Although pleased with his team's recent winning streak, Westerville South boys basketball coach Ed Calo believes the Wildcats have yet to hit their peak.
South was 7-3 overall before playing Pickerington Central on Jan. 7 and had won six consecutive games since a 74-59 loss at Olentangy Liberty on Dec. 12.
"There are so many things that we can improve on, but our kids are working every day," Calo said. "That's all we ask of them and that's all they do every day. I really like the group. They have a good focus. We're still making a lot of mistakes. We only have three seniors on our roster and only one (Stephon Saint-Cyr) on the floor a lot of the time. It's just a process."
The Wildcats are 3-1 in the OCC-Buckeye Division entering their game Friday, Jan. 10, at Westerville Central. The Warhawks also are 3-1 in the league.
South trailed Westerville North for most of the first half before rallying for a 60-57 win Jan. 3 at home. Tabari Howard led the Wildcats, scoring 20 of his career-high 27 points in the second half.
Howard connected on 12 free throws, and his three-point play with 4 minutes, 57 seconds remaining gave his team the lead for good at 49-47.
Jaiden Guice added 14 points.
Howard's effort bettered his previous career high of 24 points in a 64-54 win at Dublin Coffman on Dec. 23.
South defeated Logan 63-46 in the Phil Brown Classic on Dec. 27 at Otterbein. Peter Pedrozo led the Wildcats with 14 points, followed by Guice with 13.
"Our schedule is brutal," Calo said. "Before the season, I think some people outside of this room would say we're the underdog in just about every game. This room has a little different philosophy, a whole different story. We've always scheduled tough and that only makes us tougher."
Girls basketball team pulls away from North
The girls basketball team ran its league winning streak to 25 with a 52-34 win over visiting North on Jan. 3.
Aja Austin led the Wildcats with 14 points. Anyssa Jones scored 11 and Gabby Hutcherson added 10.
"We didn't play our best, but a lot of that has a lot to do with Westerville North and the rivalry," coach Jermaine Guice said. "North came to play. They gave us a lot of problems. They showed us some different looks. It made it tough on us."
South was 8-2 overall before playing Pickerington Central on Jan. 7. The Wildcats are 4-0 in the OCC-Buckeye.
Hutcherson scored 13 points in a 56-35 loss at Kettering Fairmont on Jan. 4. She had 29 points and Jones scored 10 in a 76-54 win over St. Bernard Roger Bacon on Dec. 28 at Cincinnati Winton Woods.
Austin scored 13 points and Jones added 12 in a 62-41 win over Granville in the Phil Brown Classic on Dec. 27 at Otterbein.
"I like where this team is," said Guice, who is in his first season. "We're competing in practice really well and we keep taking steps forward, and that's what it's all about. Hopefully we haven't peaked yet. You don't want to peak too soon, but the girls are really handling the change in coaching style pretty well."
Wrestlers compete at Marion Harding
The wrestling team finished 24th (37.5) in the 28-team Marion Harding Classic on Dec. 27 and 28 behind champion Lakewood St. Edward (207.5).
Nick Ifju (152 pounds) and Tyler O'Reilly (220) finished seventh and Harun Ali (113) was eighth to lead the Wildcats.
South competed without senior Aaron Morton, who has missed action because of a pinched nerve. Morton finished fourth at 160 in the Division I state tournament last season.
Below are the coming schedules for the South boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Jan. 10 -- At Westerville Central
Jan. 11 -- At Dresden Tri-Valley
*Jan. 10 -- At Central
Jan. 14 -- At Hilliard Davidson
*Jan. 10 -- Olentangy Orange at Columbus Square Bowling Palace
*Jan. 13 -- Olentangy Liberty at Sawmill Lanes
SWIMMING & DIVING
Jan. 10 -- Dublin Scioto and Marysville at Dublin Recreation Center
Jan. 11 -- Golden Eagles Duals at Madison Plains