Hilliard Davidson High School senior wrestler Gio DiSabato enters the Division I state tournament with a tougher draw than he expected, but his goal remains the same.
A four-time state qualifier, DiSabato is seeking his first state title.
He will be joined at the state tournament, which runs Thursday, March 8, through Saturday, March 10, at Ohio State, by classmate Micah Dusseau.
DiSabato was considered a favorite to win the 126-pound title in the district tournament held March 2 and 3 at Darby, but settled for third after losing to Lancaster's Micah Norwood 2-1 in overtime in a semifinal.
DiSabato bounced back to win his next two matches, including a 19-4 victory over Olentangy Orange's Rocco Torio in the third-place match. The top four finishers in each weight class advanced to state.
"It's an easier draw if you get first (at district), but you never know what could happen," DiSabato said. "The goal is to get first, but that's not what really matters. It's just another step to state. At the (state) tournament, now all I care about is being a state champ. ... Whoever's in front of me, I'm going to wrestle, so it doesn't really matter to me who I wrestle."
DiSabato, who went 4-1 at district and is 36-4 on the season, will face Cincinnati LaSalle's Casey Wiles (31-11) in the first round at state.
"He'll be all right. We're at the state tournament and that's what matters," said coach Dominic DiSabato, Gio's father. "He's focused on that. He's not going to let (finishing third at district) bother his training. ... He's getting a bad draw. That's how we're going to look at it. The weight class is tough no matter who you wrestle, so we're going to be ready to battle."
Last season, DiSabato lost 5-4 to Elyria's Brendon Fenton in the state final at 120. He placed fourth at state at 106 as a sophomore and sixth at 106 as a freshman.
Dusseau will be making his second state appearance. Last season, he went 0-2 at 113.
He earned a return trip by winning the district title at 120, defeating Dresden Tri-Valley's Joseph Eckelberry 10-3 in the final.
Dusseau, who went 4-0 at district and is 44-3 on the season, will face Medina's Jared Dressler (34-13) in the first round at state.
"Micah has come such a long way this year. We're really excited for him and happy for him," coach DiSabato said. "He's put together a heck of a season and has worked his butt off. We're real excited for Micah."
Senior Demetri Monroe is a state alternate at 145 after going 3-2 and placing fifth. He was a state qualifier last season, going 0-2 at 132.
Luke DeWeese went 2-3 at 152 to finish sixth at district.
"We have two guys (at state), for sure," coach DiSabato said. "Anytime you get to the state tournament, you have to be happy for them. You're a little disappointed for Demetrios and Luke, but everybody fought and gave their best, so you're happy for everybody in those terms."
Jackson Sowers (132), Brendon Yoder (182) and Jah'von Lynch (heavyweight) all went 1-2 at district, while Teraun Dunseth (106), Connor Lucy (138), Reid Conrad (160), Mo Jahshan (170) and Zak Hughey (195) all went 0-2.
Davidson scored 72.5 points to finish eighth behind champion Lancaster (170) as 38 teams scored.
Scurlock competes at state on bars
Sophomore gymnast Nikia Scurlock competed in the individual state meet for the second consecutive season, finishing 34th of 36 competitors on uneven bars (8.05) on March 3 at Bradley.
Last season, she tied for 24th of 36 competitors on floor exercise (8.775) and tied for 29th of 35 gymnasts on balance beam (8.55).
"I had a lot of fun," Scurlock said. "It was a really good experience. I got to meet a lot of girls from other schools. I was really honored to compete with the seniors from the Hilliard schools for the last time."
Scurlock earned the return trip to state by tying Thornville Sheridan's Sarah Snider for seventh on bars (8.5) in the district meet Feb. 24 at Worthington Kilbourne, where the top eight finishers in each event and the all-around advanced to state.
Scurlock finished 21st (33.4) of 94 gymnasts in the all-around.
Also at district in the all-around, senior Mallory Bethel finished 32nd (32.275), freshman Emma Conrad was 55th (30.6), freshmen Megan McCabe was 58th (30.225) and sophomore Dani Mason was 67th (29.275).
Davidson finished ninth (127.3) of 24 teams, as Sheridan (145.425), Olentangy (139.5) and Bradley (135.425) advanced to the team state meet March 2 at Bradley.
Sophomores Jessica Cramer and Chelsie Hartman and freshman Audrey Cave also are eligible to return.
The Wildcats went 6-1 in OCC-Central Division dual meets and finished with 28 points to place second overall in the league, behind Upper Arlington (32, 7-0) and ahead of Marysville (24, 5-2), Grove City (18, 3-4), Westland (16, 3-4), Central Crossing (14, 3-4), Dublin Coffman (8, 1-6) and Franklin Heights (4, 0-7).
Girls basketball team ousted by Tigers
The 25th-seeded girls basketball team lost to third-seeded Pickerington Central 63-39 in a Division I district semifinal Feb. 28 at Hamilton Township to finish 13-12 overall.
Junior guard Emily Simon had 14 points and senior forward Allie Klein scored 10.
"We know they're good," coach Joy Taylor said of Central. "They're starting five is going to play (Division I college basketball). They have great players and we battled. ... We never gave up from start to finish."
Season ends for bowling teams
The boys and girls bowling teams' season was abbreviated mainly because of a lack of a home facility, as Ten Pin Alley was unavailable for most of the season because of a renovation project.
The program had one district qualifier in junior Molly Cottrill, who finished 77th of 102 bowlers with a 342 three-game series March 3 at HP Lanes. Delaware's Kelsey Rohrer (550) was the third and final individual qualifier for the girls state tournament Saturday, March 10, at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
The girls team finished 20th (2,677) of 37 teams in the sectional Feb. 24 at HP Lanes, behind champion Gahanna (3,642), as the top 16 teams and top 16 individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district.
Cottrill advanced to district, finishing 49th (435) of 208 bowlers.
Davidson finished 3-10 overall and went 2-9 in the Central Ohio Bowling Conference-B Division to finish ninth behind champion Darby (11-0) and 2-4 in the OCC-Central to finish fifth behind champion Gahanna (6-0).
Sophomore Reilly Wolfinger led the Wildcats with a 141.1 game average, followed by sophomore Laurel King (121.2) and Cottrill (119.8).
Juniors Hannah Mathews and Tiffany Meach and sophomore Ariel Meach also are eligible to return.
The boys team concluded its season at sectional Feb. 23 at HP Lanes, finishing 28th (3,018) of 38 teams, behind champion Westerville Central (3,836).
Junior Grayson Holloway had a team-best 482 series to tie for 51st of 220 bowlers.
Davidson finished 2-11 overall and went 2-9 in the COHSBC-B to finish 10th behind champion Pickerington North (11-0) and 0-6 in the OCC-Central to finish seventh behind champion Gahanna (6-0).
Holloway had a team-best 187.8 average, followed by senior Chris Wourms (177.3), junior Daniel McElfresh (170.3) and sophomore Dominic Williams (148.3).
Juniors David Hudkins, Brady Ingland, Chase Miles, Micah Neese and Korey Pummell and freshman Ben Curry also are eligible to return.
@ThisWeekFrankAt a glance
*Record: Boys -- 2-11 overall, 2-9 (10th) in COHSBC-B, 0-6 (seventh) in OCC-Central; Girls -- 3-10 overall, 2-9 (ninth) in COHSBC-B, 2-4 (fifth) in OCC-Central
*Seniors lost: Boys -- Chris Wourms; Girls -- None
*Key returnees: Boys -- Grayson Holloway, Daniel McElfresh and Dominic Williams; Girls -- Molly Cottrill, Laurel King and Reilly Wolfinger
*Finishes: Second in OCC-Central, ninth at district
*Seniors lost: Mallory Berthel, Isabelle Clark and Koryn Shugart
*Key returnees: Emma Conrad, Dani Mason, Megan McCabe and Nikia Scurlock