The Marysville High School boys basketball team reached a pair of major goals this season.
The Monarchs entered the season looking for a winning record and finished 15-10 overall, their best since 2003-04 when they were 13-9.
Marysville also hoped to play host to a Division I district tournament game and achieved that goal in a first-round contest Feb. 22 against Watkins Memorial. The 17th-seeded Monarchs defeated the 32nd-seeded Warriors 81-65.
"Our goals from the beginning were to be above .500, to finish in the top half of the league and to host a home playoff game," said coach Ryan Grose, whose team finished fifth in the OCC-Central Division at 7-7. "With the exception of finishing in the top half of the league, we did the other two and we were one win away in the conference from being in the top half. Our kids set those goals and they worked awfully hard to achieve them."
The Monarchs won the season series with OCC-Central opponent Olentangy Liberty when they defeated the 13th-seeded Patriots 68-64 in the second round of the tournament Feb. 28 at Liberty.
The teams split two games during the regular season, with Liberty winning at Marysville 77-51 on Dec. 21 and the Monarchs winning at Liberty 69-64 in overtime Jan. 29.
Marysville lost to sixth-seeded Pickerington Central 89-83 in a district semifinal March 5 at Westerville Central. The Tigers went on to win a district title.
Guard Logan Roston, who was one of four seniors for the Monarchs, was first-team all-league and honorable mention all-district. He finished sixth on the all-time scoring list with 902 points. Top scorer Ed Nichol (1,208 points) graduated in 1956.
"I'm proud of what we accomplished, but I can't say I'm satisfied," said Roston, who averaged a team-high 17 points. "I wanted to get a little further and keep working and playing with my teammates, but it was a great run."
Junior center Drew Mellen was second-team all-league and sophomore guard Jevon Knox was honorable mention all-league.
Mellen led the team in rebounding at 4.5 per game and was second in scoring, averaging 10.6 points. Knox was third in scoring, averaging 8.2 points.
Others eligible to return are juniors Case Chamblin (forward), Devin Cook (guard), Jordan Forry (guard), Daylon Holland (guard) and Desmond Johnson (guard) and sophomore Corey Gould (guard).
"My kids always play hard and never give up," Grose said. "We preach that every day in practice. That's what we control. We control how hard we play. We control how good of a team we can be and our attitude. Our kids have bought into that. That's why we're where we are at and that's why the program has changed."
In the OCC-Central, Marysville finished behind Upper Arlington (13-1), Liberty (11-3), Dublin Coffman (10-4) and Thomas Worthington (8-6) and ahead of Westland (3-11), Hilliard Davidson (3-11) and Central Crossing (1-13).
UA and Coffman won district titles.
First-year swim coach excited about season
The boys swimming and diving team's season under first-year coach Craig Faircloth included setting four program records in the Division I district meet Feb. 15 at Ohio State.
"I'm extremely happy with how the season went," Faircloth said. "The kids are great kids and that was shared with me by the previous coach (Ann Rausch). We wanted the kids to have great memories and almost all of them swam lifetime bests, which was a goal of mine and a goal of theirs as well. It was a great experience for myself first year in, and I think the kids had a great experience as well."
The boys tied Olentangy Orange for 22nd (17 points) at district behind champion St. Charles (304) as 25 teams scored.
Junior Gavin Mickelson set a program mark while finishing 14th in the 200-yard freestyle (1 minute, 47.28 seconds), beating his record of 1:49.3.
Mickelson also set a program mark while finishing 11th in the 100 backstroke (54.5), beating the mark of 54.81 held by his brother, Quinn Mickelson.
Sophomore Micah Haynes set a program record in the 100 butterfly (57.52) while placing 23rd, surpassing the previous mark held by Grant Barnhorst (57.67).
The 400 free relay of Haynes, Gavin Mickelson, senior Christian Madsen and freshman Connor Hall set a program record of 3:28.03 while finishing 16th, surpassing their previous mark of 3:32.02.
Marysville also qualified for district in the 200 medley relay (14th, 1:46.46) and 200 free relay (19th, 1:36.15).
The girls did not score at district, as junior Morgan DeWitt was 24th in the 200 individual medley (2:21.97), the 200 free relay was 24th (1:49.45) and the 400 free relay was disqualified.
In a 10-team sectional Feb. 8 at Union County YMCA, the boys finished eighth (139) behind champion Coffman (312) and the girls finished 10th (76) behind champion Dublin Jerome (356).
The boys finished fifth (145) in the OCC-Central meet Jan. 25 at Thomas behind UA (372), Liberty (260), Coffman (206) and Davidson (151) and ahead of Thomas (126) and Central Crossing (28). The girls finished sixth (64.5) in the league meet behind UA (470), Liberty (229), Thomas (205), Coffman (131.5) and Davidson (119) and ahead of Central Crossing (48).
Other boys eligible to return are junior Collin Biddinger, sophomores Ryan Cook, Joey Dougherty, Ryan Groehl, Alex Harris, Dane Marlatt and Braden Van Dyke and freshmen Simon Buchheit, Quan Nguyen and Zack Spate.
Other girls eligible to return are juniors Andrea Daily, Alex Gardner and Sydney Joseph, sophomores Megan Merrick, Lauren Meyer, Molly Newsome, Cassidy Nicol, Cassidy Rausch and Nikita Sathiaprakash and freshmen Tessah Broadhead, Alli Lee, Alexis Moore, Holly Rodenhausen and Ashley Segner.