The Delaware Christian girls basketball team captured the outright MOCAL title with a 58-42 win Feb. 4 over Tree of Life, which also happens to be its first opponent in the Division IV district tournament.
"I'm proud of how hard the girls worked (Feb. 4) and the character they constantly display on the court, especially in physical battles," coach Jackie Boggs said. "I saw the skills we have been working show up at critical times."
The Eagles are seeded fifth for the postseason and have a first-round bye. They open Feb. 21 at home against 10th-seeded Tree of Life, which they also defeated 59-35 on Jan. 14.
While the teams are familiar with one another, Boggs said the Trojans may see some different plays and schemes when they encounter the Eagles in the tournament.
"I think that we're going to add some new stuff when it's time to play Tree of Life in the tournament that we've been working on," she said.
The Eagles are 8-0 in the MOCAL. They were 11-3 overall before playing Morral Ridgedale on Feb. 6.
Boggs said the Eagles still have to clean up some aspects of their game before the postseason.
"We (want to work on) being able to handle pressure better, and also get more people involved in scoring," she said. "That's really what we've been keying on."
Senior forward Lyssi Snouffer, senior guard Abbi Maurer and sophomore forward Katie Neuhart have handled a large portion of the offensive output for the Eagles. Through 14 games, those three were leading the team with scoring averages of 25.8 points, 11.5 points and 9.9 points, respectively.
"We have three girls in double-digit scoring, but then it drops off pretty (significantly)," Boggs said. "(The other girls) are not scoring because they're not shooting. And so we need more points. Most of our games we only have three or four people scoring, and that's not going to work out well for us.
"So we're just trying to encourage (them) and make them believe they can score just like the rest of them."
Boys basketball team tuning up for tourney
Coach Jon Landrum said the boys basketball team is playing well and he's pleased with its performance over the last several weeks.
Before playing Granville Christian on Feb. 7, the Eagles were 10-8 overall and 6-1 in the MOCAL.
The Division IV district tournament draw is Sunday, Feb. 9.
"In terms of how we've been playing ... we're starting to shoot the ball a lot better from the outside (and) we've had single-digit turnovers in three out of our last four games (before Feb. 7)," Landrum said. "I've been really happy with the direction we've been going, I think we're playing our best basketball heading into the end of the season."
Nathan Stewart was averaging a team-best 14.6 points through 18 games, followed by Pryce Johnson at 11.4.
Heading into the postseason, Landrum said his team needs to work on its free-throw shooting. With Stewart out with an illness, the Eagles shot 11-for-22 from the foul line in a 58-50 loss to Patriot Prep on Feb. 4.
"For us, foul shooting is No. 1," Landrum said.
However, he's confident in the team's defense.
"We're a stout defensive team, that's our identity," he said. "So (we're) just kind of making sure that we're on top of all of our defensive rotations, moving our feet well, keeping our hands up and getting deflections (and) turning those into turnovers. ... And we feel really confident that if we're playing our best game defensively we're going to be able to win any game we're in."
Below are the coming schedules for the Delaware Christian boys basketball and girls basketball teams:
*Feb. 11 -- At Tree of Life. The Eagles defeated the Trojans 59-49 on Jan. 3.
*Feb. 10 -- Home vs. Madison Christian. The Eagles defeated the Eagles 56-25 on Jan. 17.
*Feb. 14 -- At Granville Christian. The Eagles defeated the Lions 68-26 on Jan. 18.