Marcus Moore is planning to approach the Division I district wrestling tournament by using the same method that got him to this point - going for takedowns.

Marcus Moore is planning to approach the Division I district wrestling tournament by using the same method that got him to this point - going for takedowns.

A senior and first-time district qualifier for Whetstone High School, Moore went on a thrill-seeking mission as a sophomore and has since blossomed into one of the City League's best wrestlers.

After finishing second at 130 pounds at the Marysville sectional Feb. 19, Moore takes a 29-6 record into his opening district match against Newark senior Dujuan Booker (37-7) on Friday, Feb. 25, at Hilliard Darby.

The top four finishers in each weight class advance to state March 3-5 at Ohio State.

"I used to be so bored when I went home," said Moore, an East Side resident who open-enrolled to Whetstone before his freshman year. "My friend had this cool wrestling shirt on and it sounded like it would be fun. I didn't know anything about wrestling, but I just kind of went out for the team."

Moore finished third in the City at 125 a year ago and won a conference title Feb. 12 at 130.

Throughout the regular season and at sectional, Moore found most of his success by scoring points on takedowns. He beat his first sectional opponent, St. Charles' Andy Speed, by technical fall (20-5) and then handily beat his next two foes, Watkins Memorial's Chris Bankes (24-10) and Upper Arlington's Vito DiBenedetto (16-8) to advance to the final.

Moore was pinned by Marysville's Noah Forrider in 2 minutes, 51 seconds in the championship match.

"I'm real competitive, and earlier this year I asked coach (Tom) Jones what the takedown record is (since Jones took over in 2007-08) and he said it was 126. I beat that two weeks ago. Takedowns usually work best for me.

"For district, I'm just going to try to work on what I know. I just try to fight not to get taken down. I came this far and I wanted to make sure that I go out with a bang."

Jones has been impressed with Moore's growth as a wrestler. Moore, who won one sectional match last season, gives the Braves a district representative for the second consecutive season.

Last year, 2010 graduates Ben Leach (135) and Spencer Tuttle (119) both qualified for district.

"(Moore is) comfortable enough on his feet," Jones said. "What he likes to do is take a guy down and then let him go. He does that several times in the first period and gets the lead secured. This year he's in the neighborhood of 150 takedowns, and that's been a real key to his success. It's the same thing we had success with, with Spencer and Ben Leach. It's just been about his technique and experience, and he's put a lot of hard work in the last two years."

•The season ended for the boys and girls swimming and diving teams at the Division I district meet Feb. 18-19.

The top finisher was junior diver Oran Irwin, who placed eighth (305.9). Also competing individually was junior Olivia Degitz, who placed 28th (1:04.43) in the 100-yard backstroke and 29th in the 100 freestyle (57.61).

The Braves had four seniors in the program in Habeeb Al-Ghawi, Pete Pajor and Daniel Renick from the boys team and Jennifer Merker from the girls.

Pajor and Al-Ghawi swam on all three boys relays that competed at district, and Merker swam on all three girls relays that competed.

Sophomore Nick Nottage and freshman Albert Pajor should be the top returning boys swimmers after both competed on all three district relays.

Degitz and Merker were joined on the girls 200 medley and 200 free relays by sophomores Audrey Bollas and Alana Bruzzese. Bollas, Bruzzese and Merker were joined on the 400 free relay by sophomore Christie Norris.

"I was very satisfied with how they all competed," said John Dering, who completed his 10th season as coach. "Irwin had one dive that was weak, but other than that he would have been in the top five. He did a great job. All of the 200 relays got season-bests, and that's all I can ask."

AT A GLANCE

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

BOYS BASKETBALL

Feb. 15 - Defeated Briggs 62-57. Matthew Wallace and Cameron Vines both scored 19 points.

Feb. 22 - Played St. Charles in first round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays seventh-seeded Dublin Coffman or Logan in second round, 8 p.m. Feb. 25 at Hamilton Township. Winner plays in district semifinal, 7 p.m. March 5 in Fairgrounds Coliseum.

Of note: The Braves were 12-8 before Feb. 22.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Feb. 19 - Lost to fourth-seeded Watterson 65-22 in first round of Division I district tournament

Of note: The Braves finished 5-16.

SWIMMING & DIVING

Feb. 18-19 - Boys: Finished last (11) in 23-team Division I district meet at Ohio State; Girls: Did not score at 23-team district meet. The Braves had no state qualifiers. Competing at district were: Boys - Oran Irwin: diving (305.9, eighth); 200 free relay (1;43.92, 24th); 200 medley relay (1:58.54, 23rd); 400 free relay (3:54.04, 26th); Girls - Olivia Degitz: 100 back (1:04.43, 28th), 100 free (57.61, 29th); 200 free relay (1:51.68, 18th); 200 medley relay (2:06.94, 23rd); 400 free relay (4:24.83, 27th)

WRESTLING

Feb. 19 - Finished 12th (44) at 13-team Division I sectional tournament at Marysville behind champion Hilliard Davidson (239.5). Qualifying for district was Marcus Moore (130, 3-1, second). Others competing were Cameron Au (152, 1-2), Bryan Barksdale (215, 1-2), Mac Conkling (112, 0-2), Kevin Ellison (heavyweight, 1-2), Ethan Johnson (171, 0-2), Anthony Lehnen (103, 2-2), Chris North (145, 0-2), Quintez Poole (119, 0-2), Daylon Smoother (140, 0-2) and Brian Tran (125, 0-2).

Feb. 25-26 - District tournament at Hilliard Darby. The top four in each weight class advance to state March 3-5 at Ohio State.