Even though none of its bowlers rank in the top 30 in average in the COHSBC, the Worthington Christian girls bowling team has wrapped up another league championship.
The Warriors, who shared the COHSBC-C Division title last season, beat Columbus Academy 1,798-1,470 on Jan. 28 and Northland 1,955-1,467 on Jan. 30 to capture the outright league title at 11-0.
They then beat both Kilbourne (1,910-1,656) and Thomas (1,910-1,815) on Jan. 31 at Capri Lanes to earn community bragging rights and finish 17-0 overall.
Worthington Christian has used its depth to find most of its success.
"I have my base four, which is (senior) Amber (Ralston), (senior) Natalie (Opava), (junior) Emily (Weishaar) and (junior) Lilly (Marsh), and I have six others I can filter in (after that)," coach Matt Hamilton said.
Other key bowlers have included senior Naysa Dunlap and juniors Abby Lanker and Hope Nyland.
On Feb. 1 at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl, the Warriors lost 3-1 to Whitehall in a semifinal of the MSL tournament after scoring 3,193 to finish first during the qualifying round.
While the girls team is preparing for a Division II sectional Feb. 15 at HP Lanes, the boys open the postseason Feb. 14 with a Division II sectional at the same site.
The boys were third (3,292) during the qualifying round of the MSL tournament Feb. 1 but then beat Grandview 3-1 and Buckeye Valley 3-2 to capture the championship.
The boys finished 8-4 in the COHSBC-C and 12-5 overall as senior Caleb Slagle led with a 189.7 average.
Junior Mason Marsh and sophomores Noah Dirscherl, Connor Lawson, Jonah Varian and Tyler White also have been key contributors.
"Caleb is still our No. 1," coach Dave Krebs said. "Out of the rest of them, we have a lot of them coming up and down but we've got seven other good bowlers. We've got a good sophomore group."
Girls basketball team falls to Whitehall
Just as important as how well the girls basketball team has executed throughout the season is the manner in which it has attempted to do so, according to first-year coach Jason Dawson.
"We just want consistency and being tough," Dawson said. "Our motto is tough, gritty and polished. Those three things are very important to us. We're not the biggest team so we've been playing against bigger girls and bigger teams, so we've got to be a tough and gritty team and take care of the basketball."
The Warriors lost 45-44 to Whitehall on Feb. 1 with first place in the MSL-Ohio on the line.
Worthington Christian lost to Bexley 43-31 on Jan. 18 but bounced back with wins over Johnstown (56-32 on Jan. 20) and Wellington (78-16 on Jan. 24) before beating Columbus Academy 81-42 on Jan. 28.
Katherine Weakley, who had 17 points against Johnstown, has been leading a lineup that at times has rotated 11 players. Blessing King has been averaging nine rebounds to help lead the Warriors' defense.
Worthington Christian received the third seed for the Division III district tournament and will play host to fifth-seeded Amanda-Clearcreek or 18th-seeded Johnstown in the second round Feb. 22.
Swimmers prep for postseason
The swimming teams begin the postseason Saturday, Feb. 8, with a Division II sectional at Columbus Academy.
Junior Lena Morgan, who was the state runner-up in girls diving last season after earning a district runner-up finish, will open the postseason at district Wednesday, Feb. 12, at Ohio State.
On Jan. 25 in the MSL meet at Academy, the girls team placed eighth (59 points) of 15 teams, behind champion Columbus School for Girls (393), and the boys team finished 11th (30) of 13 teams, behind champion Academy (238).
Morgan won the diving competition with 476.45 points and freshman Emma Stoll was runner-up in the 500-yard freestyle (5 minutes, 30.4 seconds) and placed seventh in the 50 free (27.18) to lead the girls team. The 200 free relay of junior Mary Lake, sophomore Morgan Lawrence, senior Anna Stathulis and Stoll placed sixth (1:56.55) and Lake added an eighth-place finish in the 50 free (27.29).
For the boys team in the league meet, sophomore Micah Shemenski was fourth in the 100 free (56.03) and eighth in the 200 individual medley (2:20.38) and sophomore Isaac Myhal placed fifth in the 100 butterfly (1:00.08) and eighth in the 50 free (25.69).
Below are the coming schedules for the Worthington Christian boys basketball, girls basketball and swimming & diving teams:
*Feb. 8 -- Home vs. Buckeye Valley. The Warriors lost to the Barons 55-51 on Jan. 7.
*Feb. 11 -- At Whitehall. The Warriors lost to the Rams 48-40 on Jan. 11.
*Feb. 7 -- At Columbus Academy
Feb. 12 -- At Big Walnut
SWIMMING & DIVING
Feb. 8 -- Division II sectional at Columbus Academy. Winner of each swimming event, along with 27 at-large qualifiers in each event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectional sites, advance to district Feb. 12 at Ohio State. There is no diving at sectional.