Grandview Heights Roundup: Bobcats swimming teams enter postseason on high note

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
Grandview's Blake Yates won the 100 butterfly and placed second in the 200 freestyle in the MSL-Ohio meet. The Bobcats compete in a Division II sectional Feb. 13 at Upper Arlington.

The Grandview Heights boys and girls swimming and diving teams passed their first big tests of the season in the MSL-Ohio Division meets Jan. 29 and 30.

Now the Bobcats look to use that momentum in the Division II postseason, which begins with a sectional Feb. 13 at Upper Arlington.

Coach Susan Ferguson said many of her athletes turned in district-level performances, which bodes well for when they begin to taper their training regimen.

“We’ve been at three different pools (because of closures from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic), and it shows that hard work pays off,” Ferguson said. “It’s a confidence-builder for both the boys and girls to see. They were absolutely stunned. Some of the swims were like tapered swims at district, so we were so pleased.”

Being ahead of schedule should be helpful for the Bobcats as the number of district qualifiers has been pared down from 30 to 24 in individual events and from 30 to 16 in relays. There are no automatic berths to the district meet Feb. 18 at Bowling Green. Qualifiers advance based on sectional times.

“They’ve been unbelievably resilient to rally and go to some 5 a.m. practices,” Ferguson said. “When they had hybrid (learning), we went to split sessions. I would work with some of them from 8 to 10 a.m., and then I would bring more back at 12:30 (p.m.) and work for two more hours.

“We kept it going five days a week. We also did two days of dry-land (workouts) and two days of yoga for seven weeks. It’s unbelievable what they’ve done, and they kept a happy face the whole time.”

The girls finished third (164 points) in the eight-team MSL-Ohio meet behind host Columbus School for Girls (394) and Columbus Academy (241).

Phoebe Ferguson won the 200-yard individual medley in 2 minutes, 13.64 seconds and was runner-up in the 100 freestyle in 54.8.

She joined Jada Heren, Sam Schaefer and Lucia Mastroianni on the second-place 200 free relay (1:48.74), and the same four were on the third-place 400 free relay (3:59.03).

“I learned that the hard practice pays off,” Schaefer said. “We’ve had a lot of practices lately and a lot of us did really well. Everyone had at least one (personal record), so that was good. This will help keep us motivated and continue to PR.”

The boys finished fifth (169) in the six-team league meet behind champion and host Academy (337).

Marco Brunette won the 200 free (1:51.04) and 500 free (5:06.15), while Blake Yates was first in the 100 butterfly (56.82) and second in the 200 free (1:54.8).

Brunette and Yates were on a pair of second-place relays. They joined Adam Ellis and Ethan Deis on the 200 free relay (1:42.04) and Ellis and Will Halberg on the 400 free relay (3:38.05).

“It’s definitely a big confidence boost with it being our biggest meet of the year (in terms of size),” Yates said. “It was definitely a lot more exciting to be around a lot more people. It was the first time basically the whole year.”

The Bobcats had just four meets before the MSL-Ohio events. They had two virtual meets and a pair of contests against Academy and Wellington.

“We only had two tiny in-person meets before (the league meet) and we also had two virtual meets, which made this a big deal,” coach Ferguson said. “The MSL has them excited that sectionals are coming.”

Ian Gecse and the Bobcats snapped a seven-game losing streak by defeating Tree of Life 69-33 on Jan. 30. Gecse scored 15 points in the victory.

Boys basketball team

snaps losing streak

The boys basketball team snapped a seven-game losing streak by defeating Tree of Life 69-33 on Jan. 30. It was Grandview’s first win since defeating Berne Union 60-37 on Dec. 29 in the first round of the Bobcat Holiday Classic.

Danny Claypool scored 21 points and Ian Gecse added 15 for the Bobcats, who improved to 3-7 overall before playing New Hope Christian on Feb. 4.

“It’s been more than a month since we’ve felt good after playing a game,” coach Ray Corbett said. “For the last couple of years, we’ve been preaching about how difficult our (league) is. We’ve won district titles in the last two years and we were third (in the league) both times. It’s quite a grind for a small school.

“It was good to see us do well against a team (Tree of Life) that was 10-4 after playing us. I feel we’re pretty solid as a Division IV squad.”

The Bobcats were 0-6 in the MSL-Ohio before facing Whitehall on Feb. 6 in the opening round of the league tournament. The second round was Feb. 9, with the final round set for Feb. 12.

Grandview also plays at home against Liberty Union on Feb. 11.

The Bobcats trailed by 19 at halftime before falling 56-49 on Jan. 29 at Wellington. Claypool had 22 points, with 14 coming in the second half. Gecse had eight points, and Grant Culbertson and Aiden Leslie both added seven.

Girls team seeded

17th in district

The girls basketball team is seeded 17th of 20 teams in the Division III district tournament and has a first-round bye.

The Bobcats open Feb. 20 at fifth-seeded Mount Gilead or 15th-seeded Ready.

“We knew we’d be in the bottom five (seeds) and I’m happy we were able to avoid a top-three team in the first game,” said coach Kalee Seagle, whose team was 2-9 overall before facing New Hope Christian on Feb. 5. “You never know what will happen or who will be able to play in the postseason (because of the pandemic).”

Grandview finished third in the MSL-Ohio tournament. Whitehall, the Bobcats’ scheduled first-round opponent, bowed out because of positive coronavirus tests, as did Academy and Buckeye Valley.

In the second round, Bexley defeated Grandview 61-23 on Feb. 2. Rachel Hartman scored nine points and Hannah Yochem added eight as the Bobcats fell to 1-7 in the MSL-Ohio.

Grandview will play host to Tree of Life on Feb. 13 before meeting Academy at home Feb. 15 in a league contest.

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