(30 Total References)
Hilliard Darby High School girls basketball coach Brent Bower sees improvement in his team.
The Panthers had won nine in a row and were 9-1 before playing Dublin Coffman last Tuesday.They are 4-0 in the OCC-Ohio
Division.What makes Bower happiest is the fact that Darby is beginning to limit some of the mistakes that it used to make in the fourth quarter.
"Whether it was in a scrimmage or early in the season, we would always have a lapse and that always concerned me," Bower
"Other than (a 57-34 win over Thomas Worthington on Dec. 30), 35 has been the magic number," Bower
The Wildcats have won only two games, but Bower
is not looking ahead.
"So far, both times that we played them they have played us tough," he
"Amanda (Himes) has been a great rebounder for us," Bower
If that is not enough to keep his
players motivated, Bower
reminds them in practice what's at stake.
Anyone looking to buy Brent Bower a present any time soon might want to consider getting him a blue vest. The Hilliard Darby High School
girls basketball coach seems to be fond of them, and has made them part of his
game-day attire.Despite wearing one during an 81-78 double-overtime loss to Lancaster in a Division I district semifinal Feb. 25 in the Fairgrounds Coliseum, Bower
doesn't plan on changing.
"When I don't win with something I change, but I think the vest will have to come back," said Bower
, whose team finished 17-6 overall.
said the tournament loss was the culmination of a great season, and a door to more success.
"It is encouraging and fulfilling to see the kids come together, not just in the big game but through the course of the season," said Bower
, who is 53-36 in four seasons at Darby."It's a big notch in the belt for this team.We worked hard to make ourselves a top team.We'll be in a big game again and next time they won't make the same mistakes.We can only benefit from that loss."
Stimson provided Bower
with solid defense -- the team gave up 40.3 points per game -- and developed into a 3-point threat late in the season, hitting at least one 3-pointer in each of the last five games.
Mann, according to Bower
, didn't get a lot of minutes but provided intensity and dedication.
"We stress defense, and Callie really understood the help-side defense and was a smart player," Bower
"Brogan's future is bright, and what she
did against Lancaster, not just in the first quarter but in big moments, was fantastic" Bower
is becoming more of an all-around player and her
goal is to play at the next level.
"Allen improved as much as anybody from being the key that enables us to press from becoming a scorer to a penetrator to being our person we can count on shutting somebody down.
"I will look anyone in the eye and tell them we're as good as anyone on our schedule," Bower
said."We can't sit back and relax, though.We will have to work and get better.
"Even when I got back to school (after losing to Lancaster), I was walking down the hallway to get a can of pop and I was wandering what we were going to do in practice the next day."
With Lancaster expected to graduate a large portion of its lineup, including Ohio State-signee Stephanie Blanton -- who scored 46 points in the tournament win -- and the Pickerington district adding another school, the Panthers should be strong contenders.
"That'll be one of our goals, to win the OCC-Ohio, and one of our goals will be to win a district title," Bower
said."When you look at that, there is opportunity and we have to make the most of that because the foundation is set."
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Hilliard Darby High School girls basketball coach Brent Bower anticipated his guards would prove to be superior against Walnut Ridge in the first round of the Division I tournament Feb. 12 at Dublin Scioto. His
was right, as the ninth-seeded Panthers defeated the Scots 55-29 to improve to 16-5 overall entering last Wednesday's second-round game against Scioto at the same site.The Irish defeated Darby 49-45 in overtime Jan. 4.
The seeding for the Division I tournament last Monday at Hilliard Davidson went nearly as planned, according to Hilliard Darby High School girls basketball coach Brent Bower.
The Panthers received the ninth seed and will play Walnut Ridge at 6:15 p.m. Feb. 12 at Dublin Scioto.
"We knew we would be seventh, eighth or ninth," said Bower, whose team received a program-best ninth seed last year.The Panthers had a first-round bye, defeated Worthington Kilbourne 63-56 in overtime in a sectional final and lost to Olentangy 56-53 in a district semifinal to finish 14-8."If we would have been one seed higher it would have worked out great."
With a home court advantage taken away by the Eagles, Bower
then opted for the next best scenario for getting his
team to district.
"That's our goal, to get to district, and when you get there you have to be ready to play," said Bower
, whose team was 13-3 overall and 8-2 in the OCC-Ohio Division before facing league-rival Lancaster last Tuesday."It was a very tough draw.The one through six seeds are all tough, and it doesn't matter who you play."
Lancaster earned the top seed.Independence, Brookhaven, Mifflin, Mount Vernon, Pickerington and Reynoldsburg rounded out the top seeds.
"And we are familiar with them from playing in the (OCC-Cardinal from the 1997-98 school year to last season), so I can't complain about our draw," Bower
The Panthers split with Scioto last year, losing 42-38 on the road and winning at home 38-34.
Lancaster, which is second to Independence in the area coaches poll, also is in the bottom bracket, and after a first-round bye plays Gahanna or Marion-Franklin on Feb. 18 at Groveport.If Darby and Lancaster advance, the OCC-Ohio teams would play a district semifinal Feb. 25 in the Fairgrounds Coliseum.
Newark will play Reynoldsburg or Groveport in the second round Feb. 18 at Darby, with the winner to play Watterson, Chillicothe or Westerville South in a district semifinal Feb. 25 in the Fairgrounds Coliseum.
is the school Bower
coached to a 50-3 mark over two years, including 26-2 in 1998-99 when the Trojans lost 61-51 to Hopewell-Loudon in the Division IV state final.
Darby, which defeated the Lions 42-37 on Dec. 10, led the rematch 17-13 at the half and pushed its lead to 30-20 after three quarters.
..."Gahanna is an improving team with very good guard play and good shooters," said Bower, whose team will travel to Pickerington on Saturday and play host to Central Crossing on Tuesday.
"Against Southeastern we got to play a lot of kids.They filled the visitors section of our gym, and it was a fun time."
In a 54-36 loss to Pickerington on Dec. 17, Darby trailed 30-26 at halftime before being outscored 24-10 the second half.
"Hopefully we will be all right because we have an extra day of rest," Bower
said." But Pickerington is playing a lot better defensively.They have a very deep bench and used it against us (in the first game)."
The Comets fell to 1-9 in the league with a 56-41 loss at Dublin Coffman last Friday and 3-13 overall with a 60-53 loss to Columbus School for Girls
last Saturday.Darby defeated Central Crossing 61-30 on Dec. 21.
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