Winning its final two games in MSL-Cardinal Division play and its regular-season finale gave the Grove City Christian boys basketball team some momentum heading into the Division IV district tournament.
The Eagles improved to 6-16 overall with an 83-42 win over visiting Madison Christian on Feb. 15. They went 3-9 in the MSL-Cardinal, including defeating Fairfield Christian 57-48 on Feb. 8 and Fisher Catholic 48-37 on Feb. 11 to avenge losses to both teams earlier this season.
Grove City Christian lost to Fairfield Christian 61-58 on Jan. 7 and Fisher Catholic 68-64 on Jan. 11, both at home.
"Our confidence is much better than it was back in December," coach Chris Timlin said.
Grove City Christian is seeded 15th for the district tournament and visits 12th-seeded Morral Ridgedale in the second round Tuesday, Feb. 25. Both teams have a first-round bye.
"The coaching staff knows we're going to have our hands full (against Ridgedale)," Timlin said. "We already have a lot of film on Ridgedale. They have a couple of really good shooters. They have some good athletes. They run a really patient, well-designed half-court offense. That will be a tough game."
The winner plays second-seeded Wellington, 18th-seeded Northside Christian or 20th-seeded Madison Christian in a semifinal Feb. 28.
Brayden Holbrook led the Eagles in the second game against Fairfield Christian, scoring 16 points. Braydan Taylor scored 14, including three 3-pointers in the second quarter.
Garrett Baker had 10 points and 11 rebounds, and then he had 11 points and 10 rebounds in the rematch against Fisher Catholic.
"The kids were excited because whenever you go to Fisher Catholic, they have such a wonderful fan base and it's always a very difficult road game," Timlin said. "The kids were really excited to have a win in that atmosphere on the road. I think going into that game they knew that we gave away the first game."
Baker has set the program's single-season rebounding record, with 204 through 21 games. He passed Derek Vaughn's previous record of 193 in 2012-13.
Holbrook was averaging a team-best 12.7 points through 21 games, followed by Baker at 8.8 and Taylor at 8.0.
"(Taylor) is having an outstanding freshman campaign," Timlin said. "He's had some really good moments the last two weeks in terms of scoring the basketball for us. A lot of people are excited to see what his future has in store."
Whittredge returns to district meet
Sophomore swimmer Wylee Whittredge competed in her second Division II district meet Feb. 12 at Ohio State.
She finished 14th in the 50-yard freestyle (26.29 seconds) to account for the Eagles' two points, as they tied for 26th behind champion Columbus School for Girls (401) as 31 teams scored.
Whittredge also was 28th in the 100 free (1:00.85).
"She did really well in the 50, but her 100 wasn't where it should have been," said coach Amy Miller, who also guides Grove City. "She has two more years to come back (and) train a little bit different next year."
Last season at district, Whittredge tied for 20th in the 100 free (59.04) and was 28th in the 100 breaststroke (1:16.77).
Maggie Isner was the team's lone senior. Sophomore Madison Burris and freshman Roxy Rooker rounded out the team.
"It's a private school and they don't have a big team. They never have," Miller said. "They've always had one or two swimmers, so for them to have four, I think that's great."
The girls basketball team opened the Division IV district tournament Feb. 18 against Fairfield Christian. The winner plays Granville Christian in the second round Friday, Feb. 21.