Boys squad ties for OCC title
The Reynoldsburg High School boys basketball team did its part, and then waited.
On Feb. 15, the Raiders got 33 points and 10 rebounds from senior forward Wendell Davis and beat Groveport 64-54 in their regular-season finale.
Reynoldsburg, Newark and Grove City all entered that night one game behind Pickerington Central with four league losses, and all three won.
Pickerington Central, simultaneously, was playing host to Gahanna.
"We wish we didn't have to (be in this situation), but in our league, there's no shame in that," Raiders coach Scott Davis said. "It would be fitting if all four teams won a share of the title. And Gahanna's not even one of them."
Gahanna relished the spoiler role, beating Pickerington Central 72-62 to seal the four-way tie for the league title as Central, Reynoldsburg, Newark and Grove City all finished 10-4. Gahanna ended up fifth at 9-5, followed by Pickerington North (4-10), Groveport (2-12) and Lancaster (1-13).
"It's wonderful to have 33 points, but the main thing is that we got the win," Wendell Davis said. "Now the main thing we've got to do is focus on Whetstone."
Whetstone is the Raiders' first-round opponent in the Division I district tournament.
Reynoldsburg, which is seeded eighth, plays host to the 37th-seeded Braves at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23. The winner plays 26th-seeded Worthington Kilbourne at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, at the home of the higher seed.
If Reynoldsburg wins its first two tournament games, it would advance to a district semifinal at 8 p.m. March 6 at Westerville Central against ninth-seeded Gahanna, 21st-seeded Olentangy, 22nd-seeded Upper Arlington or 38th-seeded Teays Valley.
Coach Davis spent the last four seasons at Beechcroft, which is in the City League-North Division with Whetstone.
Senior guards Claude Bogan and Steven Foster and senior post player Gary Hoover are the top players for the Braves, who are 6-14. Bogan scored 31 points in a 70-52 win over Beechcroft on Feb. 8.
"I know (Whetstone coach) Kevin (Arway) and he does a great job," coach Davis said. "They will be well-prepared."
McCafferty advances to state swim meet
Sophomore Morgan McCafferty will make her second appearance in the Division I state swimming and diving meet, which will be held Thursday, Feb. 21, through Saturday, Feb. 23, at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
In the district meet Feb. 16 at Ohio State, McCafferty placed third in the girls 100-yard backstroke (57.04 seconds) to earn an at-large berth to state, where she is seeded 10th. She was fifth at district and 12th at state a year ago as the first swimmer from the program to advance to state since 2006.
"She was very, very happy with her time (in the 100 back)," coach Stephanie Kiss said. "She just has a few things to work on with her backstroke."
McCafferty added a ninth-place district finish in the 100 butterfly (58.91), but she missed earning an at-large state berth by .7 seconds.
The top two placers in each swimming event automatically advanced to state. In addition, 16 at-large state berths were awarded for each swimming event based on times statewide.
Kiss also was pleased with the performances of several other competitors at district, including sophomore Marisa Glusich, who dropped nearly five seconds from her seeded time in the 200 freestyle while finishing 17th (2:01.94).
"On race day, it's all mental," Glusich said. "There are a lot of fast swimmers (at district)."
The girls team placed 18th (41) behind champion Upper Arlington (491) as 24 teams scored. The boys did not score as UA was first (380).
Wrestling team sends 2 to district tourney
The wrestling team had seven competitors place among the top six in their weight classes in a Division I sectional tournament Feb. 16 at Watkins Memorial, including two who advanced to district Friday, Feb. 22, and Saturday, Feb. 23, at Hilliard Darby.
Nick Johnston, who went 3-1 and was third at 170 pounds, and Jordan Reed, who was 2-1 and finished second at 195, moved on.
The top four finishers in each weight class at district advance to the state tournament Feb. 28 through March 2 at Ohio State.
"Jordan had a really smart, tough tournament and was able to win a match over a kid from Pickerington Central (Jordan Maynard) who he'd lost to earlier this year," coach Jared Ball said.
"Nick beat a good kid from Olentangy Orange (Ben Heilman) to get third after he'd been a district alternate the last two years."
Others who placed but failed to advance were Christian Eubank (heavyweight, sixth, 1-3), Dominic Hathaway (113, fifth, 2-2), Jalen Jones (126, sixth, 1-3), James Love (182, fifth, 2-2) and Nathan Smiley (120, fifth, 2-2). Also competing but failing to advance were Jonathan Copas (106, 0-2), Alex Meeks (138, 0-2) and Raphael Turner (220, 0-2).
Girls, Aeling advance to district in bowling
Reynoldsburg advanced its girls bowling team and senior Zakery Aeling from the boys squad to the district tournament at HP Lanes.
Aeling will compete Friday, Feb. 22, and the girls will compete Saturday, Feb. 23.
The top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams at district advance to the state tournament March 1 (girls) and March 2 (boys) at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
The girls were ninth (2,646) to earn the final district-qualifying berth from the 25-team sectional Feb. 15 at Columbus Western Bowl. Briggs was first (3,757).
Senior Angela Williams was 14th (482), followed by junior Amber Grigley (49th, 390), sophomore Michaela Johnson (54th, 381), senior Katlin Crow (64th, 360) and sophomore Emily Harrell (120th, 210).
On Feb. 16 at sectional, the boys were 16th (3,267) of 30 teams behind champion Newark at Columbus Western Bowl.
Aeling placed 24th (555) and advanced as the eighth of nine individual qualifiers.
Also competing the Raiders but failing to advance were sophomore Chad Szczepanski (tied for 37th, 520), junior Nicholas Mahan (73rd, 467) and seniors Matthew Scholl (145th, 175) and Cane Brent (153rd, 141).
Girls basketball team wins tourney opener
The top-seeded girls basketball team opened the Division I district tournament with a 105-11 win at home over 42nd-seeded Franklin Heights on Feb. 16.
The Raiders were 21-2 before playing 43rd-seeded Columbus West in a second-round game Feb. 20. The winner advanced to face 13th-seeded New Albany or 17th-seeded Olentangy Liberty in a district semifinal at 6 p.m. Feb. 28 at Bloom-Carroll.
Against Franklin Heights, junior forward Nicole Orr scored 15 points, junior post player Alyssa Rice scored 14 and senior forward Destini Cooper had 13.