Notebook: Grove City Greyhounds wrestlers look to build on OCC-Ohio title

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Carlin Hamilton has been one of the top contributors this season for OCC-Ohio Division champion Grove City. He is 15-2 at 195 pounds entering a Division I sectional tournament Feb. 27 at Watkins Memorial.

The Grove City wrestling team will look to build on its first league title since 2005 when it kicks off the postseason by competing in an 11-team Division I sectional Feb. 27 at Watkins Memorial. 

The Greyhounds went 5-0 in the OCC-Ohio Division for their first league title since tying Pickerington Central for first at 4-1 in the OCC-Cardinal during the 2004-05 season. 

“With realignment, we faced the teams in front of us and I’ll never apologize for that,” coach Ryan Mitchell said. “We beat everybody that we wrestled in the OCC. We went 5-0 and we wrestled some good teams and we beat them, so I’m very excited for the school. I’m very excited for the kids and I’m very proud of the work they’ve done. The coaching staff has been great this year.” 

At sectional, the top four finishers in each weight class advance to district March 6 and 7 at Hilliard Darby. 

At district, the top four finishers in each weight class advance to state March 13 and 14 at Darby.  

The usual site for the state tournament — Ohio State’s Value City Arena — was not available this year because of COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic restrictions. 

Grove City, which finished the regular season 20-3 overall, split its final two matches, beating Hilliard Bradley 69-12 and losing 38-37 to host Olentangy Berlin on Feb. 13. 

The Greyhounds trailed Berlin 36-12 before rallying to take a 37-35 lead. 

Mitchell expects several wrestlers to contend for district berths, including Braxton Sheets (120/126), who is 20-1 on the season. 

“There’s room to improve,” Sheets said of the team. “We’ve had a really good season compared to past seasons. If we keep working hard in the room, we’ll get to where we need to be.” 

Brayden Benson (182) is 17-0, followed by Slade Waller (18-4, 120/126), Drew Palmer (16-3, 113/120/126), Carlin Hamilton (15-2, 195), Storm Beane (14-4, 152), Triston Beane (14-4, 138/145), A.J. Stoll (13-5, 132) and Isaac Carter (13-7, 220). 

•Hannah Routh led the Grove City swimming team in a Division I sectional Feb. 13 at Upper Arlington and was the program’s lone district qualifier. 

The junior advanced to the district meet Feb. 21 at Bowling Green in the 100-yard backstroke and 100 butterfly, as 24 swimmers qualified in individual events based on times from all the sectional sites. 

In session two at the UA sectional, she was first in the 100 fly (58.0 seconds) and second in the 100 back (58.82). 

At district, the top two finishers in each event advanced to state Feb. 26 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. The remaining state qualifiers were determined based on times from all district meets statewide. 

Last season at state, Routh finished 16th in the 100 fly (57.52) and 100 back (57.99). 

Preston Tussing led the boys team at sectional, finishing third in session two in the 50 freestyle (23.18) and fourth in the 100 free (51.79). 

—Frank DiRenna 

Grove City's Rocsi Rader (left) high-fives Grove City Christian's Roxy Rooker during a meet Feb. 2. In a Division II sectional Feb. 13, Rooker placed second in the 100 breaststroke and 200 individual medley.

Grove City Christian swimmer Roxy Rooker competed in a Division II sectional Feb. 13 at UA. She placed second in the 100 breaststroke (1:29.29) and 200 individual medley (2:45.63) but did not finish in the top 24 based on sectional times.

—Frank DiRenna

•The 46th-seeded Central Crossing boys basketball team opens the Division I district tournament Feb. 26 with a second-round game at top-seeded Gahanna or at home against 49th-seeded Whetstone.

The winner advances to a district semifinal March 3 against 18th-seeded Northland, 19th-seeded Lancaster or 24th-seeded Canal Winchester at the home of the better seed.

The Comets were 3-17 overall after beating Columbus West 75-54 on Feb. 17 and finished 0-10 in the OCC-Buckeye. 

Through 19 games, Jeremy Burns was averaging a team-high 11.5 points. Isaiah Bridges was averaging 6.6 points and a team-leading 4.8 rebounds, and Tristen Needham was averaging 6.5 points and 4.3 rebounds.

—Scott Hennen

•Haylee Howard and Mitchel Smith represented the Central Crossing boys and girls swimming and diving teams in the Division I district meet Feb. 21 at Bowling Green.

Howard, a junior, was seeded 20th in the 50 free (25.52). She was seeded 23rd last season and finished 28th (25.55).

Smith, a sophomore, was seeded 19th in the 100 fly (54.38).

From district, the top two finishers in each event advanced to state Feb. 26 and 27 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. The remaining state qualifiers were determined based on times from all district meets statewide. 

—Scott Hennen

sports@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSports