Two of Gahanna Lincoln High School's perennially strong girls programs had extra reason to celebrate last week.

Two of Gahanna Lincoln High School's perennially strong girls programs had extra reason to celebrate last week.

The bowling team, which settled for runner-up finishes in its division of the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference in both 2012 and 2013, captured its first championship in the COHSBC-North and also won the OCC-Cardinal when it beat Hilliard Darby 2,055-1,773 on Jan. 28 at Ten Pin Alley.

Then on Jan. 30 at Thomas Worthington, the swimming and diving team increased its streak of OCC-Ohio titles to three.

While the swimming team is off until Feb. 13 when it competes in a Division I sectional at Thomas, the bowling team will battle in the COHSBC roll-off tournament Monday, Feb. 8, at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl and then compete in the Division I sectional Feb. 20 at Columbus Square Bowling Palace.

Girls bowlers finish perfect in league

With the win over Darby, the girls bowling team improved to 12-0 overall and in the COHSBC-North and finished 5-0 in the OCC-Cardinal.

Westerville South finished second (4-1) in the OCC-Cardinal, followed by Darby (3-2) and Westerville North (2-3). Westerville Central and Worthington Kilbourne both were 0-4 in the league before meeting Feb. 2.

Briann McKnight was averaging 185.6, seventh overall in the COHSBC before Feb. 2.

Other key bowlers have included Breanna White (166.4), Olivia Michael (159.7), Delaney Ferguson (151.7), Shannon Gonzales (144.0) and Emily Klopfer (140.4).

"We're undefeated (in dual matches), which is a huge deal," coach Kelly Ferguson said. "They've bowled great and bowled great under pressure."

The boys team, which begins the postseason Feb. 19 with the Division I sectional at the Palace, finished 8-7 overall and in the COHSBC-North and went 4-1 in the OCC-Cardinal. Central was 4-0 in the OCC-Cardinal before facing Kilbourne on Feb. 2.

Austin McKnight leads the boys in average (186.8), followed by Julian Nitsch (179.3), Sal Ferrante (178.4), Nick Vernon (173.4) and Tim Mathews (168.7).

Girls swimmers add to title streak

The girls swimming team won the OCC-Ohio meet by three points more than last season, scoring 396 to finish ahead of Pickerington North (306), Lancaster (154), Pickerington Central (153), Reynoldsburg (111), Grove City (91) and Newark (31).

Last season, Gahanna beat runner-up North by 87 points.

Regan Nolan won the 200-yard freestyle (2 minutes, 2.44 seconds) and 500 free (5:31.56). She also swam on the winning 200 free relay (1:43.8) with Dominique Vaccani, Payton Vogelgesang and Ally Wharton and on the first-place 400 free relay (3:52.75) with Lydia Gilger, Hannah Snedden and Vaccani.

"It was definitely a special moment with me being a senior," Nolan said. "We won by 90 points, so it was a big day. Our relays are always huge for us."

Also winning were Vogelgesang in the 50 free (25.69), Wharton in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.35), Snedden in the 100 backstroke (1:02.61) and the 200 medley relay (1:52.81) of Gilger, Snedden, Vogelgesang and Wharton.

The Lions took the top four spots in diving, with Maycey Vieta winning (522.8) and Lauren Payne finishing second (406.35).

The boys team finished fifth (136) behind North (261), Grove City (258), Lancaster (230) and Central (158) and ahead of Reynoldsburg (114) and Newark (13). It was North's sixth consecutive title.

Major Belli led the Lions with a runner-up finish in the 200 individual medley (2:01.79).

Boys basketball team continues to roll

The type of regular-season success the boys basketball team is enjoying is nothing new under coach Tony Staib.

The Lions lost their only game of the 2009-10 season in a Division I state semifinal. They followed that by losing just one regular-season game in 2010-11, finishing as a regional semifinalist.

Before playing Grove City on Feb. 2, the Lions were 18-1 overall and 10-1 in the OCC-Ohio.

"Our (state tournament) team in 2010 started off 20-0 and then we started the next year 16-1, so we've had some teams get off to good starts like this one," Staib said. "Looking back, I think the springboard to this season was our trip to Florida."

In the Battle at the Villages from Dec. 28-30 in Orlando, Gahanna won all three of its games to capture the title.

The Lions had won 14 in a row before playing Grove City, including over Groveport 75-73 in double overtime Jan. 15.

They held Reynoldsburg's Mark Fair, who has been averaging more than 20 points, to one point in a 53-42 victory Jan. 26 and then blew past Lancaster 72-48 on Jan. 29.

Gahanna plays Friday, Feb. 5, at Pickerington North and then closes the regular season Feb. 12 at home against Pickerington Central.

In league play, Central was 9-2 and Newark was 8-3 before meeting Feb. 2.

The Lions' 77-59 victory Jan. 22 at Newark avenged a 65-61 loss Dec. 11.

Nick Ward was averaging 20.8 points through 19 games and is second on the program's all-time scoring list with 1,260 points, behind Stevie Taylor (1,464).

"We've just been jelling together as a team and made a commitment to the defensive end of the floor," Staib said. "This will be a huge week for us."

Wrestlers fall in team tourney

The wrestling team lost to top-seeded and host Lancaster 48-18 on Jan. 27 in the third round of the Division I state team tournament.

The fourth-seeded Lions opened the event by beating fifth-seeded Logan 42-25 on Jan. 27 in a second-round match in Region 5-B.

On Jan. 30, Gahanna finished sixth (156) in the 12-team Rieman Invitational at Delaware behind champion Massillon Perry (285.5). Nick Garbark (220 pounds), Doland Martin (182) and Austin Torr (195) all finished second, Jacob Hutt (138) was third, Luke Hess (170) placed fourth and Carl Turner (160) finished sixth.

The Lions are 3-2 in the OCC-Ohio and continue league action Thursday, Feb. 4, at Pickerington North.

Girls basketball team receives 21st seed

The girls basketball team is seeded 21st for the Division I district tournament and will open the postseason Feb. 13 at 15th-seeded Mount Vernon.

Before playing Grove City on Feb. 2, the Lions were 10-10 overall and 6-6 in the OCC-Ohio. They close the regular season Friday, Feb. 5, at home against Pickerington North.