The Whetstone High School girls bowling team was undefeated entering the week.
The Braves handed Worthington Christian its first loss, 1,837-1,810 on Jan. 11, after giving Briggs its second loss, 1,720-1,520 on Jan. 9.
Whetstone was 10-0 overall and 6-0 in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-C Division before matches against International on Jan. 16 and Big Walnut on Jan. 17.
"The girls had never beaten Briggs before, so that was special," coach Larry Howell said. "Ironically, our girls have been getting extra help from Jim Martiny, who coached all those great Briggs teams. With him being in his first season not coaching at Briggs, he's been available to help other teams and other bowlers and our girls love him and are buying into what he's teaching."
Howell also was excited with the way his squad battled against Worthington Christian.
"We had an up-and-down night, but it was a close back-and-forth match with (Worthington Christian)," he said. "We were down by three pins going into the final Baker game. Our top bowler, Abbi Swank, had a 192 in the first game, but struggled with a 135 in the second. But Alea (Millington-Fuqua) and Assiatou (Diallo) both had season-high games in the second game. Alea had a 189 and Assiatou had a 185."
Entering the week, Swank owned a 182.2 game average. She had a season-high 234 game as part of a season-best 425 two-game series against Briggs. She was followed in game average by Lindsay Arnold (148.6), Millington-Fuqua (136.8), Allison Weeks (130.5) and Diallo (121.9).
"Abbi has been our most consistent, although she sometimes struggles when there is a lot of oil on the lanes and we're working on that," Howell said. "Lindsay is starting to come into her own and she's showing some real good signs.
"Overall, we're a pretty young team and our team average is down from past years, but we're finding ways to keep winning. We only have the 12th-best district average, so we have to pick it up some. We want to win the (COHSBC-C) and the City (League) championship. The two City teams with the top averages for the season roll it off for the (City) title."
Trailing the Braves in the COHSBC-C standings entering the week were Northland and Worthington Christian (both 4-1), Briggs (4-2) and Teays Valley (3-2).
Whetstone will compete against Teays Valley on Thursday, Jan. 18, and Northland on Monday, Jan. 22. Both matches will be at Sequoia Pro Bowl.
Boys bowlers handed first league loss
The boys bowling team lost for the first time in COHSBC-C competition, falling to Worthington Christian 2,087-1,897 on Jan. 11.
The Braves were 7-2 overall and 5-1 in the league entering a match against International on Jan. 16 and Big Walnut on Jan. 17. Entering the week, Whetstone was third in the league standings behind Northland (7-0) and Teays Valley (6-1).
The Braves will compete against Teays Valley on Thursday, Jan. 18, and Northland on Monday, Jan. 22. Both matches will be at Sequoia Pro Bowl.
"The loss to Worthington Christian was a heartbreaker because we led by 99 pins after the first game and ended up losing by 190," coach Chris Lisi said. "We fell apart in the second game and then our first Baker game was awful.
"But we came into the season with so many young guys and weren't expecting to have the season we've had to this point, so it's hard to be upset. But I just want them to bowl to their ability and see what happens."
The Braves not only remain in contention for the COHSBC-C title, but should compete for the City title, according to Lisi.
"Besides Northland, the City teams all have had a bit of a drop-off and we should be able to finish with one of the top two team averages in the City, which would get us in the City championship match," Lisi said. "I think if we could win a City title and get that banner, the boys would be pretty excited."
Through nine matches, Joshua Roeder had a team-best 198.4 average, followed by Davis Kleen (182.9), Dalton Daugherty (167) and Victor Waitkus (157.1).
"Josh's average has dipped a bit, but he has a lot of upside and can really light it up," Lisi said. "Davis has been our most consistent performer and Victor is really getting better and learning to control his ball. Dalton has been a bit up and down.
"But now we've got to see how the boys respond to a bad outing against Worthington Christian. I want to see how they bounce back."
Swimmers unable to compete in meet
Members of the boys and girls swimming and diving teams were scheduled to compete in the Northeast Classic on Jan. 13 at Branin Natatorium in Canton, but the Braves opted not to make the trip because of the weather.
Swimmers had to meet time standards to qualify for the Northeast Classic. Members of the boys team who had qualified for the event were Will Ave, Javier Cruz, Alex Marcum, Jake Marshall and Francisco Soto.
Ave had qualified in the 50-yard freestyle, Soto had qualified in the 100 butterfly and Ave, Marcum, Marshall and Soto had qualified in the 200 medley relay and 200 free relay, with Cruz serving as an alternate.
"With only eight boys, it's a little tough to make sure we have everything filled, but we're doing OK overall," coach John DeRing said. "Dave Maston is leading the boys team and Soto is carrying the load in the off-strokes. Jake has been a real surprise for us with the breaststroke and the 500 free. Matthew Conroy is filling in nicely, as is Kai Hoenshell."
The Braves were scheduled to compete against Marion Harding on Jan. 17 at the Marion YMCA and have just one meet remaining in the regular season, against Beechcroft and Central Crossing on Monday, Jan. 22, at Columbus Aquatics Center.
The City meet is Feb. 4 at Columbus Aquatics Center.
The girls team has been led by Bryn Van Dommelen and Abby Schaefer, according to DeRing.
"Brynn is concentrating on the 500 this year because she's hoping to swim the mile in college," DeRing said. "Abby is swimming freestyle and backstroke. They are getting help from Mary Doherty, Rebeka Spulgis and Carrie Legg, who has been a real surprise.
"Rebeka is taking care of the fly, Mary will swim anything we ask her to and Carrie has come on strong as a breaststroker."
Girls basketball team chasing Vikings
The girls basketball team entered the week in second place in the City League-North Division.
Whetstone was 7-4 overall and 5-1 in the league before playing East on Jan. 16 and International on Jan. 17. Northland entered the week 7-0 in the City-North.
The Braves defeated Centennial 50-40 in a league game Jan. 9 before losing to Centerburg 40-24 on Jan. 11.
Against Centennial, Whitney Staggs had 16 points, Haylee Thomas-Speigle scored 12 and Macy Staggs scored nine. Against Centerburg, Macy Staggs had 11 points and Whitney Staggs scored eight.
Below are the coming schedules for the Whetstone boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling and swimming & diving teams:
*Jan. 19 -- Home vs. Linden-McKinley. The Braves lost to the Panthers 54-39 on Dec. 12.
*Jan. 23 -- Home vs. Beechcroft. The Braves lost to the Cougars 105-49 on Dec. 15.
*Jan. 19 -- At Linden-McKinley. The Braves beat the Panthers 34-28 on Dec. 12.
*Jan. 23 -- At Beechcroft. The Braves beat the Cougars 61-49 on Dec. 15.
*Jan. 19 -- Teays Valley at Sequoia Pro Bowl
*Jan. 22 -- Northland at Sequoia Pro Bowl
SWIMMING & DIVING
Jan. 22 -- Beechcroft and Central Crossing at Columbus Aquatics Center