Whitehall-Yearling Roundup: Rams girls basketball squad happy with 'small victories'
Although his team fell short of some of its goals, Whitehall-Yearling girls basketball coach Quentin Taylor was pleased with the season.
The fourth-seeded Rams finished 9-7 overall with a 51-50 loss Feb. 19 to visiting and 13th-seeded Lakewood in the first round of the Division II district tournament.
The Lancers also beat Whitehall 60-47 in a district final last season.
“I’m happy with the girls’ experience,” Taylor said. “We never had a healthy team after our first four games. We kept having injuries. I’m happy with the small victories of the season. The camaraderie that the girls formed, the sisterhood that they formed, every game they fought.”
One of the highlights of the season was senior wing player/guard Jewel Watkins reaching 1,000 career points during a 42-23 win at Independence on Feb. 13. She finished with 1,027 points.
“I didn’t know or keep track of my points, and although 1,000 points is a big accomplishment that I’m super proud of for myself, it would have meant more to me to get to (a district final),” said Watkins, who has committed to Division I Coppin State.
Watkins led a five-player senior class and averaged a team-high 20.8 points.
“I never had a team that had to rely on one person to carry us the whole season, so that was a different way to coach for me,” Taylor said of Watkins. “Jewel definitely left her mark on this program. ... She’s one of the best two-way players in central Ohio.”
Junior guard Brooklyn Greer was second in scoring, averaging 12.3 points.
Senior point guard Charjae Brock, a transfer from Africentric, missed the final 10 games after sustaining a knee injury during a 48-41 loss at Westerville North on Jan. 18. She has committed to Clarion University in Pennsylvania.
Others eligible to return are junior forward Kayla Bagley, sophomore forward Brynn Whistle and freshmen Whitney Ater (guard) and Shawnea Foster (forward).
Whitehall went 5-2 in the MSL-Ohio Division to finish third behind champion Worthington Christian (9-0).
“I’m really proud of my team this season,” Watkins said. “Although this wasn’t the outcome we wanted, we all played extremely hard on the floor and I couldn’t ask for anything more. I’m very thankful for this season and (dealing with) all the adversity that came with it.”
Boys bowling team
competes at district
The boys bowling team completed its season by competing in the Division I district tournament Feb. 22 at HP Lanes.
The Rams finished 10th (3,710) of 16 teams behind champion Marion Harding (4,195). The top three teams advanced to state.
“We didn’t expect this,” coach Tavi Netotian said of his team’s disappointing finish. “We started out really bad. We were pressing really hard. We just never recovered.”
Freshman Jacob Leach led the Rams, finishing 27th of 105 bowlers with a 584 three-game series.
Junior A.J. Scott tied for 34th (568), followed by senior Elias Rozzelle (50th, 538) and junior Nathan McGrath (tied for 64th, 487).
Scott earned Bowler of the Year honors in the MSL-Ohio with a 665 series in the league tournament Jan. 23 at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl.
Leach (632) and McGrath (567) were first-team all-league, and Rozzelle (494) was honorable mention all-league.
The Rams finished first (3,455) in pool play before losing to Grandview 2-1 in a best-of-three Baker series final.
Junior Dylan Woodruff also is eligible to return.
“I’m happy with the season,” Netotian said. “Considering we played all of our matches in a month and a half, overall, I’m happy.”
Cress bowls at
Senior Chelsee Cress was the girls bowling team’s lone Division I district qualifier. She finished 59th of 104 bowlers with a 423 series Feb. 22 at HP Lanes.
In the MSL-Ohio tournament, Cress (494) was first-team all-league and freshman Michaela Skinner (454) was second-team all-league. Freshman Isabel Collinsworth (371) and sophomore Lilli Jones (327) were honorable mention all-league.
Others eligible to return are freshmen Amajah Hill and Zaleah Palmer.
•Record: 9-7 overall
•MSL-Ohio standings: Worthington Christian (9-0), Bexley (8-2), Whitehall-Yearling (5-2), Columbus Academy (4-3), Buckeye Valley (3-5), Columbus School for Girls (4-5), Grandview (1-9), Wellington (0-8)
•Seniors lost: Charjae Brock, Shyaira Johnson, Mackenzie Schmittauer, Ry’Yair Smith and Jewel Watkins
•Key returnees: Kayla Bagley and Brooklynn Greer
•Postseason: Lost to Lakewood 51-50 in first round of Division II district tournament
•Record: Boys — 7-3 overall; Girls — 1-6 overall
•League finishes: Boys — Fourth (7-3) in COHSBC-B behind champion Gahanna (11-1), first (3,455) in MSL-Ohio pool play; Girls — Tied for ninth (1-6) in COHSBC-B behind champion Gahanna (10-0), third (2,249) in MSL-Ohio pool play behind first-place Worthington Christian (2,829)
•Seniors lost: Boys — Nick Miner, Elias Rozzelle and David Sattler; Girls — Chelsee Cress
•Key returnees: Boys — Jacob Leach, Nathan McGrath and A.J. Scott; Girls — Isabel Collinsworth, Lilli Jones and Michaela Skinner
•Postseason: Boys — Sixth (3,890) at sectional behind champion Marion Harding (4,316), 10th (3,710) at district behind champion Harding (4,195); Girls — 19th (2,710) at sectional behind champion Jonathan Alder (3,580)