Given that the Bexley High School boys soccer team had trouble closing games in the regular season, coach Greg Kullman sees the Lions' 2-0 victory over Canal Winchester in the second round of the Division II district tournament on Oct. 21 as a good sign.

Given that the Bexley High School boys soccer team had trouble closing games in the regular season, coach Greg Kullman sees the Lions' 2-0 victory over Canal Winchester in the second round of the Division II district tournament on Oct. 21 as a good sign.

Sophomore Jacob Cini scored with just over 27 minutes remaining and Evan Porter added a second goal about seven minutes later to send eighth-seeded Bexley to a district semifinal against top-seeded Hilliard Brad-ley last Tuesday.

"We've definitely been struggling with scoring," said Kullman, whose team was 8-4-5 overall before playing Bradley. "We didn't know how to close out teams (earlier in the season). Now we're becoming a little more organized defensively and we're finding ways to score."

Last Tuesday's winner will play seventh-seeded Big Walnut or Watterson in a district final at 4 p.m. Saturday at Grandview. The district champ plays a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. Tuesday at a site to be determined against Chillicothe, Chillicothe Zane Trace, Fairfield Christian or Marietta.

The win over Canal Winchester was Bexley's fourth consecutive shutout. The last time the Lions allowed a goal was in a 2-all tie against Westerville South on Oct. 7.

•The relaxed atmosphere at the field hockey team's practices is gone as the Lions try to return to the district championship on Saturday.

The Lions, who improved to 11-4-1 after beating Dublin Scioto 9-0 in their tournament opener Oct. 21, played Upper Arlington in a district semifinal last Wednesday.

That winner will face Columbus Academy or Olentangy in a district final at 11 a.m. Saturday at Dublin Scioto.

"They're very focused," coach Kara Hardesty said. "Last year we made it to the district final (before losing to eventual state champion Watterson 3-0). This year they want to duplicate that and maybe even go further."

Senior forward Sam Urell, who scored three goals in the win over the Irish, said the Lions had a strong start to the tournament.

"The last time we played (Scioto), we didn't play that great," Urell said, referring to an 8-1 win over the Irish on Sept. 16. "We're trying to set the tone for the rest of tournament. We're confident and ready to beat everyone who comes our way."

•The boys and girls cross country teams both captured Division II district titles last Saturday at Watkins Memorial.

Led by strong performances by seniors Seth Ringel and Micah Muller, the boys team scored 62 points to win the 13-team district 2 meet, ahead of runner-up Watterson (83). Also advancing to the regional Saturday at Pickerington North were Buckeye Valley (94) and London (122).

The top four teams and those individuals not on a qualifying team who finish in the top 16 advance to the state meet Nov. 6 at Scioto Downs.

Ringel finished fourth at district in 17 minutes, 39.91 seconds and Muller was ninth (17:45.75) behind the champion, London's Kevin Swartz (17:02.43).

Freshman Ian Kellogg (11th, 17:49.53), senior Jared Lucas (13th, 17:54.83) and junior Nate Taylor (25th, 18:31.45) rounded out the Lions' top five finishers.

The girls team scored 64 points at the 10-team district 2 meet to finish ahead of runner-up Big Walnut (70). River Valley (93) and Columbus School for Girls (104) also advanced to regional.

Junior Abby Arace placed fifth (20:24.77) behind the champion, Hannah Campbell of River Valley (19:06.48). Freshmen Samantha Shamhart (ninth, 20:33.57) and Regan Detwiler (12th, 20:41.31), sophomore Katie Wittig (14th, 20:56.23) and Chelsea Gordon (24th, 21:39.45) rounded out the Lions' top five.

•Even though senior Maddie Morton of the girls tennis team switched to singles this season, she concluded her prep career by placing in the top eight at the Division II state tournament for the fourth consecutive year.

Morton defeated Warren John F. Kennedy's Chelsea Ross 6-2, 6-0 in the first round of state last Friday at Ohio State but lost to Port Clinton's Rachel Nelson 6-1, 6-2 in a quarterfinal.

"Rachel is a very tough player," said Morton, who reached a state quarterfinal in doubles in 2007, placed third in 2008 and finished second last year with 2010 graduate Corrine Rauck. "She's very aggressive and I needed to be more aggressive today."

Nelson finished second after losing to defending state champion Alyssa Ritchie of Waynesville 6-2, 6-2 last Saturday.

Morton, who finished with a 26-6 record, was proud of what she accomplished after overcoming tennis elbow, a sprained right ankle and an Achilles' injury in her left foot. Three of her six losses were by default.

"It's a great accomplishment," Morton said. "I work hard year-round and it's great that the word paid off."

Morton is one of four seniors the Lions will lose, with the others being Maddy Boutelle, Casey Edelstein and Brawnie Petrov. Edelstein, Morton and Petrov were four-year varsity players. Boutelle was a three-year varsity three years.

Expected to return are junior Anna Fechtor and sophomores Sierra Humphrey and Becca Landon.

Hilliard Bradley's Ashley Thai and Lauren Thai, who went on to win the Division II state doubles title, defeated Petrov and Boutelle 6-0, 6-1 in the first round of the district tournament and Edelstein and Landon 6-2, 6-3 in a district semifinal.

The Lions finished 9-8 overall and were second in the MSL-Ohio/Cardinal Division with a 4-1 record and 38 points, behind Columbus Academy (5-0, 41).

Morton (first singles), Landon and Fechtor (first doubles) and Boutelle and Edelstein (second doubles) won league titles. Petrov (second singles) and Humphrey (third singles) were league runners-up.

•The girls volleyball team lost to top-seeded Big Walnut 25-10, 25-14, 25-14 in the second round of the Division II district tournament last Saturday to finish 9-14 overall. The Lions beat Beechcroft 25-3, 25-11, 25-12 in the first round on Oct. 19.

•The football team lost to Heath 28-0 last Friday and will close the season Friday at Licking Valley. The Lions are 3-6 overall and 1-5 in the MSL-Ohio entering the game.