Worthington Christian Roundup: Meghan Mayotte embraces new role for girls basketball team

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
After playing forward last season, sophomore Meghan Mayotte has made a smooth transition to point guard, helping Worthington Christian to a 10-1 start.

After Meghan Mayotte settled in as a starting forward last season, helping the Worthington Christian girls basketball team to a Division III district runner-up finish, coach Jason Dawson began taking a fresh look at Mayotte’s skill set. 

She had never guided the offense from the point-guard position, but something seemed to click when her transition into that role was made heading into this season. 

“Last year I was a (forward) or like a post (player), and this year I’m more of a point guard, so it’s been a big change,” said Mayotte, a sophomore. “But my coach has done a really good job of transitioning me. I wasn’t able to play AAU last year, so this is my first time being a point guard. I like it a lot. It’s fun to be able to see a different point of view of the game.” 

By all accounts, Mayotte has been a solid fit in the new role. 

With a 56-12 victory over Columbus School for Girls on Jan. 11, the Warriors were 10-1 overall and 2-0 in the MSL-Ohio Division. 

Mayotte has seen her scoring average drop from 12 points last season to nine this winter, but she’s become a “stat stuffer” at her new position. 

“Meghan Mayotte has switched her position and is now like a point forward,” Dawson said. “She makes our team go and is logging stats for each category, which is amazing for us. She can score a little bit. It’s a big change for her from playing the 4 last year.” 

Mayotte has proven to be an effective complement to senior shooting guard Katherine Weakley, a Lipscomb commit who scored a program-record 40 points in a 73-38 win Dec. 7 over Thomas Worthington. 

Weakley was averaging 23 points through 11 games and had 28 in a 70-16 victory over Grandview in the Warriors’ league opener Jan. 8. 

Junior forward Blessing King was averaging 12 points and sophomore guard Megan Weakley was averaging 10 for the Warriors, who play defending league champion Whitehall on Jan. 22 at home. 

Because of the delay at the beginning of the winter sports season for most teams in the MSL, there is only one round of MSL-Ohio action followed by a league tournament. 

Although the Warriors lost half of their league schedule, they compensated by picking up games on late notice, such as when they beat Olentangy Liberty 47-44 on Dec. 11. They had four other scheduled games in December against OCC opponents get canceled. 

“(Katherine Weakley’s) growth has been unbelievable,” Dawson said. “When you commit to a college, it’s a big monkey off your back. Now she’s enjoying her senior year, learning how to be a great teammate and great leader. She’s learning how to be a college basketball player right now, which is very imperative for her to play at the highest level. Blessing King is a junior who’s probably the top defender in central Ohio and Megan Weakley has been shooting 56 percent from (3-point range). 

“Resilience is the best word I can use. We’ve been down a lot and we’ve shown some growth. The league (has started) and it will be a gauntlet. Whitehall will be competitive. Bexley and Columbus Academy will be good. We’ve got to learn how to adjust and I’ve got to do a better job on how to prepare them.”

Senior Kobe Buford and the Warriors won their first 11 games before falling to Dublin Jerome 42-40 on Jan. 9.

Boys basketball team 

out to sharpen skills 

While many central Ohio programs didn’t get started until mid- or late December, the boys basketball team played 10 games during the 2020 portion of its schedule. 

That’s put the Warriors in a different position. Unlike other programs, Worthington Christian shouldn’t be overloaded with games in late January or early February before the Division III district tournament begins. 

“The positive thing is that we’ve gotten games in,” coach Kevin Weakley said. “The downside is that we’ve practiced less. Our last few games we haven’t executed as well and that’s from a lack of getting into the gym and having two hours to focus on the details we need to improve on. That’s what we’ll do over the course of the next few weeks when we don’t play as much.” 

Worthington Christian won its first 11 games before falling 42-40 on Jan. 9 to Dublin Jerome, as the Warriors were limited to their lowest point total of the season up to that point. 

Worthington Christian was second in last week's state poll behind Harvest Prep, which won its first eight games. 

Among the wins for the Warriors was a 44-39 victory Dec. 10 over Newark, which traditionally is one of central Ohio’s top Division I teams. They also earned a 57-43 win Jan. 2 over Watterson, a Division II program that presents a more methodical and slower style compared to the Warriors' pace. 

Through 12 games, junior guard D.J. Moore averaged 16.5 points and senior guard Tyler Kindberg averaged 14. 

Senior forward Isaiah Hazelwood, senior wing player Kobe Buford, senior guard Drew Faieta, junior guard Tommy Anthony, freshman forward Sam Johnson and freshman guard Jonah Lewis also have been key contributors. 

“We were supposed to play (Watterson in December) but we had a COVID issue,” Weakley said. “We’ve gotten in all these non-league games, so we’re stuck with a long lull without a game and Dublin Jerome is our last non-league game (until Feb. 16 when we play at Westerville Central). 

“We’ve got good players (with) phenomenal parents and they’re coachable. It’s good for us to play a team like Watterson because they’re a little counter to our style. At the beginning of the game it’s a possession game and you have to adjust to it. It’s really hard when a team comes in when they want to play a possession game and we want to get up and down. It makes you have to make different kinds of decisions because if you play defense for 45 seconds and come down and take a mediocre shot, now you’re playing defense again for 45 seconds.” 

Bowling teams out 

to strong starts 

The boys and girls bowling schedule figures to remain busy until the postseason begins during the second weekend of February for Division II programs. 

The City League announced Jan. 12 that its programs would be allowed to return to practice Jan. 15, with a target date of Jan. 24 to begin competition. Worthington Christian competes in the COHSBC-C, which features eight City programs as well as Columbus Academy, Hamilton Township and Liberty Christian. 

The boys improved to 3-1 overall with a 1,956-867 win over Gilead Christian on Jan. 8. They were 2-1 in the COHSBC-C after losing to Hamilton Township 2,036-1,923 on Dec. 22. 

The girls were 2-1 overall and 2-0 in the COHSBC-C after beating Academy 1,813-1,162 on Jan. 6. 

For the boys, senior Mason Marsh was averaging 188.8, followed by juniors Noah Dirscherl (187.3) and Tyler White (169.1). 

For the girls, senior Lilly Marsh was averaging 184.8, followed by seniors Emily Weishaar (173.0) and Hope Nyland (163.0). 

julrey@thisweeknews.com 

@UlreyThisWeek