In the midst of a four-game losing streak, the Bexley girls basketball team was thrust into a difficult situation.
Junior point guard Maddy Young rolled her right ankle early in the third quarter Dec. 14 against Grandview with the Lions holding an eight-point advantage. Grandview cut the lead to six, but Bexley scored the next 10 points to secure a 53-36 victory in MSL-Ohio Division play.
"I complimented the girls after the game because they could have put their heads down and worried that we had lost one of our leaders in Maddy, but we didn't," coach Brycen Baugh said. "We went out on a big run after Maddy went out. That was a message to (Grandview) that we weren't going away just because Maddy got hurt."
It was a much-needed win for the Lions, who opened with a 37-32 victory over London on Nov. 22 before losing their next four contests. They lost to Springfield Catholic Central 49-46 on Nov. 25 and Hartley 45-31 on Dec. 4 before losing league games to Worthington Christian 29-26 on Dec. 6 and Buckeye Valley 43-42 on Dec. 10.
Entering the week, those four teams had a combined record of 20-3.
"You check out the records of Hartley (3-2), Springfield Catholic (7-0), Buckeye Valley (4-1) and Worthington Christian (6-0), and they are pretty impressive," said Baugh, whose team was 2-4 overall before playing Bloom-Carroll on Dec. 17 and is 1-2 in the MSL-Ohio. "I knew the beginning of the season would be pretty rough, and we're 2-4. That's not where I thought we could be. I thought 2-4 would be the worst-case scenario if we couldn't steal one of the other ones."
The Lions had eight players score against Grandview, led by Young's 10 points before her exit. With 6 minutes, 30 seconds left in the third quarter, she stepped backward to take the ball out of bounds and rolled her right ankle.
"At first I thought things might go downhill because Maddy is one of our main scorers," said junior guard Aly Cox, who scored nine points. "But we all decided to push forward and show Maddy and our coaches that other people can score."
The Lions got nine points from freshman guard/forward Sofia Sheridan and eight from sophomore Grace Heilman, who took over at point guard for Young. Sophomore guard Regan Comstock had seven points and freshman forward Sydnie Smith added six.
"Grace took over the point and she is really improving at being under control," Baugh said.
"We have worked on her going off two feet instead of just one foot so she's on balance. Her turnovers were way down because she was under control more because she was on two feet."
Baugh is excited about his team's overall play.
"We have some good freshmen, but they still make some freshman mistakes," he said. "They are athletes and competitors, and we like to see them out there.
"Sofia Sheridan and Sydnie Smith do everything we ask of them, and it's great to work with those girls. As much as they have improved from the beginning of the season until now, I can't wait to see them three years from now."
Wrestlers finish second in home duals
The wrestling team finished as runner-up in the five-team Bexley Duals on Dec. 14.
The Lions went 3-1 to finish behind Jonathan Alder (4-0) and ahead of Cincinnati Winton Woods (2-2), Mifflin (1-3) and Grandview (0-4).
Bexley defeated Mifflin 42-29, Grandview 57-6 and Winton Woods 48-21, but lost to Jonathan Alder 54-18.
Seniors Carter Brenner (138 pounds) and Anthony Samson (195) and sophomore Noah Lyons (152) went 4-0, and freshmen Ezra Kerns (160), Clifford Padmore (170) and Sean Palmer (106) went 3-1.
"Our young wrestlers looked better than expected and our older guys were where they should be at this time of year," coach Chris Bragg said. "Overall, we weren't sure where we would be, but we did well. We still have a lot of work to do."
The Lions next compete Dec. 27 and 28 in the Marion Harding Holiday Classic.
Boys basketball team looks to snap skid
The boys basketball team had lost four consecutive games to fall to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in the MSL-Ohio before playing Worthington Christian on Dec. 17.
Damian Davis scored 20 points and Caden Phillips added nine on three 3-pointers as the Lions lost to Columbus Academy 58-45 on Dec. 13 in league play.
Through five games, Davis was averaging a team-high 18.2 points, followed by Phillips at 7.8 and Chris Mitchell at 6.8.
Below are the coming schedules for the Bexley boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling and swimming & diving teams:
*Dec. 21 -- Home vs. Buckeye Valley
Dec. 23 -- At St. Charles
*Dec. 20 -- At Columbus School for Girls
*Dec. 19 -- Haugland Learning Center at Holiday Lanes
*Dec. 20 -- Columbus South at Holiday Lanes
SWIMMING & DIVING
Dec. 21 -- Wellington Jaguar Invitational at Columbus Aquatics Center