Jim Martiny admits he didn't know much about tennis before beginning what would become a more than 30-year tenure with the Briggs High School girls program.
His first love always has been bowling, and that's an area in which he has expertise after competing for four years at Central Michigan University in the 1970s.
For the first time, Martiny has the Briggs girls bowling team in the state tournament, where it will compete Friday, March 1, at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
"I didn't really know anything about the game of tennis when I came to Briggs," said Martiny, who retired as girls tennis coach in 2009. "I was a four-year collegiate bowler and in 1979 I was among the top 12 in the nation individually. I tried to get a (bowling) program going for years here at Briggs. This is a game that I know."
The Bruins beat Northland 2,279-1,870 on Feb. 19 at Eastland Lanes to win the City League championship as sophomore Tori Pappas was medalist with a 512 series.
On Feb. 23 at HP Lanes, Briggs was second (3,614) behind Cardington (3,682) in the 18-team district tournament as the top three teams advanced to state.
Pappas was seventh overall (559), followed by senior Jordyn Estep (eighth, 556), junior Sam Rainey (ninth, 533), junior Jaid Rade (tied for 35th, 458) and sophomore Randi Chalfant (96th, 290).
Briggs captured the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-South Division title at 14-0 and won the sectional Feb. 15 at Columbus Western Bowl with a 3,757.
The only other City program to advance to state was the Walnut Ridge boys in 2010.
"Defending (the City title) was a good feeling," Estep said. "I think we have really good chemistry together and we're all just really close. If two people have a bad day then the other three are bowling well.
"(Martiny) has helped us a lot. ... He makes sure that every practice we're doing something better."
City sending four wrestlers to state
Columbus West wrestling coach Scott Nicola has enjoyed the growth he's seen from senior Paco Quinonez.
In the Division I district tournament Feb. 22 and 23 at Hilliard Darby, the 182-pounder took another step forward by placing fourth to advance to state for the first time.
Quinonez will be among four City athletes at state, which will be held Thursday, Feb. 28, through Saturday, March 2, at Ohio State.
"He's only been wrestling for three years," Nicola said. "He didn't even really care about school much until he got into wrestling. He's really matured and it's paid off."
Quinonez, who is 33-7, didn't advance to district a year ago.
"It feels great," he said. "I just wanted to get more fit, so I figured coming out for wrestling would help with that. I hated it at first, but when you get used to it, it gets better."
West finished 25th (22) at district behind champion Marysville (163), as Bryan Gray placed sixth at heavyweight. Also competing were juniors Aden Abdi (106, 1-2) and Zach Em (126, 0-2) and senior Marcos Gasca (120, 0-2).
In the Division II district tournament at Heath, Mifflin placed 13th (51.5) and Marion-Franklin was 23rd (27.5) behind champion Uhrichsville Claymont (182.5). Brookhaven (37th, 6) and Columbus East (40th, 4) also scored.
Advancing to state for Mifflin were junior Hannibal Tate (152, second, 3-1) and senior Jalen Robinson (220, second, 3-1). Senior Alec Mills (145) went 3-2 and placed fifth.
Qualifying for state for Marion-Franklin was junior Jhulyis Monroe, who lost his second match but won his next four to finish 5-1 and third at 182.
Boys basketball district tourneys in full swing
Top-seeded and No. 1-ranked Northland was among the City teams that won first-round district boys basketball tournament games last weekend.
The Vikings beat Hilliard Bradley 71-37 on Feb. 22 to advance to a second-round Division I game against Central Crossing on Feb. 27.
The winner will meet 12th-seeded Westerville South or 20th-seeded Walnut Ridge in a district semifinal at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, at Marys-ville. Walnut Ridge beat Pickerington North 50-41 on Feb. 23 to advance.
In Division II, sixth-seeded Columbus South beat Lakewood 68-42 and eighth-seeded Centennial defeated Hamilton Township 87-55 on Feb. 23 to set up a matchup against each other at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at South. The winner will play third-seeded Granville or 13th-seeded DeSales in a district semifinal at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, at Newark.
Marion-Franklin, the 11th seed, beat Jonathan Alder 79-34 on Feb. 23 to advance to a second-round matchup at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at fifth-seeded Hartley. The winner will play fourth-seeded Buckeye Valley or 12th-seeded Beechcroft in a district semifinal at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, at Newark. Beechcroft beat Independence 66-55 in a first-round game Feb. 23.
Also winning Division II district openers Feb. 23 were Mifflin (61-55 over Bexley), Eastmoor Academy (65-31 over Licking Valley) and Brookhaven (77-61 over Linden-McKinley). Top-seeded Brookhaven meets London in a second-round game at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at home, and 15th-seeded East opens at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at 14th-seeded Caledonia River Valley. The winners of those games play at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, in a semifinal at Olentangy.
Mifflin, the 16th seed, plays at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at second-seeded Watterson, while seventh-seeded Eastmoor plays host to 20th-seeded Big Walnut at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28. The winners of those games meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, in a semifinal at Olentangy.
In Division IV, 15th-seeded Columbus International beat Village Academy 60-55 in a first-round game Feb. 23 to advance to play top-seeded Africentric on Feb. 27. The winner plays 11th-seeded Delaware Christian or 12th-seeded Millersport in a district semifinal at 8 p.m. Monday, March 4, at Reynoldsburg. The district final is 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, at the Fairgrounds Coliseum.
City League girls teams make semis
Africentric and Eastmoor, which were the top respective seeds in Divisions III and IV, were among the City teams to advance to district semifinals in girls basketball.
The Nubians play 12th-seeded Grandview at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at Granville, with the winner to meet seventh-seeded Madison Plains or 15th-seeded Marion Pleasant in a district final at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 2, at the same site.
Eastmoor played eighth-seeded Big Walnut in a district semifinal Feb. 27. The winner meets second-seeded Brook-haven or 15th-seeded River Valley in a district final at 7 p.m. Friday, March 1, at New Albany.
In Division I, fifth-seeded Northland plays fourth-seeded Dublin Coffman in a semifinal at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at Hilliard Davidson. The winner plays third-seeded Olentangy Orange or No. 11 Zanesville in a district final at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 2, at Davidson.