A quick schedule change turned out to be a blessing for the Northridge High School girls basketball team.
A home game with Watkins Memorial was moved from Feb. 1 to Jan. 13 because of a scheduling conflict, but the Vikings were able to come away with a 39-36 victory.
"We had a wrestling meet scheduled for Feb. 1 and I thought we could have it in the middle school gym, but I found out we needed both (gyms)," athletics director Wayne Howard said.
"We talked (Jan. 10) and the only day that we could work out was (Jan. 13)."
Coach Joe Rucker wasn't enthused about the change, but believes it ended up helping the Vikings rebound quickly from a 54-18 loss to Johnstown-Monroe on Jan. 11.
"That was probably the best thing that could have happened to us," said Rucker, whose team was 6-8 overall and 5-6 in the LCL before playing Granville on Jan. 18. "We needed to get back out there and play after the Johns-town game and get that bad taste out of our mouths and get a 'W.'"
Sara Pribonic and Jamie Swickard both scored 10 points against Watkins Memorial and Belinda Marcum had eight points.
Against Johnstown, Marcum scored seven points and Pribonic added five.
"We play larger schools in the LCL and we use that as motivation," Rucker said. "We know that playing these teams will help us when we head into the (Division III) tournament."
The Vikings lost to Utica 37-31 on Jan. 16 in LCL play. Pribonic led with nine points, Jenna Denune and Swickard both scored six and McKenna Kitchen added five points.
Through 12 games, Pribonic was averaging 14.1 points, 3.7 steals and 3.2 assists. Marcum was averaging 9.8 points and 7.1 rebounds.
The Vikings continue league play this week with rematches Thursday, Jan. 23, at Lakewood and Saturday, Jan. 25, at home against Heath. Northridge beat the Lancers 57-43 on Dec. 12 and the Bulldogs 46-30 on Dec. 14.
Boys swimmers win Central Crossing meet
The boys swimming and diving team won the Central Crossing Quad on Jan. 11 at the Urbancrest YMCA.
The Vikings scored 145 points to finish ahead of Central Crossing (133), Mansfield Christian (79) and Bloom-Carroll (66).
Central Crossing won the girls meet with 146 points, followed by Mansfield Christian (122), Northridge (37) and Bloom-Carroll (18).
Brandon Eckstein won the boys 200-yard individual medley (2 minutes, 31.71 seconds) and Riley Love won the girls 500 freestyle (6:20.11).
The boys 200 medley relay of Jasen Dean, Chris Lindsay, Eckstein and Mat Scott was runner-up in 2:04.62, and the boys 400 free relay of Nick Willeke, David Stanton, Eli Rushmore and Paul Haught was second in 4:36.94.
Josie Bunstine was second in the girls 50 free (27.35) and 100 free (program-record 1:01.53).
Mason Alexander was second in the boys 100 butterfly (1:12.92) and Lindsay was second in the boys 100 backstroke (1:12.4). Adam Eckstein was runner-up in the boys 100 breaststroke (1:23.07).
Wrestlers to face Westfall in tourney
The wrestling team opens the Division III state team tournament Wednesday, Jan. 22, against seventh-seeded Will-iamsport Westfall in the preliminary round of Region 21-A at Utica. The Vikings are seeded 10th.
The winner advances to face second-seeded Utica in the first round after the opening dual, with that winner facing third-seeded Newark Catholic or sixth-seeded Columbus Academy in the second round that same evening.
The second-round winner advances to a Region 21 semifinal Jan. 29 at a site to be determined.
Last season, Northridge reached the eight-team state quarterfinals at Ohio State's St. John Arena by defeating Hartley 44-16 to win the Region 22 title.
At state, the Vikings defeated Amanda-Clearcreek 35-33 in a quarterfinal and lost to Massillon Tuslaw 51-15 in a semifinal.
Boys basketball team drops two LCL games
The boys basketball team was 4-8 overall and 3-7 in the LCL before playing Utica on Jan. 17.
Chad Campbell and Matt Grindle both scored 13 points, but the Vikings lost to Licking Heights 48-37 on Jan. 10 in league play. Gavin Shank added seven points.
On Jan. 14, Northridge lost to Johnstown 72-52 in LCL competition as Campbell led with 21 points. Grindle and Shank scored 12 points apiece and Chris Wilkoski had six points.