The Licking Heights High School boys basketball team gave host Zanesville all it could handle for more than three quarters in a Division I district tournament second-round game March 5.

The Licking Heights High School boys basketball team gave host Zanesville all it could handle for more than three quarters in a Division I district tournament second-round game March 5.

But in the end, the Hornets fell 56-35 to finish 11-12.

Licking Heights trailed 35-29 early in the fourth. The 11th-seeded Blue Devils led 40-32 with a little more than three minutes left when the 30th-seeded Hornets went to trapping defenses to try to force turnovers. Zanesville capitalized with easy layups to pull away.

"I am so proud of our guys for their defensive effort and their resilience," coach Nathan Clark said. "The big difference was a very poor shooting game for us. We executed pretty well in just about all phases, but we just couldn't score and we've had extended stretches in games like that on and off throughout the season."

Zanesville closed on a 21-6 run, with 6-foot-4 senior forward Malik Bocook scoring seven of his 21 points during an 11-3 spurt that fueled the larger run.

"Ryan Singleton did a great job defensively on Bocook, but he missed a big chunk of the third quarter with a contacts issue," Clark said.

That hurt the Hornets' offense as well. Singleton, who had seven points, was one of just four Hornets to score, as they shot 14-for-48 from the floor. Marcos Yilma had 15 points and Chase Holskey had 10.

"We battled throughout," Clark said.

"We trailed 27-18 at halftime and 35-26 going into the fourth quarter. By the time we got close enough to them, they were able to chew up clock and be patient until we had to start gambling defensively. We made them work for it. I'm proud of these guys."

Sophomore triowrestles at district

Sophomores Josiah Harrell, L.A. Kelly and Dereck Wilson represented the wrestling team in the Division I district tournament March 6 and 7 at Hilliard Darby.

Each was seeking to finish in the top four of his weight class to earn a berth to state Thursday, March 12, through Saturday, March 14, at Ohio State. The three advanced to district by placing in the top four during a sectional Feb. 28 at Newark.

Harrell won the title at 160 pounds, beating Mount Vernon's Lane Hinkle 9-7 in overtime in his final. He won his other matches by pin.

"Josiah had a heck of a day," coach Bo Ramsey said. "Everything was clicking for him. He pinned one of the top kids (Olentangy Liberty's Jake Kendzerski) in the district in his semifinal. (Hinkle) was a state qualifier last year who beat Josiah a few weeks ago."

Wilson finished second at 170, getting pinned by Liberty's Cole Fitzpatrick in the championship match. He reached that match with a pair of third-period pins.

Kelly finished third at 152. He was pinned by Lancaster's Ian Strang in the first round and won a pair of matches to move back into the third-place match, in which he defeated Strang 5-0.

"Dereck Wilson was the surprise of the tournament, except for his teammates and coaches because we've really seen him coming on strong in the past four or five weeks," Ramsey said. "He beat two of the top three seeds in the tournament.

"L.A. made one mistake and it cost him. He was leading Strang 14-0 in the first match, but got caught in a funky roll-down and couldn't get out. But he really knuckled up and bounced back from a mistake like great athletes do. You have to have a short memory and just get back after it."

The Hornets finished seventh (70) behind champion Liberty (235.5) in the 11-team sectional.

Senior Ty Yeager finished fifth at 138 and was a district alternate. He was a district qualifier as a sophomore but missed last season because of an injury.

"It was a very tough sectional and 138 had to be the most difficult of any of the four sectionals," Ramsey said. "I also think he was a victim of the new seeding criteria because his previous credentials (sophomore season) didn't count. So he had a tougher draw and wasn't in a good spot (on the bracket)."

Girls basketball teameliminated by Gahanna

The season ended Feb. 27 for the girls basketball team with a 78-18 loss at sixth-seeded Gahanna in the second round of the Division I district tournament.

Crystal Jackson had 11 points but none of her teammates scored more than two.

The Hornets, who were seeded 41st of 47 teams and had a first-round bye, finished 6-17.