With few experienced players entering the season, the Hartley High School girls basketball team expected to be challenged as it pursued a second consecutive Division II district title.
One of the top returnees, 6-foot-2 senior post player Marissa Brown, has done her part in keeping that hope alive.
The Youngstown State signee had increased her scoring average from 9.3 points last season to 15.1 before Hartley played Bexley on Feb. 11. During the Hawks' four previous games, Brown averaged 19 points.
She had 19 points and nine rebounds in a 57-51 loss to Ready on Feb. 8 that gave Hartley a final CCL record of 4-4. DeSales won the league at 6-2.
The Hawks close the regular season Thursday, Feb. 13, at home against Worthington Christian. They then play host to 16th-seeded Columbus South on Monday, Feb. 17, in the first round of the district tournament.
If Hartley wins that game, it will play host to 15th-seeded Caledonia River Valley on Feb. 20 in a second-round game.
Other teams in the bracket include third-seeded Centennial, fourth-seeded Licking Valley and fifth-seeded Mifflin.
While Hartley was 10-8 overall before Feb. 11, South is 6-13. In a 34-29 win over Columbus East on Feb. 4, Jada Moore scored 20 points to lead the Bulldogs.
Wrestlers fall in state quarterfinal
The wrestling team lost to Dayton Christian 47-21 in a quarterfinal of the Division III state dual-meet tournament Feb. 8 at Ohio State.
Winning matches for the Hawks were Grant Rathburn (138 pounds), Zach Bowman (152), Jacob Croswell (170), Aaron Hannah (195) and Jared Croswell (220).
Hartley competes in a sectional tournament Friday, Feb. 14, and Saturday, Feb. 15, at Cardington. The top four finishers in each weight class advance to the district tournament Feb. 21 and 22 at Heath.
Boys basketball team gets boost with OT win
The boys basketball team had won two of three before playing Canal Winchester on Feb. 10, including a 62-61 overtime victory Feb. 8 over Westerville Central.
The Hawks were 12-6 overall before playing Canal Winchester and are 4-3 in the CCL. They close the league schedule Friday, Feb. 14, at home against St. Charles.
Hartley received the top seed for the Division III district tournament and opens the postseason Feb. 26 at home against 20th-seeded Madison Plains in a second-round game.
Against Central, the Hawks outscored the Warhawks 35-20 in the second half to force overtime.
Chris Moxley scored the winning basket with 5 seconds left in overtime and finished with 27 points and Drew Onega scored 14 points.
Boys swimmers 3rd, girls 4th at sectional
The swimming teams each had strong performances in a Division II sectional Feb. 8 at Columbus Academy.
The boys finished third (159) behind the host Vikings (270) and Granville (245) as 18 teams scored. Jonathan Kluczynski won the 100-yard backstroke (1:00.43).
The girls placed fourth (100) behind Columbus School for Girls (273), Granville (263) and Academy (212) as 20 teams scored.