The Bexley High School wrestling team has taken its first big step in the Division II postseason.
Now it's time for another stride.
The Lions advanced six wrestlers to the district tournament Friday, March 3, and Saturday, March 4, at Heath, where the top four finishers in each weight class advance to state March 9-11 at Ohio State.
On Feb. 25 at Whitehall, junior Grant Robinson won the title at 220 pounds to become Bexley's first sectional champion since Jake Weisman won at 112 in 2007. Weisman was the last Bexley wrestler to advance to state, finishing eighth in 2007.
"It's a start," coach Chris Bragg said. "Grant works hard in both the wrestling room and in the classroom. He's not only our first sectional champion in 10 years, but he also got a perfect 36 on his ACT. He's a great young man."
Robinson will be joined at district by seniors Jon Clark, Eric Crane and Perrin Ruff, junior Eliot Clark and sophomore Hunter Hilgeman. At sectional, Jon Clark was second at 160, Ruff (145) and Eliot Clark (182) placed third and Crane (152) and Hilgeman (138) finished fourth.
"It's all about getting someone to state," Jon Clark said. "This is just the first step. This is just to get out to district and plot a path to state."Video •Bexley's Jon Clark finished second at 160 pounds in a Division II sectional Feb. 25 at Whitehall. The senior advanced with five teammates to district March 3 and 4 at Heath.
Senior Jalen Hatton (195) and freshman Carter Brenner (106) finished fifth and are district alternates. Freshman Jake Brigdon (113) was sixth.
Juniors Ethan Gammage (heavyweight) and Reece Wilson (170) and sophomore William Musick (126) also competed.
The Lions finished fourth (127.5 points) of 13 teams behind Carrollton (251), Millersburg West Holmes (162) and Granville (130).
"We definitely had a tough road with the two state-caliber teams from the East District coming over," Bragg said. "Carrollton reached a state semifinal (in the team tournament) and West Holmes is a highly ranked team. We probably had the toughest sectional in the state, but getting to state is never easy."
Crane advanced to district for the fourth consecutive season despite having a tough draw.
"This was definitely the toughest sectional that I had to go through," he said. "There were five kids ranked in the top 40 in the state and only four can make it out. I'm happy to be able to get to district."
The Lions, however, don't want their season to end this weekend.
"This is what we train for. This is what all of the hard work is for," Bragg said of competing for state berths. "Hopefully, we can break through."
Munsell falls short
of state in bowling
Junior Douglas Munsell fell short of reaching the Division II boys state bowling tournament.
He finished 37th of 91 competitors with a three-game series of 520 in the district tournament Feb. 23 at HP Lanes. The top two individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to state Saturday, March 4, at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
Licking Valley's Jarrett Strait (668) and Fredericktown's Damian Kennedy (651) advanced as individuals. Ready's Ryan O'Harra (706) was medalist.
Munsell tried the past two seasons to compete in the postseason. He finally was given the stamp of approval by the school board this season.
"It's been a wait, but it was worth it," said Munsell, who had games of 133, 236 and 151 at district. "I bowl in leagues year-round, and I'm in a league at (Columbus Square Bowling Palace) with my dad (Michael). He's helped me improve my game."
Munsell is coached by Kara Whitlatch, who also leads the field hockey program at Bexley.
He rolled a three-game series of 609 in the sectional Feb. 18 at HP Lanes, placing him sixth behind champion Strait (685) to advance to district.
Boys basketball team
begins district play
The boys basketball team opened the postseason against 12th-seeded Watterson on Feb. 27 in a first-round Division II district tournament game.
The 16th-seeded Lions entered the postseason at 12-10.
The winner plays at ninth-seeded Jonathan Alder in the second round Friday, March 4. The Lions have not played the Pioneers this season.
The district semifinal is Tuesday, March 7, at a site to be determined against top-seeded Columbus South, 24th-seeded Caledonia River Valley or 25th-seeded Horizon Science. The Lions did not play River Valley or South, but defeated Horizon Science 68-30 on Dec. 9.
The winner advances to a district final March 10 at Worthington Kilbourne.
Simon Kroos led the Lions in scoring during the regular season, averaging 15.1 points. Ryan Callahan was next at 8.1.
Girls basketball team
falls to fourth seed
The girls basketball team lost at fourth-seeded Lakewood 32-25 on Feb. 22 in a second-round Division II district tournament game.
Maddy Vincent scored 10 points for the 15th-seeded Lions, who finished 12-12.
Vincent led with 19 points as the Lions defeated 12th-seeded Linden-McKinley 43-40 on Feb. 20 in the first round. Amanda Frey added 11 points with three 3-pointers.