Keilah Ketron stepped to the free-throw line on Feb. 16 with her Northridge High School girls basketball team leading Caledonia River Valley by four points and 13 seconds remaining in their Division III district tournament game at Dublin Scioto.

Keilah Ketron stepped to the free-throw line on Feb. 16 with her Northridge High School girls basketball team leading Caledonia River Valley by four points and 13 seconds remaining in their Division III district tournament game at Dublin Scioto.

The 6-foot-2 senior post player made both free throws and the Vikings went on to a 41-35 victory for their first tournament win since 2002.

"I know it's been a while (since the Vikings had won in the postseason)," said Ketron, who scored 15 of her 19 points in the second half. "I'm a senior and we have not won in my four years or during my years of middle school. I'm glad we were finally able to do it."

In 2002, the Vikings were the sixth seed and had a first-round bye. They then defeated Johnstown-Monroe 49-45 in a second-round game before losing to North Union 54-53 in a district semifinal. Since then, Northridge had lost its previous eight tournament games.

"These girls have finally learned how to win. That's something they weren't doing earlier in the season," first-year coach Ashley Holmberg said. "They have played great in the last five games of the regular season and we want to continue doing that."

The Vikings also improved to 11-10 for their first non-losing season since 2002. That's saying a lot for a team that won only three games in the 2009-10 season and did not win a game in 2008-09. Before this season, the program had won only eight games in four seasons.

Northridge advanced to play Mount Gilead in a second-round game at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, at Granville. The ninth-seeded Indians are 11-9 and had a first-round bye.

Mount Gilead lost to River Valley 65-37 on Nov. 30. The Indians also lost to Fredericktown 55-52 on Nov. 26. Northridge beat Fredericktown 31-23 on Dec. 2 and lost to the Freddies 39-38 on Jan. 15.

On Dec. 29, Mount Gilead lost to East Knox 70-60. The Vikings lost to East Knox 46-34 on Dec. 4 and beat the Bulldogs 42-37 on Feb. 10. The Indians also defeated Sparta Highland 63-57 on Jan. 7, but Northridge lost to the Scots 43-36 on Jan. 26.

"We're not going to change a whole lot right now for anyone," Holmberg said. "We're going to go with the things that make us successful. We are going to work the ball around until we can get it into Kei or drive in for a layup."

Northridge started slow against River Valley. The teams were tied at 4 with 1:50 left in the first quarter, but River Valley went on a 6-0 run for a 10-4 lead entering the second period.

Senior Kaela Hatfield hit a short jumper in the final minute of the third period to give Northridge a 26-25 lead, its first since the opening quarter. Ketron then scored nine of her team's 15 fourth-quarter points to seal the victory.

"We were a little nervous coming out at the start of the game," said Ketron, who also had 13 rebounds and four blocks. "It's one and done in the tournament if you lose. We really wanted to win and had to settle down. We don't want the season to end."

Lauren Cornwell scored 11 points with four rebounds for Northridge, and Sara Pribonic had three steals and four rebounds.

•The boys basketball team will open Division III district tournament play at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23, at Newark against Galion Northmor in a first-round game.

The Vikings are the 11th seed in the district and Northmor, the 12th seed, jumped at the chance to play Northridge.

"Yeah, they wanted to play us," said coach John Wheeler, whose team was 12-7 overall before playing Utica on Feb. 18. "They played three MBC teams and beat two of them. so I guess that's why they went after us."

The Golden Eagles defeated Centerburg 75-71 on Dec. 3 and East Knox 75-54 on Jan. 18. Northmor lost to Fredericktown 61-40 on Dec. 28.

Northridge swept East Knox this season, winning 67-59 on Dec. 14 and 52-43 on Jan. 25, and split with Centerburg, losing 60-53 on Dec. 27 and winning 55-47 on Jan. 28. The Vikings were swept by Fredericktown, losing 50-43 on Jan. 21 and 45-35 on Feb. 5.

The winner plays eighth-seeded Horizon Science in a second-round game at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, at Newark. That winner plays in a district semifinal against top-seeded Heath, Ready or Berne Union at 8 p.m. March 2 in the Fairgrounds Coliseum.

"We saw Horizon Science play Danville and we thought they might be a good matchup for us," Wheeler said. "We hadn't seen (ninth-seeded) Fairbanks, so we went with what we knew something about."

Horizon Science is 18-2, losing to Liberty Union 46-45 on Dec. 30 and Hamilton Township 60-58 on Jan. 17.

In the MBC standings before Feb. 18, Fredericktown had clinched the outright title at 12-1 with Northridge and Utica in a tie for second at 10-3. Centerburg was fourth at 8-5 followed by East Knox at 5-8, Loudonville at 3-10 and both Danville and Johnstown at 2-11.

•The boys and girls swimming teams advanced in one event each to the Division II district meet, which concluded Feb. 19 at Ohio State.

The top three boys in each event and the top four girls in each event advanced to the Division II state meet Wednesday to Friday, Feb. 23-25, at Branin Natatorium in Canton. The remainder of the field will be announced Sunday, Feb. 20, from the remaining top times throughout the state.

Both teams competed in the 400-yard relay at district. The boys relay of Brandon Eckstein, Joe Larson, Beau Hammock and Paul Hager was seeded 27th at district after finishing sixth in 4 minutes, 25.71 seconds in the Columbus Academy sectional, which concluded Feb. 12.

The girls relay of Brittany Hupp, Vivian Carney, Allison Everhart and Mickellea Tennis finished in 4:35 and was seeded 26th at district. The time was good for ninth at the Academy sectional.

At the sectional, the Northridge boys finished 12th (22 points) of 20 teams behind champion Granville (283). The girls finished 14th (12) of 16 teams behind champion Granville (281).


Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Northridge boys basketball, girls basketball and wrestling teams:


*Feb. 11 - Defeated Loudonville 47-35. Aaron Estep scored 18 points and Tony Rios added eight points.

Feb. 15 - Lost to Tree of Life 47-46 (OT). Estep had 12 points and Justin Howard added 11.

*Feb. 18 - Played Utica

Feb. 23 - Galion Northmor in first round of Division III district tournament, 6 p.m. at Newark. Winner plays eighth-seeded Horizon Science in second round, 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, at Newark. Winner plays top-seeded Heath, Ready or Berne Union in district semifinal, 8 p.m. March 2 in the Fairgrounds Coliseum.

Of note: The Vikings were 12-7 overall and 10-3 in the MBC before Feb. 18.


*Feb. 12 - Def. Utica 47-44. Kelsey Garrabrant scored 11 points and Keilah Ketron added nine points, 10 rebounds and five blocks.

Feb. 16 - Def. Caledonia River Valley 41-35 in first round of Division III district tournament

Feb. 24 - Ninth-seeded Mount Gilead in second round of tournament, 6 p.m. at Granville. Winner plays Newark Catholic or Columbus School for Girls in district semifinal, 6 p.m. March 1 at Olentangy Orange.

Of note: The Vikings are 11-10 overall and finished 7-7 in the MBC.


*Feb. 12 - Finished second in MBC duals at Centerburg. Utica won the championship dual 58-18 over the Vikings. Thomas Williams (130) won a title for Northridge with Parker Fox (112), Jeffrey Maynard (119), Shane Mulligan (130) and Jacob Burke (160) all taking second.

Feb. 18-19 - Competed in Division III sectional at Cardington. Top four in each weight class advanced to district, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25-26, at Coshocton. The top four in each weight class at district advance to state March 3-5 at Ohio State.

*MBC contests