Hilliard Davidson High School wrestler Gio DiSabato is on a mission.
The senior is a three-time Division I state qualifier, but the ultimate goal has eluded him -- standing atop the podium after winning a state title.
Right now, though, DiSabato is focusing on the district tournament, which will be held Friday, March 2, and Saturday, March 3, at Darby. He is one of 12 Davidson wrestlers who qualified for district.
"This is the best time of the year," DiSabato said. "(The district tournament) is like a steppingstone towards next week at the state tournament, so that's all I'm really focusing on, that's all I really care about."
Last season, DiSabato reached the state final at 120 pounds before dropping a hard-fought 5-4 decision to Elyria's Brendon Fenton to finish 48-3. He placed fourth at state at 106 as a sophomore and sixth at 106 as a freshman.
"I was always the undersized kid who was super tiny and I wasn't at my potential yet, but I just worked really hard and it's crazy how fast the time has flown by," DiSabato said. "I remember it like it was yesterday."
DiSabato, who is 32-3 on the season, advanced to district at 126 and will face St. Charles' Kenton Colvin (31-10) in the first round. On the horizon at district is a potential rematch with Olentangy Liberty's Jordan Rosselli. The two met in the district final last season, with DiSabato winning 4-3 in an ultimate tiebreaker.
"I really don't care who I (compete against). Whoever I have next is who I'm going to wrestle," DiSabato said.
DiSabato advanced to district by finishing first in a 10-team sectional Feb. 24 at Marysville. He defeated Dublin Scioto's Kemyon Pannell 18-2 in the final.
"Gio is ready to go," said coach Dominic DiSabato, Gio's father. "I'm excited for everybody. Everybody is ready to go. They're wrestling where they should be this time of year. Gio has that toughness and experience. He's ready."
Also looking to return to state are seniors Micah Dusseau and Demetri Monroe.
Dusseau (40-3) won the sectional title at 120, defeating Dresden Tri-Valley's Joseph Eckelberry 16-3 in the final. He will face Olentangy Orange's Zack Miller (17-15) in the first round at district.
Last season at state, Dusseau went 0-2 at 113 to finish 31-12.
Monroe (33-8) was the sectional runner-up at 145, losing to Marysville's Walker Heard 5-3 in overtime in the final. He will face Logan's Carter Frasure (32-9) in the first round at district.
Last season at state, Monroe went 0-2 at 132 to finish 24-7.
Also placing second at sectional were Jackson Sowers (132, 24-9) and Zak Hughey (195, second, 18-17). Luke DeWeese (152, 29-9), Mo Jahshan (170, 23-16) and Brendon Yoder (182, 20-20) placed third and Teraun Dunseth (106, 18-13), Connor Lucy (138, 12-9), Reid Conrad (160, 23-15) and Jah'von Lynch (heavyweight, 18-20) finished fourth.
The top four finishers in each weight class at sectional advanced to district.
"We thought we had a chance for everybody (to advance), but some guys had a tougher draw, so we knew they'd have to step up," coach DiSabato said.
Davidson finished second (209.5 points) at sectional, behind Marysville (279).
At district, the top four finishers in each weight class advance to the state tournament March 8-10 at Ohio State.
Scurlock qualifies for state meet
Sophomore gymnast Nikia Scurlock earned a return trip to the state meet by tying Thorn-ville Sheridan's Sarah Snider for seventh on uneven bars (8.5) at the district meet Feb. 24 at Worthington Kilbourne.
The top eight finishers in each event and the all-around advanced to the individual state meet Saturday, March 3, at Bradley.
"Bars has not always been my best event, but my most consistent," Scurlock said.
Scurlock finished 21st (33.4) of 94 gymnasts in the all-around.
Last season at state, she tied for 24th on floor exercise (8.775) and tied for 29th on balance beam (8.55).
"It should calm my nerves a little bit now that I know what the meet is like," Scurlock said.
Also at district in the all-around, Mallory Bethel finished 32nd (32.275), Emma Conrad was 55th (30.6), Megan McCabe was 58th (30.225) and Dani Mason was 67th (29.275).
Davidson finished ninth (127.3) of 24 teams at district, as Sheridan (145.425), Olentangy (139.5) and Bradley (135.425) advanced to the team state meet Friday, March 2, at Bradley.
"Those girls had an amazing meet," coach Carol Eskay said. "It wasn't their highest team score, but they barely had any falls on beam. They had great performances. ... I couldn't be more proud. They had a super, solid day. They just kept it going. They had a lot of really solid performances."
Girls basketball team reaches semifinal
The 25th-seeded girls basketball team advanced to a Division I district semifinal against third-seeded Pickerington Central on Feb. 28.
The winner plays 10th-seeded Eastmoor Academy or 23rd-seeded Liberty in a district final Saturday, March 3, at Ohio Dominican.
The district champion faces Big Walnut, Gahanna, Hartley or Reynoldsburg in a regional semifinal Tuesday, March 6, at Otterbein. The regional final is March 9 at Otterbein.
The Wildcats defeated 33rd-seeded Watkins Memorial 54-39 in the second round Feb. 23 at home as Allie Klein scored a game-high 20 points.
"I was really happy," coach Joy Taylor said. "Allie Klein played great for us. She (already) had a senior night, but it was awesome for her to basically have a second senior night and to play so well. The team played well. Everyone played together."
Season ends for boys basketball team
The boys basketball team saw its season end with a 64-45 loss at 14th-seeded Liberty in the first round of the Division I district tournament Feb. 24.
The 20th-seeded Wildcats finished 13-10 overall under first-year coach Tim Congrove.
Davidson trailed by as many as 16 points in the third quarter before trimming the deficit to 44-42 early in the fourth, but could not get closer.
"I'm very proud of the way they fought back and didn't give up," Congrove said. "We gave ourselves a chance. It got away from us a little bit at the end, but they never give up. It's a great group of kids."
Senior forward M.J. Rasoul, junior forward Jacob Drees and sophomore center Gage Keys each scored 11 points.
Davidson played without junior forward Patrick Preece, who missed the game because of personal reasons.
The Wildcats went 6-4 in the OCC-Central Division to finish third, behind Upper Arlington (10-0) and Dublin Coffman (8-2) and ahead of Central Crossing and Marysville (both 3-7) and Westland (0-10).
Drees was named first-team all-league, Preece was second-team all-league, Keys was special mention all-league and Rasoul was honorable mention all-league.
Other expected returnees are juniors Austin Conrad (guard), Carson Felicetty (guard), Christian Gillian (forward), Cole Kazmerzak (forward), Joey Maynard (guard), Zach Meyer (forward), Ethan Royer (guard) and Caleb Stimmel (guard).
"The kids that I have work so hard, they're unselfish, they're coachable, they want to do the right things and they leave it all on the floor," Congrove said. "That's half the battle, and I couldn't ask for much more than that."
Cottrill reaches district in bowling
Junior Molly Cottrill of the girls bowling team advanced to the Division I district tournament by rolling a 435 three-game series at sectional Feb. 24 at HP Lanes to tie for 49th of 208 competitors.
At sectional, the top 16 teams and top 16 individuals not on a qualifying team advanced to district Saturday, March 3, at HP Lanes.
Also at sectional, Hanna Matthews tied for 80th (399), Riley Wolfinger finished 92nd (380), Ariel Meach was 94th (374) and Laurel King finished 138th (294).
Davidson finished 20th (2,677) of 37 teams, behind champion Gahanna (3,642).
The boys team finished 28th (3,018) of 38 teams at sectional Feb. 23 at HP Lanes, behind champion Westerville Central (3,836). Grayson Holloway tied for 51st (482) of 220 bowlers to lead the Wildcats.
Also competing were Daniel McElfresh (80th, 454), Chase Miles (81st, 453), Christopher Wourms (136th, 330, two games), David Hudkins (tied for 191st, 151, one game) and Dominic Williams (tied for 196th, 136, one game).
At district, the top three individuals not on a qualifying team advance to the state tournament March 10 at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
Endecott caps season at state swim meet
Senior Tyler Endecott of the boys swimming team capped his prep career by competing in the Division I state meet for the first time.
Endecott, who moved to central Ohio from New Jersey prior to his sophomore year, finished 18th in the 200-yard individual medley in 1 minute, 55.83 seconds on Feb. 23 at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
@ThisWeekFrankAt a glance
*Record: 13-10 overall, 6-4 (third) in OCC-Central
*Senior lost: M.J. Rasoul
*Key returnees: Jacob Drees, Gage Keys, Patrick Preece and Ethan Royer