Now that the Northland High School boys basketball team has one of its biggest goals checked off, it officially can begin talking about what it will take to defend its Division I state championship.

Now that the Northland High School boys basketball team has one of its biggest goals checked off, it officially can begin talking about what it will take to defend its Division I state championship.

At least that was the message from senior J.D. Weatherspoon, who along with senior Jared Sullinger celebrated a fourth consecutive undefeated run through the City League last Saturday after a 65-52 victory over Marion-Franklin in the City championship game at Columbus East.

"We just keep making history," Weatherspoon said. "To go four years undefeated in the City and winning the City championship, it's just amazing. It's a one-and-done season now, and we want to bring the state title back to Columbus."

The Vikings' win last Saturday gave them a fourth consecutive perfect run through the City-North Division and a 59th consecutive league victory, including the four City titles. In 2007-08, Northland had one of its league games against East canceled because of the death of an East student and didn't reschedule it because the game would have had no bearing on the title race.

Before a sold-out crowd last Saturday, Sullinger scored 25 points and had 12 rebounds. Weatherspoon had 16 points and nine rebounds and Trey Burke had 12 points and five rebounds. The Red Devils fell behind 21-10 at the end of the first quarter and never got closer than eight points the rest of the game.

"They're all good kids, and that's why it feels so good," coach Satch Sullinger said. "It took us about two or three possessions to see where they were doubling from. We didn't want to play their tempo, we wanted to play ours."

The Vikings take a 19-0 record into their district tournament opener Friday at Hilliard Bradley against 29th-seeded Marysville or 38th-seeded Groveport, which played last Tuesday.

"At halftime (last Saturday), we just said we need to do what we do," Sullinger said. "We played real hard and we deserved this. Our next game is Friday and we're going to come to the tournament and act like nothing ever happened."

•The fifth-seeded girls basketball team opened the postseason with a 64-33 victory over Central Crossing on Feb. 18 and faced Newark in the second round last Wednesday.

If the Vikings beat Newark, they play eighth-seeded Gahanna or Worthington Kilbourne in a district semifinal March 3 at Olentangy Liberty.

The Vikings and Gahanna have two common opponents.

Northland lost to Pickerington North 60-45 on Nov. 28, but later was awarded a win because the Panthers used an ineligible player. Gahanna lost to North 49-46 on Dec. 22 and 51-50 on Feb. 2. The Vikings also lost 46-39 on Dec. 28 to Reynoldsburg, which defeated the Lions 44-34 on Jan. 8 and 46-39 on Feb. 12.

While Gahanna's biggest strength is post player Haley Schmitt, a Cleveland State-signee, the Vikings have received strong guard play.

Freshman Alexis Peterson had 20 points against the Comets to help compensate for the limited availability of senior guard Tiffany Hudson, who sprained an ankle on Feb. 14 after slipping on ice. She played only four minutes against Central Crossing.

"We looked a little sloppy because we hadn't played a lot, but we still played pretty well in spurts," coach Dean Washington said. "Alexis, I think, hit that freshman wall (in late January), but having that 10 days off maybe helped her."

•The wrestling team didn't have any district qualifiers from the Pickerington Central sectional last Saturday.

Brandon Neal is a district alternate after finishing fifth at 130 pounds. Adam Bray placed sixth at 112.

Bray was leading Liberty's John Pfleiderer 6-3 in his quarterfinal but was pinned in 5 minutes, 20 seconds.

"We didn't quite make it to district, but that's the most I've had make it to the (finals)," coach Toby Hawk said.

"I thought both of them had a legitimate shot to win their (district-qualifying) matches."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Northland boys basketball, girls basketball, boys and girls bowling, boys and girls swimming and diving and wrestling teams:


*Feb. 11 -- Defeated Beechcroft 86-60

*Feb. 12 -- Def. Mifflin 82-45

Last Saturday -- Def. Marion-Franklin 65-52 in City League championship game at Columbus East

Friday -- At Hilliard Bradley (6:15 p.m.) vs. Marysville or Groveport in first round of the Division I tournament. The winner plays in a district semifinal at 7 p.m. March 6 in the Fairgrounds Coliseum.

Of note: The Vikings are 19-0 overall and finished 14-0 in the City League-North Division.


Feb. 12 -- Def. Marion-Franklin 89-35

Feb. 18 -- Def. Central Crossing 64-33 in first round of the Division I tournament at Dublin Jerome

Last Wednesday -- Played Newark in second round of the tournament. The winner plays in a district semifinal at 8:15 p.m. March 3 at Olentangy Liberty against eighth-seeded Gahanna or Worthington Kilbourne. The Vikings are the fifth seed.

Of note: The Vikings were 18-3 before last Wednesday.


Last Friday -- Boys: Finished 21st (3,259) in 32-team sectional at Eastland Lanes behind champion Westerville Central (4,350); Girls: Finished 24th (2,348) in 26-team sectional at Eastland Lanes behind champion Westerville Central (3,998)


Feb. 12-13 -- Boys: Finished 12th (10) in 15-team Division I sectional meet at Thomas Worthington behind champion Thomas (202). Advancing to district were the 200 free relay (24th overall, 1:43.11), the 400 free relay (22nd, 3:53.2) and the 200 medley relay (21st, 1:59.04); Girls: Did not score in 14-team sectional at Thomas. The 400 free relay took 29th (4:35.43).

Last Saturday -- Boys: Did not score at district meet in Ohio State's McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. The 200 medley relay finished 22nd (1:58.08), the 200 free relay was 24th (1:41.24) and the 400 free relay placed 22nd (3:49.5); Girls: Did not score at district meet. The 400 free relay finished 29th (4:29.75).


Feb. 12-13 -- Finished ninth (87.5) in 14-team City League tournament at Columbus South behind champion Marion-Franklin (290.5). Adam Bray (112) was first and Brandon Neal (130) was runner-up.

Last Saturday -- Finished 12th (21) in 13-team Division I sectional at Pickerington Central behind champion Olentangy Liberty (260). Neal (130) finished fifth and Bray (112) was sixth.

*City-North game