Although Columbus Academy boys basketball coach Jeff Warstler realized before the season that his team had potential, even he was a little surprised by the Vikings' record heading into this week.
Academy was 14-0 overall before playing Horizon Science on Jan. 31 and leads the MSL-Ohio Division at 6-0.
The Vikings were ranked 10th in last week's Division III state poll.
"Even in the seasons when you're great, I don't know that you expect to be 14-0," Warstler said. "I don't think that ever goes into your mindset, and it came kind of quick. I've been saying this for years; we just compartmentalize it and I promise you, that doesn't change. We just try to get ready for one and then get ready for another and that's been our mantra all along."
As it battles for the MSL-Ohio title, Academy has two league games remaining with Whitehall, which is in second place at 5-1. The teams play Monday, Feb. 5, at Academy in a makeup from Jan. 12 and square off Feb. 16 at Whitehall.
The Vikings also have a rematch Friday, Feb. 2, at Bexley as they look for a regular-season sweep after defeating the Lions 53-46 on Jan. 4.
Warstler said a balanced effort has been a key to the Vikings' success, with as many as 12 players earning valuable minutes in games this season.
The balance is evident in the team's offensive statistics, as junior forward Chris Boyle entered the week averaging a team-best 9.4 points, followed by junior point guard Dorrian Moultrie at 9.3 and senior forward Addis Boyd at 8.9.
Boyle (6.2) and Boyd (6.0) led in rebounding, and Moultrie led in assists (2.6) and steals (2.3).
Academy will play the remainder of the season without senior guard Herman Moultrie, who had right-shoulder surgery Jan. 25. Moultrie, who had left-shoulder surgery last year, is expected to make a full recovery as he prepares to play football at Georgetown.
He was a key player off the bench for the Vikings.
Academy defeated Worthington Christian 55-38 on Jan. 26 in league play, with junior forward Dalyn DeCree leading a balanced attack with 12 points. Dorrian Moultrie wore his brother's No. 3 jersey and added 11 points.
Herman Moultrie was unable to attend the senior night ceremony at the game after undergoing surgery the previous day.
"It's crazy how fast these four years have gone by," senior guard Ryan Mitchell said. "Playing with all these guys is so much fun, competing every day, going to work and getting better."
Although the Vikings were perfect through 14 games, Warstler and his players know there's room for improvement.
"I don't think we've played our best basketball yet," Warstler said. "We know who we are. We have some stretches where the ball doesn't go in the basket. I'd like to think that we can make some (defensive) stops when we need to make some stops. We've been able to do that this year."
Academy hopes to advance past the district level after losing to Worthington Christian 55-49 in a Division III district final last season.
"We're definitely not done yet," Mitchell said. "There's always more work getting back to it. When tournament times comes around we have to be ready to go."
Swimming teams win MSL titles
For the fourth consecutive season, the boys and girls swimming and diving teams swept the championships in the MSL meet Jan. 27 at home.
The boys finished first (334 points) of 10 teams ahead of runner-up Grandview (187). Winners were Jacob Eismann in the 50-yard freestyle (21.8 seconds) and 100 free (49.55), Max Dreisbach in the 200 individual medley (2:01.12), Jack Campbell in the 100 backstroke (56.99) and Dreisbach, Mike DeAscentis, Campbell and Eismann in the 200 medley relay (1:40.61) and 400 free relay (3:22.06).
The girls finished first (342) of 14 teams ahead of runner-up Bexley (220). Winners were Samantha Kass in the 50 free (25.11) and 100 free (55.1), Esther Lawrence in diving (572.8), Jane Li, Abby Yakam, Whitney Hannallah and Kass in the 200 medley relay (1:40.61), Li, Callista Popp, Sarah Cabre and Kass in the 200 free relay (1:44.19) and Cabre, Annalise Grammel, Taylor Warren and Hannallah in the 400 free relay (3:55.91).
Wrestlers compete in Pennsylvania
The wrestling team went 1-3 in a five-team event Jan. 27 at Saltsburg (Pennsylvania) Kiski Prep.
Josh Pearson (195 pounds), Angus Soderberg (170) and Chris Sugar (132) each went 4-0. Phillip Soderberg (heavyweight) was 2-1, and Ethan Halpern (126) and Grant Hillman (182) both were 2-2.
Girls basketball team winding down season
The girls basketball team was 5-10 overall before playing Harvest Prep on Jan. 30 and is 1-6 in the MSL-Ohio. The Vikings lost at Bexley 45-24 on Jan. 27 as Shelemiah Crockett scored 14 points. Crockett scored 18 points in a 45-25 win at Village Academy on Jan. 25. The Division III district tournament draw is Sunday, Feb. 4.
Below are the coming schedules for the Columbus Academy boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling and wrestling teams:
*Feb. 2 -- At Bexley. The Vikings defeated the Lions 53-46 on Jan. 4.
*Feb. 5 -- Home vs. Whitehall in makeup from Jan. 12
*Feb. 2 -- At Grandview. The Vikings lost to the Bobcats 52-23 on Dec. 6.
Feb. 6 -- Home vs. Columbus School for Girls
*Feb. 7 -- Thomas Worthington at Capri Lanes
Feb. 3 -- MSL-Ohio tournament at Whitehall
Feb. 6 -- At Thomas