Notebook: Central Crossing Comets girls basketball team learning on the fly

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
Central Crossing girls basketball coach Ann Tiefenthaler instructs her team during a game last season. Tiefenthaler is on maternity leave following the berth of her daughter, Emma, on Jan. 14. Christen Nohra has taken over as interim coach.

A young Central Crossing girls team has continued to make the adjustments needed to play varsity basketball, and to play for an interim coach.

Christen Nohra has taken the reins from second-year coach Ann Tiefenthaler, who is on maternity leave. Tiefenthaler and her husband, Rob, welcomed a daughter, Emma, on Jan. 14. Emma wasn’t due until the first week of February.

“It was shocking with the timing, but the ease of taking over was fine,” Nohra said. “It was way easier to handle from being an assistant and having a philosophy and routine in place and having things set up. After coaching the j.v. team last year, it wasn’t much of a change.”

Many of Nohra’s former j.v. players are seeing significant playing time on varsity. The Comets were 2-12 overall and 0-7 in the OCC-Buckeye Division before playing Reynoldsburg on Feb. 12.

“I think there has been a lot of growth in the team’s chemistry,” Nohra said. “The girls learned from one year on j.v. to their first year on varsity. They’re adjusting to the intensity and the level of play on varsity.”

Through 14 games, Sydney McCullough was averaging a team-best 7.6 points and also 5.4 rebounds. Amaya Bridges was averaging 4.0 points and a team-high 6.4 assists, and Aminata Dicko was averaging a team-high 9.0 rebounds.

“Senior Sydney McCullough has been there consistently for us and has been a good leader for us,” Nohra said. “Our point guard, freshman Amaya Bridges, has speeded up for us, and sophomore Aminata Dicko has grown in her play and in her post presence.”

The Comets are seeded 38th in the Division I district tournament and open with a second-round game Feb. 19 at second-seeded Dublin Coffman. The winner advances to a district semifinal Feb. 24 against 11th-seeded Marion Harding, 18th-seeded Dublin Scioto or 22nd-seeded Dublin Jerome at the home of the better seed.

“Our big focus is communication on defense, “ Nohra said. “We want to implement a zone in certain times during the game. We also are working on moves off the ball and dribble pull-ups and other things that can make us offensive threats.”

•The Central Crossing boys swimming and diving team defeated Grove City 54-39 and Westland 70-5 on Feb. 2 at the Grove City YMCA.

Winning individual events were Mitchel Smith in the 100-yard butterfly (57.43 seconds), Mason Smith in the 200 freestyle (2:14.96) and Lance Howard in the 50 free (26.46). The three joined Matt Groom on the first-place 400 free relay (3:55.1), and Groom, Howard, Mitchel Smith and Maverick Smith won the 200 medley relay (2:01.65). 

The girls defeated Westland 57-13 but lost 84-23 to the Greyhounds. Haylee Howard (50 free, 27.24) and Roxy Rooker (100 backstroke, 1:20.25) won events for the Comets.

The Comets competed in a Division I sectional Feb. 12-14 at Upper Arlington. There were no automatic berths to the district meet Feb. 21 at Bowling Green. The top 24 in individual events and the top 16 relays advanced based on sectional times.

–Scott Hennen

Grove City's Preston Tussing won the 500 freestyle and 100 breaststroke during a meet Feb. 2 against Central Crossing and Westland at the Grove City YMCA.

•After competing in no meets with a limited practice schedule during December because of COVID-19, the Grove City swimming program has had an increased workload in the new year. 

That included a meet Feb. 2 against Central Crossing and Westland at the Grove City YMCA. 

Hannah Routh led the girls team by winning the 200 free (2:17.97) and 100 free (57.79). 

For the boys, Jacob Antonelli won the 100 free (58.37) and 100 back (1:11.07), and Preston Tussing was first in the 500 free (5:31.91) and 100 breaststroke (1:08.5). 

The boys beat Westland 43-11 and lost to Central Crossing 54-39, while the girls beat the Cougars 91-6 and the Comets 84-23.

“The kids have been swimming really well, so that’s a positive note,” coach Amy Miller said. “Looking back at the beginning of the season and not knowing what it was going to be like and not having a lot of meets to compare the kids each week, I think we’re on the right track. The kids are staying positive.” 

The Greyhounds competed in a Division I sectional Feb. 12-14 at UA. There were no automatic berths to the district meet Feb. 21 at Bowling Green. The top 24 in individual events and the top 16 relays advanced based on sectional times. 

–Frank DiRenna 

Grove City gymnastics coach Mark Hartley hopes his team can continue its progress as it prepares to compete in the OCC-Central meet Feb. 20 at Thomas Worthington and the district meet Feb. 27 at Worthington Kilbourne. 

At district, the top three teams advance to the state team meet March 5 at Hilliard Bradley, while the top eight finishers in each event and the all-around qualify for the individual state meet March 6 at Bradley. 

Hartley expects senior Genavieve Kuhn and juniors Emma Claypool and Morgan Waterman to be the team’s top competitors in the all-around. 

“It’s getting down to it,” Hartley said. “We’re getting ready for the OCC meet and district. They’re putting in the work. We’re getting better.” 

–Frank DiRenna

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