Granville High School boys and girls swimming and diving coach Kevin Yates was thinking about how his teams would measure up to Columbus Academy before the season began.

Granville High School boys and girls swimming and diving coach Kevin Yates was thinking about how his teams would measure up to Columbus Academy before the season began.

"Our goal is to contend for the district (team) title," Yates said last December. "We still have to deal with our rivals, Columbus Academy, but we think we have a legitimate shot at it."

On Saturday, the Vikings play host to the MSL-Ohio Division meet, where conventional wisdom has the boys and girls team titles coming down to Academy and Granville.

"Granville is going to give us good competition," Academy coach Craig Yakscoe said. "We haven't really seen anybody else at this point, so there might be some good individuals here or there, but team-wise, it should be us and Granville."

A dress rehearsal took place last Saturday when the Academy boys team beat Granville 87-83 and the girls team lost to the Blue Aces 94-76.

"We are coming together very well as a team right now," Yakscoe said. "Like anybody, we've had our ups and downs, but right now we're gearing up to have a good conference meet."

Last season, Academy's boys and girls teams won conference titles. On the boys side, Academy finished first with 306 points, ahead of runner-up Granville (211). Jackson Humphrey won the 200-yard freestyle (1 minute, 49.87 seconds) and 500 free (5:01.12). Also finishing first were the 200 free relay (1:33.48) and 400 free relay (3:36.52).

On the girls side, Academy was first with 305 points, ahead of runner-up Granville (218). Sarah Wilson won the 200 free (2:05.83) and 500 free (5:33.94), Chelsea Dipman won the 100 breaststroke (1:14.29) and Natalie Ritter won diving (447.55). Also finishing first was the 200 medley relay (2:02.45).

"Certainly Jackson, along with William Rosler and Drew Yakscoe, will compete for league titles," coach Yakscoe said. "On the girls side, we're looking at Lauren Burke, Sarah Wilson, Abby Brown and Natalie Szykowny as possibilities for individual champion."

The Vikings' lineup was still in flux as of last Sunday. Coach Yakscoe had yet to determine who will compete in which events.

"On both sides, it seems like we have a little more depth this year," coach Yakscoe said. "Some of those second, third and fourth swimmers will be able to score some points for us in Saturday's meet."

•The boys basketball team entered last Tuesday at 7-6 overall and 2-2 in its previous four games.

The .500 record over the previous four games came on the heels of a four-game losing streak, which followed a three-game winning streak.

"Part of it is inexperience right now," coach Chris Jones said. "Even though we have eight seniors, we don't have a ton of kids with varsity experience. We're learning how to win consistently at this level and have success. It's been a challenge.

"It's a daily thing. It's about the effort, intensity and focus every day we bring in practice and helping the guys understand how important that is."

Before last Tuesday's game against Newark Catholic, Academy was tied with Heath for fifth in the MSL-Ohio at 3-4, behind Newark Catholic (6-0), Bexley (6-0), Granville (4-3) and Licking Valley (3-3) and ahead of Whitehall (2-5) and Lakewood (1-6).

"Newark Catholic and Bexley have a lot of talent and experience between the two," Jones said. "They also play really hard. The rest of the league, you may not have as much experience and talent, but everyone plays as hard as they can every night."

Individually, sophomores Zach Ratcliff and Tim Eldrige have emerged as Academy's top two scoring options. Through 13 games, Ratcliff was averaging 14.1 points and Eldrige was averaging 10.7.

"Zach is playing more of a marquee role than he has in the past," Jones said. "He's emerged as our go-to scorer. We have three to four other guys who on any given night can score in double figures. It's a matter of getting everyone to be consistent enough to be producing every single night."


At a glance

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

BOYS BASKETBALL

*Last Friday -- Lost to Bexley 72-39. Eoghan Bahnson and Tim Eldridge each scored 10. Last Saturday -- Defeated Jonathan Alder 58-57. Zach Ratcliff and Eldridge each scored 14. *Last Tuesday -- Played Newark Catholic *Saturday -- At Heath. Heath won 61-49 on Dec. 18.

Of note: The Vikings were 7-6 overall and 3-4 in the MSL-Ohio before last Tuesday.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

*Jan. 19 -- Lost to Heath 51-25 Jan. 21 -- Def. Gahanna Christian 43-19. Allie Roehrenbeck scored 14. *Last Saturday -- Def. Whitehall 56-31. Molly Belcher scored 15. *Last Monday -- Lost to Newark Catholic 47-38 Last Wednesday -- Played Wellington *Friday -- Home vs. Granville. Granville won 51-45 on Dec. 3. *Tuesday -- Home vs. Licking Valley. Licking Valley won 35-29 on Dec. 19. *Wednesday -- At Lakewood. Academy won 33-20 on Jan. 5.

Of note: The Vikings were 6-7 overall before last Wednesday and are 4-6 in the MSL-Ohio.

SWIMMING & DIVING

Last Friday -- Boys: Defeated Gahanna 100-70. Finishing first were Brent Balasky in 200 freestyle (2:07.62), Jackson Humphrey in 200 IM (2:02.22) and 50 free (23.56), Drew Yakscoe in 100 butterfly (1:00.05), William Rosler in 100 free (49.03), the 200 medley relay (1:48.29), the 200 free relay (1:36.86) and the 400 free relay (3:41.60). Girls: Def. Gahanna 93-77. Finishing first were Sarah Wilson in 200 free (2:05.52) and 500 free (5:45.24), Abby Brown in 100 fly (1:01.23) and 100 breaststroke (1:17.29), Lauren Burke in 100 free (58.74), the 200 medley relay (2:03.45) and the 200 free relay (1:49.95). Last Saturday -- Boys: Def. Granville 87-83. Finishing first were Humphrey in 200 free (1:45.87) and 100 free (52.67), Rosler in 200 IM (2:02.77) and 100 backstroke (55.52), William Westwater in 50 free (23.94), Yakscoe in 100 fly (58.95), Conrad Wuorinen in 100 breast (1:08.08), the 200 medley relay (1:47.5), 200 free relay (1:37.12) and 400 free relay (3:28.87). Girls: Lost to 94-76. Individual results were not available. Last Tuesday -- Competed against DeSales *Saturday -- At home MSL-Ohio meet

WRESTLING

*Jan. 21 -- Lost to Licking Valley 75-6; lost to Bexley 48-3 Last Friday-Saturday -- Finished 13th (58) at Bobcat Invitational at Grandview, behind champion Marion-Franklin (238). Preston Pearson (171 pounds) finished first. *Today (Thursday) -- Home vs. Lakewood and Liberty Union Saturday -- At New Lexington tournament

*MSL-Ohio contest