Dublin Scioto boys basketball coach Mike Moler is confident his team can rebound from last season.
The Irish, who finished 10-13 overall and 5-9 in the OCC-Cardinal Division and lost in the first round of the Division I district tournament a year ago, opened Dec. 3 against Canal Winchester and begin league play Friday, Dec. 6, at Olentangy Berlin.
"Last year, we lost a lot of close games," said Moler, who is in his seventh season. "You have to win those games and, because of that, we didn't win as many games as we wanted to."
Scioto has four returnees in 6-foot-1 senior guard Benjamin Lombardo, 6-2 senior guard Jayden Prince, 6-3 senior forward Drew Bryant and 5-8 junior guard Jaydon Pearson.
"We should be pretty good this year," Lombardo said. "We're looking forward to the season. Our schedule is tough, but we can definitely beat some teams."
The rest of the team competed at the junior varsity level last season.
"(Experience) is a concern at the beginning of the season, but the seniors have really taken control of this team," Prince said. "We have really good leadership this year. Benny and Drew and myself have really worked hard to get the younger guys going a little bit."
Rounding out the team are juniors Bradley Anderson (6-0, guard), Fabian Castillo (5-10, guard), Max Edling (6-2, forward), Xavier Lopes (6-4, forward), Kevin McCray (5-11, guard), Garrett Mielke (6-1, guard), Mazin Tagelsir (6-0, guard), Joe Trent (6-5, forward) and Vernon Williams (6-5, forward).
"Experience is always a concern, but that's what the preseason is for," Moler said. "We're working through that now. We have a lot of young guys and guys who have played, so we will have to see what happens when we mix those together."
Moler is hoping his team can improve on its sixth-place finish in the league from a year ago and expects Hilliard Bradley and Thomas Worthington to be the teams to beat.
"Our league is shaped up to be Bradley and Thomas and then everybody else," he said. "Delaware has some guys back who have played for a couple of years, but after that it's teams that are going to battle night in and night out. ... A successful season is us is finishing in the top half of the league, winning a (district) tournament game or two and having a winning record."
Among Scioto's 2019 graduates were guard Victor Mwamba (second-team all-league, honorable mention all-district), forward Dapreis Owens (special mention all-league, honorable mention all-district) and guard Zach Gawronski (honorable mention all-league).
Bowling teams begin first season
Bowling is being offered as a club sport for the first time since Scioto opened in 1995.
Scioto, which is being coached by Tamie Snyder, opens Tuesday, Dec. 9, with a COHSBC-C Division match against Whitehall at Holiday Lanes.
Scioto will hold its home matches and practices at Sawmill Lanes.
"I'm looking forward to the season and I believe the kids are, too," Snyder said. "Being it's the first year, a lot of these kids are not bowlers. I told them all you need is a positive attitude and a little commitment. I don't care how they bowl. Everyone is pretty excited."
The boys team should be led by junior Nick Lauro and freshmen Daniel Oesch and Ray Soldini, who Snyder says have some experience. Lauro is Snyder's son.
Senior Joseph Matter, junior Brian Diehl and sophomore Jonathan Carr are new to the sport.
For the girls team, junior Masako Soldini and sophomore Kayla Butcher have limited experience.
Juniors Aurora Gallicchio and Cameron Tucker and sophomore Mei Harter are new to the sport.
Snyder, who is a volunteer, is hoping the program eventually can add junior varsity teams.
Andy Fecht, Rachel Miracle and John Witt are serving as advisors.
Snyder admits she's not a devoted bowler, but developed a love for the sport because of her father, Tom Snyder, who bowled professionally. He died in 2010.
"The sport holds a special place in my heart," she said. "My dad was on the professional circuit for a while in the 1960s. I never really bowled."
Below are the coming schedules for the Scioto boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling, gymnastics, hockey, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Dec. 6 -- At Olentangy Berlin
*Dec. 10 -- Home vs. Delaware
*Dec. 6 -- Home vs. Berlin
*Dec. 10 -- At Delaware
*Dec. 9 -- Whitehall at Holiday Lanes
*Dec. 10 -- Reynoldsburg at Sawmill Lanes
Dec. 9 -- At Coffman with Jerome, *Hilliard Bradley, *Hilliard Darby and Hilliard Davidson
Dec. 6 -- Olentangy Liberty at Chiller North
Dec. 7 -- Worthington Kilbourne at Chiller Dublin
SWIMMING & DIVING
Dec. 6 -- Bradley at Dublin Recreation Center
Dec. 7 -- At Thomas Worthington with Worthington Kilbourne
Dec. 10 -- Central Crossing and Westland at Urbancrest YMCA
Dec. 6 -- Centerville, Lancaster and Upper Arlington at Hastings Middle School
Dec. 7 -- Olentangy Invitational