With its junior class leading the way last season, the Northland boys bowling team went 10-3 and had an individual advance to the Division I district tournament.
The Vikings have added a talented freshman to a now senior-laden group and already have surpassed their average in league play last season three times during a 4-0 start overall and in the COHSBC-C Division.
During a 1,928-1,289 win over West on Dec. 10, Northland senior Aaron Holley rolled a 501 two-game series to up his overall average to 210.8 after representing the team at district last season.
Freshman Raymond Craig is averaging 192.5, while seniors Husam Ahmed, Jason Barnes, Naseer Broadnax and Ramses Holland and junior Trejuan Pitts also have contributed.
"(Craig) threw nine (strikes) in a row (in one match) and we've got a bunch of seniors, so they're ready to make that last run," Vikings coach Robert Pea said. "They know what they need to do and what it takes."
Pea and Peggy Holley, the Northland girls coach, are in their 11th seasons with the Vikings, who will continue league competition Thursday, Dec. 19, against Columbus Academy at HP Lanes.
The Vikings girls are 4-0 overall and in the league, with their best score coming Dec. 4 when they beat International 1,540-1,261.
Senior Tara Odari leads the team with a 143.8 average, while seniors Kopila Khanal and Ankriti Subba, junior Isabel Alberto, sophomores Nasia Bailey and Malika Kahdka and freshman Sustika Ahangkari are other contributors.
"We've got six returning girls," coach Holley said. "My goal is for them to bowl 1,700 for the two games and the two Bakers, and they're capable of it. Tara is in her fourth year and (Khanal) is in her third year. My 10th-grader, Nasia Bailey, has been up-and-coming."
The Beechcroft girls bowling team was 1-1 overall and in the COHSBC-D before facing Independence on Dec. 16 and Walnut Ridge on Dec. 18.
In a 1,093-1,019 win over Mifflin on Dec. 4, junior Ta Aliyah Palmer led the Cougars with a 228 series.
Junior Ciarra Reeder, sophomores Tiwa Abediran, Nia Hooper and Valery Liew and freshman Promise Alfred also are key contributors.
"It's going great," Cougars coach Matt Bell said. "These girls are working hard each week to improve."
Katie Ross has taken over as Beechcroft boys coach for Joe Begeny, who stepped down after last season.
The Cougars, who were 1-1 overall and in the league before facing Independence on Dec. 16 and Walnut Ridge on Dec. 18, are led by senior Maxime Ngoupa and sophomore Dylon Feagin.
Others on the team include seniors Mohamed Kargbo and Samuel Kyereh, sophomore J.V. Velasquez and freshmen Joshua Goshay and Jamar Taylor.
Nubians girls bounce back from first loss
The Africentric girls basketball team had a 39-game winning streak snapped when it lost to Chattanooga (Tennessee) Hamilton Heights Christian 66-59 on Dec. 7 at Dixie Heights, Kentucky.
The Nubians bounced back by posting a pair of blowout victories in City League-South Division action.
Africentric routed Walnut Ridge 80-38 on Dec. 10 and South 114-13 on Dec. 13 and was 4-1 overall and 4-0 in the league before playing Independence on Dec. 17.
Last week, Hamilton Heights Christian was ranked ninth in the nation and the Nubians were 16th, according to MaxPreps.com.
Africentric led the Hawks 40-35 at halftime, but was held to 17 points in the second half.
Senior guard Alexia Smith led the Nubians with 19 points, while 6-foot-2 senior wing player Treasure Hunt, a Kentucky signee, scored 23 for the Hawks.
Africentric's next big challenge will take place Saturday, Dec. 21, when it plays Solon at Garfield Heights. The Comets have won eight consecutive Division I district championships and are led by 6-0 sophomore Hailey Weaver, who averaged 16.6 points last season.
On Dec. 28, the Nubians will play host to Detroit Edison, which was ranked 19th in the nation last week by MaxPreps.com and is a three-time defending state champion in Michigan. Key players for the Pioneers include Gabrielle Elliott, a 5-10 Clemson commit, as well as Shaulana Wagner and Daija Tyson, who have committed to Xavier and Bradley, respectively.
Cougars, Vikings boys out to strong starts
The Beechcroft and Northland boys basketball teams both entered the week at 2-0 in the City-North.
The Cougars were 4-1 overall before playing Mifflin on Dec. 17 and close the 2019 portion of their league schedule Friday, Dec. 20, at home against International.
After opening with a 71-53 loss to Gahanna on Nov. 30, Beechcroft averaged 89.5 points over its next four games, which included blowout league wins over Centennial (95-66 on Dec. 10) and East (80-50 on Dec. 13).
Sophomores Amani Lyles and J.J. Simmons had 23 and 20 points, respectively, against the Stars and Simmons scored 21 against the Tigers.
The Cougars and Northland won't meet until Jan. 14.
The Vikings improved to 2-1 overall with a 61-55 victory over Mifflin on Dec. 13 as junior Makhale Massey scored all 14 of his points in the first half and sophomore Robert Dorsey III also finished with 14 points.