Joel Taylor continues to see improvement during his second season as Grove City girls basketball coach.
After going 3-20 overall and 0-10 in the OCC-Ohio Division last year, the Greyhounds were 5-13 overall before playing Worthington Kilbourne on Jan. 27. They also are 2-6 in the league.
"We've been playing pretty well and our confidence has increased," Taylor said. "We just go through periods where we have a scoring drought. We're getting good looks, but they haven't fallen for us. We're hoping that is going to happen in the last few games of the (regular) season going into the (Division I district) tournament. We've played really well all year against really good teams defensively. We still have room to improve and we're not satisfied yet."
Grove City has league contests remaining at Gahanna on Friday, Jan. 31, and against Pickerington Central on Feb. 7. Both of its league wins came against Pickerington North, 40-35 on Dec. 3 and 34-29 on Jan. 10.
The Greyhounds lost a league game at Reynoldsburg 62-23 on Jan. 24. Ellie Pollock-Ballard led Grove City with seven points.
Taylor has been pleased with the contributions of his seniors, but several underclassmen have stepped up and should provide a solid foundation for the future.
One of those promising players is freshman Kayla Jones, who helped lead the Greyhounds to a 33-30 win at Central Crossing on Jan. 21. She scored a game-high 13 points and went 9-for-11 from the free-throw line.
"Last year we only won three games and this year we're already at five," Jones said. "(It wasn't) just me winning this (game), it was everyone pitching in the work and the practices that it takes to beat them because (Central Crossing) is very talented. Putting in the hard work to beat them gives us a lot of confidence."
Jones' two free throws with 26.9 seconds remaining gave her team the lead for good at 32-30.
"She makes things happen," Taylor said. "She's quick, she's athletic, she has great instincts. She did a great job like all our kids did. They all played really well."
Senior Madison Grube added eight points.
The Greyhounds held Haley Cox, the Comets' all-time leading scorer, to seven points.
"Central Crossing could have very easily won that game," Taylor said. "We made enough plays down the stretch, but the difference was our defense. We played great defense. We shut down Haley, who's a phenomenal player, running our box-in-one defense. I can't say enough about our effort. It was an exciting atmosphere and our kids got lost up in that, but at the end we showed a lot of poise."
The Greyhounds will look to complete a season sweep of their school district rivals when they play host to Westland on Tuesday, Feb. 4.
Along with defeating Central Crossing, Grove City defeated Franklin Heights 51-19 on Dec. 10.
Boys basketball team turns back Raiders
The boys basketball team earned its second league win by defeating visiting Reynoldsburg 63-51 on Jan. 24.
The Greyhounds lost at Rey-noldsburg 66-54 on Dec. 13.
Brock Waits scored 21 points, Alex Coffey had 15 and Cole Crager added 12 to lead Grove City in the rematch.
The Greyhounds defeated visiting Central Crossing 58-44 on Jan. 22 as Waits had 19 points, Crager scored 14 and Coffey added 13.
Grove City is 9-6 overall and 2-6 in the OCC-Ohio.
Routh, Byas lead swim teams in OCC meet
The boys and girls swimming and diving teams competed in the OCC-Ohio meet Jan. 26 at Kenyon College.
The girls tied Reynoldsburg for fourth (197) behind Gahanna (623), Pickerington North (473) and Lancaster (230) and ahead of Pickerington Central (129).
Hannah Routh was second in the 100-yard freestyle (55.42 seconds) and joined Audrey Bueter, Mya Holcomb and Madelyn Holcomb on the third-place 200 free relay (1:50.5) and 400 free relay (4:02.46).
The boys finished fourth (229) behind Gahanna (484.5), North (468) and Reynoldsburg (284) and ahead of Central (205.5) and Lancaster (202).
Gunnar Byas was third in the 100 butterfly (59.72) and fourth in the 200 individual medley (2:11.62). Byas, Jacob Antonelli, Joseph Martin and Gregory Kingsbury were third in the 400 free relay (3:35.03).
Below are the coming schedules for the Grove City boys basketball, girls basketball, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Jan. 31 -- Home vs. Gahanna. The Greyhounds lost to the Lions 67-37 on Dec. 20.
Feb. 1 -- At DeSales
Feb. 4 -- At Westland. The Greyhounds defeated the Cougars 56-41 in the first round of the Best of the South-West tournament Dec. 27.
*Jan. 31 -- At Gahanna. The Greyhounds lost to the Lions on Dec. 20.
Feb. 4 -- Home vs. Westland
SWIMMING & DIVING
Feb. 1 -- Wellington at Columbus Aquatics Center
*Jan. 30 -- At Reynoldsburg