For the second time in Bill Spencer's three seasons as coach, the Northland High School girls basketball team will meet Africentric for the City League championship.

For the second time in Bill Spencer's three seasons as coach, the Northland High School girls basketball team will meet Africentric for the City League championship.

The title game is at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, at Columbus South.

The relationship between Spencer and Nubians coach Will McKinney, though, goes back much further.

Spencer, whose team lost to the Nubians 49-38 for the City title in 2014 but didn't make the league championship game last season, coached Independence to three City-South titles in eight seasons before stepping down after the 2006-07 season.

McKinney was new to prep coaching when he became the first coach in Africentric history in the 2003-04 season.

"I'm excited about (the City championship game)," McKinney said. "He's been around for eons and it's always an honor to coach against him. He's coached in a few City championship games, not to mention that when I first started coaching he was giving me a real serious whipping."

Northland split with 2015 City League-North Division champion Centennial this season, but because the Stars had competed in the City final last season, the Vikings won the tiebreaker.

Northland lost to Mansfield Senior 77-49 on Jan. 30 and was 16-4 overall before playing Walnut Ridge on Feb. 3. The Vikings finished 13-1 in the City-North.

Africentric is 15-4 overall and finished 12-0 in the City-South.

Last season, the Vikings beat the Nubians 53-27 in a regular-season game.

One Northland player who should be distinctly familiar with the Nubians is senior Rahnia Price, who transferred from Eastmoor Academy shortly before the season.

Price started for the Warriors last season when they beat the Nubians during the second round of league play to snap Africentric's 10-year run of reaching the league final.

Price and junior Taylor Pearson, who was averaging 19 points and 12 rebounds through 19 games, lead Northland.

"We're playing pretty well, but we still need to fix a few things, especially before the district tournament gets here," Spencer said. "We're coming along, especially since we had to replace four starters from last year. We're still tinkering around to get better chemistry, but it's coming."

Africentric won 68-58 on Jan. 27 over Newark, a Division I program that reached a state semifinal last season. Senior forward Zharia Lenoir had 22 points, junior guard/forward Leah Morrow scored 19, freshman point guard Jordan Horston scored 13 and junior forward Kynnedy Azubike added 12 for the Nubians.

"(The key for us is) just knocking down shots," McKinney said. "Northland is going to play a packed-in 2-3 zone. If we're not knocking down shots, that means they're going to get some shots."

Briggs girls bowlers, Brown aiming high

Losing the state individual champion from last season to graduation hasn't dampened the Briggs girls bowling team's hopes of another great finish.

The Bruins no longer have Tori Pappas, who attends Wright State after helping Briggs finish 15th at state in 2013, sixth in 2014 and eighth a year ago.

What the Bruins do have is one of central Ohio's deepest teams under coach Jim Martiny, who is in his 37th year as a coach at Briggs and has 19 players in his program.

Briggs was 9-1 overall and second in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-South Division with the same record before competing against Pickerington Central on Feb. 1 and Columbus South on Feb. 2.

"I knew by the end of the year that we'd be as good as last year because we're better at the bottom end of our lineup," Martiny said. "I'm almost seven- or eight-deep."

Briggs will compete in the COHSBC Roll-Off on Monday, Feb. 8, at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl and then will face Whetstone for the City championship Tuesday, Feb. 9, at HP Lanes.

The City boys tournament also will be held Tuesday, Feb. 9, but the teams are still to be determined.

Renee Chalfant, Brittany Hitch and Mara Caldwell, who all have been averaging 180 or better, have led the Bruins.

The area's best girls bowler all season also plays for a City program: Eastmoor sophomore Averi Brown.

Brown entered the week leading the COHSBC with a 212 average. Last season, she finished 17th (558) in the Division II state tournament. The Warriors will compete in Division I for this year's postseason.

"She's a lot more mature and her focus is better than last year," Eastmoor coach Kevin Towns said. "Her game has always been there and she's worked on her mental game."

Scots wrestlers win City dual title

The Walnut Ridge wrestling team captured its second consecutive City League dual title.

On Jan. 28, the Scots defeated Mifflin 51-27 in a semifinal and West 42-30 for the championship.

The Punchers finished third and Whetstone was fourth.

The individual City tournament will be held Feb. 13 at Linden-McKinley.

City swimmers prep for league meet

The City League swimming and diving meet will be held Saturday, Feb. 6, at Columbus Aquatics Center.

Whetstone swept the team titles in last year's five-team City meet. The Braves won the boys meet with 192 points, ahead of Centennial (133), Northland (70), Eastmoor (47) and Beechcroft (6), and finished first in the girls meet with 160 points, ahead of Centennial (152), Northland (64), Beechcroft (58) and Eastmoor (44).

Scots still leading City-South boys race

The Walnut Ridge boys basketball team lost to Briggs 45-44 on Jan. 22 for its first City-South loss, but could have locked up a berth in the City championship game with a win over Africentric on Feb. 2.

The Scots entered the week 14-4 overall and 11-1 in the City-South. They close their league schedule Friday, Feb. 5, at home against West.

South was 15-4 overall and 9-3 in the City-South before playing West on Feb. 2. The Bulldogs close the league schedule Friday, Feb. 5, at home against Briggs.

Walnut Ridge lost to Dublin Coffman 63-58 on Jan. 23 in the Ohio Scholastic Play-by-Play Classic at Ohio Dominican, but bounced back to beat Eastmoor 55-47 in a league game Jan. 26.

The Scots have been to the City championship game four of the last five seasons, losing each time.

Entering the week, Africentric and West both were 8-4 in the City-South and Briggs was 7-5.

The Nubians were 13-5 overall before playing Walnut Ridge on Feb. 2. They beat Wellington 71-67 on Jan. 30 in a game that could help determine the top seed for the Division IV district tournament.