeded 23rd of 26 teams in the district tournament and faces 25th-seeded Cincinnati Elder in the first round Friday, Feb. 15, at OhioHealth Ice Haus.
The winner plays top-seeded Jerome in the second round Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Ice Haus, with that winner advancing to a district quarterfinal Feb. 23.
"Our goal is always to advance to the second round of the district tournament and we have a really good shot to that this year," coach Morgan Langworthy said.
Rennie leads swimmers at sectional meet
The swimming teams competed in a Division I sectional Feb. 9 at Kenyon College.
Ema Rennie led the girls, winning the 50-yard freestyle (24.86 seconds) and placing seventh in the 100 free (55.53).
Rennie also teamed with Lauren Perry, Abby Ng and Anna Miller to place fifth in the 200 free relay (1:45.81).
Scioto finished ninth (66 points) of nine teams, behind champion Coffman (266).
Colson Wenzel led the boys, placing fifth in the 50 free (22.0) and sixth in the 100 free (48.95).
The Irish finished seventh (55) of 10 teams, behind champion St. Charles (299).
The winner in each swimming event, along with 27 at-large qualifiers per event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectional sites, advanced to district Friday, Feb. 15, at Ohio State.
At district, the top two placers in each event automatically advance to the state meet Feb. 22 and 23 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. In addition, 16 at-large state berths will be awarded for each event based on district times statewide.
Gymnasts compete in league meet
The gymnastics team finished eighth (75.85) in the OCC-Cardinal meet Feb. 9 at Thomas, behind Jerome (138.9), Olentangy Berlin (136.55), Darby (135.425), Kilbourne (134.9), Bradley (131.175), Delaware (128.75) and Thomas (124.175).
Sara Sun finished 26th (29.15) in the all-around to lead Scioto. Alex Gordon was 27th (27.025).
Below is the coming schedule for the Scioto wrestling team:
*Feb. 14 -- Home vs. Jerome