As long as the Worthington Christian High School boys basketball team focuses on what it can control, coach Kevin Weakley believes things will take care of themselves during the Division III district tournament.
Having won 10 of their last 11 games, the seventh-seeded Warriors begin the postseason at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, at home against 14th-seeded Columbus International.
"We were 5-6 halfway through the year and we finished (the regular season) 15-7, and our only loss was a two-overtime loss to Grandview (74-70 on Feb. 8)," Weakley said.
"We just want to try to improve on our weaknesses."
The two-time defending district-champion Warriors face an International team that went 7-13 during the regular season, including 2-12 in the City League-North Division.
Top players for the Lions include senior Jordan Radcliffe, who was second-team all-league, and classmates Michael Carter and Rashaun Gilmore, who each made honorable mention all-league.
The winner plays fifth-seeded Marion Pleasant or eighth-seeded Cardington in a district semifinal at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 4, at Delaware. The district final is March 6 at the Fairgrounds Coliseum.
Pleasant was 15-6 and Cardington was 12-11 before their second-round game Feb. 26.
Top players for Pleasant include junior guard Ryan Maniaci (16 points, 6.5 rebounds per game) and senior forward Drew Garverick (10.5 points, 7.5 rebounds).
Cardington is led by senior forward Tyler Dornon (14.2 points, 7.1 rebounds), senior guard Mitchell Yake (14.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists) and junior guard Cole Hess (11.2 points).
Knapper reaches podium at state
Sophomore Becca Knapper of the girls swimming and diving team took a step forward in her second appearance in the Division II state meet held Feb. 19-21 at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
She made the consolation final in the 200-yard freestyle and placed 14th (1 minute, 56.72 seconds).
After swimming a personal-best 5:09.99 during the preliminary of the 500 free to earn the eighth seed in the championship final, Knapper clocked 5:12.14 to finish eighth.
The top eight reached the podium.
The 14 points Knapper scored gave Worthington Christian a tie with Shaker Heights Laurel for 30th behind Gates Mills Hawken (217) as 49 teams scored.
"I definitely did better at prelims than I did at finals," Knapper said. "By the finals I was a little tired. It was definitely a really great experience. It was awesome just to be up against the other girls."
Last season at state, Knapper finished 13th in the 500 free (5:16.54) and 22nd in the 200 free (1:59.42).
Also competing at state was senior Matt Watterson, who placed 21st (54.09) in the boys 100 butterfly and did not score.
Boys bowlers fall short of state
The boys bowling team came up short of advancing anyone to the Division II state tournament Friday, Feb. 28, at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
Senior Ben Smith, who was a four-time district qualifier, placed 33rd (558) in the district tournament Feb. 22 at HP Lanes as the top three individuals not on qualifying teams advanced.
Also competing for the Warriors was sophomore Noah Cardosi, who placed 38th (546).
Smith rolled a 212 in his first game, but struggled to a 147 in his second.
Cardosi had a 220 in his second game, but had a 147 in his third.
Girls basketball team falls in tourney
A rough second half doomed the girls basketball team in a 44-42 loss to 12th-seeded Fairbanks in the second round of the Division IV district tournament Feb. 20.
The second-seeded Warriors, who beat Fairbanks 63-50 on Nov. 26 and led the visiting Panthers 30-18 at halftime of the rematch, scored just two fourth-quarter points and were outscored 26-12 in the second half.
Worthington Christian finished 21-2 overall.
"We played them earlier this year and it was a five-point game in the third quarter," said John Rettstatt, who completed his first season as co-coach with Tammi Evans. "In the second half (of the rematch) it seemed like they were beating us down the floor and it became more of a half-court game than we wanted to play."
Senior guard Ali Spayde averaged 19.1 points and senior forward Janelle Wilcox averaged four.
The top returnees should be junior guard Shirley Rettstatt (7.8 points) and freshman post player Bridgette Rettstatt (10.5 points, 5.5 rebounds). Also eligible to return are juniors Natalee Cole (post player), Devon Jones (guard), Kathryn Ryan (forward) and Lauren Weygandt (guard) and sophomore Brianna Wilken (guard).
Worthington Christian went 13-1 to win the MSL-Ohio in its first year in the league. Grandview and West Jefferson both went 10-4, with Bexley (9-5), Madison Plains (7-7), Columbus Academy (3-11), London (3-11) and Whitehall (1-13) rounding out the standings.
The Warriors' other loss came against West Jefferson, 45-43 on Dec. 12.
"It was one of the best seasons the girls have ever had as far as the regular season is concerned," coach Rettstatt said.
"(Losing in the tournament) still stings because we had a group of girls who played very well against Hartley (72-53 win Feb. 13 in the regular-season finale) and it seemed like we were peaking at the right time. It was a great group of girls."