The Whetstone High School boys tennis team won its third City League championship in five years when it defeated West 4-1 on April 30.
Last season, the Braves lost their first match of the season, 4-1 to Centennial, and went on to finish second in the City League-North Division behind the Stars, ending a five-year league title run. Whetstone played West in the City final each of those five years, winning the championship in 2014 and 2016.
"It was pretty exciting after what happened last season," coach Bucky Walters said. "We're on a pretty good run right now, although I wish we would've been able to play a lot of those non-league matches that were rained out so that our guys would be more prepared for the (Division I) sectionals.
"Our guys were pretty happy to get the City title back, but this is a low-key group that doesn't do a lot of celebrating. They're quiet and reserved so it's not in the personality to show their excitement, but they did have a sense of accomplishment."
In the City final, Kaleb White won 6-1, 6-2 at first singles, Colin Harmon-Ulmer won 6-2, 6-3 at second singles, Kalman Buterbaugh lost 7-6, 6-2 at third singles, Atticus Bulgrin and Armando Prince won 6-1, 6-0 at first doubles and Louis Schirmer and Jared Brown won 6-2, 7-5 at second doubles.
"Our first-doubles team set the tone because they finished quickly and gave us a 1-0 lead and everyone seemed to feed off that," Walters said. "Kaleb was in command the whole time, too. Colin was very steady and actually played (West's) No. 1 singles because of a lineup switch.
"Our second-doubles team won the first set and then fell behind 4-1 in the second set before rallying. It was just a real good team win."
The Braves will compete in a sectional Thursday, May 10, and Saturday, May 12, at Upper Arlington. The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to the district tournament May 17 at Hilliard Bradley and May 19 at UA.
In first-round singles matches, White will play UA's Lance Li, Harmon-Ulmer will face Hamilton Township's Elijah Taylor and Buterbaugh will play second-seeded Elliot Jones of UA.
In first-round doubles matches, Schirmer and Brown will face Dublin Scioto's Dylan Mathess and Connor Page, while Prince and Bulgrin have a bye and will await the winner between Thomas Worthington's JunSung Park and Ryley Briones and Athens' Josh Goetz and Danny Goetz.
Baseball team wins City-North title
The baseball team clinched the City-North title May 2 with a 27-0 win over Linden-McKinley, but fell to host Centennial 4-0 the following day to finish 11-1 in the league.
Seeded 29th, the Braves were 16-7 overall before playing host to 30th-seeded Scioto in the first round of the Division I district tournament May 7. The winner played at fifth-seeded UA in the second round May 9.
That winner plays 12th-seeded Watkins Memorial, 20th-seeded Gahanna or 44th-seeded Walnut Ridge in a district semifinal Tuesday, May 15, at a neutral site to be determined. The district final is May 17.
Whetstone, which has won six consecutive City titles, will play host to Briggs in the City championship game, which is scheduled for May 17. It's a rematch of last year's final, which the Braves won 2-0.
Through 23 games, Dalton Daugherty was batting .485 with 23 RBI and 33 runs scored, followed by Ben Paugh (.406, 20 RBI), Jacob Price (.406, 28 RBI, 27 runs, 2 home runs), Evan Cossin (.390), Jacob Hochstetler (.369, 29 RBI), Cameron Bragg (.367, 20 RBI, 29 runs) and Davis Kleen (.353, 25 runs).
On the mound, Alex Timmons was 4-0 with a 1.62 ERA in 21 2/3 innings and Price was 3-0 with a 1.52 ERA in 23 innings. Kleen was 2-3 with a 2.67 ERA in 21 innings and Jeffrey Golding was 2-2 with a 2.17 ERA in 19 1/3 innings.
Softball team vying for City final
Like last season, the softball team likely must win a City-North playoff game in order to qualify for the City championship game Wednesday, May 16.
Whetstone lost to host Centennial 6-3 on May 3 to finish 13-1 in the City-North. The Stars are 12-1 in the league with a makeup game remaining against East.
Last season, the Braves lost to the Stars 7-6 in a playoff, as Centennial represented the City-North in the City final.
Whetstone had a chance to clinch the City-North title, but allowed a 3-2 lead to slip away as the Stars scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Three came on a home run by Jordan Fischer, her first of the season.
"Centennial got a double by Gwen Moran and we intentionally walked their catcher, Elise Fallon, who had hurt us all game," coach Larry Peck said. "But they got an RBI single (by Ikera Ike) and then the Fischer girl blasted a two-out, two-strike pitch to center field.
"I think the philosophy was right because we weren't going to let the hot hitter beat us. It just didn't work out. We didn't execute the pitch that was called."
Seeded 29th, the Braves were 13-5 overall before playing at 24th-seeded Pickerington Central in the first round of the Division I district tournament May 7. The winner played at 14th-seeded Dresden Tri-Valley in the second round May 9.
That winner plays 33rd-seeded Lancaster, 35th-seeded Licking Heights or 45th-seeded Mifflin in a district semifinal Monday, May 14, at a neutral site to be determined. The district final is May 18 or 19 at Pickerington Central.
Through 18 games, Jolie Mason was batting .613 with three triples, two home runs and 18 RBI and Roz Hannah was hitting .612 with 31 runs scored, two home runs, 17 RBI and 23 stolen bases.
Other offensive leaders were Sadie Hannah (.541, 24 runs, 15 RBI), Kassidy Keegan (.448), Dahlia Kleen (.429), Meghan Harrison (.424) and Amelia Morris (.424).
Track and field teams prepare for district
The boys and girls track and field teams will compete in the Division I, district 3 meet next week at Hilliard Darby.
The field events will be held Wednesday, May 16, followed by the running preliminaries May 17 and the running finals May 19.
The Braves competed in the City meet on May 7 and 9 at Africentric.
@Brad_ThisWeekAt a glance
Below are the coming schedules for the Whetstone girls lacrosse and boys volleyball teams:
May 10 -- At Hilliard Davidson
May 10 -- At Watterson
May 15 -- At DeSales