The Beechcroft girls basketball team posted its best regular season under seventh-year coach Mike Moncrief, earning the No. 6 seed for the Division II district tournament.
Despite that success, the Cougars were upset in their postseason opener, losing 54-43 to 10th-seeded Sparta Highland in a second-round game Feb. 21, to finish 19-4 overall.
Madison Cecil had 21 points to lead the Fighting Scots.
"We've been playing well and playing hard," Moncrief said. "Division II is no joke this year. There are a lot of great teams."
The Cougars were City League-North Division runners-up at 12-2 and won their last eight games of the regular season.
Junior guard LaBriar Franklin-Page, who had 22 points against Highland, joined senior forward Syrai Armistead and sophomore forward La'Larra Bays as first-team all-league honorees.
All of Beechcroft's players stand about 5-foot-5 or 5-6.
"I can't take my height and give it to my team or I would," said Moncrief, who stands well over 6-0. "We just try to get up and down the floor, make quality jump shots and play good, sound defense."
The season also ended Feb. 21 for City-North champion Northland, which was seeded 16th and lost to 14th-seeded Canal Winchester 67-52 in a second-round game to finish 15-8 overall.
The Vikings, who also lost to the Indians 42-38 on Nov. 26 in their season opener, went 14-0 in league play.
Senior Saige Glover had 28 points in the tournament loss and averaged 22 points during her only season with the Vikings after transferring from Pickerington North.
Junior Azariah Binford (guard), sophomores Nahdia Alcorn (guard), Jana Browning (forward) and Tierra Vance (forward) and freshman Ayah Duffy (guard) all are eligible to return for Northland, which has won five consecutive City-North titles and 61 consecutive games against league opponents.
"(We were) very prepared for the postseason," coach Jaybee Bethea said. "I've got one senior and the rest of them are coming back, so we're going to be OK. I've got a good group of young ladies."
Bowlers compete at district tourney
The Marion-Franklin boys bowling team and three individuals from the International girls squad competed in the Division II district tournament Feb. 20 at HP Lanes.
The Red Devils, who had placed eighth (3,181) at the sectional Feb. 14 at HP Lanes to earn one of 12 district-qualifying berths, finished fourth (3,459) at district behind champion Heath (3,942) as only the top two teams and top two individuals not on a qualifying team advanced to state.
Freshman Shawn Spaulding bowled a 587 three-game series at district to finish seventh of 78 bowlers and freshman Tyler Needles was 13th (554) to lead the Red Devils, but both fell short of advancing individually to state.
In the girls district competition, International was represented by senior Goma Sanyasi, who placed 27th (430) of 75 bowlers, as well as by seniors Januka Baniya (34th, 415) and Isha Neupane (60th, 314). The top two individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to state.
Warriors girls looking to build
With no seniors on its roster, the Eastmoor girls basketball team expected this season to include its share of ups and downs.
The Warriors were seeded 26th for the Division I district tournament and lost to 13th-seeded Worthington Kilbourne 57-21 on Feb. 17 in a first-round game to finish 11-11 overall.
Eastmoor finished fourth in the City-South at 9-5, behind Africentric (14-0), Independence (11-3) and Walnut Ridge (10-4).
Honesty Wilson, a 5-9 junior post player, and her sister, 5-8 junior wing player Tia Wilson, both were named second-team all-league.
Sophomore guards Kal'vonna Leeper and Music Thornton also were among the team's top players.
"We've been taking steps forward, but we're still inconsistent," first-year coach Keith Dimmy said. "Some nights they'll come out and give me a lot of energy and finish and other nights it's kind of a struggle. We kind of expected that with them being so young. We're playing a lot of freshmen and sophomores and have only three juniors on the whole roster."