Trailing Pickerington Central 50-30 at halftime, senior Logan Roston expected the Marysville High School boys basketball team to make a run in its Division I district semifinal March 5 at Westerville Central.
The 17th-seeded Monarchs pulled off that comeback, rallying to within five points late in the game, but they could not pull closer and lost 89-83 to finish 15-10.
"Our whole school is just a bunch of hard-working kids that never give up," Roston said. "We're never going to give up on anything."
The sixth-seeded Tigers improved to 19-5 and played fourth-seeded Zanesville in a district final March 8. They led the Monarchs by as many as 22 points early in the third quarter before withstanding Marysville's rally.
Trailing 68-51 after three quarters, the Monarchs used a full-court trap to spark their comeback.
Roston scored his team's first 10 points of the fourth, and the Monarchs closed to within 72-63 with 6 minutes, 15 seconds remaining.
Roston's basket cut the deficit to 80-71 with 1:50 left, and after he completed a three-point play with 21.3 seconds remaining, the Monarchs were within 86-81.
Connor Kern, however, hit two free throws with 19.6 seconds left to help the Tigers hold on. Kern scored a career-high 33 points.
Roston scored a season-high 33 points. Jevon Knox had 15 and Case Chamblin and Drew Mellen each added 10 for the Monarchs.
Marysville trailed 24-21 after one quarter, but the Tigers began the second on an 8-0 run to help build their 20-point halftime lead. Pickerington Central was aided by a five-point possession when Daylan Holland was called for an intentional foul early in the second quarter.
Central added to its lead after Marysville coach Ryan Grose got a technical foul in the final minute of the first half.
"We played a bad few minutes in the second quarter that cost us that game," Grose said. "I thought we played well in the first quarter and into the second quarter we didn't stop the ball and we didn't finish."
Marysville advanced to the district semifinal with a 68-64 win at 13th-seeded Olentangy Liberty on Feb. 28.
The Monarchs led 48-38 after three quarters. Roston led the way with 15 points, followed by Mellen with 12 and Alec Draughon and Ryan Evans each with 10.
It was Marysville's second win this season at Liberty. The Monarchs also won 69-64 in overtime Jan. 29 in OCC-Central Division play, while the Patriots won at Marysville 77-51 on Dec. 21.
Sorensen competes at state in gymnastics
The gymnastics team's first season since 1980 ended with senior Selena Sorensen competing in the individual state meet March 1 at Hilliard Bradley.
Competing on floor exercise, Sorensen finished in a five-way tie for 12th (9.125) behind champion Monica Baton of Macedonia Nordonia (9.55) as 37 gymnasts competed.
"It was nice to get a good year under our belt for the first time back since 1980," coach Amber Calvert said. "It was good to have a nice solid year and it was great to have someone go to state because not every team had that in our district. That was fantastic."
Sorensen qualified for state despite competing the final two months of the season with a sprained left ankle.
"I wish I would have been able to do all events, but I hurt my ankle on vault and that set me back a little bit," said Sorensen, who had to change her floor routine to compensate for the injury.
Marysville finished 17th (120.325) of 26 teams in the district meet Feb. 22 at Worthington Kilbourne as Dublin Coffman (143.85), Kilbourne (141.025) and Upper Arlington (137.7) advanced to the team state meet Feb. 28 at Bradley.
Sorensen finished fourth (9.125) on floor at district as the top eight in each event, including the all-around, advanced to state. In the all-around, Sorensen tied for 20th (34.025) of 103 gymnasts.
Also at district, senior Hannah Burns was 63rd (30.35) in the all-around, sophomore Molly Tuchfarber was 86th (27.75) and freshman Carley LaDu was 93rd (26.55).
Marysville finished sixth (121.4) in the OCC-Capital Division meet Feb. 8 at Hilliard Darby behind champion Bradley (133.85), as Sorensen was 12th of 45 gymnasts in the all-around (32.525) and sixth on floor (8.775).
The Monarchs went 1-6 in OCC-Capital duals and totaled 10 points to tie Central Crossing (10, 2-5) for sixth in the overall league standings behind Bradley (30, 6-1), Dublin Jerome (28, 6-1) Westerville Central (26, 6-1), Olentangy Orange (20, 4-3) and Big Walnut (16, 3-4) and ahead of Franklin Heights (4, 0-7).
Others eligible to return are junior Kaley Austin, sophomore Katie Shoemaker and freshmen Macy Earnest, Madaline Grimm, Mikayla Seiter and Emma Zimmerman.
"I'm just glad we have a program now," Sorensen said. "I wish I had another season, but I left off on a good note knowing there's still going to be a team going on."