With more than two weeks between its final regular-season match and the start of the postseason, the Watterson High School girls bowling team was planning to hold an inter-squad competition to stay sharp.
The extended break also gives the Eagles a chance to soak in their second consecutive CCL championship.
Despite losing to Ready 1,590-1,499 on Feb. 8 at Sawmill Lanes, Watterson earned a share of the league title, going 5-1 to tie the Silver Knights for first, ahead of Hartley (2-4) and DeSales (0-6).
The Eagles finished the regular season 13-3 overall.
"We (won) the CCL last year, so this is our second time in a row and it's with a lot of new people this year," junior Anna Rose said. "It's been a great year and I love everyone on the team."
The Eagles next compete Feb. 24 in the Division I sectional at HP Lanes.
Mary Pulsinelli leads Watterson with a 158.3 game average, followed by Rose (141.9), Madison Shaw (118.6), Ella Riedinger (117.8), Rachel Reuter (115.7), Isabelle Payton (114.4), Christina Rose (114.4) and Christina Fisher (110.2).
"We need some practice, definitely, but I'm looking forward to (the postseason)," Rose said. "We have a good chance of moving on."
The boys team opens the postseason Feb. 23 with the Division I sectional at HP Lanes.
Watterson defeated Ready 1,581-1,309 on Feb. 8 to finish the regular season 11-6 overall and 4-4 in the CCL, tying Hartley for third behind co-champions DeSales and St. Charles (6-2) and ahead of Ready (0-8).
Jesse Pulsinelli leads the Eagles with a 202.5 average, followed by Seth Peyton (159.1), Danny Callaghan (156.0), Lane McVey (132.6), Jacob Garland (121.0) and Conor Smith (115.9).
Hockey team set for district tourney
The hockey team is seeded eighth in the district tournament and will play 12th-seeded Cincinnati St. Xavier or 22nd-seeded Troy in the second round at 1:15 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 18, at OhioHealth Ice Haus.
The winner plays second-seeded Olentangy Liberty, 16th-seeded Kettering Alter or 19th-seeded Beavercreek in a quarterfinal Feb. 24 at the Ice Haus.
Watterson also was seeded eighth for the Blue Jackets Cup and lost to top-seeded Dublin Jerome 7-1 in the first round Feb. 8 at the Ice Haus to drop to 21-10-2. The Eagles won the Capital Hockey Conference-Blue Division but automatically were given the lowest seed for the Cup tournament because they compete in the lowest of the CHC's three divisions.
"Liberty and Jerome are a cut above the rest, but we feel we can skate with everybody else, for sure," coach Jay Graham said. "The effort's there and the energy's there."
Goaltender Max Graham, the coach's son, had 45 saves in a 6-3 win over Cincinnati Moeller on Jan. 21 and 37 in a 6-3 victory over New Albany on Feb. 2.
Ryan Roark also has been solid in goal, according to coach Graham.
Offensively, Nick Kuraly is the team's top scorer and Ian Callahan leads in assists.
"We've been a matchup problem for a lot of teams," coach Graham said. "With our pace of play, having (opponents) try to keep up with them has been challenging. When we play a good, solid team game and get pucks out and we go with pace, we're a hard team to play against."
Swimming teams prepare for district
Members of the swimming teams will be represented in the district meet this week, with the boys competing in Division II on Friday, Feb. 16, and the girls competing in Division I on Saturday, Feb. 17, at Ohio University.
Division II district boys diving was held Feb. 13 and Division I district girls diving was held Feb. 12.
The top two finishers in each swimming event automatically advance to the state meet Wednesday, Feb. 21, through Feb. 24 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. In addition, 16 at-large state berths will be awarded for each swimming event based on times statewide.
In diving, the top three boys and the top four girls advanced to state.
In the sectional Feb. 10 at Upper Arlington, capturing titles for the boys team were the 200-yard medley relay of Thomas Clark, David Coss, Perry Finnegan and Michael Vondran (1 minute, 42.43 seconds), the 200 freestyle relay of Clark, Coss, Finnegan and Vondran (1:30.6), Clark in both the 200 individual medley (2:03.88) and 100 butterfly (52.92) and Finnegan in both the 50 free (21.64) and 100 free (48.3).
Coss was runner-up in the 50 free (22.03).
For the girls squad, winning were the 200 free relay of Mia Brown, Elizabeth Intihar, Cecilia Moore and Julia St. John (1:39.55) and Intihar in the 200 free (1:55.11), while placing second were Brown in the 50 free (24.2), Intihar in the 500 free (5:05.68), Moore in the 100 backstroke (58.9) and the 400 free relay of Brown, Intihar, Moore and St. John (3:36.49).
Boys basketball team gets shot at title
With a 64-53 victory over Ready on Feb. 5, the boys basketball team put itself in position to earn a share of the CCL championship.
The Eagles are 5-2 in the league and play Friday, Feb. 16, at league-leader Ready, which is 6-1. Hartley finished 6-2 in the CCL, meaning a win by Watterson over the Silver Knights would forge a three-way tie for the title.
Watterson had a six-game winning streak snapped with a 71-60 loss to Worthington Kilbourne on Feb. 9 and was 10-9 overall before facing Whetstone on Feb. 13.
"I feel like we're progressing well," coach Vince Lombardo said. "We're starting to do a number of things much better than obviously we were doing earlier in the year on both ends of the floor. We've had some good solid efforts."
The Eagles received the ninth seed for the Division II district tournament and will open with a second-round game at 1 p.m. March 3 at home against 14th-seeded Sparta Highland.
Girls basketball team to begin postseason
Despite closing the CCL schedule with a 50-36 victory over Ready on Feb. 8, the girls basketball team had to settle for being league runner-up.
Watterson was 13-8 overall before closing the regular season Feb. 14 at Canal Winchester and finished 5-2 in the CCL, behind Hartley (6-1).
The Eagles bounced back from back-to-back losses to Hartley (51-39 on Feb. 1) and Gahanna (43-39 on Feb. 3) to beat Ready. Paige Woodford had 14 points, including four 3-pointers, and Gretchen Glanzman and Lainey Billing both scored 13 against the Silver Knights.
Watterson is seeded 13th of 50 teams in the Division I district tournament and will play host to 40th-seeded Delaware in the first round at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17. The Pacers are 8-14.
Watterson athletes make college choices
Eight student-athletes announced their college decisions Feb. 7.
Committing in football were Holden Jones (Walsh), Kevin Laming (Ashland) and Kyle Simmonds (Saint Francis).
Lainey Billing will play women's basketball for Lake Erie, Lilly Binion-Ferrell will compete in women's wrestling at Campbellsville and Joshua Brobst will play baseball for Lake Erie. In men's soccer, Bryant Pratt will play for Indiana and Gilberto Quintero will play for Findlay.
Below are the coming schedules for the Watterson boys basketball and girls basketball teams:
*Feb. 16 -- At Ready. The Eagles beat the Silver Knights 64-53 on Feb. 5.
Feb. 20 -- At Hilliard Davidson
Feb. 17 -- Home vs. 40th-seeded Delaware in first round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays 16th-seeded Teays Valley or 29th-seeded Olentangy in second round Feb. 23 at home of higher seed. Watterson is the 13th seed.
*League contestAt a glance
Below are the district qualifiers with sectional time and district seeds for the Watterson boys and girls swimming & diving teams:
BOYS -- Thomas Clark: 100 fly (52.92, first), 200 IM (2:03.88, first); David Coss: 50 free (22.54, second), 100 free (50.86, sixth); Perry Finnegan: 50 free (21.64, first), 100 free (48.3, first); Samuel Oliver: 100 free (54.26, 17th), 200 free (2:02.07, 13th); Michael Vondran: 50 free (23.02, fourth), 100 free (52.54, 10th); 200 free relay (1:30.6, first); 200 medley relay (1:42.43, second)
GIRLS -- Mia Brown: 50 free (24.2, third), 100 free (53.11, fourth); Elizabeth Intihar: 200 free (1:55.11, first), 500 free (5:05.68, third); Cecilia Moore: 100 back (58.9, sixth), 200 IM (2:13.45, ninth); Alyssa O'Sullivan: 200 IM (2:14.33, 10th); Amanda Springer: 100 breast (1:11.2, 22nd); Julia St. John: 100 back (1:00.2, 10th), 100 free (54.56, 21st); 200 free relay (1:39.55, third); 200 medley relay (2:00.37, 22nd); 400 free relay (3:36.49, third)