The Whetstone High School swimming and diving teams are preparing for the City League meet Saturday, Feb. 1, at Columbus Aquatics Center.

The Whetstone High School swimming and diving teams are preparing for the City League meet Saturday, Feb. 1, at Columbus Aquatics Center.

Coach John DeRing thinks the boys team has a chance to unseat Northland as league champion. Last year, Whetstone scored 84 points to finish third (84) behind Northland (103) and Centennial (91) and ahead of Eastmoor Academy (13) and Beechcroft (8).

"If the boys swim well, they can beat Northland for the championship," DeRing said. "It'll be close and might come down to whoever wins the 200(-yard) medley relay. There's a good rivalry between the teams, so it's very interesting.

"Northland and us were the only two teams from the City League in the Northeast Classic (held Jan. 11 at Branin Natatorium in Canton). There was fantastic camaraderie between the teams. We rooted each other on and our parents and swimmers sat together."

Northland finished 36th (5) in the Northeast Classic behind champion Strongsville (216) as 39 teams scored. Whetstone, which did not score in the meet, finished 18th in the medley relay (1 minute, 53.96 seconds) and Northland finished 17th (1:53.49).

The Braves' 200 medley relay was comprised of senior Bert Pajor, junior David Basye and freshmen Connor Flanagan and Mitchell Nottage.

"Those four are our top swimmers and we'll need them in the medley relay and we'll need them to swim well in their individual events," DeRing said.

"Pajor is our leader and lone senior. He is the defending league champion in the 200 freestyle. I think he'll also swim the 100 butterfly (in the City meet). He can swim just about anything and likes to try new things. He's never afraid. He works very hard and is extremely supportive of the younger kids."

Flanagan, Nottage and Basye also are expected to swim in two individual events in the City meet. According to DeRing, Flanagan will compete in the 200 individual medley and the 100 backstroke, Nottage will compete in the 100 fly and 50 free and Basye will compete in the 100 breaststroke and 200 IM.

"Some other guys who have shown great improvement and could make an impact for us are Luke Green-Lauber, Sam Green-Lauber, Luke Woodward and Trevor Karnehm," DeRing said. "They've been getting better each week."

DeRing said it will be difficult for the girls team to win the City championship.

"Centennial has a lot of depth and we don't, so I don't know if we can catch them this year," he said. "But our young girls are getting better and I could see us making a run for the championship next year."

Last season, Whetstone finished second (99) in the league meet behind Centennial (132) and ahead of Northland (43), Eastmoor (74) and Beechcroft (20).

According to DeRing, the Braves have been led this season by senior Ellie Downie, juniors Karina Spulgis and Jennifer Basye, sophomores Natalie Hunt and Alice Pajor and freshman Abigail Falor.

"Spulgis is coming on strong at the end of the season, just like she did last year," DeRing said. "She just swam her second 100 breast of the season and it was amazing. I think we'll keep her in the 200 free but drop her from the 50 free to get her in the (100) breast, which will give us a strong one-two punch with Basye.

"Falor and Hunt have been getting better and better in the 50 free, so they can handle that. Hunt also is getting very good in the (100) fly. Downie is a fourth-year (varsity swimmer) who is strong in the (100) back, but Alice Pajor is pushing her and will be our backstroker of the future. It's going to be fun the next few years as these freshmen and sophomores move up."

Adair scores 30 forboys basketball team

The boys basketball team entered its game against Mifflin on Jan. 28 looking to end a six-game losing streak.

All of the losses were against City League-North Division opponents. Whetstone, which was 2-12 overall and 1-10 in the City-North before facing the Punchers, lost three games last week, falling to Columbus East 73-31 on Jan. 21, Linden-McKinley 67-58 on Jan. 23 and Northland 102-33 on Jan. 24.

Aaron Adair, a senior guard, scored 30 points, including four 3-pointers, against Linden.

"It was exciting to get a game like that, but it still didn't help us win. It would've meant more then," Adair said. "I was just on that night and everyone looked to me to take over because I was on.

"I normally run the point, but (Linden) denied me full-court, so coach (Kevin Arway) moved Brian Scott to the point and had me come off screens from Dexter Kowalski and Damarius Bradley. I was getting open for shots, so we stuck with it."

Kowalski added eight points against Linden.

Adair had eight points and Jordan Frazier scored seven against East, and Damarius Bradley had 11 points and Jack Staggs scored eight against Northland.

"I think we have some winnable games coming up, but we have to execute," Adair said. "Our biggest problem is allowing second-chance points. If we can limit those, we can win some games."

Northland cools offgirls basketball team

The girls basketball team had won three consecutive games and five of its previous six before losing to Northland 61-30 in a City-North game Jan. 24.

Whetstone, which was 11-6 overall and 6-5 in the City-North before playing Mifflin on Jan. 28, was unable to keep the score close against the Vikings like it had for much of the teams' first meeting, which Northland won 79-58 on Dec. 17.

In the rematch, the Braves trailed 25-8 after the first quarter, 41-15 at halftime and 52-19 after the third quarter. In the first meeting, they trailed by seven points through three quarters before being outscored 26-12 in the fourth quarter.

Whetstone defeated East 67-30 in a league game Jan. 21 as three players scored in double figures. Kalie Mascarello led the way with 19 points, followed by Lily Morris with 11, Brenna O'Sullivan with 10 and Emily Morrison with nine.

Morris had a team-high 16 points against Northland.

Whetstone travels to Centennial on Friday, Jan. 31, before closing the regular season Tuesday, Feb. 4, at home against Columbus International. Both are league opponents. The Braves lost to the Stars 52-39 on Dec. 20 but defeated the Lions 86-26 on Dec. 13.

The drawing for Division I district tournament will be held Sunday, Feb. 2. The tournament begins Feb. 15.

Wrestlers prepare forregular-season finale

The wrestling team will close out the regular season by competing in the 12-team Comet Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 1, at Central Crossing.

Also competing in the event are Briggs, Eastmoor, Franklin Heights, Groveport, Independence, Logan Elm, Loudon-ville, Mifflin, Teays Valley and Walnut Ridge.

Whetstone finished eighth (120) in the nine-team Jonathan Alder Invitational on Jan. 18 behind champion West Jefferson (283).

Seeded eighth of eight teams in Region 5-B of the Division I state team tournament, the Braves lost to top-seeded Westerville North 84-0 in the first round Jan. 22 at Olentangy.