The Centennial High School wrestling team went nearly a month without competing in a varsity event, so coach Brian Knisley was looking forward to seeing how his team progressed over the break.
Centennial opened Dec. 9 in the Big Walnut Classic and competed Dec. 20 at Big Walnut, and those were the Stars' only varsity events before facing Northland on Jan. 17.
They will compete in the Ron Thomas Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 20, at Jonathan Alder.
"We had some good practices (over the break) and competed in a j.v. tournament at Worthington Kilbourne (on Dec. 28), and I think we improved," Knisley said. "We've also been to New Albany twice to compete in an event called youth experiences, where our kids pick up matches against other individuals from the district. They have referees and it is sanctioned, but you only get two matches a night. It's designed to help younger wrestlers.
"We only have one guy who is in his third year with us. Everyone else would kind of be considered j.v. level, but we don't have a j.v. team. We only have two seniors, which is why we have a lighter schedule."
Knisley has been pleased with sophomores Michael Santiago (195 pounds) and Kyle Hicks (145) and junior Oscar Espino (heavyweight).
"Michael finished second at Kilbourne and (was) 6-2 (entering this week)," Knisley said. "Kyle Hicks had a rough start, so his record isn't great, but he's been wrestling very well lately and he's hungry. He's very aggressive, trusts his techniques and wants to battle.
"Oscar is a first-year wrestler who has a bit of a learning curve, but he's picking it up quickly. I like the fact that he's very aggressive for a first-year guy."
Boys basketball team in thick of league race
The boys basketball team entered the week trying to remain in the City League-North Division title chase.
The Stars were 6-5 overall and 3-2 in the league, fourth behind Beechcroft (4-0), East and Northland (both 4-1). Centennial's game at Linden-McKinley on Jan. 12 was postponed because of bad weather.
The Stars played at Northland on Jan. 16 and will play host to Beechcroft on Friday, Jan. 19. They lost to the Cougars 96-61 on Dec. 12.
Centennial beat Whetstone 81-61 on Jan. 9. Craig Burt had 24 points, Sean Tyson scored 18 and Jaylen Gilbert added 16.
Through 11 games, Burt (14.7) and Tyson (13.4) were the team's leading scorers, followed by Gary Elder (12.4), Gilbert (10.2) and Myles Martinez (8.2).
Girls basketball team gives Braves a battle
The girls basketball team gave Whetstone a tough contest Jan. 9, but the Braves pulled away to a 50-40 win with an 11-4 fourth-quarter scoring advantage.
Entering this week, Whetstone was second (5-1) behind Northland (7-0) in the City-North standings. The Stars were 2-9 overall and 2-5 in the league before playing Northland on Jan. 16.
Games against Linden on Jan. 12 and Independence on Jan. 13 were postponed because of bad weather.
Shamara Bridges and Jayana Harley both scored 10 points against Whetstone. Qiyje January added eight points for the Stars, who led 25-24 at halftime and trailed 39-36 entering the fourth quarter.
Bowling teams return to action
The boys and girls bowling teams were looking to get rolling this week.
The teams had competed just once since Dec. 18, as both lost to Pickerington North on Jan. 9.
The girls lost 1,542-1,488 to North and were 2-3 overall entering the week, with all matches being in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-B Division.
The boys were 1-4 overall and in the league after losing to North 2,111-1,790.
Both teams competed against Hilliard Davidson on Jan. 16 and Thomas Worthington on Jan. 17 and will face Groveport on Thursday, Jan. 18, at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
Entering this week, Cindy Mullins (154.5) and Kylie Crissinger-Acuna (136.9) led the girls in average and Joe Thies (163.8) and A.J. Grumbling (151.9) led the boys.
Below are the coming schedules for the Centennial boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling and wrestling teams:
*Jan. 19 -- Home vs. Beechcroft. The Stars lost to the Cougars 96-61 on Dec. 12.
*Jan. 23 -- Home vs. Mifflin. The Stars beat the Punchers 68-67 on Dec. 15.
*Jan. 19 -- At Beechcroft. The Stars lost to the Cougars 61-49 on Dec. 12.
*Jan. 23 -- At Mifflin. The Stars lost to the Punchers 59-58 on Dec. 15.
*Jan. 18 -- Groveport at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl in makeup from Dec. 14
Jan. 20 -- Ron Thomas Invitational at Jonathan Alder
Jan. 22 -- At Westerville North