After reaching one goal the previous night, the Marysville High School wrestling team moved closer to another by rallying past host Hilliard Davidson 42-38 on Jan. 30.
The Monarchs improved to 6-0 in the OCC-Central Division by beating the Wildcats, and they can win the league title by defeating Olentangy Liberty on Thursday, Feb. 6, at home. The Patriots also are 6-0 in the league.
On Jan. 29 at home, Marysville advanced to a Division I state team tournament quarterfinal Saturday, Feb. 8, at Ohio State's St. John Arena by defeating Beavercreek 45-27 in a Region 6 semifinal and Central Crossing 52-26 in the regional final.
"Winning the regional title was something we strived for at the beginning of the year and you can't be any more than 6-0 in the league, so we're excited for a chance to wrestle Liberty," coach Shawn Andrews said. "They're 6-0 and it should be fun on our senior night at home. Hopefully, it will be another good dual meet and go from that into the postseason."
The Monarchs led Davidson 24-8 after Nick Rioch pinned Cole Powers in 2 minutes, 45 seconds at 160 pounds. But the Wildcats then used three consecutive pins to take a 26-24 lead.
After Marysville's Austin Pfarr pinned Kelly Emeh in a 220-pound match in 2:20 for a 30-26 lead, Davidson used pins from Logan Sadler at heavyweight (20 seconds) and Trent Gill at 106 (3:40) to go ahead 38-30.
The Monarchs scored the match's final 12 points, as Hayden Lee pinned Shayne LeMaster at 113 (1:16) and freshman Derek Sharp pinned Ryan DeSanti at 120 (2:44).
"Our kids like to compete against (Davidson)," Andrews said. "We had a couple guys out of the lineup for a couple different reasons, so it's important that we had some other kids step up and it came down to the last match. That's what makes dual meets fun."
After Davidson took an 8-0 lead, David Sparks got the Monarchs' first points with a pin at 138 (4:09). Austin Hattery at 145 (56 seconds) and Alex Sepeda at 152 (4:43) followed with pins to give Marysville an 18-8 lead.
Against Beavercreek, Sparks at 138 (3:15), Taleb Rahmani at 145 (3:12), Rioch at 160 (2:59), Pfarr at 220 (4:23) and Darius Walker at heavyweight (44 seconds) had pins.
Earning pins against Central Crossing were Sparks at 145 (3:55), Rioch at 170 (3:11) and Noah Danals at 182 (3:34). Marysville won four matches by forfeit.
Central Crossing defeated Davidson 37-30 in the other regional semifinal.
"Regional champs (was) on our list as one of our goals, to make it to St. John Arena," said Pfarr, who has 126 career wins. "The Liberty match should be just like this one (against Davidson). Hopefully, we'll have our full lineup together."
Boys basketball team wins at Liberty
The boys basketball team had won seven consecutive games to improve to 11-5 overall and 5-5 in the OCC-Central before playing Thomas Worthington on Jan. 31.
The Monarchs defeated host Liberty 69-64 in overtime Jan. 29.
Logan Roston led Marysville with a game-high 27 points and Alec Draughon added 10 points.
"Liberty has been a tough place for us to play in the past and our kids showed a bunch of toughness, going over there on limited practice with the weather," coach Ryan Grose said. "To go over there and pull out a win was huge."
On Jan. 24, Marysville defeated visiting Dublin Coffman 54-53 on Drew Mellen's game-winning three-point play. Mellen, who led the Monarchs with 19 points, scored following an offensive rebound and was fouled as time expired.
Jevon Knox added 11 points.
"Our guys have some pretty high goals set for themselves and knew that we had to win some of these games down the stretch to host a home tournament game," Grose said. "That's a goal they set for themselves at the beginning of the year and we're starting to put ourselves in position to do that and get a seed that will allow us to play the first round at home."
Swimming teams compete in OCC meet
The boys swimming and diving team finished fifth (145 points) in the OCC-Central meet Jan. 25 at Thomas behind Upper Arlington (372), Liberty (260), Coffman (206) and Davidson (151) and ahead of Thomas (126) and Central Crossing (28).
Gavin Mickelson led the Monarchs, finishing third in the 200-yard freestyle (1:51.1) and fifth in the 100 backstroke (56.8).
Mickelson. T.J. Borawski, Micah Haynes and Braxton Cruea were fourth in the 200 medley relay (1:51.27). Connor Hall, Haynes, Christian Madsen and Mickelson were fifth in the 400 free relay (3:33.86).
Hall was sixth in the 200 individual medley (2:15.09) and 100 free (52.87). Haynes was sixth in the 100 butterfly (59.66).
"The boys scored fourth place, but once diving got entered in they got moved down to fifth place," said coach Craig Faircloth, whose program does not have a diver. "It was a good meet. It was a tune-up meet for sectionals given that most of the swimmers will swim the same events that they did at the OCC championships."
The girls team finished sixth (64.5) behind UA (470), Liberty (229), Thomas (205), Coffman (131.5) and Davidson (119) and ahead of Central Crossing (48).
Alexis Moore, Andrea Daily, Jessica Cowgill and Morgan DeWitt were fourth in the 400 free relay (4:18.02).
With its regular season complete, Marysville next competes in a Division I sectional Saturday, Feb. 8, at Union County YMCA. The winner of each event qualifies for district Feb. 15 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. Competing with the Monarchs will be Coffman, Davidson, Dublin Jerome, Dublin Scioto, Hilliard Bradley, Hilliard Darby, Liberty, Olentangy and Olentangy Orange.
"The kids are looking at sectionals and then a smaller group will make it to districts in relays and perhaps somebody (will advance) to state," Faircloth said.
Girls basketball team loses at Coffman
The girls basketball team was 9-8 overall and 4-6 in the OCC-Central before playing Thomas on Jan. 31.
The Monarchs lost at Coffman 53-33 on Jan. 24. Mikayla Hughes scored 14 points.
"We started well in the first half and held them scoreless for the first few minutes of the game," coach Andrea Hackett said. "Their pressure got to us in the second half and we couldn't execute our offense. We shot 32 percent (14-for-44) from the field."
The Monarchs also had 30 turnovers.
Marysville's game against Liberty on Jan. 28 was postponed because of bad weather.