The last two seasons, the Wellington girls basketball team has measured its success based on how it has progressed in certain areas and in overall improvement rather than by its record.
The Jaguars went 4-18 last season, including 4-10 in the MSL-Cardinal Division, but have found things even more difficult this winter from a record standpoint as they're competing in what they believe is a more difficult league, the MSL-Ohio.
Wellington finished 0-14 in the MSL-Ohio and was 1-19 overall before playing Morral Ridgedale on Feb. 11. The Jaguars close the regular season Thursday, Feb. 13, at home against Patriot Prep.
"I told the girls halfway through the season, 'Let's not worry about wins and losses,' " second-year coach Kimball Johnson said.
"Let's work on the process of getting better, work on what we need to work on and improve on, like just actually getting shots up. Earlier in the season, we were barely getting shots off. We're actually getting into somewhat of a half-court offense. We have to learn how to establish the inside post."
The Jaguars have a 6-foot player to build around in freshman forward Dani Casline, who did not play the sport last season.
The only seniors are Eli Burkhardt, who has been playing point guard, and guard Ellie Weinberg.
"The team has been really supportive and really welcoming and we work really well as a team, so that has helped a lot," Casline said.
In a 40-9 win over Marietta St. John Central on Dec. 7 in the consolation game of its home Jaguar Invitational, Wellington got 11 points from sophomore guard Abigail Burkhardt.
Sophomore wing player Hannah Jones-Beyene scored 10 points in a 44-25 loss to Grandview on Feb. 1.
Then on Feb. 3, the Jaguars trailed just 27-24 after three quarters before falling to Centennial 48-30 as Casline and Eli Burkhardt both had six points.
Wellington is seeded 19th of 20 teams for the Division IV district tournament and opens Feb. 21 at second-seeded Newark Catholic or 18th-seeded Northside Christian in a second-round game.
"We've been working on our composure a lot and making it our tempo and trying to take control of the game so we don't fall into the other team's flow of the game," sophomore guard Rhea Singh said.
Swimmers compete in district meet
Members of the boys and girls swimming and diving teams competed in the Division II district meet Feb. 12 at Ohio State.
At district, the top two finishers in each swimming event automatically qualified for state, which runs Wednesday, Feb. 19, through Feb. 21 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. In addition, 16 at-large state berths will be awarded in each event based on district times statewide.
In diving, the top three girls and top two boys qualified for state.
The Jaguars' swimmers competed in a sectional Feb. 8 at Upper Arlington.
The boys team finished first (290 points) of four teams, ahead of runner-up Centennial (217), and the girls were third (196.5) of four teams, behind Grandview (340.5) and Centennial (212).
Finishing first for the boys were Heath Thomas in both the 200-yard freestyle (1 minute, 51.92 seconds) and 500 free (5:03.31) and the 400 free relay of Alex Lott, Will Miller, Avery Rennick and Thomas (3:37.63).
Sarah Anderson was runner-up in both the 100 backstroke (1:06.95) and 100 butterfly (1:03.51), Christine Cooke placed second in the 100 breaststroke (1:23.15) and fourth in the 50 free (29.67) and Serene Abdelbaki was third in the 100 breast (1:25.42) to lead the girls.
In the MSL meet Jan. 25 at Columbus Academy, the boys team scored 175 points to finish third of 13 teams behind the host Vikings (238) and Bexley (201) and the girls were seventh (66) of 15 teams behind champion Columbus School for Girls (393).
For the boys team, Thomas won both the 200 free (1:53) and 500 free (5:06.97), Rennick was runner-up in both the 50 free (24.5) and 100 free (54.45) and George Callanan finished first (501.1) and Taso Callanan was runner-up (484.05) in diving.
Taylor Vargo was runner-up in diving (298.85) to lead the girls.
Boys basketball team preps for postseason
The boys basketball team, which was first in last week's Division IV area coaches poll, closes its regular season Friday, Feb. 14, at Bexley with a rematch of an MSL-Ohio game it won 56-39 on Jan. 17.
Wellington lost to Worthington Christian 66-63 in a league contest Feb. 4 and defeated KIPP Columbus 78-29 on Feb. 7.
The Jaguars were 11-8 overall and 5-4 in the MSL-Ohio before facing Grandview on Feb. 11.
Wellington, which was in the Division III district tournament each of the past two seasons after earning a Division IV state runner-up finish in 2017, is seeded second for the district tournament and will play host to 20th-seeded Madison Christian in the first round Feb. 20.
Senior forward Elijah Meredith was averaging a team-high 19.5 points before Feb. 11. He had 26 points and senior guard Marcus Stewart scored 12 in the win over Bexley.