Notebook: 'Hard work' pays off as Grove City's Brock Waits reaches milestone

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Grove City senior Brock Waits scored his 1,000th career point during a 73-50 win over visiting Westland on Jan. 15. To mark the milestone, Waits received a commemorative ball.

Since joining the varsity team as a freshman, Grove City boys basketball player Brock Waits has shown little interest in fanfare or personal awards. 

Instead, he has focused on the team’s success. 

That is why Waits displayed little emotion after reaching 1,000 points for his career in a 73-50 win over visiting Westland on Jan. 15. 

After making a layup in the third quarter for his 1,000th point, the game was stopped so the senior could be presented with a commemorative ball. 

“It was exciting,” said Waits, who finished with a game-high 33 points. “I knew I had a chance, but I wasn’t really focusing on that. I was just trying to make sure that we got a win. … I’m really proud about it. It’s about the hard work and little things like that pay off.” 

Waits – whose father, Greg, is currently an assistant and had a 208-136 record at Grove City in 15 seasons before stepping down as coach in 2018 – had 1,034 points for his career before the Greyhounds faced New Albany on Jan. 22. 

He is the seventh player in school history to score 1,000 points. Josh Helm, a 2000 graduate, is Grove City’s all-time leading scorer with 1,287 points. 

Waits had 26 points and Cole Keplar and Caleb Schall each scored 12 in a 77-70 loss at Reynoldsburg on Jan. 16. 

The Greyhounds were 2-4 overall and 2-2 in the OCC-Ohio Division before playing New Albany. 

•The Grove City girls basketball team looked to continue its recent success when it played New Albany on Jan. 22. 

The Greyhounds entered the game 6-5 overall and 2-3 in the OCC-Ohio. 

"We’re playing much better,” coach Joel Taylor said. “Our offensive execution has improved greatly.” 

Kayla Jones scored 13 points and Alissa Schiff added 12 in a 62-18 win over visiting Central Crossing on Jan. 19. It was Grove City’s third consecutive win. 

Ellie Pollock-Ballard scored 18 points and Jones had 14 in a 43-34 win at Lancaster on Jan. 16. 

–Frank DiRenna 

•The Central Crossing swimming and diving teams swept their first meet of the season Jan. 14 at the Pickaway County YMCA.

Matt Groom won the 100-yard backstroke (1 minute, 11.95 seconds) and 200 individual medley (2:36.98), and Mitchel Smith was first in the 200 freestyle (27.24 seconds) and 100 butterfly (58.57) as the boys scored 81 points to outdistance Teays Valley (46), Chillicothe Zane Trace (21) and Westland (5).

Groom and Smith also joined Lance Howard and Maverick Smith on the winning 200 medley (1:58.88) and 400 free (3:57.79) relays. 

Other individual winners were Howard in the 50 free (25.51), Maverick Smith in the 100 breaststroke (1:21.1) and Uniah Neville in the 100 free (1:02.67).

“Our boys team is very strong, with each member making a significant contribution,” coach Robert Boggs said. “We don’t have to rely on one or two individuals to carry the rest. Everyone is competitive."

Haylee Howard won the 50 free (27.24) and 500 free (6:23.64) as the girls (54) defeated Teays Valley (48), Zane Trace (32) and Westland (27). She also joined Amy Thompson, Alexis Christenson and Sarah Rush on the first-place 400 free relay (4:43.22)

“The boys and girls were very excited to finally get to compete,” Boggs said. “We should have had 10 meets by now, but (the) COVID(-19 coronavirus pandemic) has really shut us down. Everyone’s been working hard to bring down their times.”

The Comets are scheduled to compete against Grove City and Westland on Feb. 2 at the Grove City YMCA.

–Scott Hennen

Emily Dech has been one of the top performers for Central Crossing, which is preparing to compete in the OCC-Cardinal meet Feb. 13.

•Emily Dech and Hannah Jennings have led the Central Crossing gymnastics team during its first three meets.

Jennings was seventh in the all-round (29.7) at Dublin Coffman on Dec. 21 as Central Crossing was third (117.55) of five teams behind champion Dublin Jerome (135.15). 

At Marysville on Jan. 6, Jennings placed seventh in the all-around (30.55) and tied for third on vault (8.1) with Dech. 

Taylor Redden was third in the balance beam (8.2) and Dech was ninth in the all-around (30.2), placing second in the floor exercise (8.4). The Comets were third (121.55) of five teams behind champion Thomas Worthington (128.6).

Dech was 10th in the all-around (31.2) on Jan. 11 at Worthington Kilbourne, paced by a runner-up finish in the floor (8.6). Hope Groves was 11th in the all-around (30.95).

The Comets are scheduled to compete next in the OCC-Cardinal meet Feb. 13 at a site to be determined.

–Scott Hennen

•The Grove City Christian boys basketball team’s activities have been limited because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Coach Chris Timlin said his team had just five players available for practice as of Jan. 20 due to quarantine. 

The Eagles, who are 3-7 overall and 1-7 in the MSL-Cardinal, are scheduled to visit Berne Union on Jan. 30. 

“Before our current quarantine, we were really happy with how the kids were producing,” Timlin said. “We seemed to have gotten our basketball legs back from previous quarantines. We’ll have to be really patient with this young group during the second round of league play. We have so many varsity players that haven’t been able to find a rhythm because they have to stay at home.” 

Caleb Ransom is averaging a team-high 13.8 points and Seth Vaughn is averaging 13.7 points. Both are freshmen. 

–Frank DiRenna

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