Pickerington North Roundup: Panthers boys bowling team falls short of state
For having just come out of its third quarantine of the season, the Pickerington North boys bowling team picked up right where it had left off entering the postseason.
Despite having not competed for two weeks, the Panthers’ season ended just 39 pins shy of a Division I state tournament berth.
Junior Ethan Yurko bowled a 641 three-game series to lead North to fourth place (3,913) in the 16-team district tournament Feb. 22 at HP Lanes behind champion Marion Harding (4,195). The top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to state March 6 at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl.
Third-place Olentangy Orange bowled a 3,952, and Yurko was 11 pins behind the final individual qualifier, Nathan Clark of Jonathan Alder.
“We did well. I couldn’t be prouder. We gave ourselves a chance,” coach Mike Rossi said. “(Junior) Jack (Rodgers) just came back (for sectional Feb. 19 at HP Lanes). All of us just came back last week. We were all quarantined for a while. It’s the last thing you want, especially this time of year. We had been bowling very well. We were bowling our best games.
“The second game (at district) we fell back and that probably cost us. But the guys still did well. We still had a great year.”
North bowled a 978 in its first game, followed by an 865 and 942 before averaging 188 in six Baker games to remain in contention.
Also scoring were Rodgers (tied for 16th, 613), sophomore Jacob Neubauer (tied for 32nd, 570), senior Alex Zumock (57th, 514) and junior Ethan Grundy (76th, 447).
Yurko averaged a team-leading 209.1 pins per game during the regular season, ahead of Zumock (199), Neubauer (192.8), Rodgers (181) and Grundy (167.1). Rodgers holds the program records for single-game score (297) and two-game series (543), both of which he set Feb. 4 against Hilliard Davidson at Rule 3.
North finished 7-4 overall, 6-4 in the COHSBC-B Division and 5-1 in the OCC-Central to tie Gahanna for first place.
Girls senior Alana Robinson was 74th (401) of 104 bowlers at district to fall short of a state berth.
The girls team finished 4-5 overall, 4-4 in the COHSBC-B and 1-3 in the OCC-Central.
Robinson averaged 153.6, ahead of classmate Evy Vance (136.7), freshman Cait Rogers (127.4), freshman Abby McFerin (123.6) and seniors Sienna Reedus (117.1) and Chelsea Rager (111.3).
Boys basketball team
The boys basketball team began the Division I district tournament Feb. 26 at home against 34th-seeded New Albany in a second-round game, needing three wins to capture its first district championship since 2017.
Seventh-seeded North finished the regular season at 11-5 overall and 7-3 in the OCC-Ohio, third behind champion Gahanna (9-1). The Panthers lost to the Lions 57-42 on Feb. 19 in a game that would have resulted in a tie for the league championship had North won.
The North-New Albany winner played 11th-seeded Olentangy Orange or 26th-seeded Big Walnut in a district semifinal March 3. That winner will face seventh-seeded Westerville Central or 38th-seeded Mount Vernon in a district final March 6 at the home of the better seed.
North split two OCC-Ohio games with Central, losing 49-45 on Jan. 5 and winning 51-50 on Jan. 22, and lost to Whitehall 53-51 in double overtime Jan. 19.
The district champion will advance to a regional semifinal March 11.
Girls basketball team
falls in first round
Junior point guard Adi Dorman is one of several players eligible to return for the girls basketball team, which finished 6-15 overall and 5-5 in the OCC-Ohio to triple its win total from 2019-20.
Other key players expected back include sophomore guards Cate Pickering and Sofia Walton.
North will have to replace its primary inside players in Mayson Bates, Jada Moultair and Dru Ultican as well as guard Alsaysha Grant, all of whom are seniors.
Grant, who averaged 7.2 points, is a Wilberforce recruit.
The Panthers’ season came to an end Feb. 17 with a 57-42 loss at 14th-seeded Olentangy Liberty in the first round of the Division I district tournament. Bates had 16 points and Moultair added 12 to pace 26th-seeded North.
•Record: 6-15 overall
•OCC-Ohio standings: Gahanna (10-0), New Albany (8-2), Grove City and Pickerington North (5-5), Westerville Central (2-8), Westland (0-10)
•Seniors lost: Mayson Bates, Alsaysha Grant, Jada Moultair and Dru Ultican
•Key returnees: Adi Dorman, Kylie Mizer, Cate Pickering and Sofia Walton
•Postseason: Lost to Olentangy Liberty 57-42 in first round of Division I district tournament
•Record: Boys — 7-4 overall; Girls — 4-5 overall
•League finishes: Boys — Sixth (5-4) in COHSBC-B behind champion Gahanna (11-1), tied for first (5-1) in OCC-Central; Girls — Tied for fifth (4-4) in COHSBC-B behind champion Gahanna (10-0), fourth (1-3) in OCC-Central behind champion Gahanna (4-0)
•Seniors lost: Boys — Kyle Roberts, Ethan Yurko and Alex Zumock; Girls — Jalyn Crawford, Gabby Furrow, Chelsea Rager, Sienna Reedus, Alana Robinson and Evy Vance
•Key returnees: Boys — Jacob Neubauer and Jack Rodgers; Girls — Abby McFerin and Cait Rogers
•Postseason: Boys — 11th (3,770) at sectional behind champion Marion Harding (4,316), fourth (3,913) at district behind champion Marion Harding (4,195); Girls — Did not score at sectional