By facing top-notch competition over a two-week period, the Northridge High School wrestling team has been working toward its postseason form.
The Vikings competed in the Mike Casey-Maumee Bay Classic on Jan. 17 and 18 at Oregon Clay and in the Jimmy Wood Memorial on Jan. 25 at New Lexington.
"We have seen some pretty good teams over the last couple of weeks," said coach Eric Potts, whose team also competed in the LCL tournament Feb. 1 at Licking Heights. "We saw the No. 1 team in Division III in Delta (at Clay) and each weight class (included) multiple ranked kids. ... Then we saw the No. 1 team in Division II (in St. Paris Graham at New Lexington).
"(Going to those tournaments is) kind of rough on the young kids on the team, but it's good exposure and a good measuring stick for where we're at in the season. It's not the kind of thing you want to wrestle every week, but it's good every once in a while."
Jake Adkins, a 106-pound junior, led the Vikings at Clay by placing sixth. Northridge finished 28th (36 points) of 36 teams behind champion Delta (228.5).
"Jake has been wrestling well and has been facing great competition," Potts said. "He looked strong and hasn't changed much since last season when he placed eighth at (the Division III) state (tournament). Maybe he is wrestling more aggressively, but that's about the only change."
The Vikings finished seventh (156.5) in the 15-team Jimmy Wood Memorial behind champion Graham (481.5).
Jacob Maynard finished third at 132, and Jonathan Barber (220) and Rob Mickey (160) both placed fourth. Adkins (106) and Mason Royer (170) both finished fifth, while Hunter Reece (126) took sixth and Michael Holly (113) placed seventh.
"Rob Mickey hurt his knee (at New Lexington) and had to default his final two matches and did not (plan to) wrestle in the LCL," Potts said. "We're still not sure of the severity of the injury, but we hope to get him back soon.
"Jake went 4-1, losing to a kid from Graham in his pool. Because he lost in his pool, he could get no higher than fifth."
Swimming teams prepare for sectional
The boys and girls swimming and diving teams did not compete in the Southeastern Ohio Swim League meet Jan. 25 at Ohio University because of bad weather.
The Vikings compete in a Division II sectional Saturday, Feb. 8, at Columbus Academy. The winner of each event qualifies for district Feb. 14 at Ohio State. In addition, 27 at-large district berths will be awarded in each event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectional sites.
Last season in the Academy sectional, the girls finished 12th (18) behind champion Granville (339) as 24 teams scored and the boys finished 14th (20) behind champion Granville (279) as 21 teams scored.
For the girls, Josie Bunstine advanced to district in the 100-yard butterfly and 100 breaststroke and Riley Love qualified in the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke.
For the boys, Brandon Eckstein moved on to district in the 200 IM. Also advancing were Mat Scott, Jasen Dean, Chris Lindsay and Eckstein in the 400 freestyle relay and 200 medley relay.
"The boys are having their best season ever and the members of the B relays are really pushing the A relays," coach Rachel Furr said. "Our goal is to take all three relays (200 medley, 200 free and 400 free) to district."
Boys basketball team wins two in a row
The boys basketball team was 7-10 overall and 5-9 in the LCL, winning two consecutive games before playing Newark Catholic on Jan. 31.
Chad Campbell scored 24 points to lead the Vikings past Wellington 76-59 on Jan. 27. Matt Grindle had 19 points, Gavin Shank scored 13 and Clay Nicks and Chris Wilkoski added six apiece.
The Vikings defeated Heath 52-50 on Jan. 29 in league play as Grindle scored 16 points and Bryant Garee had 12 with three 3-pointers. Campbell had nine points and Shank scored six.
Northridge lost to Lakewood 63-46 on Jan. 24 in an LCL contest. Campbell and Grindle scored 12 points apiece.
Girls basketball team endures postponements
The girls basketball team fell to 7-10 overall and 6-8 in the LCL with a 47-22 loss to Newark Catholic on Jan. 30.
The Vikings' LCL game Jan. 25 at home with Heath will be made up Monday, Feb. 3. Also postponed was a Jan. 28 game at Granville Christian.
Through 15 games, Sara Pribonic was averaging 15.1 points, 3.9 steals and 3.2 assists and Belinda Marcum was averaging 10.1 points and 7.8 rebounds.
Marcum led Northridge with eight points against Newark Catholic.