Several of the City League's 14 wrestling teams found significantly more reasons for enjoyment at the Division I and II sectional tournaments last weekend compared to a year ago.

Several of the City League's 14 wrestling teams found significantly more reasons for enjoyment at the Division I and II sectional tournaments last weekend compared to a year ago.

It was a particularly good day last Saturday for Marion-Franklin High School, which increased its number of qualifiers from four to six for the Division I district tournament Friday and Saturday at Hilliard Darby.

Overall, there will be 15 City wrestlers competing at Darby and five competitors at the Division II district tournament at Uhrichsville Claymont looking to earn berths to the state tournament on March 4-6 in Ohio State's Schottenstein Center.

A total of 12 City wrestlers advanced to district between the two divisions last year.

The City's only returning state qualifier, Marion-Franklin senior Filandus Boyd, has a 31-1 record and faces Westerville North's Jon Youmans (18-14) in his district opener after winning a sectional title.

Also advancing for the Red Devils were Chad Jones (third at 140, 23-5 record), Rhallane Reese (third at 152, 32-4), Michael Patrick (fourth at 160, 19-9), Cameron Summers (second at 189, 15-5) and Rosean White (second at 215, 28-3).

"They all just put in the extra effort," said coach Derek Oney, whose team finished fourth (130) in the 13-team sectional at Pickerington Central. "The one advantage of City League teams is that they don't have a lot of experience, so by the end of the year they all come in hungry. A lot of the other kids here want to quit by the end of the year. I love this time of year."

Also advancing from Pickerington Central was Walnut Ridge's Cameron Trudell, who finished fourth at 215. He is 25-8 and faces Springboro's Ryan Jackson (31-6) in his district opener.

"I pinned the No. 2 seed (Olentangy Liberty's Matt Casey) in 33 seconds in my second match and I kind of shocked myself," said Trudell, who went 0-2 at district last year.

Advancing from the Division I Westland sectional where seven of the top 10 seeded teams competed were Whetstone's Spencer Tuttle (119) and Ben Leach (135) and West's Derrick Neimeister (160) and Jason Russell (189).

Advancing from the Watkins Memorial sectional were Brookhaven's Tien Trinh (fourth at 130, 20-12), Isaiah Ealy (fourth at 145, 30-13) and Louis Ford (second at 171, 31-5) and Briggs' Riky Davis (third at 135, 35-9).

Competing at district in Division II will be Centennial's Badr Tourtit (third at 112, 16-5), Stanley Hedricks (third at 119, 16-5), Shqiprim Hasani (third at 140, 25-5), Mifflin's Ezra Kenley (third at 215, 24-13) and Independence's Jajuan Ross (fourth at 125, 23-11).

•BOUNCING BACK -- The Africentric girls basketball team didn't let its 46-41 loss to Brookhaven on Feb. 13 in the City championship game linger into a poor opening Division III district tournament performance.

The top-seeded squad beat Linden 52-9 last Saturday to improve to 16-5 overall and advance to a second-round game last Tuesday against Mount Gilead.

If the Nubians won last Tuesday, they will play in a district semifinal at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Olentangy Orange against 12th-seeded Northridge or Marion Pleasant. The district final is March 6 at Orange.

Raven Ferguson finished with 16 points and Brittany Thomas and Quanita Fair both scored 10 last Saturday as the Nubians led 47-6 after three quarters.

"They've kind of got a little chip on their shoulder," coach Will McKinney said. "They responded the way I expected them to respond."

Eastmoor, which was the third seed in Division II, opened the tournament last Tuesday against Granville. The winner plays in a district semifinal Monday at Pickerington North against 11th-seeded Hartley or No. 12 Canal Winchester. Fifth-seeded East played its tournament opener last Tuesday against Buckeye Valley, with the winner playing Tuesday at North against fourth-seeded Utica or No. 7 Hilliard Bradley.

In Division I, fourth-seeded Brookhaven, No. 5 Northland and Briggs each won tournament openers.

•BOWLING NOTES -- The Walnut Ridge boys bowling team finished third (4,239), behind Westerville Central (4,350) and Pickerington North (4,266) at the Eastland Lanes sectional tournament last Friday to advance to the district tournament Saturday at HP Lanes.

Jason Ellenwood bowled a 715, including having 11 consecutive strikes during one stretch, to lead the Scots. Also competing for Walnut Ridge were Terry Thompson (649), Brandon Dye (606), Jeff Roth Jr. (595) and Chris King (539).

The Scots compete for the City championship on March 2 at Eastland against Briggs.

Also moving on to the boys district tournament were Linden's Christopher Polk (647) and Doug Niece (645) from the Rainbow Lanes sectional and Marion-Franklin's Dasan Williams (694) from the Eastland sectional.

Walnut Ridge's Holly Tilley, who became the first City girl to reach state last year, bowled a 623 at Eastland to finish second among individual district qualifiers behind Independence's Lenay Nichols (652). Eastmoor's Jordan Towns (469) also advanced from Eastland.

From the Rainbow Lanes sectional, Africentric's Aja Browning-Prysock (655) qualified individually.

•IN BOYS HOOPS -- The Marion-Franklin boys basketball team will look to bounce back from its 65-52 loss to Northland in the City championship game last Saturday at East when it opens the Division I tournament at 6:15 p.m. Saturday at Hilliard Bradley against Delaware or St. Charles.

The Red Devils, who are the eighth seed and could meet third-seeded Westerville South in a district semifinal if both teams win Saturday, has a 15-4 record.

Before losing to Northland, Marion-Franklin won 12 of its last 13.

Jeremy McCoy finished with 13 points and Travon Youngblood and Nate Spears each had 10 points, but Elijah Macon was held to five points last Saturday. Macon is a sophomore post player who has verbally committed to play for West Virginia.