When Marysville High School wrestling coach Shawn Andrews devised his team's schedule, he hoped that competing against top squads from outside the area would help prepare the Monarchs for OCC-Cardinal Division competition.

When Marysville High School wrestling coach Shawn Andrews devised his team's schedule, he hoped that competing against top squads from outside the area would help prepare the Monarchs for OCC-Cardinal Division competition.

His plan appears to be working.

Marysville improved to 3-0 in the league with a 54-24 win Jan. 19 over host Olentangy Liberty. Along with Marysville, Liberty and Olentangy were expected to be the favorites to win the league.

Marysville, Olentangy and Westerville North are tied for first at 3-0.

The Monarchs are ranked first in the Division I area coaches poll ahead of Olentangy and eighth in the state poll behind top-ranked Lakewood St. Edward.

"Our goals are all toward the end of the year," Andrews said. "We're just trying to get our guys as tough competition as they can so we're ready at the end of the year and try to get as many guys to the state level as we can."

Marysville visits Olentangy on Thursday, Jan. 26.

"Obviously, Olentangy is a good team and it's going to take a team effort to be successful," Andrews said.

The Monarchs also play host to North on Feb. 7.

Against Liberty, Marysville scored the first 24 points of the match.

Austin Rine (220 pounds) opened the match by pinning Mitch Deruy in 28 seconds. It was the first of seven pins for the Monarchs.

Also winning by pin were Taleb Rahmani at 106 (4:40), David Sparks at 113 (5:37), Austin Garza at 132 (2:35), Collin Smithey at 138 (4:39), Tyler Miller at 160 (1:08) and Thomas Taylor at 195 (4:50).

"Winning the OCC is always where to start by the nature of your schedule," Andrews said. "You can't get to the sectional (and) the district (tournaments) until you get through the league. That's important. The kids want to do well; they want to beat the teams that are around us in central Ohio. It's nice to get a league win."

Marysville's schedule has included a sixth-place finish in the 43-team Top Gun Tournament, which was held Jan. 13 and 14 at Alliance.

The Monarchs scored 142.5 points as St. Paris Graham (274.5) won the tournament for the sixth consecutive year. Olentangy was eighth (114.5).

Rahmani (106) won Marysville's first title in the event.

Also placing for Marysville were Kyle Thirkield at heavyweight (second), Taylor at 195 (third), Austin Pfarr at 182 (fourth) and Tyler Miller at 160 (sixth).

Marysville's other tournament success this season has included winning its Marysville Duals on Dec. 10, finishing fifth in the Brecksville-Broadview Heights Holiday Invitational Tournament on Dec. 29 and 30 and placing fifth in the Division I State Duals on Jan. 8 at Wadsworth.

•The boys basketball team defeated host Hilliard Darby 66-54 on Jan. 17 to improve to 3-9 overall before playing Liberty on Jan. 20 in an OCC-Cardinal game.

The Monarchs, who were 0-7 through the first round of league play, will play host Friday, Jan. 24, to Olentangy, which defeated Marysville 67-47 on Dec. 9.

Marysville also will play host Tuesday, Jan. 27, to Westerville Central, looking to avenge a 69-49 loss Dec. 3 to the Warhawks.

"Anytime you get a win, it's going to be some confidence for you," coach Ryan Grose said. "We have something to prove. We went through the first half of the OCC with zero wins. For us right now, it's for pride and for something to prove. We have to come through and show the teams that we're a team that didn't play as well as we could have the first half of the year and we get some wins that we left on the table."

Against Darby, Kody Davisson scored a game-high 20 points, Steven Romesburg had 16 and Corey Gould added 11.

The Monarchs outscored the Panthers 20-10 over the final seven minutes.

Romesburg scored five consecutive points to push the lead to 58-47 with 2:42 remaining.

"We can still improve by working on things we do in practice," Romesburg said. "We just have to keep getting better at what we do in practice and it will translate to a game."