Tony Anderson made a memorable debut for the Groveport Madison High School boys basketball team.

Tony Anderson made a memorable debut for the Groveport Madison High School boys basketball team.

The 6-foot-8 senior forward made the winning shot from the key as time expired in a 60-58 victory over host Pickerington Central in an OCC-Ohio Division game Jan. 16.

Anderson, a Division I college recruit who played for Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy last season, finished with 22 points and seven rebounds.

"I'm glad my team and coaches have that much faith in me," said Anderson, who had to sit out the first half of the season because of the OHSAA transfer rule. "It was my first game back and I think my performance was a bit iffy, but my teammates stuck with me the whole game. I wanted to take the (winning) shot."

Leading 56-50, Groveport made just two of six free-throw attempts in the final 1 minute, 39 seconds, and Central tied the score at 58 with 32 seconds left. The Cruisers then called a timeout with 11 seconds left and coach Ryan Grashel set up a play.

"We ran a play to get Tony a look on the block because (Central) couldn't handle him on the block," point guard Tyus Ferguson said. "The play broke down a little, but (Anderson) rolled back to the basket and I was able to get a clean delivery pass and (Anderson) finished it."

Ferguson had 11 points, going 9-for-12 from the foul line in the fourth quarter, and Tre Charles-Martin scored eight, as eight players scored for the Cruisers, who improved to 2-4 in the OCC-Ohio and were 5-7 overall before playing Chillicothe on Jan. 20.

"Both teams had foul trouble, but the thing around here is that we know we can't just have five guys playing well. We need 10," Grashel said. "We were without two of our guys (because of injury) and we were in foul trouble. But when Tyus was on the bench in foul trouble, we had guys come in and handle the ball well."

Groveport led 14-10 after the first quarter and 30-27 at halftime but trailed 40-39 entering the fourth quarter.

"We knew if we sat in our zone with Tony and (6-7 forward Carmearl Thomas) that we'd be able to control the tempo, and we did that for three-and-a-half quarters," Grashel said. "They sped us up a little too much there at the end of the third quarter and early in the fourth when we struggled to hand the ball well."

The game marked the first time this season that Groveport has won by four points or fewer. The Cruisers entered the week having lost three games decided by that margin.

Wrestling team awaitsreturn of Solack, Buck

The wrestling team is hoping to get its top two performers back for the start of the Division I state team tournament Wednesday, Jan. 28.

"We're without two of our top guys in Malcolm Solack (220 pounds) and Marshall Buck (170) because of injury and those guys usually give us a spark on the mats," coach Mark Niemann said. "Their presence and effort in the (wrestling) room and in matches lifts the guys around them."

The Cruisers are seeded seventh in the eight-team Region 5-B and will face second-seeded Pickerington North in the first round at a site to be announced. The winner will face third-seeded Teays Valley or sixth-seeded Hamilton Township in a quarterfinal after the conclusion of the first-round matches.

Groveport lost to North 55-15 in an OCC-Ohio dual Jan. 8.

"We got banged up by Pickerington North in our dual, so it's not a good matchup," Niemann said. "However, I am interested to see if our guys can make adjustments to become more competitive. If we can go out there and compete, that's something we can build on. So far, we haven't gotten after our opponents. We've got to toughen up."

Buck had the only non-forfeit win against North, but Solack did not compete against the Panthers because of an injury sustained Jan. 3 in the Kevin Cleveland Memorial Tournament at Dublin Scioto.

Neither Buck nor Solack competed Jan. 15 when Groveport lost to Pickerington Central 55-18 and lost to Grove City 72-9 to fall to 0-4 in the OCC-Ohio. The Cruisers have a league dual against Newark on Thursday, Jan. 22.

Girls basketball teamcan't hang on for win

The girls basketball team had a five-game losing streak and was 2-11 overall before playing Franklin Heights on Jan. 20.

Groveport fell short against Gahanna Christian, losing 59-56 on Jan. 12 at home, before being blown out by visiting Pickerington Central 72-26 on Jan. 16 to fall to 0-7 in the OCC-Ohio.

The Cruisers led Gahanna Christian 46-34 through three quarters but were outscored 25-10 in the fourth.

Groveport had four players score in double figures against Grove City Christian. Imani Johnson had 18 points, followed by Diaba Diane with 15, Antoinette Williams with 11 and Carlisha Hayes with 10.

Diane had a team-high 12 points against Central.

Boys bowling teamremains in title hunt

The boys bowling team remained in the chase for two league championships entering a key match against Pickerington North on Jan. 20.

Both teams were 11-0 overall and 8-0 in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-South before their match. The Cruisers and Panthers entered the week tied for second in the 16-team league behind Whitehall, which was 9-0.

The match also had OCC-Ohio implications, as Groveport was 5-0 in the league and North was 3-0.

Through 11 matches, Brandon Klentz had a team-high 205.6 game average, followed by Jordan Bennett (199), Chaz Wilson (192), James Jervis (184.8) and Dakota Harmon (165).

The girls team is 1-8 overall, 1-6 in the 13-team COHSBC-South and 0-3 in the five-team OCC-Ohio. Its next match is Tuesday, Jan. 27, against Worthington Kilbourne at Capri Lanes.

Liz Moore leads the Cruisers with a 167.3 average, followed by Bonnie Kyle (133.3) and Lea Klette (126.1).