Notebook: Worthington Kilbourne Wolves girls basketball team responded during challenging season

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group
Sophomore forward Mara McGlone is expected to be among the top returnees for Kilbourne after being named honorable mention all-league this season as the Wolves went 16-8.

The Worthington Kilbourne girls basketball team fell short of its goal of playing in a Division I district final, but coach Stephanie Jones said the Wolves can be proud of their season. 

“This was a very challenging season, and I thought the girls responded well,” she said. “We treated each practice and game like it could've been our last due to the uncertainty with (the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic). The girls continued to work hard and kept their eyes on accomplishing our goals.” 

Kilbourne finished fifth (7-7) in the OCC-Capital Division behind champion Westerville North (12-2) and earned the 15th seed for the Division I district tournament, winning two postseason games  before losing 65-51 at 10th-seeded Watkins Memorial in a semifinal Feb. 24 to finish 16-8 overall. 

“After a season I always look back at the opportunities we had and didn’t completely capitalize on, which only fuels me until I am back in the Wolves uniform,” junior guard Lauren Scott said. 

Scott, who led the Wolves in scoring for the second year in a row, averaging 21.6 points, became the third Kilbourne player to reach 1,000 career points with a program-record 36-point game in a 50-38 victory over Logan on Jan. 27. 

She was named OCC-Capital Player of the Year. 

“I knew Lauren was going to have a great junior year,” Jones said. “She worked many hours in the gym and on her own in the offseason to accomplish her offseason goals to make her a better player this past season. I know Lauren will do the same this offseason and come back even better for her senior year.” 

Scott, who ended the season with 1,186 career points, should surpass Maggie Crozier as Kilbourne’s all-time leading scorer next season. Crozier, a 2018 graduate, finished with 1,213 career points.

“With my senior year ahead of me, I am most looking forward to pushing the team's limits, cementing our program’s winning culture and hopefully surpassing Maggie Crozier as the all-time points leader,” Scott said. 

In addition to Scott, the Wolves expect to return most of their core as guard Amya Harris, a second-team all-league selection, and guard Shelby Granger were the only seniors on the team. 

Harris averaged 8.4 points, grabbed 83 rebounds and led the Wolves with 92 assists and 78 steals. 

Jones said she expects junior guard/forward Molly Humphrey, junior forward Josie Richardson, junior guards Mycah Hill and Ali Koppert, sophomore guard/forward Camille Shiffer, sophomore guard Kacy Kohler and sophomore forward Mara McGlone to be key contributors next winter.

McGlone was an honorable mention all-league selection. 

“(They’ll) all have big roles in our team's success next year,” Jones said. “These girls are already hungry to get back in the gym to start their offseason workouts.” 

Thomas falls in

district semifinal 

In her first season as coach of the Thomas girls team, Megan Mummey had the Cardinals playing their best basketball in the postseason. 

The 28th-seeded Cardinals advanced to a Division I district semifinal, where they lost 57-47 at 16th-seeded Marysville on Feb. 24 to finish 8-14 overall. 

Thomas, which tied for fifth (3-7) in the OCC-Cardinal behind champion Marysville (8-2), upset  sixth-seeded Gahanna 42-40 on Feb. 20 in the second round. 

“The whole point honestly to the season is to play your best basketball heading into the tournament,” Mummey said. “I think it took awhile for the girls to really buy into my new system and the changes that I made throughout the program.” 

Mummey said the Cardinals’ 40-36 win at Hilliard Darby in their regular-season finale Feb. 12 set the tone going into tournament play. 

“I said, ‘Hey, it’s a new start for us ... and it’s a new season,’ ” Mummey said. “I think the girls were really determined to keep playing and we had a great game plan and everyone bought in, and we were able to catch Gahanna on an off-shooting night, and we finally put four quarters of good basketball together.” 

The Cardinals will lose five seniors, including guards Reid Dunbar and Lauren Gerber, both special mention all-league selections. 

Mummey said she’ll look to junior guard Jocelyn Ramos-Chears (9.1 points in the regular season, second-team all-league), junior guard/forward Josie Tinnerello (honorable mention all-league) and junior guard Aaliyah Sellers to lead the way next season. 

Other key expected returnees include sophomore guard Chaneya Garner and freshman guard Nicole Quinn. 

Wolves played well

in return to varsity

In its first varsity season since 2014-15 when it finished 13-9-0-1, the Kilbourne hockey team proved it could compete on that level, coach Bryan Cummings said. 

“Last season, we kind of just talked about it being a mindset thing,” Cummings said. “We were a j.v. team but we had to get over this mindset that we’re not a j.v. team anymore, and those guys were really able to do that this year and that was the difference.” 

The Wolves finished 16-18-0-1 overall and 4-11-0-1 in the CHC-Blue. Seeded 20th for the district tournament, their first-round game Feb. 20 against 17th-seeded Gahanna was canceled because the Lions had a COVID-19 issue. 

Kilbourne lost 11-1 to fourth-seeded Oxford Talawanda in the second round Feb. 21 and then played four more non-league games.

“We knew what we wanted to do, and I think we finished probably better in the league than we expected to and had some really good games,” Cummings said. “We may not have won (all) of them, but we were able to hold our own against some of these better teams. And I think they didn’t expect that as much as we did, so that was good to see.” 

Kilbourne will lose only three seniors. Expected returnees include sophomore forwards Luke Walton and Simon Abbott – the Wolves’ leading scorers with 38 and 37 goals, respectively – three of their four top defensemen in juniors Will Gundel and Nick Siler and sophomore Patrick Jeans and sophomore goalie Owen Shaffer. 

Gundel was first-team all-CHC-Blue and senior defenseman Kieran Cummings was honorable mention all-league. 

Cardinals reach

district quarterfinal 

The Thomas hockey team advanced three rounds into the district tournament for the first time since the 2002-03 season, when the Cardinals lost 6-1 to Hunting Valley University School in a state semifinal to finish 30-7. 

The eighth-seeded Cardinals defeated 22nd-seeded DeSales 11-1 on Feb. 19 and ninth-seeded Dublin Jerome 5-1 on Feb. 20 before losing 3-0 to top-seeded St. Charles in a district quarterfinal Feb. 27.

“What an experience,” coach Bill McGill said. “(The quarterfinals featured) the eight top teams in central and southwestern Ohio all playing back-to-back-to-back-to-back down at (OhioHealth) Ice Haus ... and what a hockey weekend it was. It was amazing.” 

Thomas finished 16-13-0-1 overall and placed third (9-6-0-1) in the CHC-White behind champion Cincinnati Moeller (14-1-1).

“It was an incredible season, the guys were so flexible and dealt with so many bumps and turns along the way, but kept going,” McGill said. “This team (had) probably the best team effort that I’ve ever coached. When we were good it was good as a team.” 

The Cardinals will lose eight seniors, including two of their top scorers in Evan Kendall and Sebastian Edvardsen – forwards who had 13 and 11 goals, respectively – along with three of their four top defensemen in Chance Young, Carter Reinbolt and Carson Smith. 

Junior forwards Collin Stegemiller and R.J. Stoller are expected to return. Stegemiller led the Cardinals with 15 goals while Stoller had 11, and McGill said he foresees those two and freshman forward Cam Stoller making big contributions next year. 

Junior Alex Piero, the team’s other top defenseman, is expected back along with sophomore goalie Elliot Hartwick and sophomore defenseman Ethan Ruffing. 

Piero, Kendall and Stoller were first-team all-CHC-White. Hartwick and Young were honorable mention all-league.

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve

KILBOURNE GIRLS BASKETBALL

Record: 16-8 overall

OCC-Capital standings: Westerville North (12-2), Westerville South (9-5), Delaware (9-5), Dublin Scioto (7-6), Kilbourne (7-7), Big Walnut (6-8), Canal Winchester (5-8), Franklin Heights (0-14)

Seniors lost: Shelby Granger and Amya Harris

Key returnees: Mycah Hill, Molly Humphrey, Kacy Kohler, Ali Koppert, Mara McGlone, Josie Richardson, Lauren Scott and Camille Shiffer

Postseason: Defeated Lancaster 38-31; def. New Albany 47-40; lost to Watkins Memorial 65-51 in Division I district semifinal 

THOMAS GIRLS BASKETBALL 

Record: 8-14 overall

OCC-Cardinal standings: Marysville (8-2), Olentangy (6-4), Dublin Jerome and Hilliard Darby (both 5-5), Thomas and Olentangy (both 3-7) 

Seniors lost: Kaniya Boyer, Jayla Carr, Reid Dunbar, Lauren Gerber and Abby Taylor

Key returnees: Chaneya Garner, Nicole Quinn, Jocelyn Ramos-Chears, Aaliyah Sellers and Josie Tinnerello

Postseason: Def. Gahanna 42-40; lost to Marysville 57-47 in Division I district semifinal 

KILBOURNE HOCKEY 

Record: 16-18-0-1 overall

CHC-Blue standings: Olentangy (11-5), Watterson (10-6), Gahanna (9-7), Columbus Academy (6-10-0-1), Kilbourne (4-11-0-1), DeSales (3-14), Dublin Scioto (0-16)

Seniors lost: Elijah Alpern, Andrew Bickell and Kieran Cummings

Key returnees: Simon Abbott, Will Gundel, Patrick Jeans, Owen Shaffer, Nick Siler and Luke Walton

Postseason: Lost to Oxford Talawanda 11-1 in second round of district tournament

THOMAS HOCKEY 

Record: 16-13-0-1 overall

CHC-White standings: Cincinnati Moeller, (14-1-1), Olentangy Berlin (12-3-1), Thomas (9-6-0-1), Cincinnati St. Xavier (7-6-2-1), Dublin Coffman (8-8), Springboro (4-10-1-1)

Seniors lost: Riley Bootes, Austin Cable, Jack Coe, Sebastian Edvardsen, Evan Kendall, Carter Reinbolt, Carson Smith and Chance Young 

Key returnees: Elliot Hartwick, Alex Piero, Collin Stegemiller, Cam Stoller and R.J. Stoller

Postseason: Def. DeSales 11-1; def. Dublin Jerome 5-1; lost to St. Charles 3-0 in district quarterfinal