The Whetstone High School wrestling team will be represented in the Division I district tournament by three seniors.
Demetrius Burrell (182 pounds), Chris North (160) and Christian Bobo (170) all finished in the top four of their respective weight classes in the sectional Feb. 15 at Upper Arlington to advance to district, which will be held Friday, Feb. 21, and Saturday, Feb. 22, at Hilliard Darby.
The Braves did not have any district qualifiers last season.
"I am very happy with our guys overall," coach Tom Jones said. "I would've liked to get 14 guys through, but reality is reality. We've got a lot of young kids, some freshmen, who were intimidated by it all. But it was still a learning experience and they got their first sectional out of the way now. We've got some young guys with state-caliber qualifications."
Burrell, who is 13-9 on the season, was sectional runner-up and will face Teays Valley's Tanner Oiler (21-12) in the first round at district.
The top four finishers in each weight class at district advance to the state tournament Feb. 27-March 1 at Ohio State.
"I'm happy because I got my top goal for the year," said Burrell, who was pinned by Hilliard Bradley's Patrick Yeo in 3 minutes, 35 seconds in the sectional final. "The only thing that would've made it better is winning (a sectional title). I wrestled good, but I hesitated with my shot in the finals. I will be more aggressive and get my cardio up for district."
This is Burrell's first time competing in the postseason.
"I am truly happy for Demetrius because he saw this all the way through this year and did what he had to do to earn his shot on the mat," Jones said. "To have this be his first and last full year of wrestling and to achieve his goal is a great thing."
North finished third at sectional and is 30-9 entering his first-round district match against Teays Valley's Mason Kuffeld (20-8). North defeated Olentangy Orange's Connor Ryan 11-10 in the third-place match at sectional.
"Chris North came back to beat (Ryan) after losing to him in his second match," Jones said. "He got caught and pinned. But in the rematch, Chris stayed true to himself and executed his game plan rather than playing into (Ryan's) strategy."
Bobo placed fourth at sectional and is 39-7 heading into his first-round district match against Lancaster's Eric Deluse (35-8). He lost 11-7 to Grove City's Jake Crosby in the third-place match at sectional.
"Christian Bobo was a little banged up and I think it started to show halfway through the third-place match," Jones said. "He beat (Crosby) earlier this year. He did have a great moment earlier when he earned his 100th career win."
Whetstone scored 69.5 points to finish eighth in the 11-team sectional behind champion Westerville North (237).
Boys basketball team prepares for tourney
The boys basketball team will open the Division I district tournament Friday, Feb. 21, at top-seeded Northland.
Whetstone, which is seeded 44th of 45 teams, faced the Vikings twice during the regular season in City League-North Division play, falling 110-35 on Dec. 17 and 102-33 on Jan. 24.
The first-round winner will play host to 45th-seeded Hamilton Township in a second-round game Wednesday, Feb. 26, with the winner of that contest advancing to a district semifinal March 4 at Olentangy Orange.
Whetstone has not played Hamilton Township this season.
The Braves were 2-18 before playing Independence on Feb. 18. They entered the contest on a 12-game losing streak, which included losses to Tree of Life (64-50 on Feb. 11) and Briggs (93-46 on Feb. 14).
Aaron Adair had a team-high 15 points against Briggs and Brian Scott and Adair scored 16 and 13, respectively, against Tree of Life.
Whetstone closed City-North play Feb. 10 with a 63-55 loss to Beechcroft to finish 1-13 in the league.
Girls basketball team falls in tourney opener
The girls basketball team lost to 29th-seeded Hamilton Township 63-56 in the Division I district tournament Feb. 15 at home.
The Braves, who were seeded 26th of 47 teams, finished 13-8 in their first winning season since 1988-89.
"Well, we had a winning season and had our best season in the City League in a long, long time," senior guard Kalie Mascarello said. "We went from being seeded 44th last year to being seeded 26th and having our first home (district tournament) game."
Post player Lauren Longbrake scored 13 of her team-high 21 points and grabbed 10 of her 16 rebounds in the first half to fuel Hamilton Township to a 33-23 halftime lead that Whetstone could not overcome.
Josie Kasprzak added 19 points for the Rangers.
"We did a much better job on (Longbrake) in the second half, but then (Kasprzak) stepped in and hurt us," coach Bucky Walters said. "We got within (35-34 with 3:50 left) in the third quarter but never got over the hump.
"We didn't get a break all game. (Hamilton Township) came up with the 50-50 balls after long scrambles and turned them into points a few times. It was just one of those games."
Sophomore guard Lily Morris had 28 points to lead the Braves and Mascarello scored 18.
"We kept fighting until the very end," Morris said. "We never gave up."
Boys swim relays end season at district
The boys swimming and diving team was represented in the Division I district meet Feb. 15 at Ohio State by all of its relays.
All three relays recorded season-best times, but none of them qualified for the state meet, which runs Thursday, Feb. 20, through Saturday, Feb. 22, at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
Connor Flanagan, David Basye, Bert Pajor and Mitchell Nottage combined to finish 23rd in the 200-yard medley relay in 1:51.77, topping their previous best of 1:51.95, and finished 27th in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:41.43, surpassing their previous best of 1:42.18.
The 400 free relay of Sam Green-Lauber, Drew Marcum, Luke Green-Lauber and Jose Soto finished 29th in 4:13.56, breaking their previous best of 4:15.88.
"I couldn't be prouder of the boys because they did their best and I couldn't ask for more than that," coach John DeRing said. "They worked hard all season and it showed."
Bowling teams ready for sectional tourney
The bowling teams will compete in the Division I sectional Friday, Feb. 21, at Eastland Lanes.
The top 20 teams and top 20 individuals not on a qualifying team in both the boys and girls tournaments advance to district March 1 at Eastland Lanes.
Whetstone, which had only a boys team last season, did not have any district qualifiers a year ago.