Westland boys basketball coach Rob Hayes realized his team had little time to regroup following a disappointing performance Feb. 4 against Grove City.

With his team returning to near full strength, Hayes expected the Cougars would continue preparing for the Division I district tournament with a strong game against the visiting Greyhounds.

Instead, Westland struggled in an 83-52 loss, the second setback this season against Grove City. The Cougars lost to the Greyhounds 56-41 in the first round of the Best of the South-Western tournament Dec. 27, also at home.

"This isn't who we are, but I've been saying that for a long time," Hayes said. "Apparently, at times, that is who we are. We splinter under pressure. Physically, we got pushed around against a team that's not as big as us. It's a mentality right now that we don't play physically low enough to the ground and fundamentally enough to find the openings against their pressure."

The Cougars were 3-17 overall and 0-8 in the OCC-Central Division before playing Hilliard Davidson on Feb. 7.

Westland will close the regular season Friday, Feb. 14, at Central Crossing before preparing for the district tournament, which begins Feb. 22. The tournament draw is Sunday, Feb. 9.

"Obviously, the top of the district is really strong," Hayes said. "If you end up matched up in the first round against (Columbus) South or (Hilliard) Bradley, whoever you want to name, it's going to be tough. Hopefully we get a little bit of credit for some of the performances we've put together against teams that are highly regarded, but nobody owes us anything."

In the rematch against Grove City, the Cougars trailed just 19-14 midway through the second quarter before the Greyhounds pulled away.

Grove City led 36-24 at halftime and outscored Westland 47-28 in the second half.

Hunter Corwin led the Cougars with 17 points.

"We just have to get tougher and be stronger," Corwin said. "When people knock us down, we have to fight back."

Westland entered its game against Davidson looking to end a 37-game losing streak in league play.

Kalil Camara scored 20 points and Eric Panning added 11 in a 75-60 loss at St. Charles on Feb. 1.

Camara scored 15 points in a 53-43 loss at Upper Arlington on Jan. 31. The game was tied at 38 after three quarters.

"We've played well against good opponents," Hayes said. "I would put our tough schedule up against anybody in Ohio. We've competed hard against them."

Gymnastics team to vie in league meet

The gymnastics team will compete in the OCC-Central meet Wednesday, Feb. 12, in preparation of the district meet Feb. 22 at Worthington Kilbourne.

Coach Lavon Maynard has been pleased with her team's progress, and credits added depth for the improvement.

"We have more girls to pull from so they can concentrate on certain events," Maynard said.

Freshman Chloe Sanchez has emerged as a key contributor in the all-around.

"She's probably been the most consistent," Maynard said.

Junior Heaven Manbevers and freshman Emily France also have contributed in the all-around, according to Maynard.

With the most experience on the team, Manbevers also has been a leader, Maynard said.

"We have a few girls who have been out with the flu or injuries, so we're just waiting for everybody to get healthy and we have a full lineup for a meet," Maynard said.

Girls basketball team faces stern test

The girls basketball team will visit fifth-seeded Pickerington Central in the first round of the Division I district tournament Saturday, Feb. 15.

Westland is seeded 45th.

The Cougars were 4-16 overall and 0-9 in the OCC-Central before playing Davidson on Feb. 7.

Westland closed the regular season against Horizon Science on Feb. 8.

The Cougars lost at Grove City 67-19 on Feb. 4 as Hannah Kershaw scored 10 points.

Hayden Kershaw scored 10 points in a 63-23 loss to visiting UA on Jan. 31.

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank

Schedules

Below are the coming schedules for the Westland boys basketball, girls basketball, gymnastics, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL

*Feb. 14 -- At Central Crossing. The Cougars lost to the Comets 55-47 on Jan. 10.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

*Feb. 15 -- At fifth-seeded Pickerington Central in first round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays host to 48th-seeded Whetstone in second round Feb. 21. The Cougars are seeded 45th.

GYMNASTICS

Feb. 12 -- OCC-Central meet at Marysville

SWIMMING & DIVING

Feb. 8 -- Competed in Division I sectional at Upper Arlington. The winner of each swimming event and 27 at-large qualifiers in each event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectional sites advanced to district Feb. 13 at Ohio State. There was no diving at sectional. At district, the top two placers in each swimming event automatically advance to the state meet Feb. 21 and 22 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. In addition, 16 at-large state berths will be awarded in each swimming event based on district times statewide.

WRESTLING

Feb. 8 -- Competed against 10th-seeded Reynoldsburg in Division I, Region 6 team dual tournament at Hilliard Darby. Winner faced second-seeded Lancaster in quarterfinal. Semifinals and final were held later that day. Regional champion advances to state Feb. 16 at Ohio State. The Cougars were seeded seventh.

*Feb. 13 -- At UA

Feb. 15 -- Canal Winchester Invitational

*League contest