The Whetstone High School girls swimming and diving team will be seeking its sixth consecutive City League championship when it competes in the league meet Saturday, Feb. 2, at Columbus Aquatics Center.

The boys team is looking for its seventh consecutive title, but coach John DeRing said a low number of participants will greatly hinder its chances.

"We've only got 10 boys, but we've got 16 girls," DeRing said. "So that gives the girls team more depth and also gives me more options and interchangeable parts. That means the flexibility and different combinations should give the girls team a much better chance at extending their streak."

DeRing expects the girls team to be in good position to win all three relays. In addition, Alyssa Proudfoot and Catie Flanagan should contend for the 100-yard backstroke title and Iris Woodward and Carrie Legg should be contenders in the 100 breaststroke.

Although DeRing had not finalized the lineup for the City meet as of last week, Olivia Ave could be one of the top performers in both the 50 and 100 freestyles and be joined by Lydia Schaefer in the 50 free and Rebecca Schaefer or Woodard in the 100 free.

Expected to compete for titles in the 100 butterfly are Nezzie O'Malley and Catherine Leahy, while Leah Schaefer and Proudfoot are expected to contend in the 200 individual medley and Legg is expected to score well in the 200 free.

On the boys side, DeRing said Alex Marcum (200 IM and 100 back), Matthew Conroy (500 free) and Javier Cruz (100 fly) should con-tend for titles and Jake Marshall (50 free and 100 free), Connor Gott (100 breast), Kai Hoenshell (50 free and 100 free) and Conroy (200 IM or 100 breast) should score well.

DeRing also expects the 400 and 200 free relays to be competitive.

"Those guys should do very well, but the depth isn't there," DeRing said. "I feel bad for them in terms of team scoring, but they'll do the best they can. Alex Marcum is a coach's dream. He will do whatever it takes and they're all like that. They're working very hard."

Wrestlers advance in City dual tourney

The wrestling team will compete in the City dual championships Thursday, Jan. 31, at Mifflin.

The Braves are seeded third and will battle second-seeded West in one semifinal, while top-seeded Mifflin will face fourth-seeded Walnut Ridge in the other. The winners then will square off in the championship match.

"At the beginning of the season, I didn't see us even being in position to reach the semifinals, so we're pretty excited about this," coach Tom Jones said. "We're so young; I just didn't see this. So I'm proud of them and impressed by the way they fight and never give up."

In the second round Jan. 24, Whetstone played host to Marion-Franklin and Northland. After beating the Red Devils 36-24, the Braves edged the Vikings 42-41 in dramatic fashion, getting pins from Hassan Sesay (160 pounds) and Darric McClinton (152) late in the match to pull out the victory.

Northland led 36-12 on the strength of five Whetstone forfeits and led 42-30 before McClinton earned a pin to cut the Braves' deficit to 42-36. McClinton's opponent threw his headgear and a point was deducted from the Vikings to make it 41-36 entering the final match. That's when Sesay earned a third-period pin to give the Braves the victory.

"It was just incredible," Jones said. "But we've got to turn the page and prepare for the finals now. Most of these kids have no clue what they're going into and we're going to need a total team effort."

The Braves lost to Watterson 35-22 in a non-league dual Jan. 23.

Boys basketball team taking small steps

The boys basketball team appears to be showing improvement, despite being 2-14 overall and 1-9 in the City League-North Division before playing Mifflin on Jan. 29.

After losing to East 81-78 on Jan. 15 to conclude the first round of league play, Whetstone lost to Linden-McKinley 58-55 on Jan. 18, Beech-croft 78-56 on Jan. 23 and Northland 68-46 on Jan. 25.

In the first round, the Braves lost by 10 points to Linden (72-62 on Dec. 11) and by 35 points to Northland (86-51 on Dec. 18), while losing by 24 to Beechcroft (71-47 on Dec. 14).

Against Beechcroft on Jan. 23, Whetstone trailed 35-30 at halftime. Caleb Brigle led the Braves with 21 points while Jaden Arledge scored 17 and Antwan Allen added 11.

Against Northland on Jan. 25, Allen had 15 points, Brigle scored 13 and Arledge added 10.

bemerine@thisweeknews.com

@Brad_ThisWeek

Schedules

Below are the coming schedules for the Whetstone boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL

*Feb. 1 -- At Centennial. The Braves lost to the Stars 59-48 on Jan. 8.

*Feb. 5 -- At International. The Braves beat the Lions 54-47 on Jan. 11.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

*Feb. 1 -- Home vs. Centennial. The Braves lost to the Stars 59-18 on Jan. 8.

*Feb. 5 -- At International in makeup from Jan. 11. The Braves beat the Lions 69-1 on Dec. 4.

BOWLING

*Feb. 1 -- Bexley at Holiday Lanes

*Feb. 4 -- Marion Franklin at Sequoia Pro Bowl

SWIMMING & DIVING

Feb. 2 -- City meet at Columbus Aquatics Center

WRESTLING

Jan. 31 -- City duals final at Mifflin

Feb. 6 -- At Centennial

*League contest