The DeSales High School boys basketball team fell short in its bid to win at least a share of a sixth consecutive CCL title.

The DeSales High School boys basketball team fell short in its bid to win at least a share of a sixth consecutive CCL title.

The Stallions were held without a point for nearly six minutes early in the game Feb. 18 against Watterson, and the Eagles capitalized en route to a 60-48 win. DeSales had beaten Watterson 13 consecutive times.

DeSales trailed 19-7 after not scoring in the final 5 minutes, 47 seconds of the first quarter.

"It's sort of been a story for us all year," coach Blair Albright said. "We've been through some scoring lulls and when we can't score, we can't do all the other things we try to do. We're not able to apply our pressure. We're not able to dictate tempo. You have a tendency to carry the frustration to the other things you're doing and it has a tendency to really snowball."

DeSales finished the regular season with a 14-6 record, including 6-2 in the CCL. Hartley won the CCL at 7-1. DeSales was second, followed by Watterson (4-4), St. Charles (3-5) and Ready (0-8).

Albright said his team might have been pressing against Watterson because of the intense environment. The stakes will be high again on Saturday, Feb. 26, as the Stallions open Division II district tournament play against the winner of the Feb. 22 first-round game between Licking Valley and London.

Licking Valley entered the first-round game 7-13 after losing to Utica 47-42 on Feb. 19. London fell to 5-13 after losing to Hillsboro 48-37 on Feb. 18.

The second-round winner plays seventh-seeded Eastmoor Academy, Caledonia River Valley or Whitehall in a district semifinal at 6 p.m. March 4 at the Fairgrounds Coliseum.

"We really have to come out understanding when we're in most pressure situations that simple is better," Albright said. "I always say simple is smart. I think our inexperience has showed a little bit in (high-pressure) settings. It's never for a lack of playing hard. We lose our focus for sure, but physical effort hasn't been a problem for us in games."

•Cooper Staton of the boys swimming and diving team looks to defend his Division II state title in the 50-yard freestyle at the state meet, which began with the diving competition on Feb. 23.

The swimmers compete in preliminaries Thursday, Feb. 24, with finals the following day.

"To me, it's all kind of a toss-up once we get there," coach J.R. Fourqurean said. "It's kind of an even playing field. You try not to let the magnitude of the event overwhelm you. Everything has been done at this point. It's just who wants it."

Staton, who won the 50 free in 20.98 seconds last year, is seeded third after finishing second (20.96) at district on Feb. 18 at Ohio State behind Canal Winchester's Sam Decker (20.85). Staton was the lone individual swimming qualifier for DeSales. Riley Savage advanced in diving after placing second (338.2) at district behind Hartley's Michael Arnold (372.95).

The 200 and 400 free relays of James Walsh, Will Gish, Edward Cordek and Staton also advanced to state. The 200 free relay was fourth (1:31.81) at district behind Columbus Academy (1:28.59). The 400 free relay was fourth (3:25.25) behind Academy (3:14.71).

The boys team finished sixth (131) at district behind champion Granville (256).

The girls team, which came in fourth at district (199) behind champion Granville (368), had the top diver heading into the state meet. Andrea Acquista set a meet record with 488.75 points in winning the district title ahead of Academy's Natalie Ritter (488.10). Acquista was seeded first for the state meet.

Andrea Devakul advanced in the 100 backstroke after coming in fifth (1:00.74) at district behind Hartley's Taylor Shotwell (58.77). Suzanne Hrabowy advanced to state after finishing second in the 100 free (52.99) behind Granville's Lori Davis (52.85). She also was fourth in the 100 butterfly (58.97) behind Academy's Abby Brown (57.16).

The 400 free relay of Hrabowy, Kara Goodman, Amy Shomo and Devakul also advanced. It placed fourth at district (3:54.21) behind Granville (3:37.68).

•The wrestling team advanced seven to the Division II district tournament on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25-26, at Columbus East.

Payton Gutierrez is seeking his second trip to the state tournament in as many seasons after winning the Licking Heights sectional at 103 pounds on Feb. 19. Ian Ferguson won the title at 152 as the Stallions came in third (158.5) behind champion Licking Valley (222.5) and Canal Winchester (209).

"I was happy with what we did," coach Dennis Lyberger said. "We could have had a couple more get through. We had a couple of kids that ended up losing matches that they were ahead."

District qualifiers were Jason Allen (145, 2-1, second), R.J. Ball (215, 2-2, fourth), Ferguson (152, 4-0, first), Gutierrez (103, 3-0, first), R.J. Martin (135, 2-1, fourth), Tony Moore (189, 3-1, third) and Lee Wilson (125, 3-1, second).

The top four in each weight class advance to state March 3-5 at Ohio State.

•The gymnastics team is looking to win its seventh district title in eight years at the district meet at Worthington Kilbourne on Saturday, Feb. 26.

DeSales won last year's district meet with 135.325 points as Thomas Worthington finished second (133.375).

The top three teams and eight individuals in each event, including the all-around, advance to the state meet March 4-5 at Hilliard Bradley.

AT A GLANCE

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the DeSales boys basketball, girls basketball, gymnastics, hockey, swimming and wrestling teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL

*Feb. 18 - Lost to Watterson 60-48. Charles Chandler scored 14 points and Clinton James added nine.

Feb. 19 - Defeated St. Paris Graham 51-26. James scored 19 points and Marcus Harris added 14.

Feb. 26 - Licking Valley or London in second round of Division II district tournament, 6 p.m. at Olentangy Liberty. Winner plays seventh-seeded Eastmoor Academy, Caledonia River Valley or Whitehall in district semifinal, 6 p.m. March 4 at Fairgrounds Coliseum.

Of note: The Stallions are 14-6 overall and finished 6-2 in the CCL.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Feb. 15 - Def. Sparta Highland 65-43 in first round of Division II district tournament

Feb. 23 - Played seventh-seeded Bexley in second round. Winner plays third-seeded Hilliard Bradley or Licking Valley in district semifinal, 6 p.m. March 1 at Pickerington North. Winner plays top-seeded Olentangy, sixth-seeded Hartley, Hamilton Township or Lakewood in district final, 8:30 p.m. March 3 at Ohio Dominican.

Of note: The Stallions were 10-9 overall before Feb. 23.

*CCL game

GYMNASTICS

Feb. 26 - District meet at Worthington Kilbourne. The top three teams and top eight individuals in each event, including the all-around, advance to state March 4-5 at Hilliard Bradley.

HOCKEY

Feb. 18 - Lost to Troy 7-2 in first round of district tournament

Of note: The Stallions finished 9-21.

SWIMMING & DIVING

Feb. 18 - Boys: Finished sixth (131) at Division II district tournament behind champion Granville (256); Girls: Finished fourth (199) at Division II district tournament behind champion Granville (368)

Below are the state qualifiers with district result and state seed:

Boys - Riley Savage: diving (338.2, second, 18th); Cooper Staton: 50 free (20.96, second, third), 100 free (46.89, second, second); 200 free relay (1:13.81, fourth, 14th); 400 free relay (3:25.25, fourth, 19th); Girls - Andrea Acquista: diving (488.75, first, first); Andrea Devakul: 100 back (1:00.74, fifth, 20th); Suzanne Hrabowy: 100 free (52.99, second, 11th), 100 fly (58.97, fourth, 12th), 400 free relay (3:54.21, fourth, 24th)

Others who competed at district:

Boys - Sean Coolidge: diving (256.85, fourth); Edward Cordek: 100 free (53.46, 25th); Will Gish: 200 free (1:58.37, 23rd), 100 back (1:02.23, 15th); Kevin Walsh: 100 breast (1:10.85, 23rd); James Walsh: 100 fly (58.44, 15th); Nathan Yoder: 200 IM (2:30.6, 27th); 200 medley relay (1:57.83, 22nd); Girls - Andrea Devakul: 100 fly (1:00.62, eighth); Kara Goodman: 500 free (5:50.63. 13th), 100 back (1:06.25, 14th); Abbey Moonis: 200 free (2:18.32, 19th), 500 free (6:11.95, 26th); 200 free relay (1:58.6, 24th); 200 medley relay (fifth, 1:55.83)

WRESTLING

Feb. 19 - Finished third (158.5) in 13-team Division II sectional at Licking Heights behind champion Licking Valley (222.5) and Canal Winchester (209). District qualifiers were Jason Allen (145, 2-1, second), R.J. Ball (215, 2-2, fourth), Ian Ferguson (152, 4-0, first), Payton Gutierrez (103, 3-0, first), R.J. Martin (135, 2-1, fourth), Tony Moore (189, 3-1, third) and Lee Wilson (125, 3-1, second). Others competing were Trevor Brosnan (160, 0-2), Connor Golden (119, 0-2), Aaron Melsop (171, 1-2), Dominic Pelino (140, 2-2), Tyler Ricevuto (112, 1-3) and Hunter Walsh (130, 1-2).

Feb. 25-26 - District tournament at Columbus East. The top four in each weight class advance to state March 3-5 at Ohio State.