Based on her team's performance in the OCC-Capital Division meet, Big Walnut High School gymnastics coach Misty Lloyd-Matthews has high expectations for the Golden Eagles at the district meet on Saturday, Feb. 26, at Worthington Kilbourne.

Based on her team's performance in the OCC-Capital Division meet, Big Walnut High School gymnastics coach Misty Lloyd-Matthews has high expectations for the Golden Eagles at the district meet on Saturday, Feb. 26, at Worthington Kilbourne.

"I see (the girls) hitting their highest team score of the season," Lloyd-Matthews said. "I see it coming. I still don't think they've put it all together 100 percent yet. I feel like they're going to keep getting better."

To post its highest team score of the season, Big Walnut will have to top its score from the OCC-Capital meet held Feb. 12 at Kilbourne. The Golden Eagles scored a 122.675 to finish fourth, behind Olentangy Orange (126.9), Hilliard Bradley (125.675) and Dublin Jerome (123.1), and ahead of Mount Vernon (109.275) and Central Crossing (36.175), which had only two gymnasts compete.

"I thought the girls had their best meet so far this season," Lloyd-Matthews said. "They keep progressing, which is exciting. They still have some room to make corrections. They've been trying to beef up everything as far as trying harder skills. They're taking more risks at meets, but I think it's going to help at the end."

Big Walnut went 3-2 in OCC-Capital dual meets during the regular season to finish third behind Orange (5-0) and Bradley (4-1) and ahead of Mount Vernon (2-3), Jerome (1-4) and Central Crossing (0-5). Combined with their performance in the league meet, the Golden Eagles finished third in the overall league standings with 14 points, behind Orange (24) and Bradley (20), and ahead of Jerome (12), Mount Vernon (10) and Central Crossing (4).

Junior Natalie Mathews was Big Walnut's top finisher in the all-around at the league meet, placing fourth with a 32.525. The junior also was the team's top finisher on the uneven bars (7.9, fifth) and had the team's second-highest scores on the balance beam (8.225, third), floor exercise (8.35, eighth) and vault (8.05, eighth).

Victoria Lawyer, also a junior, had the team's highest score on beam (8.275, second) and vault (8.1, tied for fourth) and tied classmate Emma Bauer for the team's second-highest score in the all-around (30.625, tied for 10th). Bauer had the Golden Eagles' highest score on floor (8.55, fifth) and third-highest on beam (7.925, eighth).

Also placing in the top 10 was junior Krystina Stacy on floor (8.275, 10th).

Last season at district, Big Walnut scored a 121.325 to place 12th of the 21 teams with five or more competitors. DeSales won the district title - its sixth in seven years and eighth in 10 years - with a 135.325. Thomas Worthington (133.375), Kilbourne (133.3), Olentangy Liberty (129.8) and Dublin Coffman (129.25) rounded out the top five.

The top three teams and top eight individuals in each event, including the all-around, advance to the state meet March 4-5 at Bradley.

"I think some of the girls have opportunities (to qualify for state) on a couple different events," Lloyd-Matthews said. "It just depends who hits that day."

•The boys basketball team was seeded 16th of 26 teams for the Division II district tournament and plays 17th-seeded Sparta Highland in the first round at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22, at Delaware Hayes.

The winner plays fifth-seeded Centennial in the second round at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, at Lakewood.

If Big Walnut advances, it likely would face fourth-seeded Canal Winchester in a district semifinal at 6 p.m. March 3 at the Fairgrounds Coliseum and top-seeded Hartley in a district final at 6 p.m. March 10 at the Fairgrounds.

"The season's been a challenge for us," said Golden Eagles coach Mike DeLaney, whose team was 5-13 overall and had lost six in a row before concluding the regular season with games against Franklin Heights on Feb. 18 and Granville on Feb. 19. "We're a young team and we have a chance to experience playing in the district tournament. Our goal is to get to the (Fairgrounds). Hopefully we can do that."

Highland was 8-10 after defeating Marion Elgin 47-39 on Feb. 14. Centennial improved to 14-6 with a 77-75 win over Columbus West on Feb. 15.

"The kids are excited about playing Highland," DeLaney said. "There's a pretty good rivalry with them even though we don't play them very often. ... (Highland is) fundamentally sound. They play the game the right way and are fairly big, so it will be a challenge for us."

DeLaney said his team will need to do better offensively if it is to put together a tournament run.

"I think we've gotten better, but we still go through stretches where we don't score and that puts pressure on our defense," he said.

Junior guard Tyler Beam was leading the Golden Eagles in scoring through 18 games, averaging 13.3 points. Sophomore forward Seth Myers was second, averaging 8.2 points, followed by junior guard Grant Beam (7.9), junior forward Seth Wandling (7.0) and senior forward Joel Craig (6.7).

•The boys and girls swimming teams qualified in seven events for the district meet held Feb. 18-19 at Ohio State.

For the boys team, receiving at-large district berths after competing in the Division II sectional meet on Feb. 12 at Thomas Worthington were sophomore Carson Chatterton in the 100-yard butterfly (1 minute, 1.93 seconds), the 200 freestyle relay (1:46.61) and the 400 free relay (4:06.99). Both relays were comprised of Chatterton, senior Kevin Meyer and freshmen Carter Marsch and Joel Windle.

The top three finishers in each swimming event at district automatically advance to the state meet, which will be held Thursday and Friday, Feb. 24-25, at the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton. In addition, 11 at-large state berths for each event will be awarded based on times statewide.

Chatterton and the 400 free relay were seeded 24th at district and the 200 free relay was seeded 29th.

"This is the first year (Marsch and Windle) have done competitive swimming," coach Andy Chatterton said. "It's a totally different animal to swim competitively than to swim in the pool in your backyard. You have to swim every day. ... They've really done a good job.

"At the beginning of the year, I didn't think we had a chance to get (the relays) to district with two rookies."

For the girls team, receiving at-large district berths after competing in the Division I sectional Feb. 12 at Thomas were senior Kelsey Peterson in the 200 free (2:09.07), the 200 medley relay (2:07.4), the 200 free relay (1:49.96) and the 400 free relay (4:06.96). All three relays were comprised of Peterson, sophomore Natalie Chatterton and freshmen Jessica Osburn and Michelle Stefaniak.

The top three finishers in each event at district automatically advance to the state meet on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25-26, at the Branin Natatorium. In addition, 11 at-large state berths for each event will be awarded based on times statewide.

Seeded 15th, the 200 free relay had the highest seed at district for the girls team, followed by the 400 free relay (17th), the 200 medley relay (21st) and Peterson (25th).

"I'm very pleased we have all three relays going to the district meet," coach Chatterton said. "(Osburn and Stefaniak) are new to the team, too. They sure did help out (the girls relays), just like (Marsch and Windle) did for the boys."

The boys team was one of only two Division II teams competing at the Thomas sectional, scoring 221 points to beat Canal Winchester (166). The girls team scored 17 points at the sectional to tie Mount Vernon for 11th of 14 teams, behind champion Thomas (194).

AT A GLANCE

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Big Walnut boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling and wrestling teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL

*Feb. 11 - Lost to Mount Vernon 52-40. Tyler Beam scored 11 points.

Feb. 15 - Lost to Mifflin 76-57. Beam scored 16 points and Seth Wandling scored 13.

*Feb. 18 - Played Franklin Heights

Feb. 19 - Played Granville

Feb. 22 - Sparta Highland in first round of Division II district tournament, 8 p.m. at Delaware Hayes. Winner plays fifth-seeded Centennial in second round, 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, at Lakewood. Winner plays in district semifinal, 6 p.m. March 3 at Fairgrounds Coliseum.

Of note: The Golden Eagles were 5-13 overall and 3-10 in the OCC-Capital before Feb. 18.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

*Feb. 11 - Defeated Mount Vernon 34-26. Emily Chucta and Tabatha Piper scored 10 points apiece.

Feb. 18 - Played Olentangy

Feb. 22 - Beechcroft in second round of Division II district tournament, 6 p.m. at Central Crossing. Winner plays second-seeded Eastmoor Academy or Canal Winchester in district semifinal, 8 p.m. Feb. 28. Big Walnut, seeded fifth, had a first-round bye.

Of note: The Golden Eagles were 13-6 overall before Feb. 18 and finished 9-5 in the OCC-Capital.

BOWLING

Feb. 18 - Competed in sectional tournament at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl. The top six boys and girls teams and the top six individual boys and girls finishers not on a qualifying team advanced to the district tournament on Saturday, Feb. 26, at HP Lanes.

Of note: The boys finished the regular season 12-4 overall, 9-4 in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-North Division and 2-3 in the OCC-Cardinal. The girls finished the regular season 0-12 overall, 0-10 in the COHSBC-North and 0-5 in the OCC-Cardinal.

WRESTLING

Feb. 12 - Lost to Granville 49-29

Feb. 19 - Competed in Division II sectional meet at Licking Heights. Top four finishers in each weight class advanced to the district meet Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25-26, at Columbus East. The top four finishers in each weight class at district advance to the state meet March 3-5 at Ohio State.

*OCC-Capital game