Of the five high school girls basketball teams from the City League that advanced to district semifinals, Brookhaven had the toughest time getting there.
The seventh-seeded Bearcats needed overtime to get by 10th-seeded Buckeye Valley 55-52 on Feb. 17 in their Division II tournament opener. They then edged 14th-seeded Columbus East 34-32 on Feb. 19 in a second-round game.
Brookhaven played top-seeded Johnstown in a district semifinal Feb. 26.
Ashley Johnson made four 3-pointers and scored 17 points against Buckeye Valley. Nazarae Butler scored 13 while Johnson had 12 against East as the Bearcats improved to 13-7.
"In the tournament your goal is to go to the next round, and we performed well enough (in our first two postseason games) to win," coach Darris Gattis said.
The Brookhaven-Johnstown winner plays second-seeded Eastmoor Academy or 13th-seeded Lakewood in a district final at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 1, at New Albany.
The district champion plays Springfield Kenton Ridge or Cincinnati McNicholas in a regional semifinal at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 4, at Springfield. The regional final is March 7 at Springfield.
Eastmoor opened the postseason with wins over 20th-seeded Columbus International (95-24 on Feb. 15) and 19th-seeded Heath (55-36 on Feb. 19).
Rahnia Price scored 26, Anee Braswell had 23 and Mahogany Merritt added 21 against International, and Chyna Chambers had 13 against Heath as Eastmoor improved to 18-6.
Also advancing to a district semifinal in Division II was third-seeded Centennial, which was 16-7 before playing 15th-seeded Caledonia River Valley on Feb. 26.
The Stars would play fourth-seeded Licking Valley or ninth-seeded Bloom-Carroll in a district final at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 1, at Gahanna if they won their district semifinal.
The district champion faces Zanesville Maysville or Cambridge in a regional semifinal at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 4, at Zanesville. The regional final is March 7 at Zanesville.
The other teams to move on were City-North Division champion Northland in Division I and City-South champion Africentric in Division III.
The fourth-seeded Vikings play 10th-seeded Mount Vernon in a district semifinal at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, at Jonathan Alder. The winner gets seventh-seeded Westerville North or 14th-seeded Pickerington North in a district final at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 1, at Ohio Dominican.
The district champion plays Reynoldsburg, Gahanna, Hilliard Bradley or Westland in a regional semifinal at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 4, at Otterbein. The regional final is March 7 at Otterbein.
Northland is 20-2 after opening the postseason with a 68-38 second-round win over 29th-seeded Hamilton Township on Feb. 19. Brooklynn Peterson had 13 points, Carli Codner-Pinto had 12 and Aliyah Colvin and Miesha Howard both scored 10.
Mount Vernon beat 22nd-seeded Olentangy Liberty 43-38 in a second-round game Feb. 20 to improve to 21-2 as Sierra Basista scored 16 points.
"I think (Mount Vernon is) very talented," coach Bill Spencer said.
"They seem to be very good at being patient. (Basista) is really talented."
Top-seeded Africentric was 20-3 before playing 11th-seeded Galion Northmor in a district semifinal Feb. 25. The winner plays eighth-seeded Liberty Union or 14th-seeded Northridge in a district final at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 1, at Granville.
The district champion faces Oak Harbor, Bucyrus, Bucyrus Wynford or Genoa Area in a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 5, at Lexington. The regional final is March 8 at the same site.
Two City wrestlers advance to state
Set to make their second consecutive appearances in the Division II state wrestling tournament are Mifflin senior Hannibal Tate (152 pounds) and Marion-Franklin senior Jhulyis Monroe (182).
Tate lost to Granville's Dain Steffeny 5-2 in his district final Feb. 22 at Uhrichsville Claymont and is 33-2 entering the state tournament Thursday, Feb. 27-Saturday, March 1, at Ohio State.
Tate, who was a Division III district qualifier as a freshman at Ready and a Division I district qualifier at Hilliard Davidson as a sophomore, went 0-2 at state a year ago in his first year with the Punchers.
"I'm just anxious to get going for my next match at the next venue," Tate said. "(State is) a little nerve-wracking, but I'm just a little more mature this year."
Monroe, who went 1-2 at state a year ago, enters with a 30-2 record. He lost to Colt Crall of Claymont 4-2 in his district final.
"I can't even put it into words the excitement I'm feeling knowing I'm one of the best in Ohio," Monroe said. "I felt like I did well (at district). I expected to go to state, so it's nothing new, and I feel like I have to excel when I get there."
Briggs, Walnut Ridge shine in bowling
The Briggs girls and Walnut Ridge boys bowling teams took the momentum of winning City championships Feb. 18 at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl and captured Division I sectional titles Feb. 21 at Eastland Lanes.
The Walnut Ridge boys beat Briggs 1,947-1,930 to capture the City title and rolled a 3,805 to win the 40-team sectional as the top 20 teams advanced to district Saturday, March 1, at Eastland Lanes.
The Scots are led by a five-member senior class that includes Michael Mills (633) and Wayne Russell Jr. (606), who finished second and third, respectively, at sectional.
"We made it to state in 2010, and I'd love to get back there again this year," coach Jeff Roth said.
The Briggs girls defeated Northland 1,872-1,587 to win their third consecutive league title. Then in the 37-team sectional, the Bruins rolled a 3,345 to win the title as the top 20 teams advanced to district. Junior Tori Pappas was first overall with a 575 and senior Jaid Radde was seventh (516).
"We're doing well, and a lot of it is due to two freshmen," coach Jim Martiny said of Brittany Hitch and Renee Chalfant, who were 18th (474) and 20th (472), respectively, at sectional.
The Northland girls won the City title in 2011 and earned their third consecutive runner-up finish.
The Vikings then were ninth (2,907) at sectional to advance to district as junior Aleah Holley was ninth (514) and senior Bradishia Foster was 42nd (434).
"I lost seven seniors, but we did about the same as we did last year, and we actually averaged a little higher than last year," coach Peggy Holley said.
Boys basketball teams begin tourney
Northland and Brookhaven were among nine City boys basketball teams to win first-round district tournament games.
The Vikings beat Whetstone 100-36 on Feb. 21 in a Division I opener and Brookhaven defeated Independence 77-59 on Feb. 21 in the first round in Division II.
Also winning opening-round tournament games were Walnut Ridge in Division I, Centennial, Columbus South, East, Eastmoor and Marion-Franklin in Division II and Africentric in Division IV.