Regular-season disappointments don't have to linger into the postseason, and the Newark Catholic High School boys basketball team's 79-31 victory over Delaware Christian last Tuesday at Newark in the first round of the Division IV district tournament game last Tuesday at Newark might be a good example of that.

Regular-season disappointments don't have to linger into the postseason, and the Newark Catholic High School boys basketball team's 79-31 victory over Delaware Christian last Tuesday at Newark in the first round of the Division IV district tournament game last Tuesday at Newark might be a good example of that.

The top-seeded Green Wave eliminated the Eagles in game that took only 65 minutes to complete just four days after a 46-43 loss to Granville cost it a share of the MSL-Ohio Division championship. Lakewood finished 11-3 in the league and runner-up Newark Catholic was 10-4.

"We came out and played with a lot of energy and momentum," forward Kevin Cox said. "We've got it going back in the right direction again."

The Green Wave doesn't need to look far to find other examples of teams that came up big in the postseason after failing to win a league title. Newark won last year's Division I state title after finishing second to Hilliard Darby in the OCC-Ohio. The Panthers won the second-round matchup to maintain a one-game advantage but the Wildcats never lost again, capping a 14-game run down the stretch with a 65-52 win over Lakewood St. Edward in the final.

The Heath baseball team in 2007 finished third in the MSL-Ohio yet still won the Division III state title.

"We were certainly dealing with a lot of emotions," coach Drew Meister said of a loss to Granville on Feb. 20 that prevented his team from winning a league championship for the first time since 1991. "We came back with a solid practice (two days later) and looked ready to move on. That's all you can really do in a situation like that.

"But one of the first things I did was praise the kids for how well they were handling what happened."

The Green Wave improved to 17-4 with last Tuesday's victory. It was one of four area teams to post first-round wins. Newark began its title defense with a 78-50 victory over Marysville last Tuesday at Worthington Christian, and in Division III Johnstown defeated Mount Gilead 44-35 last Tuesday at Mount Vernon. In Division II, Licking Valley defeated Utica 35-29 last Wednesday at Centerburg.

All winners advanced to play in the second round last Friday or Saturday. "It's a new season now," Meister said.

NOTES -- The Lancers finished 4-16 in the regular season a year ago, but went 17-3 this year. The Green Wave earned eight more victories than last season and Heath finished 13-7 for a four-win improvement. Watkins Memorial played in the OCC-Capital, which had six of its seven teams finish .500 or better during the regular season. No other league could match that total. Newark Catholic wing player Matt Dawson was 64 of 75 (85.3 percent) from the line during the regular season. He also was Licking County's most accurate 3-point shooter, making 40 of 94 attempts (42.6 percent).

Newark's Rhalin Watson (left), Marysville's Trevor Morris, the Wildcats' Taylor Huffman and the Monarchs' Anthony Aquillo battle for the basketball last Tuesday during their Division I district tournament game. Newark began defense of its state title with a 78-50 victory.