After capturing its first outright league title since 2008, the Columbus Academy boys basketball team shifted its attention to its next goal.
The Vikings will begin pursuit of a Division III district championship when they play host to 21st-seeded Marion Elgin in the first round Monday, Feb. 25. The winner plays 12th-seeded Wellington or 20th-seeded Horizon Science in the second round March 2 at the home of the better seed.
Fourth-seeded Academy is seeking a berth in a district final March 8 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, but coach Jeff Warstler knows it won't be an easy road. His team potentially could face seventh-seeded Africentric in a district semifinal March 5 and top-seeded Harvest Prep in the final.
"We have Elgin coming first and we'll worry about Elgin," he said. "We have a little bit of time. We're ready. This team is just the right amount of loose. They make me glad. You need to be a little bit loose. They don't play well super tight. They stay loose and get stuff done."
The Vikings are 17-4 overall and capped their MSL-Ohio Division title chase with a 67-50 win over visiting Whitehall on Feb. 15 to finish 6-2 in the league. Worthington Christian finished second at 5-3 and is seeded second in the district.
"We have more goals this season," senior guard Dorrian Moultrie said. "This was one of the big goals that we had, so we crossed it off the list, but we have more goals."
Academy jumped out to a 20-8 lead late in the first quarter. Deven Cobb and Dalyn DeCree led the Vikings with 11 points apiece and Carter Warstler added 10.
Chris Boyle scored 18 points and Moultrie had 14 in a 65-44 win at Watkins Memorial on Feb. 12.
Academy last shared a league title in 2012, when it tied Newark Catholic for first at 12-2.
"Going into the season that was one of our goals: win the league. We haven't done that in a while," Moultrie said. "Going out here and being able to win the league was amazing."
Moultrie is averaging a team-high 11.5 points, followed by Boyle (11.0), DeCree (9.4), Warstler (9.3) and Hayden Compton (6.9).
Boyle (6.7) and DeCree lead in rebounding at 6.2 per game.
Swimming teams ready for state meet
The boys and girls swimming and diving teams again will be well-represented in the Division II state meet at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
Swimming preliminaries are Thursday, Feb. 21, and the finals are Friday, Feb. 22.
The boys scored 251 points to capture their fourth consecutive district title Feb. 14 at Ohio State, ahead of runner-up Olentangy Berlin (206) as 37 teams scored.
Jacob Eismann won the 50-yard freestyle (20.99 seconds) and 100 backstroke (meet-record 49.73) and joined Mike DeAscentis, Jack Campbell and Eric DeVore on the winning 200 medley relay (1:36.43) and 200 free relay (1:28.47).
DeAscentis, Campbell, DeVore and James Cao won the 400 free relay (3:08.01), and DeAscentis won the 100 free (47.92).
In the 50 free, DeVore was fourth (22.14) and Campbell was fifth (22.16) to qualify for state with at-large berths.
Jordan Skilken helped lead the girls to a runner-up finish by placing first in diving (568.15). She was seeded first at state, with the event held Feb. 20.
Samantha Kass finished first in the 100 free (53.46) and third in the 50 free (24.71) to earn state berths in both events, and Sarah Cabre advanced after finishing third in the 200 individual medley (2:10.15).
Lauren Klinefelter earned a state berth after finishing sixth in the 100 butterfly (58.55).
Also advancing were Cabre, Kass, Klinefelter and Alexandra Butnariu in the 400 free relay (first, 3:35.92), Cabre, Kass, Klinefelter and Annalise Grammel in the 200 free relay (third, 1:39.29) and Cabre, Inji Kang, Abby Yakam and Whitney Hannallah in the 200 medley relay (fourth, 1:52.58).
Academy finished second (300) behind Columbus School for Girls (355) as 30 teams scored. It was the Unicorns' sixth consecutive district title.
"It was a great day for (the boys and girls) teams," coach Craig Yakscoe said. "They all swam extremely well. Some of our younger girls soaked in the experience and learned a lot to take forward with them. I'm pretty excited."
Wrestlers compete in league tournament
The wrestling team went 1-2 in the MSL-Ohio tournament Feb. 15 to finish third behind Bexley (3-0) and host Whitehall (2-1) and ahead of Grandview (0-3).
The Vikings defeated Grandview 36-18 and lost to Bexley 60-24 and Whitehall 36-28.
Academy will compete in a 12-team Division III sectional Saturday, Feb. 23, at Madison Plains. The top four finishers in each weight class advance to district March 1 and 2 at Rayland Buckeye Local.
Bowling teams close season at sectional
The boys and girls bowling teams concluded their season in Division II sectionals at HP Lanes.
On Feb. 15, the girls finished 25th (2,317) of 31 teams behind champion Cardington (3,534).
Sophomore Beatrice Sull finished 96th of 180 bowlers with a 351 series to lead the Vikings. She was followed by freshman Tara Hoffman (106th, 336), juniors Gianna Bates (329, 111th) and Nikki Turley (314, 115th) and sophomore Evelyn Olexio (282, 131st).
The boys finished 26th (2,878) of 32 teams at sectional behind champion Caledonia River Valley (4,047) on Feb. 16. Junior Vincent White was 68th (487) of 190 bowlers to lead Academy, followed by freshman Ryan Reagan (93rd, 436), junior Michael Hoffman (397, 112th), senior William Mathews (255, two games, 148th), Cole Leis (115, one game, 183rd) and sophomore Xander Wood (103, one game, 185th).
At sectional, the top 12 teams and top 12 individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district Thursday, Feb. 21, at HP Lanes.
Hockey team falls in district tourney
The hockey team saw its season end with a 5-2 loss to 16th-seeded Centerville in the first round of the district tournament Feb. 16 at OhioHealth Ice Haus.
Campbell Gwin and Jacob Sardo scored for the 15th-seeded Vikings, who finished 17-15-1.