Northwest News

Watterson Roundup

Guza's track injury forces tennis changes

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Mark and Michael Guza of the Watterson High School boys tennis team were looking forward to playing doubles together again in the Division II sectional.

Unfortunately for the senior twin brothers, their goal of qualifying for district for the third consecutive year ended when Mark suffered a hairline fracture in his right fibula while competing for the Eagles' track and field team April 30.

The Guzas were 7-0 at first doubles this season.

"We were both disappointed and felt sad that Mark's tennis career had to end this way," Michael said. "It's frustrating because we both trained really hard to put ourselves in a position to do well this season, and we can't help but wonder what could have been."

With Mark sidelined, Michael is teaming with Stev Gregory for the postseason. The duo is seeded third for the sectional Thursday, May 15, and Saturday, May 17, at Columbus School for Girls.

The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to district May 23 and 24 at Columbus Academy.

"Mark and I have qualified for district every year we've been on varsity together and I want to keep that streak going," Michael said. "Mark will be on the sidelines supporting Stev and I, so it feels like we'll both be going to district together again if Stev and I can make it.

"Stev and I are still finding our groove as a doubles team. The key for us will be communicating together throughout the tournament."

Guza and Gregory lost their first two doubles matches together, but coach Steve Crossin said they are improving.

"Michael and Stev are starting to learn to play together and they're doing a good job of keeping the ball in play," Crossin said. "They just need to learn to close out points better and they'll do well."

Jae-Suk Bae and Ryan Mar also will play doubles at sectional, while Michael O'Brien, Samwise Parkinson and Tommy Scherer will play singles.

"Ryan and Jae-Suk have a good shot at going to district, if they can mesh together well as a team," Crossin said. "I'm happy with our draws overall. All of our guys have a great chance of winning their first-round matches."

Watterson was 2-13 overall and 2-1 in the CCL before playing DeSales on May 12. The Eagles, who played Hilliard Bradley on May 13, beat Hartley 5-0 in a CCL match May 6 but lost to Olentangy Liberty 4-1 on May 7 and Wellington 5-0 in its opening match of the Division II Ohio Tennis Coaches Association tournament May 8.

"We've gone 2-1 against Division II teams and 0-12 against Division I teams (entering the week), so hopefully we'll continue to fare well against Division II competition in the sectional and district tournaments," Crossin said.

Baseball team wins CCL championship

The baseball team beat DeSales 6-0 on May 7 at home to win its first CCL championship since 2009.

Watterson finished 7-1 in the league, followed by St. Charles (6-2), DeSales and Hartley (both 3-5) and Ready (1-7).

Against the Stallions, Chris Slavik pitched a three-hitter with nine strikeouts and Sam Severance went 2-for-4 with two RBI.

"During my first coaching run here from 1992 to 2007, I took winning the CCL for granted," said Manahan, who guided the Eagles to 13 CCL titles in 16 years during his first coaching stint with the program. "But when we weren't able to do it the past three years, all of the sudden I realized how important it is. This is a team that doesn't quit because of our senior leadership, and we were able to win three come-from-behind thriller CCL games on our way to capturing this championship. To beat DeSales on a beautiful day when we welcomed back our alumni is a pretty special way to clinch this championship."

Watterson trailed Hartley 3-0 before scoring four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and one in the sixth to win 5-4 on April 11.

In a 7-6 win at DeSales on April 16, the Eagles came back from a five-run deficit by scoring six runs in the top of the seventh. And in a 7-5 victory at Hartley on May 2, they rallied from a five-run deficit by scoring three runs in the top of the sixth and four in the top of the seventh on a grand slam by Severance.

Watterson defeated unbeaten Bloom-Carroll 5-1 on May 8, as Avery Janning pitched a six-hitter. The Bulldogs entered the game 20-0 and were ranked first in the Division II state poll last week.

The Eagles, who were 16-6 overall before playing Olentangy Orange on May 12, lost to Greenup (Ky.) County 7-4 on May 9 but defeated Russell (Ky.) County 5-2 on May 10.

Seeded fourth of 27 teams, Watterson had a first-round bye in the Division II district tournament and will open the postseason Thursday, May 15, at home against 15th-seeded Independence or 20th-seeded Whitehall.

The winner advances to a district semifinal Monday, May 19, at Gahanna, where it will play sixth-seeded Hebron Lakewood, 11th-seeded Johnstown, 18th-seeded London or 26th-seeded Linden-McKinley.

The semifinal winner advan-ces to a final Wednesday, May 21, at Lancaster, where it will play top-seeded Bloom-Carroll, eighth-seeded Sparta Highland, 14th-seeded Buckeye Valley, 19th-seeded Brookhaven, 21st-seeded Columbus South or 24th-seeded Columbus East.

"We'll need to take care of all of the little things to continue winning," Manahan said.

The Eagles were batting .314 through 20 games. Among the offensive leaders were Jacob Bolton (.431, 12 RBI), Severance (.385, 2 home runs, 6 triples, 25 runs), Scott Carter (.370), Bobby Truelove (.361), Mitch Stotler (.360), Joe DiOrio (.316) and Janning (.296, 17 RBI).

On the mound, Slavik was 4-1 with 24 strikeouts, nine walks and a 1.44 ERA in 24 innings and Sam Rice was 4-1 with 24 strikeouts, 11 walks and a 0.62 ERA in 34 innings.

"We've had solid pitching and defense all year and our hitting has come around, too," Manahan said.

Girls lacrosse team ends regular season

The girls lacrosse team ended the regular season with three consecutive victories, beating Westerville Central 15-12 on May 6, CSG 13-12 in overtime in a Central Independent League game May 7 and Gahanna 17-4 on May 8.

Mackenzie James and Ellie Wood both scored seven goals against Gahanna.

Watterson finished 2-5 in the CIL and was 9-7 overall before playing Hartley in the first round of the Division II South/Central Region tournament May 12. The winner plays at DeSales in the second round Thursday, May 15.

The second-round winner plays host to Bexley, Chillicothe, Cincinnati McAuley or Cincinnati Wyoming in a regional semifinal Tuesday, May 20. The regional final is May 22.

The Eagles lost to DeSales 22-14 on March 28 and Bexley 8-6 on April 15.

Softball team posts back-to-back wins

The softball team posted back-to-back wins last week to double its win total for the season.

Watterson defeated Ready 7-5 on May 7 to finish 1-5 in the CCL and beat Warsaw River View 12-1 in five innings May 9 to improve to 4-13 overall. Erin Vonderwell was the winning pitcher against Ready. Against River View, Mallory Devine hit a three-run home run and Ashley Competti was the winning pitcher.

Seeded 40th of 45 teams, Watterson played 21st-seeded Central Crossing in the first round of the Division I district tournament May 13. The winner plays at 11th-seeded Big Walnut in the second round Thursday, May 15.

The second-round winner advances to a district semifinal Tuesday, May 20, at Pickerington North, where it will face sixth-seeded Pickerington Central or 16th-seeded Upper Arlington.

The district final will be held May 23 or 24 at Pickerington Central.

Volleyball team wins tourney opener

The boys volleyball team defeated DeSales 25-14, 20-25, 15-25, 25-22, 15-12 in the first round of the Division II East Region tournament May 9.

The Eagles were 16-7 overall before playing Mount Vernon in a regional semifinal May 13, with the winner facing St. Charles or Worthington Kilbourne in a regional final Saturday, May 17, at Hilliard Davidson.

The regional champion advances to a state semifinal May 24 at Hamilton.

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