Finding a second scoring option to team with senior guard Dallas Patrick has been among the Wellington School boys basketball team's pursuits in the second half of the regular season.
Junior forward Elijah Meredith served in that role for the Jaguars' first 11 games, averaging 14 points before becoming ineligible because of the OHSAA's transfer rule. He was the team's second-leading scorer behind Patrick, who was averaging 24 points through 19 games.
Sophomore guard Marcus Stewart, junior guard Connor Herrick, senior forward Katz Kadlic and freshman guard/wing player Chase Ouellette all have stepped up offensively since the loss of Meredith.
Stewart had 19 points in a 60-37 victory over Berne Union on Jan. 28 and Ouellette scored 18 in a 55-50 victory over the Rockets on Feb. 9 that gave Wellington a 9-4 record in the MSL-Cardinal Division.
The Jaguars were 12-8 overall after losing 62-50 to Columbus Academy on Feb. 11 and before facing Ready on Feb. 12. They close the regular season Friday, Feb. 15, at home against Fairfield Christian.
Patrick had 31 points and Herrick scored 12 against Academy.
Wellington is seeded 12th of 26 teams in the Division III district tournament and will open Feb. 25 at home against 20th-seeded Horizon Science. The winner faces fourth-seeded Academy or 21st-seeded Marion Elgin in the second round March 2.
Swimmers begin postseason action
Members of the boys and girls swimming and diving teams will compete in the Division II district meet Thursday, Feb. 14, at Ohio State.
At district, the top two finishers in each swimming event, as well as the top three boys divers and top two girls divers, automatically advance to the state meet, which runs Wednesday, Feb. 20, through Feb. 22 at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
On Feb. 9 in a sectional at Upper Arlington, the boys team finished first (301 points) ahead of Grandview (194) and Watterson (148) and the girls scored 261 points to finish behind Grandview (401).
For the boys, Evan Albers finished first in the 200-yard freestyle (2 minutes, 10.15 seconds) and second in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.1) and Heath Thomas was first in the 100 breast (1:04.69) and second in the 200 individual medley (2:06.11).
Also finishing second for the boys were the 200 medley relay of Alex Lott, Albers, Thomas and Will Miller (1:55.85) and the 400 free relay of Avery Rennick, Miller, Albers and Thomas (3:44.45).
Leading the girls team was Sarah Anderson, who won the 100 butterfly (1:03.07) and was second in the 50 free (25.95). She also swam on the runner-up 200 medley relay along with Soleil Tibbets-Barnes, Serene Abdelbaki and Camille Simpson (2:13.04) and second-place 200 free relay along with Tibbets-Barnes, Kath Olson and Simpson (1:57.04).
The 400 free relay of Olson, Lola Perez, Erin Anderson and Simpson also was runner-up (4:35.26).
Girls team prepping for district tourney
The 14th-seeded girls basketball team will open the Division IV district tournament Wednesday, Feb. 20, at fourth-seeded Delaware Christian after having a first-round bye.
The winner plays third-seeded Berne Union or 16th-seeded Madison Christian on Feb. 23 in a third-round contest.
The Jaguars were 4-15 overall before playing Circleville New Hope Christian on Feb. 12 but have been much more competitive since senior guard Savannah Childress returned from a shoulder injury that sidelined her for eight games.
Wellington beat Harvest Prep 41-32 in Childress' first game back Jan. 15 and went 3-5 in her first eight games back. The Jaguars hung with Centennial on Feb. 7 before losing 39-30.
The Stars are a Division II program that is 10-11.
The Jaguars lost 75-30 to Fairfield Christian on Feb. 8 to finish 4-10 in the MSL-Cardinal.