Coach Ray Corbett said his Grandview Heights High School boys basketball team has a knack for coming up with key plays when necessary.
Whether it's Hunter Schmalz scoring the first nine points of the second half, Marky Moore hitting three uncontested 3-pointers as defenders backed away or Luke Evans scoring seven points in the second overtime, all of those factors helped the Bobcats stay in stride in the MSL-Ohio Division with a 74-70 double-overtime victory Feb. 8 at Worthington Christian.
The Bobcats were 9-1 in the league before playing Bexley on Feb. 11. Whitehall was 12-1 after defeating West Jefferson 70-25 on Feb. 10, and Bexley was third at 9-3.
"In several games, we have had a number of kids step up and make big shots when we need them," said Corbett, whose team was 14-2 overall before Feb. 11. "It's no mystery. We don't have any kids signing to go to UCLA. We work hard and we put a good team out there. We're a good team. That's what we're all about."
The Bobcats close their regular-season schedule with three MSL-Ohio home games -- Friday, Feb. 14, against Whitehall, Saturday, Feb. 15, against Columbus Academy and Tuesday, Feb. 18, against London.
The Bobcats defeated the Rams 56-53 on Jan. 17 and the Vikings 75-30 on Dec. 21. Before Feb. 11, Grandview's only league loss came against London, 62-59 on Dec. 13.
"It doesn't get any easier from here on out," Corbett after his team defeated Worthington Christian for its ninth consecutive victory. "Every game is going to be a challenge."
Schmalz led the Bobcats against Worthington Christian with 21 points and three 3-pointers, and Luke Miller scored 14 points. Moore had 12 points and Ike Dunaway added 11.
Dunaway scored 16 points, Schmalz had 13 with three 3-pointers and Nick Schopis also scored 13 as the Bobcats defeated Madison Plains 85-36 on Feb. 6. Moore and Tim Murphy both scored nine points.
The Bobcats earned the third seed in the Division III district tournament behind Hartley and Ready. Grandview has a first-round bye and plays at home Feb. 27 against 17th-seeded Marion Elgin in the second round.
"There are a lot of good teams out there," Corbett said. "There is no easy win for us, whether it's in the league or in the district."
Wrestlers head to Cardington sectional
The wrestling team competes in the Division III sectional Friday, Feb. 14, and Saturday, Feb. 15, at Cardington.
The top four finishers in each weight class will advance to district Feb. 21 and 22 at Heath.
Last season at sectional, A.J. Pinyerd (heavyweight) and Brendan Fitzgerald (120 pounds) both finished second to advance to district.
The Bobcats tuned up for the postseason by competing in the 16-team Nye Cardinal Classic on Feb. 8 at St. Charles. They finished 10th (79) behind champion Lancaster (269), as Fitzgerald won the title at 120, Pinyerd was champion at heavyweight and Ben Jump was sixth at 132.
Fitzgerald was pushed to the limit in the championship match, winning 16-13 over Reynoldsburg's Dominic Hathaway. Pinyerd won a pair of overtime matches in his semifinal and title matches, defeating Reynoldsburg's Christian Eubanks 4-3 in four overtimes and Bloom-Carroll's Jacob Packwood 2-0 in overtime.
"It's good to be able to go the distance to make sure we're in shape for the matches we have coming up in sectional and district," Fitzgerald said. "We have to be able to go the distance in tough matches from here on out."
Swimming teams win sectional titles
The boys and girls swimming and diving teams both won Division II sectional championships Feb. 8 at Upper Arlington.
The boys team finished first of five teams with 309 points, with Centennial (258) as runner-up. The girls were first (470) of three teams, ahead of second-place Centennial (293).
The boys 200-yard freestyle relay of Willy Kramer, Zak Graham, Tucker Rinehart and Josh Smith won in 1 minute, 34.65 seconds and the 400 free relay of Kramer, Peter Bonn, Smith and Rinehart was first in 2:34.68. The 200 medley relay of Bonn, Justin Warnement, Glenn Cheney and Graham won in 1:56.74.
Individual sectional champions included Cheney (100 backstroke, 1:07.33), Kramer (100 butterfly, 1:00.6) and Rinehart (50 free, 23.06; 100 free, 51.26).
For the girls, the 200 medley relay of Mary MacLeod, Mimi Day, Calley Schmalz and Maddie Bills won in 2:06.31 and the 200 free relay of Adrienne Bechtel, Schmalz, Ellie MacLeod and Halli Bair was first in 1:47.48. The 400 free relay of Bechtel, Mary MacLeod, Ellie MacLeod and Bair won in 3:59.91.
Individual sectional winners were Bechtel (100 free, 58.68; 200 free, 2:07.77), Bills (500 free, 6:15.91), Day (100 breaststroke, 1:20.17) and Ellie MacLeod (50 free, 27.04).
Grandview participates in the district meet Friday, Feb. 14, at Ohio State. The top two placers in each swimming event, the top boys diver and the top three girls divers advance to the state meet Wednesday, Feb. 19, through Feb. 21 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. In addition, 16 at-large state berths will be awarded for each swimming event based on district times statewide.
Bowling teams prep for sectional
The bowling teams compete in the Division II sectional Friday, Feb. 14, at Sawmill Lanes.
The boys advance the top 14 teams and top 14 individuals not on qualifying teams and the girls advance the top 12 teams and top 12 individuals not on qualifying teams to the district tournament Feb. 22 at HP Lanes.
The Bobcats closed their Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-South Division schedule by defeating Pickerington Central on Feb. 7.
The boys team improved to 8-8 overall and 8-7 in the league with a 1,906-1,696 victory. Jacob Bottorf led with a 367 series, Tristen Rose rolled a 343 and Austin Lewis had a 336.
Hannah Jones led with a 250 series as the girls won 1,319-1,116. Hanley Baird had a 240 series.
Girls basketball team wins league finale
The girls basketball team finished the regular season 17-5 overall and 10-4 in the MSL-Ohio after defeating Whitehall 50-28 on Feb. 7.
Emma Bulla led the Bobcats with 11 points and Dareth Douglass scored 10. Grace Palmer had eight points and Chloe Wernet added six. The Bobcats next play Feb. 20 in the second round of the Division III district tournament against visiting 10th-seeded West Jefferson. Grandview is seeded sixth.