The Westland boys basketball team entered the season expecting to improve on last year's 4-19 record.
Instead, the Cougars were 3-18 overall and 0-9 in the OCC-Central Division before closing the regular season Feb. 14 against Central Crossing. Westland was looking to end a 38-game losing streak in league play.
"We continue to work with the idea that there are improvements to be made and we don't see ourselves being done in any way, shape or form," coach Rob Hayes said. "There's work to be done."
The Cougars are seeded 44th for the Division I district tournament and visit sixth-seeded Walnut Ridge in the first round Saturday, Feb. 22. The winner plays host to 49th-seeded Columbus West in the second round Feb. 28.
Walnut Ridge was 17-4 before playing Linden-McKinley in the City League championship game Feb. 15. The Scots feature VonCameron Davis, who had 2,062 career points before playing Linden.
"We're going to prepare and go into that game with the expectation to compete and try to win the game," Hayes said. "There's no real kind of discouragement based off of it. We know that if we would have done what we should have done throughout the season, we would have had a different seeding."
While Hayes has been impressed with his team's defense, the offense continues to struggle.
The Cougars allowed 58.9 points per game through 21 contests after allowing 73.2 last season. But they were averaging just 49.8 points.
"Our defense has been so much better this year, but you have to put it in the hole," Hayes said. "We've been struggling."
Westland shot just 26 percent from the field in a 54-38 loss to visiting Hilliard Davidson on Feb. 7. Derrick Bogay led the Cougars with nine points.
Sophomore guard Shon McGee, who had a team-high 54 assists through 21 games, said Westland failed to reach its potential this season.
"It's been really disappointing," he said. "We should have won a lot more games with the pieces we have."
Kalil Camara was averaging a team-high 13.0 points and led in steals with 25. Eric Panning was averaging 8.7 points and led in rebounds (6.3) and blocked shots (1.5).
Senior guard Hunter Corwin was shooting 90.5 percent at the free-throw line. Heading into the Central Crossing game, it was the single-season program record.
"(Corwin has) done a really nice job," Hayes said. "He's had a heck of a year. He's not going to pop up on any awards sheets at the end of the year, but he's probably been our best perimeter player every game and he's done a really nice job tracking kids and being willing to accept those challenges."
Wrestlers compete in dual tournament
The wrestling team split a pair of matches in the Division I, Region 6 dual tournament Feb. 8 at Hilliard Darby.
The seventh-seeded Cougars defeated 10th-seeded Reynoldsburg 39-36 before losing to second-seeded Lancaster 66-6 in a quarterfinal.
Winners by pin against Reynoldsburg were Jakob Hurley at 145 pounds (4 minutes, 35 seconds), Darius Lightfoot at 160 (4:41) and Johnny Douglas at 170 (5:55).
Hurley and Lightfoot won by decision against Lancaster.
"We still have some injuries we are fighting through, but we gave a solid effort and earned a good victory against Reynoldsburg," coach Brent Allerding said. "Lancaster was very tough, but I thought we still battled in our matches. I think a number of our guys are starting to hit their stride and wrestling at their highest level of the season."
Westland was 2-2 in the OCC-Central before closing its league schedule Feb. 13 against UA.
The Cougars competed in the Canal Winchester Invitational on Feb. 15.
Maynard receives league award
Gymnastics coach Lavon Maynard was named OCC-Central Coach of the Year at the league meet Feb. 12 at Marysville.
Maynard also coaches Central Crossing and Franklin Heights.
The Cougars finished sixth (107.375) in the league meet behind first-place UA (131.875) and sixth overall (12 points, 4-10) behind champion UA (32, 14-0).
Heaven Manbevers led Westland by finishing 18th in the all-around (27.1), followed by Katelyn Jacobs (26.95, 19th), Chloe Sanchez (26.85, tied for 20th) and Emily France (26.175, 22nd).
Westland will compete at district Saturday, Feb. 22, at Worthington Kilbourne. The top three teams advance to state Feb. 28 at Hilliard Bradley,.and the top eight individuals in each event and the all-around advance to state Feb. 29 at Bradley.
Girls team defeats Horizon Science
The girls basketball team closed the regular season Feb. 8 with a 56-43 win over Horizon Science.
Hayden Kershaw led the Cougars with 21 points and Alexxus Phifer scored 18.
Westland was 5-17 overall before playing at fifth-seeded Pickerington Central in the first round of the Division I district tournament Feb. 15. The Cougars were seeded 45th.
The Cougars finished 0-10 in the OCC-Central with a 53-17 loss at Davidson on Feb. 7.
Swimmers close season at sectional
The boys and girls swimming teams closed the season by competing in a Division I sectional Feb. 8 at UA.
Rachael Binion, the only senior in the program, joined junior Brenna Gilliam and freshmen Joy Puhlman and Kaylee Mullins in setting a program record of 4:39.61 in the 400-yard freestyle relay while placing ninth.
Binion also was 18th in the 100 butterfly (1:10.75).
The girls finished 12th (10) of 12 teams behind champion UA (403).
Binion, a four-year competitor, owns program records in the 50 free (27.89), 100 free (1:00.9), 200 free (2:16.93), 200 individual medley (2:40.23), 500 free (6:26.28), 100 fly (1:07.34) and 100 backstroke (1:14.32). Along with the 400 free relay, she also was a member of the program-record 200 medley relay (2:16.07) and 200 free relay (2:00.16).
"Rachael has meant everything to this team," coach Robert Boggs said. "She has been the speedster in the water from day one. I have never had another swimmer with as much dedication and determination as her."
Other swimmers eligible to return are juniors Elizabeth Green and Peyton Madden, sophomores Mataya Forster and Caramela Louden and freshmen Valeria Vidal Jimenez, Leea Walker and Julie Zeilman.
Freshman Zach Iles is the only boy in the program. He finished 27th in the 200 free (2:44.56) and 29th in the 100 free (1:12.02) at sectional.
"I am very pleased with how our season went," Boggs said. "We have a great group of parents who are very supportive and help out whenever needed. We recruited quite a few new swimmers this year, doubling our numbers from last year. All the new swimmers improved immensely. They now have respectable times from which they can build upon for next year."