The final minutes of its season finale were a microcosm of 2010-11 for the Bexley High School boys basketball team.

The final minutes of its season finale were a microcosm of 2010-11 for the Bexley High School boys basketball team.

Although Hamilton Township found its shooting stroke from 3-point range and the free-throw line during the second round of the Division II district tournament Feb. 25 at Grove City, the Lions still were within four points midway through the final quarter before losing 69-59.

Although Bexley had nine fewer wins than a year ago and finished 11-11 overall, it was more evidence to coach Dave Gustin that he had a hardworking team.

"(The Rangers) made some big shots when they had to and answered with a little more than we did," Gustin said. "But this year has been more fun than I've had in a long time. It was a very fun year. All of the guys came ready every day. There were no problems; they're all just good kids and good students."

The mental approach that Lions seniors Marcus Gustin, Josh Lake, Evan Porter, Jon Primes and Spencer Stanley displayed also is something that Gustin believes has laid the groundwork for future success.

Primes averaged 17 points and six rebounds and shot 54 percent from the floor while earning first-team all-district honors. He scored 14 in the tournament loss to the Rangers, including nine in the fourth quarter.

Primes also led with 22 points during Bexley's 64-60 victory over Hilliard Bradley in the first round of the tournament Feb. 22.

Porter scored 14 against Hamilton Township, including five in the fourth quarter.

Junior Jalen Robinette will be the team's top returning player after averaging 14 points and six rebounds while making honorable mention all-district.

Others eligible to return include juniors Tyler Bringman and Matt Tumen and sophomore Ethan Knisley.

The Lions finished fifth in the MSL-Ohio Division at 6-8 behind co-champions Granville and Heath (11-3), Columbus Academy (10-4) and Newark Catholic (8-6), and ahead of Licking Valley and Whitehall (5-9) and Lakewood (0-14).

"We're fine (for next year)," coach Gustin said. "I think we've got some real good young kids that saw Jon Primes play. He's been an outstanding leader and hopefully they learned from him."

•Senior Hayden Humphrey left the Division II state swimming meet Feb. 25 in Canton's C.T. Branin Natatorium feeling a lot better than when he arrived.

Humphrey, the first boys swimmer from the school to compete at state since 2002, placed 12th in the 100-yard breaststroke (1 minute, 1.46 seconds).

"Up until (the Feb. 24 preliminaries) I hadn't been feeling too great," Humphrey said. "I've heard 40 to 50 reported getting sick at the district meet. I've just loaded up on the cold medicine and tried to clear everything out. It's just been an amazing experience being around all these great swimmers. To make it here in my senior year is a great feeling."

Humphrey's performance gave the Lions a 46th-place finish with five points behind champion Hunting Valley University School (377).

Humphrey won district Feb. 18 in 1:01.5.

"He didn't have a lot of expectations since he's been battling that cold since the district meet," coach Natalie Mossman said. "He was a little disappointed he didn't make the championship heat, but he went into the consolation finals thinking he had nothing to lose."

The boys finished seventh (78) at the MSL meet Jan. 29 behind champion Granville (269) and followed by placing fifth (83) behind the Blue Aces (283) at the sectional at Columbus Academy on Feb. 12. They tied Liberty Union for 23rd (24) behind Granville (368) at district.

The girls placed third (145) in the league, seventh (79) at sectional and 13th (74) at district. Granville scored 391 to win the conference meet and also captured sectional (204) and district (368) titles.

Other seniors were Ropaki Gwynn, Micah Mueller and Adam Schleppi from the boys team and Anna Bauer, Claire Beckett, Georgia Sutter and Amanda Young from the girls team.

Top returnees should include sophomores Ian Davis and Jacob Turner for the boys and sophomore Sierra Humphrey and freshman Maya Saar for the girls.

•The wrestling team had four competitors at the Division II district tournament Feb. 25-26 at Columbus East, but none advanced to state.

The only Bexley wrestler to win a match was senior Chris Crane (145 pounds), who won his first match but lost his next two to finish with a 27-8 record.

Junior D.J. Jones (130), who came within one win of advancing to state a year ago, went 0-2 at district to finish 31-7. Senior Chuck Sismanturk (135) went 0-2 to finish 26-20 and junior Derek Cain (152) went 0-2 to finish 32-10.

Cain withdrew from his third-place match at sectional Feb. 19 because of chest pains but was cleared to compete at district.

The Lions scored four points to tie New Concord John Glenn for 37th at district behind champion Olentangy (158.5), as 42 teams scored.

Bexley took seventh (77.5) at sectional behind the champion Braves (292).

"I'm extremely pleased with the way they've competed, as I always am," first-year coach Shawn Straub said. "They're a hardworking group of kids and they've given me effort all year long. I felt as though we potentially could get one or two athletes to the state tournament. The level of experience they had to (compete against was) very good."

In addition to Crane and Sismanturk, the Lions will lose senior Dan Doersam (125), a 2010 district qualifier who finished fifth at sectional.

Others eligible to return along with Cain and Jones include junior Josh Gewirtz (140) and freshman Sam Shorr (103).

•The seventh-seeded girls basketball team's season ended with a 46-43 loss to eighth-seeded DeSales on Feb. 23 in the second round of the Division II district tournament. The Lions had a first-round bye.

It was the final game for seniors Amubie Sam-Agwor, Jelicia Shelton and Kylee Soga. Shelton averaged 14.6 points and 10.8 rebounds while making second-team all-district. Soga averaged 13 points and was honorable mention all-district.

The top returnee will be junior point guard Bailey Breese, who averaged 9.4 points, three assists and three steals while making honorable mention all-district.

Also eligible to return are juniors Emily Hart, Sara Prater and Ann Sharpe and sophomores Jill Clark and Lydia Lake. Prater didn't play in the tournament game because of an ankle injury and Clark went down with a hand injury in the first quarter against the Stallions.

The Lions finished 13-8 overall and third at 9-5 in the MSL-Ohio behind co-champions Granville and Licking Valley (10-4) and ahead of Newark Catholic (8-6), Columbus Academy (7-7), Lakewood (5-9), Heath (4-10) and Whitehall (3-11). They went 10-12 a season ago.

"We return our point guard and we played a few other underclassmen who will be back," said Jim Strode, who completed his second season as coach. "A three-game win increase is always good. It's important that our kids get in the gym during the offseason. We've got some talent coming up that should help us."