Junior Jaden Mattox got in some light work and rolled into the Division I district tournament along with five of his Central Crossing High School wrestling teammates.
The Comets will compete Friday, March 3, and Saturday, March 4, at Hilliard Darby, where the top four finishers in each weight class advance to state March 9-11 at Ohio State.
Mattox, the defending state champion at 132 pounds, won a sectional championship at 152 on Feb. 25 at Upper Arlington, where the top four in each weight class advanced to district.
The Comets had six wrestlers reach championship matches and five won titles. Joining Mattox as a sectional champion were Zach Collins (113), Ryan Fahy (132), Hudson Leapley (120) and Devin Wood (126), while Bobby Logan (heavyweight) was runner-up.
Mattox had a first-round bye before defeating Reynoldsburg's Noah Ratliff by pin in 54 seconds and pinning UA's Mark Trifelos in 35 seconds in a semifinal. He defeated Teays Valley's Emmanuel Johnson 26-11 by technical fall in the final to improve to 25-0.
"I would say I did pretty well," said Mattox, who won sectional and district titles each of the past two seasons. "I got two quick pins and a tech fall. I tried to get off the mat as quickly as possible in the first two matches. I wasn't feeling well and there was no sense in taking the risk of getting hurt."
The Comets finished third (185) of 11 teams at sectional behind Olentangy Orange (240) and UA (236).
"We did pretty well," said Collins, who enters district at 35-5. "Going in, I was pretty confident that I would win the bracket. I wrestled the way that I should have for the way that I have been training."
Aaron Reasoner (220), Noah Ross (106) and Austin Vazquez (145) all are district alternates after placing fifth. Mason Morris (170) was sixth.
Mattox said he has been close to his weight all season, which means he is able to focus on improving rather than cutting weight.
"It's best to keep your weight maintained, which I have been doing," said Mattox, who has verbally committed to Ohio State. "The weight cut hasn't been bad and that allows you to focus on better workouts."
Mattox enters district having lost only one postseason match. He was defeated by Lakewood St. Edward's Allan Hart 8-5 in the 113-pound state championship match as a freshman.
Last season, the Comets advanced a program-record seven wrestlers to state after finishing second at district behind Olentangy Liberty. Mattox (132) and 2016 graduates Jackson Lakso (113), Kameron Teacher (heavyweight) and James Wimer (138) all won district titles. Collins (120) and 2016 graduate J.D. Woods (126) finished third, and 2016 graduate Derek Wurzauf (145) placed fourth.
"Coach (Jamie Ramirez) didn't say much to us (after sectional) other than it was a good meet for us," Woods said. "We know the best is ahead. We need to come in, prepare for district and try to make the season last another week longer."
Season ends for
gymnasts at district
Junior Cori Dotters led the gymnastics team in the district meet Feb. 25 at Thomas Worthington.
Dotters tied Delaware's Elizabeth White for 46th in the all-around (31.125) as Bethany Hurt of Dublin Coffman and Bethany Lange of Worthington Kilbourne shared the title with a score of 35.925.
Dotters finished 30th in the balance beam (8.3) and tied for 32nd on vault (8.1). She also was 66th in the uneven bars (7.1) and 87th on the floor exercise (7.625).
The Comets finished 20th (115.175) behind state-qualifiers Thornville Sheridan (138.65), Olentangy (137.425) and Dresden Tri-Valley (135.825) as 23 teams scored.
The top three teams advanced to the state team meet Friday, March 3, at Hilliard Bradley. Also, the top nine individuals in each event and the all-around advanced to the individual state meet Saturday, March 4, at Bradley.
Central Crossing's lone senior, Avery Mills, tied for 74th in the all-around at district with a 27.95. Sophomore Delaney Smith tied for 77th with a 27.8.
The Comets finished fifth (16 points, 3-4) in the OCC-Central Division behind Marysville (32, 7-0), UA (28, 6-1), Hilliard Davidson (24, 5-2) and Grove City (20, 4-3) and ahead of Coffman (10, 2-5), Westland (10, 1-6) and Franklin Heights (4, 0-7).
Lavon Maynard, who has led the program for 15 seasons, was named league Coach of the Year.
Also expected to return are juniors Kaylee Acuin, Ally Lagunzad, Heather Watkins and Katelyn Wooten, sophomores Mayci Hummel, Allie Schreiner and Hanna Smith and freshmen Baylee Bocook, Haylee Snodgrass and Courtnie Sprouse.
Boys basketball team
opens district tourney
After a two-week layoff from competition, the boys basketball team opens the Division I district tournament Friday, March 3, with a second-round game at 14th-seeded Davidson.
The 27th-seeded Comets, who are 10-12, lost to Davidson 52-32 on Jan. 6 and 47-36 on Feb. 7 in OCC-Central play.
The winner advances to a district semifinal Wednesday, March 8, at a site to be determined against sixth-seeded Westerville South or 44th-seeded Big Walnut. Central Crossing has not played either team this season.
The district final is at March 11 at Ohio Dominican.
Mike Woods has averaged a team-best 14.5 points over the past six games, followed by Antwon Hampton (13.3), Eddie Ferguson (7.7) and Keason Lowe (6.8).