Despite a 51-40 loss to Hilliard Bradley on Feb. 9, the Dublin Scioto High School girls basketball team entered its game against Jerome on Feb. 13 with a chance to earn a share of the OCC-Cardinal Division championship.
The Irish, who were seeking their first league championship since the 2009-10 season, were 11-10 overall and 8-3 in the OCC-Cardinal before closing the regular season against the Celtics. Their title hopes were kept alive by Thomas Worthington's 74-73 overtime loss to Hilliard Darby on Feb. 9.
The Cardinals finished 9-3 in the OCC-Cardinal.
The Irish defeated Thomas 76-54 on Dec. 22 and 50-40 on Feb. 6, but lost twice to Bradley, including 49-46 on Jan. 9.
"We probably already exceeded expectations," coach Jen Music said. "I really didn't expect to be in the race for the league, so I'm pretty proud of them so far this year."
Scioto shared the OCC-Cardinal championship with Olentangy in 2009-10. It was the Irish's fifth consecutive league title under then-coach Todd Hardesty, who stepped down following that season.
"We had a great run," said Hardesty, who has coached the boys golf team since 2014. "We had five straight (league titles) and four of those teams won 20 games or more. That was a whole lot of fun. We won a district title in 2007. ... This year's team is good for the whole school. We could use a title. I'm excited for them."
In the rematch against Bradley, Scioto erased a 20-16 halftime deficit to tie at the game at 20 before the visiting Jaguars regained control with a 12-0 run. The Irish pulled within 44-39 in the final minute, but couldn't draw closer.
"Bradley is a tough team," Music said. "This is a tough league. Anyone can win on any given night."
Kennedie Lomax had a team-high 13 points and Lauren Erickson added 12 points on four 3-pointers.
"It was a really good sign that we kept fighting until the end, especially when we hit some key 3s," Lomax said. "It was a surprising loss because we were hoping to win this one, but we're going to bounce back in the (district) tournament and I think we're going to go far."
Scioto is seeded 21st in the 50-team Division I district tournament and plays host to 25th-seeded Hilliard Davidson in the first round Saturday, Feb. 17. The winner plays host to 33rd-seeded Watkins Memorial in the second round Feb. 23.
"Davidson will be a tough game," Music said. "It will be here, but if we get through that, I think we'll get the second one. We got a home tournament game, so that's nice."
Erickson was averaging a team-high 11.6 points through 21 games, followed by Natalie Hutras (11.4) and Madison Heasley (7.0).
Heasley (6.7) and Lomax (6.3) led in rebounding.
"After last season when we were 8-14, this year being over .500 (before Feb. 13) is just huge for us," Lomax said.
Swimmers prepare for district meet
The boys and girls swimming teams turned in strong efforts in a Division I sectional Feb. 10 at Kenyon College, as they qualified eight swimmers in individual events and all six relays for the district meet Saturday, Feb. 17, at Ohio University.
Leading the way for the boys was Mitchell Thomas, who placed third in the 200-yard individual medley (2 minutes, 1.12 seconds) and eighth in the 100 freestyle (48.59).
Other individual district qualifiers were Colson Wenzel (200 free, 500 free), Jackson Wolford (100 butterfly) and Daniel Woo (100 backstroke).
Scioto finished eighth (75 points) of 11 teams at sectional, behind champion Jerome (270).
For the girls, Delia MacLaughlin placed fourth in the 100 free (53.83) and fifth in the 100 fly (59.54).
Also qualifying in individual events were Ema Rennie (50 free, 100 free), Zoe Kington (100 breaststroke) and Lauren Perry (200 IM).
The Irish finished sixth (95) of 10 teams, behind champion Coffman (274).
At sectional, the winner of each event and 27 at-large qualifiers in each event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectional sites advanced to district.
At district, the top two placers in each swimming event automatically advance to the state meet Feb. 23 and 24 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. In addition, 16 at-large state berths will be awarded for each swimming event based on district times statewide.
Boys basketball team receives 26th seed
The boys basketball team is seeded 26th of 48 teams in the Division I district tournament and will visit 16th-seeded Mount Vernon in the first round Feb. 24.
Scioto, which was 10-10 overall before playing Olentangy Orange on Feb. 13, closes the regular season at home against Jerome on Friday, Feb. 16.
The Irish, who are 3-8 in the OCC-Cardinal, lost to the Celtics 59-52 on Jan. 16.
Scioto lost to Bradley 39-20 on Feb. 9 as it managed just seven points in the first half and trailed 21-7 at halftime.
Dapreis Owens led the Irish with 10 points.
With the win, Bradley clinched its second consecutive outright OCC-Cardinal title. The Jaguars were 10-0 in the league before playing Darby on Feb. 13.
Owens had 16 points in a 40-36 loss to Thomas on Feb. 6. The Irish led 23-8 at halftime, but were outscored 32-13 in the second half, including 18-2 in the fourth quarter.
Wrestling team upends Cardinals
Aided by four forfeit wins, the wrestling team cruised to a 50-6 win over Thomas on Feb. 8 in an OCC-Cardinal match.
Winners by pin for the Irish were Hamza Dahshi at 120 pounds (1:52) and Kemyon Pannell at 126 (2:30).
Scioto finished 4-2 in the OCC-Cardinal, placing third behind Bradley (6-0) and Delaware (5-1).
"We lost two (league matches) that we could have won," coach Adam Huddle said. "We lost a couple closes matches against Delaware (39-34) and Bradley (39-28). We would have liked to have been 6-0, but we could have been 2-4, too. It's a growing, young team."
Gymnasts finish seventh in OCC meet
The gymnastics team finished seventh (79.475) in the OCC-Cardinal meet Feb. 10 at Hilliard Davidson, behind Darby (132.925), Bradley (130.45), Jerome (129.825), Worthington Kilbourne (121.875), Delaware (120.975) and Thomas (120.2).
@ThisWeekFrankAt a glance
Below are the district qualifiers with sectional time and district seeds for the Scioto boys and girls swimming teams:
BOYS -- Mitchell Thomas: 200 IM (2:01.12, sixth), 100 free (48.59, 10th); Colson Wenzel: 200 free (1:48.6, 11th), 500 free (4:56.01, 11th); Jackson Wolford: 100 fly (57.54, 30th); Daniel Woo: 100 back (58.49, 30th); 200 free relay (1:38.68, 13th); 200 medley relay (1:49.38, 23rd); 400 free relay (3:23.74, 11th)
GIRLS -- Zoe Kington: 100 breast (1:11.18, 20th); Delia MacLaughlin: 100 fly (59.54, 15th), 100 free (53.83, 13th); Lauren Perry: 200 IM (2:21.38, 28th); Ema Rennie: 50 free (24.99, 19th), 100 free (55.52, 29th); 200 free relay (1:43.83, 13th); 200 medley relay (2:00.11, 21st); 400 free relay (3:48.74, 12th)