It has nothing to do with his musical taste or fashion style, but Hartley High School senior wrestler Grant Rathburn said he's described by some as "funky" once he gets on the mat.

It has nothing to do with his musical taste or fashion style, but Hartley High School senior wrestler Grant Rathburn said he's described by some as "funky" once he gets on the mat.

"I kind of roll around a lot on the mat," he said. "I'm just kind of different. I think it's something where I create scrambles and create openings for myself."

Considering the results he's had over the years, the description of his wrestling style is something he's learned to accept.

In addition to recently picking up his 100th career victory, Rathburn is hoping to become Hartley's first three-time state qualifier. The program has had 12 state qualifiers but never an individual champion.

Rathburn also was expected to be a key factor in whether the Hawks made the quarterfinals of the Division III state team tournament for the first time.

Hartley, seeded first in Region 21-A, opened with wins over eighth-seeded Johnstown (63-15) and fifth-seeded Ready (52-19) on Jan. 22 at home. The Hawks faced second-seeded Utica in a regional semifinal Jan. 29 at Galion Northmor, and the winner faced Northmor or Marion Pleasant for the regional title 20 minutes after the semifinal round.

Eight regional champions advance to state Feb. 8 at Ohio State's St. John Arena.

"This is my final year, so I've got to put it all on the table," Rathburn said. "Hartley never has had a state (individual) champion, so that's really something that would be great to accomplish."

Rathburn didn't start wrestling until seventh grade but has been around the sport much of his life.

His father, John Rathburn, was Hamilton Township's coach from 1992-2003 and currently is an assistant with the Hawks. He also is the principal at Westland.

Rathburn was 22-8 at 138 and 145 pounds before Hartley competed Jan. 24 and 25 in the Sally George Invitational at Pleasant, where Rathburn won the title at 138 and the Hawks finished fourth (124) of 22 teams behind champion Upper Sandusky (163).

He had 104 career wins entering the tournament, including three Jan. 18 and 19 when he was runner-up at 138 in the Catholic Invitational Tournament at Cleveland State.

Also in the CIT, Kristopher Hill was first at 113 while Jared Croswell (fourth at 220) and Jacob Croswell (fifth at 160) also placed as Hartley finished seventh (122) of 30 teams behind champion Cincinnati Moeller (239.5).

The Hawks compete in the CCL tournament Saturday, Feb. 1, at St. Charles, where they'll try to win their second title in three seasons. Hartley was second (238) behind St. Charles (263) a year ago.

Rathburn, who went 0-2 at state at 126 as a sophomore and 1-2 at 132 a year ago, continues to impress coach Kevin Petrella.

"No matter what the score is, he always knows there's a chance for him to win," Petrella said. "He's a great mat wrestler on top and bottom. He's gotten a lot better offensively and we're still working on his defense.

"He lives and breathes (wrestling) and has got a pretty good drive to get better."

Girls basketball teamin tough stretch

Girls basketball coach Mike Lanza has confidence in his team despite a recent stretch that saw its CCL title hopes take a big hit.

The Hawks were on a four-game losing streak and 7-6 overall before playing Brookhaven on Jan. 27.

Hartley takes a 3-3 CCL record into a game Thursday, Jan. 30, at Columbus School for Girls.

"We lost a lot of players from last year's team and our leadership has been really, really good," Lanza said. "The thing that's most satisfying is that the team chemistry is really, really good."

Lanza was named football coach at Grove City on Jan. 14 and hasn't decided his plans with the Hawks beyond this season.

Through 13 games, senior post player Marissa Brown was averaging a team-best 13.8 points and senior guard Alexis Britford was averaging 7.9.

Boys basketball teamset for CCL rematches

The boys basketball team gets another shot at defending Division II state champion Watterson on Monday, Feb. 3, at home.

The Hawks lost to the Eagles 46-40 on Jan. 24 to fall to 3-2 in the CCL. They were 10-4 overall before playing Bloom-Carroll on Jan. 29.

The first-round league game against Watterson followed a 63-52 loss to Vincent Warren on Jan. 19 in the Route 40 Classic at Zanesville West Muskingum.

Hartley plays DeSales on Friday, Jan. 31, in a rematch of a game the Hawks won 61-48 on Dec. 20.

The Hawks, who were eighth in the Division III state poll and first in the area coaches poll last week, have been led by seniors Chris Moxley (18 points per game) and Drew Onega (14 ppg).

In the first matchup with DeSales, Moxley scored 23 and Onega had 20.

Against Watterson, Moxley scored 13 and Jair Wheelwright had nine.

Swimming teamsprep for postseason

The boys and girls swimming teams are off until Feb. 8 when they compete in a Division II sectional at Columbus Academy.

On Jan. 25, the girls placed third (319) in the CCL meet at St. Charles behind CSG (442) and Watterson (319) and ahead of DeSales (170) and Ready (32). The boys were second (249) behind St. Charles (481) and ahead of DeSales (120) and Watterson (54).

Hayley Elizondo won the girls 200-yard freestyle (2 minutes, 3.5 seconds). Winning boys titles were Patrick Lawrence in the 200 free (1:51.05) and Brian Hearns in diving (431.3).