Megan McCauley had made the game-clinching basket for the Grandview Heights High School girls basketball team, but the sophomore guard was quick to divert the attention to her teammates.
McCauley stole the ball and raced for a layup with 45 seconds to play to give the 12th-seeded Bobcats a 34-33 win over visiting Galion Northmor on Feb. 21 in the second round of the Division III district tournament.
"I think that had a lot to do with our wing defense," McCauley said of the steal. "(Senior forward Connor Skeen) deflected the pass to me, and (sophomore forward) Ali (Lachey) and (sophomore guard) Emma (Bulla) were adding pressure. That's what made it possible."
Lachey and Bulla led Grandview with eight points apiece. McCauley added six points.
After going 2-19 last season, the Bobcats improved to 12-11 and advanced to play the defending state champion, top-seeded Africentric, in a district semifinal at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at Granville.
The Nubians improved to 17-5 by defeating Mount Gilead 97-21 in a second-round game Feb. 20. They have not played Grandview this season.
"To play a team like Africentric, you have to be able to speed things up and still stay in control," coach Michelle Chavanne said. "You have to speed up your game, your decision-making ... everything. But you have to stay within yourself."
The winner plays seventh-seeded Madison Plains (16-6) or 15th-seeded Marion Pleasant (9-14) in a district final at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 2, at Granville. Neither team has played Grandview this season.
The district champion advances to play Bucyrus Winford (14-10), Collins Western Reserve (21-2), Huron (8-15) or Ontario (13-10) in a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, at Lexington.
The regional final is at 1 p.m. March 9 at Lexington.
Freshman qualifies for state wrestling tourney
Freshman Brendan Fitzgerald (120 pounds) was the lone Grandview wrestler to advance to the Division III state tournament.
The top four finishers in each weight class at district advanced to state Thursday, Feb. 28, through Saturday, March 2, at Ohio State.
Fitzgerald was runner-up in the district tournament Feb. 22 and 23 at Duncan Falls Philo. He finished 3-1 to improve to 36-6.
"This will be the biggest meet I have ever wrestled in," he said. "I just have to stay focused and go out and wrestle."
Fitzgerald had three first-period pins entering the championship against Bloom- Carroll's Chandler Minnard, who won by pin in 3 minutes, 51 seconds. Three of Fitzgerald's six losses have been to Minnard.
"I wrestled the best I have all season (at district)," Fitzgerald said. "I tried to be aggressive and wrestle my match."
Grandview finished 19th (33) behind champion Amanda-Clearcreek (147.5) as 54 teams scored.
Also competing at district were junior heavyweight A.J. Pinyerd and freshman Thomas Stanley at 170.
Pinyerd lost to Martins Ferry's Jon Bodkin 3-2 in overtime to place sixth. He went 3-3 to finish 29-12.
Stanley went 0-2 at district to finish 18-21.
Relay sets record at state swim meet
In the Division II state swimming and diving meet Feb. 21 at Branin Natatorium in Canton, the boys team's 400-yard freestyle relay finished 23rd in a program-record 3:25.83.
The relay was comprised of juniors Willy Kramer, Josh Smith, Peter Bonn and Tucker Rinehart. The Bobcats entered the event seeded last of 24 teams with a time of 3:26.09. Napoleon was seeded 23rd (3:23.93).
"We went into state seeded last by almost three seconds, which is quite a lot," Smith said. "But when we got there, everyone was pumped up. We came in and did what we were supposed to do (by setting a program record). Getting the record was pretty nice."
The Bobcats did not score. Dayton Oakwood (288) was champion as 58 teams scored.
"Last year when we were (at state) for the first time, I was kind of freaking out," Smith said. "This time, I felt like I deserved to be there and I knew we had earned the right to be there."
Girls bowling team ends season at district
The girls bowling team finished 18th (2,283) in the 18-team district tournament Feb. 23 at HP Lanes.
In the program's first district appearance, junior Hannah Jones (369, 84th of 118 participants) led the Bobcats, followed by junior Josie Pommering (352, 88th), junior Sarah Kaltenecker (337, 91st) and senior Taylor Woodhouse (303, 95th). Senior Anna Field (164) played two games and junior Kate Lewis (95) rolled one.
"We were more than 400 pins under our sectional score (2,688)," coach Tony Thivener said. "Hopefully we can use this experience as a springboard for next year."
The top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to the state tournament Friday, March 1, at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
Cardington (3,682), Briggs (3,614) and Lancaster (3,318) advanced. North Union's Stormie Jamison (529) was the final individual qualifier.
Boys basketball team begins tourney play
The fifth-seeded boys basketball team was 16-5 before playing eighth-seeded Ready on Feb. 27 in the second round of the Division III district tournament. The Bobcats had a first-round bye.
The winner advanced to play fourth-seeded Fredericktown or 14th-seeded Amanda-Clearcreek at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, in a district semifinal at Delaware.
Fredericktown was 20-3 before Feb. 27 and did not play the Bobcats this season. The Freddies defeated Grandview 49-41 last year in the second round.
Amanda-Clearcreek was 10-11 before Feb. 27. Grandview beat the Aces 43-40 on Jan. 15 as senior forward Andy Treasure scored 21 points.
The winner plays second-seeded Columbus Academy, sixth-seeded Worthington Christian, 10th-seeded West Jefferson or 21st-seeded Cardington in a district final at 8:30 p.m. March 7 at the Fairgrounds Coliseum.