Forward Zach Hummel and three other seniors for the Hilliard Bradley High School boys basketball team are set to play their final game in their home gym.
The second-seeded Jaguars will play host to 37th-seeded Lancaster in the second round of the Division I district tournament Thursday, Feb. 28. The game originally was scheduled for Friday, March 1, but was moved up a day because the school will play host to the two-day state gymnastics meet this weekend.
Hummel expects the contest against Lancaster to be an emotion-filled game for himself and classmates Colin Foreman, Drew Keep and Winston Stone.
"It's the last home game for us and it definitely is going to be sad, for sure," said Hummel, a four-year varsity player for the Jaguars in basketball and football. "I have been playing for four years here now and I know leaving the football field that last time was pretty sad. It won't be easy."
The Jaguars have yet to play the Golden Gales this season.
The winner faces 17th-seeded Thomas Worthington or 21st-seeded Groveport in a district semifinal Wednesday, March 6, at a site to be determined. Bradley defeated Thomas 57-32 on Dec. 7 and 47-31 on Jan. 18 in OCC-Cardinal Division action but has not played Groveport this season.
The district final is March 9 at Great Columbus Convention Center.
The Jaguars had a slow start in their postseason opener Feb. 23, but pulled away for a 53-28 home win over 43rd-seeded Marion Harding in the first round.
Bradley led 6-2 after one quarter as the Presidents slowed the tempo.
"We didn't shoot well early. (It was a) typical first (postseason) game," said coach Brett Norris, whose team is 21-1. "We were maybe a little tight and then we knocked down a few there. We never got much momentum and there weren't a lot of possessions in the first quarter. I love the way we started the second half, though."
Bradley led 20-10 at halftime and hit six 3-pointers -- four from sophomore guard Keaton Norris -- in the third quarter to open a 45-14 lead entering the fourth.
"At halftime, I moved on and the first (3-point attempt) went in and (my shot) felt good from then on," said Keaton Norris, who finished with 16 points. "It's always good to win the first tournament game. I don't think we played as well as we could, but the first game in the tournament is tough. We're going to move on and play as best as we can in the next one."
Hummel said the team's stout defense made the difference against the Presidents. The Jaguars are surrendering 38.8 points per game while scoring 56.2.
"I think it was the first-game-of-the-tournament feeling," he said. "You know if you don't play well, you're not coming back. It took us a little bit to get into things and to think of it as a normal game.
"Our defensive play is what we strive for. It's our go-to, and not many teams are like that. It helps out a lot, especially if you can score, too."
Girls bowling team advances to district
The girls bowling team advanced to the Division I district tournament Saturday, March 2, at HP Lanes after finishing eighth (3,208) in the sectional Feb. 22 at HP Lanes.
Christy Hribar finished 17th of 222 competitors with a 524 three-game series to lead the Jaguars. Callie Hribar (506, tied for 31st) and Ava Miller (428, tied for 77th) also rolled three games.
At district, the top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advance to the state tournament March 8 at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
The boys team ended its season at sectional Feb. 23 at HP Lanes, as the Jaguars finished 32nd (3,160) of 42 teams. Olentangy Orange (3,644) was the 16th and final district qualifier.
Troy Lehmkuhl (491, 101st), Nick Curran (465, 120th) and Zander Dietz (421, tied for 130th) all bowled three games.
Five wrestlers advance to district
Five members of the wrestling team qualified for the Division I district tournament Friday, March 1, and Saturday, March 2, at Darby.
Deacon Sawchuk finished first at 126 pounds in a 10-team sectional Feb. 23 at Watkins Memorial. Zander Ellison (138) was runner-up, Jacob Noble (heavyweight) placed third and Matthew Cooper (195) and Logan Germaine (160) both finished fourth as the top four finishers in each weight class advanced to district.
Payton Archer (132), Ethan Corea (113) and Mason Wood (145) all placed fifth and are district alternates for the Jaguars, who finished fourth (152 points) behind champion Westerville North (240).
At district, the top four finishers in each weight class advance to the state tournament March 7-9 at Ohio State.
Patterson leads gymnasts at district
Lexi Patterson led the gymnastics team at the district meet Feb. 23 at Worthington Kilbourne.
The senior tied for 16th of 92 competitors in the all-around with a 34.0. She finished 13th on balance beam (8.885), tied for 18th on uneven bars (8.35) and tied for 27th on floor exercise (8.675).
Senior Makayla Cornell was 29th in the all-around (32.775), 34th on beam (8.375) and tied for 39th on bars (7.825), and sophomore Gabi Graff was 51st in the all-around (31.1) and tied for 37th on floor (8.55).
Sophomore Paige Hamilton tied for 28th on beam (8.575).
The Jaguars finished eighth of 24 teams as Thornville Sheridan (145.205), Dublin Jerome (139.8) and Olentangy (139.65) advanced to the state team meet Friday, March 1, at Bradley. The top eight finishers in each event and the all-around advanced to the state individual meet, Saturday, March 2, at Bradley.
"We were very solid," coach Carol Eskay said. "We had good beam scores and didn't have any major flubs. I thought Lexi Patterson had some very solid scores. I'm very proud of their efforts."
Sims ends season at state swim meet
Kaitlyn Sims of the girls swimming and diving team made her first appearance in the Division I state meet Feb. 22 at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
The sophomore finished 23rd in the 200-yard individual medley in 2 minutes, 12.82 seconds.
The boys team did not have any state qualifiers.
In the district meet Feb. 15 at Ohio State, Sims set program records while placing sixth in the 200 IM (2:08.98) and eighth in the 100 backstroke (59.16). She also joined junior Isa Brooks, sophomore Madison Wester and freshman Paige Williams on the 20th-place 400 freestyle relay (3:55.52).
Also at district, the 200 free relay of Brooks, Wester, Will-iams and sophomore Maddie Taylor was disqualified.
Junior Carson Cross led the boys team at district, placing 20th in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.53) and 30th in the 100 butterfly (59.3). He also was on the 29th-place 400 free relay (3:49.53) with junior Ben Wirantana, sophomore Jackson White and Emery Alspaugh, who was the program's lone senior.