Throughout the season, the Bexley High School wrestling team has shown improvement from where it was a year ago. The Division II sectional tournament Feb. 15 at Madison Plains was the latest example.

Throughout the season, the Bexley High School wrestling team has shown improvement from where it was a year ago. The Division II sectional tournament Feb. 15 at Madison Plains was the latest example.

The Lions scored 86 points and placed eighth of 11 teams behind champion Amanda-Clearcreek (228), but more importantly for Bexley, four wrestlers qualified for the district tournament Friday, Feb. 21, and Saturday, Feb. 22, at Uhrichsville Claymont.

"Overall, we had a very good sectional tournament," coach Ed Cruz said. "We had four district qualifiers and two alternates. This is a significant improvement over last season when we had one qualifier and one alternate."

Seniors Sam Shorr (138 pounds) and Daniel Lee (195) each finished third, and freshman Eric Crane (145) and sophomore Dylan Cramer (152) also moved on by placing fourth.

Freshmen Perrin Ruff (113) and Zach Welsh (126) each placed fifth and are district alternates.

The top four finishers in each weight class at sectional advanced to district, where the top four in each weight class qualify for state Feb. 27-March 1 at Ohio State.

"Sam Shorr has now made it to the district tournament three years in a row and Daniel Lee accomplished his goal of making it for the first time," Cruz said. "Eric Crane and Dylan Cramer both also made their first district tournament."

Shorr went 4-1 at sectional to improve to 33-12 overall, while Lee went 3-1 to improve to 28-11.

"This is a great accomplishment for Sam and Daniel as they close out their careers at Bexley," Cruz said.

Crane and Cramer each went 2-2 at sectional. They are 18-17 and 20-16, respectively, this season.

Ruff is 23-22 after going 3-2 at sectional. Welsh, who holds the program record for wins as a freshman, went 2-2 and is 30-16 overall.

After winning just two dual meets and finishing last in the MSL-Ohio Division tournament a year ago, Bexley went 10-5 in duals this winter and placed fifth of eight teams in the MSL-Ohio.

"This also bodes very well for the future of Bexley wrestling," Cruz said. "With Eric qualifying (for district) as a freshman and Dylan as a sophomore, it shows a lot of promise.

"Add to that the fact that we also had two freshmen finish fifth, (it shows) where this program is heading."

Boys basketball teamon three-game skid

Although the boys basketball team closed the regular season with three losses, coach Dave Gustin knows the Division II district tournament represents a fresh start.

"It was nice that we had that winning streak, but now it is one and done," he said. "We need to pick it up."

The Lions' three-game skid follows an eight-game winning streak. They are 13-9 overall and finished 9-5 in the MSL-Ohio.

After a 61-58 loss Feb. 8 to league champion Whitehall, the Lions fell 60-44 at Grandview on Feb. 11 and 62-46 at Worthington Christian on Feb. 14.

"I think after we got beat by Whitehall, we just had a letdown," Gustin said.

Niejel Young scored 16 points and Sam Nolan had 10 against Grandview. Young had 24 points against Worthington Christian.

Seeded 10th in the district tournament, the Lions play host to 16th-seeded Licking Valley at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21.

"(Licking Valley is) 15-7 and they are a really good team," Gustin said. "They have six kids averaging from eight to 14 points per game."

If the Lions win, they would play host to 20th-seeded Lakewood or visit seventh-seeded Whitehall in the second round Feb. 27.

"We'll round the wagons back up and go at it again," Gustin said.

Swimming seasonends at district

The boys and girls swimming and diving teams saw their season end Feb. 14 in the Division II district meet at Ohio State.

The boys tied for 21st (24) behind champion Dover (259) as 41 teams scored and the girls finished 20th (28) behind champion Columbus School for Girls (413) as 30 teams scored.

"I thought our effort as a team was strong," coach Natalie Mossman said. "I did not really have any anticipation of placement for either team, so I am happy with their finishes.

"We had a small contingent at districts with a few swimmers in scoring position, so overall placement is not a specific goal at this point in the program's development."

For the girls, sophomore Tyler Mansfield placed 10th in the 50-yard freestyle (26.06 seconds) and 14th in the 100 backstroke (1:04.7).

"We came to the decision to pursue the backstroke late in the season for Tyler, so I felt her effort will help give her confidence and encouragement for chasing this event in the next season," Mossman said.

Junior Abbey Early was 24th in the 100 butterfly (1:12.73) and sophomore Sofia Kuspan placed 25th in the 100 breaststroke (1:19.88). Sophomore Maggie Jones qualified for district in the 100 free, but did not compete because of an injury, according to Mossman.

All three of the girls relays improved on their time from sectional the previous week. The 200 medley relay of junior Megan Myers, senior Jocie Steinke, Mansfield and Kuspan was 12th (2:05.37), the 200 free relay of Myers, Early, sophomore Bryn Harding and Steinke was 15th (1:56.04) and the 400 free relay of Steinke, senior Carly Berndt, Early and Harding was 15th (4:23.95).

For the boys, senior Marek Kuspan placed eighth in the 200 free (1:57.75) and 16th in the 500 free (5:30.63).

"Marek had a great swim in his 200 free," Mossman said. "He looked strong."

In the 100 breast, junior Alex Musick was 23rd (1:11.91) and freshman Andy Carper was 30th (1:14.79).

The 400 free relay of senior Sam Beckett, junior Patrick Lape, junior Gray Wilson and Kuspan placed 11th (3:48.36), and senior Ryan Reed, Carper, Musick and Beckett were 23rd in the 200 medley relay (2:03.44).

Girls basketball teamset for district opener

The girls basketball team finished the regular season 9-12 overall and 9-5 in the MSL-Ohio.

Last week, the Lions won league games over West Jefferson (35-34 on Feb. 10) and London (42-35 on Feb. 13) and lost to Hartley 48-23 on Feb. 11.

Seeded 15th in the Division III district tournament, Bexley opens Thursday, Feb. 20, against 11th-seeded Galion Northmor or 16th-seeded Columbus Academy.

The winner plays top-seeded Africentric or 22nd-seeded Mount Gilead in a district semifinal Tuesday, Feb. 25, at Granville.