The Canal Winchester High School boys basketball team opens the Division II district tournament Saturday at Thomas Worthington. It plays the winner of last Tuesday's first-round game between Granville and Hilliard Bradley. Granville defeated the Indians 50-41 in a district semifinal last season. Both Granville and Hilliard Bradley entered their first-round game with losing records.

The Canal Winchester High School boys basketball team opens the Division II district tournament Saturday at Thomas Worthington. It plays the winner of last Tuesday's first-round game between Granville and Hilliard Bradley. Granville defeated the Indians 50-41 in a district semifinal last season. Both Granville and Hilliard Bradley entered their first-round game with losing records.

Canal Winchester is seeded fourth and if the Indians win Saturday, they advance to a district semifinal game on March 5 at the Fairgrounds Coliseum against No. 5 Hartley, No. 9 Mifflin or London.

"I don't know if you have expectations. You have goals that you set and you want to get as far as you can go," coach Kent Riggs said. "Hopefully that takes us to the (district) finals, that's what we're hoping to do. We've got tough games to get there."

The Indians earned a first-round bye after finishing the regular season 14-5 overall and 12-2 in the MSL-Buckeye Division. After some rescheduling of games that were postponed because of bad weather, the Indians defeated Circleville 64-35 on Feb. 18, lost to Logan Elm 51-38 last Friday and then defeated Teays Valley 72-61 last Saturday. Those three games concluded the regular season for Canal Winchester, but the loss to Logan Elm was a big one because it dropped the Indians to second in the league to the Braves for a second consecutive season.

In the loss to Logan Elm, Trace Helton and Christian Hawkins each scored 10 points. But the Indians found scoring hard to come by, getting just 28 points in the first three quarters. Canal Winchester also had no answer for Braves guard Adam Blake and center Logan Hauserman. Blake scored 15 points and was able to find Hauserman in good position often, allowing Hauserman to score a game-high 16 points.

"Well that game didn't go real well for us," Riggs said. "We've fed off of turnovers this year and it's hard to get them to turn the ball over. And Hauserman is a tough matchup for us. I give them credit for both times we played them because I thought they played real well. From our perspective, I don't think we played our best either time, but you've still got to tip your hat to them."

•The girls basketball team overcame a tumultuous end to the regular season to defeat No. 9 Beechcroft 58-56 in the first round of the Division II district tournament. The Indians outscored the Cougars 29-17 in the fourth quarter and overcame a 14-point deficit with roughly seven minutes left in the game. They advanced to a second-round game last Tuesday against No. 11 Hartley.

"We've been up and down this season, but this just proves we can compete with anyone when we're on," post player Tykia Savage said.

Prior to the 29-point fourth quarter, the Indians scored just 29 points in the first three quarters combined. Coach Adam Twiss said the key wasn't the scoring outburst, but rather the lack of turnovers.

"Well, we didn't turn the ball over (in the fourth quarter) and that was the bottom line," Twiss said. "We scored 29 points there and I don't know if we've done that all year. We took care of the ball, hit our free throws and good things can happen when you don't turn the ball over."

Savage led the Indians with 24 points, but Canal Winchester also received some clutch play from forward Cadyn Kraus and guard Kaleigh Whitlatch. Whitlatch had a steal that aided the Indians' rally and later she hit two free throws to give Canal Winchester a 53-49 lead with 1 minute, 13 seconds left. Kraus made two free throws with 59.1 seconds left to extend the Indians' lead to 55-50 after she was fouled on a rebound.

"The (second half of the season) has been rough on us. It's been rough on the kids and we felt like we hadn't played up to our potential toward the end of the season," Twiss said. "I told them in a timeout just to not give up, to keep fighting and working. I'm proud of them. That's what they did."

•The wrestling team advanced seven athletes to the Division II district tournament on Saturday at Uhrichsville Claymont. The top four in each weight class advance to the state tournament.

At district, Jacob Sharp (103, 13-13) opens with a match against Tyler Price (39-1) of Licking Heights. Nick Brady (112, 27-11) starts his day against Brodie Scherer (34-6) of Warsaw River View. Brady Hutchins (119, 34-8) opens the tournament against Logan Pfouts (10-10) of Indian Creek, Conrad Rosch (145, 21-2) wrestles McConnelsville Morgan's Clinton Campbell (9-23), Jordan Bellomy (152, 27-11) wrestles Tyler Beckley (24-6) of Uhrichsville Claymont, Eric Banks (189, 20-20) faces Ian Kelton (35-4) of River View and Nathan Pressley (heavyweight, 33-4) will open with Minerva's Jacob Hawk (15-15).

Hutchins was the Indians' only sectional champion. He scored a 17-3 major decision against Michael Webber of Olentangy in the championship match. Rosch and Pressley were both runner-ups. Rosch lost a 3-1 decision to Joe Grandominico of Olentangy in the title match and Pressley lost by forfeit to Hunter Maynard of Watterson.

•The boys swimming and diving team is represented at the Division II state meet today, Friday and Saturday at C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton by Tyler Simonton.

Simonton appears set to place in two events. He is seeded fourth in the 100 backstroke (52.68 seconds) behind Brad Hines (52.21) of North Bend Taylor. He is seeded sixth in the 100 freestyle (47.94) behind Cooper Staton (47.09) of DeSales.

Last Friday, the Indians finished 17th (37 points) behind champion Columbus Academy (270) at the district meet. Simonton won the 100 back in 52.68 seconds, breaking the meet record of 52.77 set by Ben Michael of Olentangy last year. In the 100 free, Simonton placed second (47.94) behind Staton (47.09). Brandon Hutchins finished 23rd (2:22.24) in the 200 IM behind winner Patrick Kelly (1:55.48) of Hartley.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Canal Winchester boys and girls basketball, boys and girls swimming and diving and wrestling teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL

*Feb. 17 -- Game vs. Circleville rescheduled for Feb. 18 because of bad weather

*Feb. 18 -- Defeated Circleville 64-35

*Last Friday -- Lost to Logan Elm 51-38

*Last Saturday -- Def. Teays Valley 72-61

Saturday -- At Thomas Worthington vs. Granville or Hilliard Bradley in second round of Division II district tournament. The winner advances to district semifinal March 5 at the Fairgrounds Coliseum against Hartley, London or Mifflin.

Of note: The Indians are 14-5 overall and finished 12-2 in the MSL-Buckeye.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Feb. 17 -- Def. Beechcroft 58-56 in first round of Division II district tournament

Last Tuesday -- Played Hartley in second round of district tournament. The winner advanced to a district semifinal March 1 at Pickerington North against Eastmoor or Granville.

Of note: The Indians were 11-10 overall before last Tuesday and finished 5-9 in the MSL-Buckeye.

SWIMMING & DIVING

Last Friday -- Boys: Finished 17th (37 points) behind champion Columbus Academy (270) at Division II district meet

Today, Friday and Saturday -- Boys: At Division II state meet at C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton

WRESTLING

Last Saturday -- Competed at Division II sectional tournament. Brady Hutchins (119) was a sectional champion.

Saturday -- At Division II district tournament at Uhrichsville Claymont

Of note: The Indians finished 6-1 in MSL-Buckeye duals

*MSL-Buckeye contest