Notebook: Worthington Kilbourne girls basketball squad starting to find answers
After a 0-2 start, the Worthington Kilbourne girls basketball team put together a five-game winning streak and began to hit its stride.
The Wolves were 5-3 overall and 2-3 in the OCC-Capital Division before playing Canal Winchester on Jan. 20. They opened with two league losses, falling to Delaware 70-69 on Dec. 18 and Canal Winchester 55-45 the following day.
Kilbourne defeated Big Walnut (46-28 on Dec. 22) and Franklin Heights (81-12 on Jan. 5) in league play and beat Hilliard Darby (61-47 on Dec. 28), Teays Valley (47-39 on Dec. 30) and Olentangy Berlin (47-37 on Jan. 4) in non-league games before losing an OCC-Capital contest at Westerville North 51-45 on Jan. 8.
The Wolves then were forced to take a break until Jan. 19 because of a positive COVID-19 test, according to coach Stephanie Jones.
“It took a couple games for us to build some team chemistry,” Jones said. “The girls are improving daily, falling into their roles on the team and starting to play as one on both offense and defense.”
Jones said she demands consistent effort from the Wolves, who are living up to her expectations.
“I always say, 'don't make me coach effort,' and these girls work so hard every day in practice and every minute of every game,” Jones said. “We want to play four quarters of high-pressure defense every possession; we talk about never taking plays off.”
Lauren Scott, a guard who was the Wolves’ leading scorer last season, again is pacing the offense, averaging 25.1 points through eight games. She also was second on the team in steals with 22, trailing guard Amya Harris' 28.
“Lauren is off to a tremendous start and is shooting the ball very well,” Jones said.
Harris was second on the team in scoring, averaging 11.4 points.
Forward Mara McGlone also has been a key contributor, averaging 6.4 points and a team-high 7.9 rebounds, and Jones expects even more as the season progresses.
“I expect Mara to be an offensive threat very soon. She is an explosive rebounder,” Jones said. “She is often outsized but is so smart and quick and wins the rebound battles.”
Molly Humphrey, who plays guard and forward, was averaging 6.6 rebounds and had 10 steals through eight games.
Jones said she would like to see better ball movement on offense.
“We need more girls stepping up and looking to score,” she said. “For a few girls they are still adjusting to the speed of the game. I know they will settle in and start becoming offensive threats as the season progresses.”
Thomas girls team
looks to find footing
First-year coach Megan Mummey said the Thomas girls basketball team has been displaying energy and effort, but needs to score more consistently.
The Cardinals were 2-7 overall and 1-3 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Berlin on Jan. 15. They defeated Dublin Jerome 58-45 on Dec. 19 in league play and beat Lancaster 43-37 on Jan. 9.
“We’ve been in most of the games this season, and I think the biggest thing is four quarters of consistent scoring,” Mummey said. “Our big game against Jerome, we put the ball in the net and we scored 58 points. I think we’re doing a great job executing offense and defense and the girls are really buying in and working hard. It’s just the consistency to score right now.
“We can’t beat good teams when we only score five to seven points a quarter. We need to have those 12-, 15-, 20-point quarters throughout the whole game.”
Guard/forward Jocelyn Ramos-Chears led the Cardinals in scoring through eight games, averaging 12.1 points. She also was averaging a team-high 5.3 rebounds.
“She’s usually our leading scorer,” Mummey said. “She’s able to get to the rim with her quickness and first step.”
Other standouts on offense include guards Reid Dunbar and Lauren Gerber, who were averaging 9.1 and 5.6 points, respectively.
Forward Kaniya Boyer was averaging 3.8 rebounds and impressing Mummey with her effort.
“She’s really hitting the defensive boards and helping us on that side of it,” Mummey said.
Mummey also said freshman guard Nicole Quinn has been a spark off the bench.
“She steps in and plays great man-to-man defense,” Mummey said.
Josie Tinnerello, a guard/forward who was out at the start of the season with an injury and returned for a 53-38 loss to Darby on Jan. 8, should bolster the defense.
“Just her defensive presence, she’s getting deflections on the ball,” Mummey said. “She (also) was able to put in six points (against Lancaster), which was really a big help for (the team).”