A tough stretch to start the season may be paying off for the Grandview Heights High School boys and girls bowling teams.
The Bobcats moved from the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-Central Division to the COHSBC-South, which includes several of the district's top teams such as Briggs and Whitehall.
But coach Tony Thivener said he has seen marked improvement in his bowlers as the season has progressed.
Before competing against Independence on Jan. 15, the boys team was 2-6 overall and in the COHSBC-South and girls team was 2-4 overall and in the league.
"Our schedule is tough, especially moving to the new division," Thivener said. "We knew (the COHSBC-South) would be more difficult and all of our tougher matches were at the beginning. We made it through the teeth of the schedule and we should be more competitive."
The boys and girls both set team highs for total pins Jan. 8 against Teays Valley at Columbus Western Bowl. The girls won 1,605-1,326 and the boys lost 2,240-2,035.
Senior Josie Pommering had the high series (303) and high game (159) for the girls, and senior Sarah Kaltenecker had a 276 series and a 152 high game. Senior Max Pierson led the boys with a 400 series that included a 215 game, and junior Tristen Rose had the high game of 227 in a 390 series.
On Jan. 10 against Eastmoor Academy at Columbus Western Bowl, the girls lost 1,541-1,398 as senior Kate Lewis had the high series (281) and high game (142). The boys defeated Eastmoor 1,825-1,611 as Rose led with a 340 series that included a 172 game, and senior Jacob Bottorf had the high game of 201 in a 337 series.
"The girls have been doing really, really well and it's not surprising," Thivener said. "We have five seniors and they know what they need to do. We should roll around 1,400 every match."
Pommering leads the girls with a 127.4 average, followed by Kaltenecker (120.0), Lewis (118.0), freshman Emma Berlin (116.3), senior Hannah Jones (113.8) and senior Hanley Baird (102.8).
Rose has the top average for the boys team with a 176.1, followed by Pierson (164.3), Bottorf (154.7), senior Austin Lewis (139.7) and senior Jon Sterneker (121.0).
Teamwork pays off for girls basketball team
The girls basketball team had won five consecutive games and was 9-4 overall and 4-3 in the MSL-Ohio before playing Madison Plains on Jan. 14.
"We're all trying to play within ourselves and we're looking for the right time to shoot open shots and the right time to go inside," coach Michelle Chavanne said. "Teamwork is really helping us off the ball and that has helped us get an open shot. Making that one extra pass helps a lot."
Megan McCauley led a balanced attack with 13 points and three 3-pointers in a 55-26 league victory over Whitehall on Jan. 10. Emma Bulla and Ali Lachey both scored nine points and Allison Voelker added eight.
The game with Madison Plains began the second half of the MSL-Ohio schedule.
"I'm looking forward to some of the rematches," Chavanne said. "I'm sure every team we beat is motivated to beat us. I'm looking forward to see how teams change their preparation from the first time around."
Girls swimmers sweep relay events
The girls swimming and diving team won all three relays Jan. 11 in a meet at St. Charles against Bexley and Hartley.
The 200-yard freestyle relay of Maddie Bills, Adrienne Bechtel, Ellie MacLeod and Halli Bair won in 1 minute, 49.54 seconds.
The 400 free relay of Bills, Bechtel, Mary MacLeod and Ellie MacLeod was first in 4:13.84, and the 200 medley relay of Mary MacLeod, Camille Day, Bair and Calley Schmalz won in 2:02.72.
Individual champions included Bair (50 free, 26.85), Bechtel (200 free, 2:12.41), Day (100 breaststroke, 1:23.62) and Mary MacLeod (100 backstroke, 1:06.4). Jane Deibel won diving with a score of 123.0.
The boys 200 free relay won in 1:36.55 with Tucker Rinehart, Zak Graham, Peter Bonn and Josh Smith, and the 400 free relay of Smith, Graham, Glenn Cheney and Rinehart was first in 3:43.12.
Rinehart won the 100 free in 52.22 and Smith won the 50 free in 23.36.
Five wrestlers place at Licking Heights
Brendan Fitzgerald was runner-up at 120 pounds and heavyweight A.J. Pinyerd placed third to lead the wrestling team in the Licking Heights Invitational on Jan. 10 and 11.
It was the first loss of the season for both wrestlers. Fitzgerald lost in the finals to Groveport's Shakur Laney 13-9 to drop to 14-1 overall.
Pinyerd improved to 15-1 after defeating A.J. Velasquez of Licking Heights 9-4 in the consolation final. He lost to Westerville North's Gage Archer 3-0 in a semifinal.
The Bobcats finished ninth (76 points) of 16 teams at Licking Heights behind champion Westerville North (304.5).
Ben Jump (8-6 overall) was fourth at 132, Benton Bair (10-5) was fifth at 138 and Sam Callison (9-7) was sixth at 170.
The Bobcats don't have the necessary eight wrestlers to compete in the state team tournament, which begins Wednesday, Jan. 22.
Boys basketball team continues hot streak
The boys basketball team has won seven of eight games and is 8-2 overall and 5-1 in the MSL-Ohio.
Grandview defeated Worthington Christian 51-49 on Jan. 13, as Hunter Schmalz scored 23 points with three 3-pointers and Luke Miller added 10 points.
The Bobcats play Friday, Jan. 17, at Whitehall, which is 7-0 in the MSL-Ohio.
Whitehall defeated Worthington Christian 75-67 on Jan. 11, as C.J. Prater led with 21 points and D.A. Sanders scored 18. The Rams also defeated Bexley 74-68 in league play Jan. 13, as Sanders scored 29 points and Prater added 13.
Grandview beat Bexley 67-65 on Jan. 11, as Miller scored 21 points and Schmalz had 19. Ike Dunaway had 12 points and Tim Murphy added nine.
The Bobcats start the second round of league play Tuesday, Jan. 21, at Madison Plains. The Bobcats won the first matchup 70-47 on Jan. 4, as Schmalz had 20 points, Marky Moore scored 12 and Nick Schopis added 10.
The only two setbacks for the Bobcats have been a pair of three-point losses. They lost to London 62-59 on Dec. 13 in an MSL-Ohio game and to Dover 44-41 on Dec. 28 in the championship game of the Bobcat Holiday Classic.