According to coach Bret Busby, the dedication and heart of the Westland High School wrestling team was on display during a Division I sectional tournament Feb. 18 at Central Crossing, especially from Dorrion Newton.

According to coach Bret Busby, the dedication and heart of the Westland High School wrestling team was on display during a Division I sectional tournament Feb. 18 at Central Crossing, especially from Dorrion Newton.

The sophomore heavyweight was the lone Cougars wrestler to reach a final. He was tied at 6 with Grove City's Chandler Evanichko when a right-knee injury forced him to default.

Newton said his knee bent under Evanichko while he was going for a takedown. After injury time, Newton twice attempted to continue but lost his balance, forcing Busby to end the match with about 30 seconds remaining.

"Safety is more important than a win or loss," said Busby, whose team finished 10th (56) behind champion Dublin Coffman (196.5).

"Top four (in each weight class) goes (to district), so I threw the towel in. I said that's it, both kids get to go."

Newton, who said he was diagnosed with a torn ligament, was hoping to compete Feb. 24 and 25 in the district tournament at Hilliard Darby. The top four in each weight class at district advanced to the state tournament Thursday, March 1, through Saturday, March 3, at Ohio State.

Busby said doctors would determine Newton's status before the district tournament.

"I'm very happy with Dorrion," Busby said. "When he really concentrates on moves, he looks spectacular, but he's right at that stage where he needs confidence, he needs mat time. I think he's so strong he doesn't realize it. He gets a little flustered sometimes and he's at the stage of his career where it's a full six minutes. It's not over until the final buzzer. We've made great strides with him and he's definitely growing as a good, young man."

Newton had defeated Evanichko 9-7 in overtime in the All-North Tournament on Feb. 4 at Dublin Jerome.

The sectional originally was scheduled to be held at Westland but was moved to Central Crossing because of air-quality issues.

Newton was 15-8 before the district tournament. He opened sectional by pinning Darby's Alec Barker in 2 minutes, 21 seconds and defeated Worthington Kilbourne's Jude McCullough 4-2 in a semifinal, avenging a Jan. 11 loss by pin to McCullough.

"I knew I had to control him and do what I know, and I ended up winning the match 4-2," Newton said. "It was a really good match."

Three other Westland wrestlers - Tommy Delgado (152 pounds), Alec Morstadt (160) and Cesar Aveja (195) - were district alternates after finishing fifth.

"I'm proud of the team, and we just have to keep working in the wrestling room, train hard and we'll be fine for next year," Newton said.

•The boys basketball team completed a season sweep of Central Crossing, defeating the host Comets 52-46 on Feb. 17 behind Kersey Long's 15 points.

"It's nice to beat anybody twice in one year," coach Todd Parker said.

"We were able to sweep the Hilliards (Darby and Davidson) this year and beat Central (Crossing) twice."

The Cougars were 10-10 overall before playing 10th-seeded Grove City in the first round of the Division I district tournament Feb. 25 at Marysville.

Westland tied Kilbourne for fourth in the OCC-Central Division at 8-6, behind Upper Arlington (12-2), Coffman (9-5) and Thomas Worthington (9-5) and ahead of Davidson (7-7), Darby (3-11) and Central Crossing (0-14).

The Westland-Grove City winner will play Davidson or Thomas in the second round Thursday, March 1, at Marysville.

Westland swept the regular-season series with Davidson, winning 61-56 on Dec. 22 and 63-55 on Jan. 20.

Key players for Davidson have been senior point guard Davonte Peterson and senior guards Brandon Gleim and Chris Logsdon.

Westland and Thomas split two games, with Thomas winning 53-41 on Dec. 20 and Westland winning 63-61 on Feb. 3.

Thomas is led by senior center Jordan Cowgill. Other key players are junior point guard Will Hill and senior forward Julian Henderson.

Davidson and Thomas each went 11-9 in the regular season.

The second-round winner will play ninth-seeded Olentangy Orange, Canal Winchester or Reynoldsburg in a semifinal March 7 at Marysville.