The Centennial girls basketball team is feeling confident heading into the Division II district tournament.
The Stars won three games last week, defeating Wellington 48-30 on Feb. 3, Briggs 66-43 on Feb. 4 and Patriot Prep 33-28 on Feb. 6 to finish the regular season at 16-6 overall.
Centennial placed third in the City League-North Division at 10-4, behind Northland (14-0) and Beechcroft (12-2), and takes a five-game winning streak into the postseason.
"Our confidence is pretty high right now. We've been playing pretty well," coach Pete Baumann said. "We've got close to two weeks (from our regular-season finale) to get ready for (the district tournament.) Everybody's got a good outlook going in."
Next up for Centennial is a second-round district tournament contest at seventh-seeded Bloom-Carroll on Feb. 21. The Stars are seeded 12th and have a first-round bye.
"We're really proud of ourselves, and we want to continue creating history," senior forward Naa Dromo Korley said.
Baumann expects any postseason success will hinge on the leadership of his senior trio: Korley, guard Jayana Harley and forward Tyler Johnson.
Korley, who is averaging a team-high 13 points, was named first-team all-league. Johnson and Harley, who are averaging 11 and eight points, respectively, were named honorable mention all-league.
"They have a lot of experience. They've put in a lot of work this season and seen a lot of success. I know that they're hungry," Baumann said of the seniors. "We didn't get out of the first round (of the tournament) last year so I know they want to make this last run of theirs a memorable one."
Also helping the Stars is the return of junior forward CiCi Dingess, who had been out with an injury. She played against Patriot Prep and is expected to see action in the tournament.
Cleaning up mistakes on the offensive side of the ball will be key against Bloom-Carroll, Baumann said.
"We've got to clean up our execution on offense," he said. "From what I can tell, Bloom-Carroll is a pretty good defensive team. So we're going to have to really tighten things up offensively."
Johnson agreed with her coach.
"We want to practice swinging the ball more and opening up more opportunities to score," she said.
Part of the Stars' practice time between the end of the regular season and the tournament will feature coaches and alumni scrimmaging with the team.
"We're going to be scrimmaging with people that are bigger than us and stronger than us so we can get stronger before our tournament play," Korley said. "I think one thing we need to work on is timing -- and communicating more on defense -- and learning when to use the clock as our friend or when to use that extra pass because we need to get points. I think that's what we're going to be focusing on in practice."
The Stars are proud of their regular-season effort but want more.
"Us being 16-6 is already something to leave behind, especially for my senior year," Johnson said. "But us getting a banner would be something beyond memorable for this season."
Swimmers advance to district meet
The boys swimming team had four individuals and all three relays qualify for the Division II district meet Feb. 12 at Ohio State.
Advancing from a sectional Feb. 8 at Upper Arlington were Kyle Juracich in the 50-yard freestyle, Evan Massey in the 500 free, Jabe Miller in the 100 butterfly, Andrew Smith in the 100 backstroke and 200 individual medley and the 200 medley, 200 free and 400 free relays.
Massey finished second in the 500 free (5 minutes, 47.33 seconds), Miller finished third in the 100 fly (1:05.34), Juracich finished second in the 50 free (23.83) and Smith finished second in the 200 IM (2:27.78) and 100 back (1:02.83).
The 200 free relay of Dominic Richards, Dylan Ford, Miller and Juracich finished third (1:42.58), the 200 medley relay of Richards, Smith, Juracich and Massey finished fourth (1:57.54) and the 400 free relay of Smith, Massey, Ford and Miller finished second (3:55.58).
The boys were second (217) at sectional behind Wellington (290) and ahead of Grandview (181) and Watterson (154).
For the girls, advancing to district were Anna Dixon in the 500 free, the 200 medley relay of Amanda Varian, Cada Dixon, Joy Chambers and Anna Dixon and the 200 free relay of Maddie Nelson, Cada Dixon, Varian and Chambers.
Anna Dixon finished first in the 500 free (6:26.66). Both the 200 medley relay (2:17.12) 200 free relay (1:58.06) finished third.
The girls were second (212) behind Grandview (340.5) and ahead of Wellington (196.5) and Grove City Christian (58).
At district, the top two finishers in each swimming event automatically advanced to the state meet Feb. 20 and 21 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. In addition, 16 at-large state berths will be awarded for each event based on district times statewide.
Wrestling team falls to Whetstone
The wrestling team lost its annual Golden Grappler match against Whetstone 48-28 on Feb. 5.
Sophomore Oliver Koehler (113 pounds) pinned the Braves' Antonio Morris while senior Kyle Hicks (152) earned an 18-7 major-decision victory against Ford Buterbaugh.
Entering a match Feb. 12 at Bloom-Carroll, Koehler was 20-14 and Hicks was 16-15.
The Stars opted not to compete in the Division II team dual tournament, which began Feb. 8 with regional competition.
The City tournament is Feb. 22 at Centennial.
Below are the coming schedules for the Centennial boys basketball and wrestling teams:
Feb. 18 -- At Olentangy
Feb. 26 -- Home vs. 15th-seeded Licking Valley in first round of Division II district tournament. The Stars are seeded 14th.
Feb. 19 -- Home vs. London and Mifflin j.v.