Thus far, juniors Drew McDougle and Kasee McDougle of the Gahanna Lincoln High School wrestling team have taken advantage of the opportunity to put last season's postseason disappointment behind them.

Thus far, juniors Drew McDougle and Kasee McDougle of the Gahanna Lincoln High School wrestling team have taken advantage of the opportunity to put last season's postseason disappointment behind them.

The twins will compete in the Division I state tournament that runs Thursday, March 1, through Saturday, March 3, at Ohio State after each placed in the top four in their respective weight classes in the district tournament.

A year ago, Drew went down with an injury in a district semifinal and Kasee was forced to default after getting hurt in his opening match at district.

In the district tournament held Feb. 24 and 25 at Hilliard Darby, Drew won the championship at 132 and Kasee placed fourth at 138.

"I'm happy for them," coach Kyle Bentley said. "Last year was bad with the setbacks and the injuries. It's good to see them have a year where they were relatively injury free. It'll be interesting to see the (state) pairings."

Drew went 1-2 at state as a freshman at 112 and settled for sixth at district at 130 last season. He is 44-5 and will open state against Elyria junior Brandon Egnor (31-9).

At district, Drew opened with easy wins over Worthington Kilbourne's Kyle Wahl (16-0) and Pickerington North's Nick Notestine (pin in 4 minutes, 25 seconds) before beating Lancaster's Logan Strope 2-0 for the championship.

Although the Lions faced Lancaster in an OCC-Ohio Division dual Jan. 5, it was Kasee who wrestled and lost to Strope.

"I knew from past years that I just had to get into (Strope's) head," Drew said. "For one thing, I cranked on his shoulders, and my only points were on a reversal. (Getting a No. 1 seed) was an incentive.

"The biggest thing I remember about state when I was a freshman was that I beat a No. 2 seed and almost won my quarterfinal. I know I can do it. I've just got to keep my head on straight."

Kasee is a two-time district qualifier who competed at 119 as a freshman and 135 last winter. He is 35-11 and will open state against Twinsburg senior Mike Labry (38-1), who finished fourth at state at 103 as a freshman and was third at 125 last season.

Neither of the McDougles are projected by Brian Brakeman's High School Wrestling Forecast to place among the top eight in their respective weight classes.

Kasee opened district by pinning Dublin Jerome's Andrew Pearson in 3:40 then pinned Kilbourne's James Gundling in 3:16.

He then lost to Northland's Anthony Alexander 8-6 in a semifinal but beat Lancaster's Tanner Miller 11-4 to qualify for state. Olentangy Liberty's Jake Ryan, who won over Kasee by forfeit in the sectional Feb. 18 at Pickerington Central, won the third-place match 14-1.

Kasee split his lower lip in the match against Alexander and took four of his allotted five minutes for an injury timeout.

"I'm excited to finally get to state," Kasee said. "I haven't had too much (luck) at Hilliard Darby the last couple years. I did want to be in the final, but after winning my next match, I was so happy.

"Definitely I have to be relaxed once I get (to state), and if you lose a match, you can't let it get to your head. It's wrestling, so anything can happen."

There are five returning state placers at 132 and seven at 138.

Cincinnati Moeller's Joey Ward and Wadsworth's Kagan Squire, who took first and second, respectively, at 125 last year, are among the favorites at 132.

At 138, Marysville's Noah Forrider won the Darby district title and was sixth at 130 last year. Other top contenders in the weight class along with Labry include Oregon Clay's Angelo Amenta (third last year at 130), Lakewood St. Edward's Nick Barber (fourth last year at 135) and Massillon Perry's Mitch Newhouse (second in 2010 at 112).

"Some districts are more stacked than others," Bentley said. "(Drew) is growing with confidence every time he takes the mat. Kasee has more of a wide-open style that gets him in trouble sometimes, but he's a good wrestler. We just want them to keep fresh for state and see what happens."