Led by Upper Arlington’s performance in the pool at the state swimming and diving championships in Canton, Central Ohio athletes had a big week. UA won its fifth straight girls swimming state title, while several individuals claimed championships as well. Did we mention the basketball postseason is intensifying?
Being assertive was no problem for two Ohio Capital Conference Ohio Division girls basketball teams.
The OCC division, known for its strong, deep stable of teams during the regular season, punched the first two tickets to Division I Central District championship games.
Reynoldsburg had the most thrilling victory, closing a district semifinal game on a 10-0 run and watching two Dublin Scioto shots fall short in the closing seconds to take a 40-37 victory.
T’Shera Lucas made a basket to tie the game at 37-37, then hit three free throws to put Reynoldsburg, now 19-4, in the lead. Kenyell Goodson paced the Lady Raiders with 13 points.
The loss was the second of the season for Scioto.
Pickerington Central also advanced with a 48-40 victory over Columbus Brookhaven.
Emilee Harmon poured in 18 points for the Lady Tigers, while Samantha Griffith chipped in a dozen points.
Central, which stands at 18-5, faces Reynoldsburg Saturday at Lewis Center Olentangy Orange for a trip to the regional tournament.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Upper Arlington, Girls Swimming: This was about domination. The Upper Arlington girls swimming team left no doubt in the Division I state championship, outdistancing second place Columbus Bishop Watterson 349-176 to claim a state title. UA claimed three relay events, and Darcy Fishback defended her championship in the 100-yard butterfly en route to being named top performer in the meet.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jared Sullinger, Columbus Northland, Boys Basketball: Jared Sullinger lit up the scoreboard with 30 points, while adding 13 rebounds, three steals and three blocks in a 65-46 Northland victory over Dublin Jerome, sending the top-seeded Vikings to the district tournament.
NEWS, NOTES & NUGGETS
No. 300: Grandview Heights boys basketball coach Ray Corbett notched his 300th career victory in a 55-46 Bobcat win over Marion Elgin. Grandview stands at 18-3 entering a Central District semifinal game tonight.
Big Fish: In addition to UA’s pool prowess, a pair of Central Ohio swimmers also had big days at state. Watterson junior Gracie Finnegan defended her state titles in both the 50 freestyle and the 100 freestyle, while Olentangy Liberty senior Ashley Specht took her third title in the 100 breaststroke.
Three in a row: Marion Pleasant won its third consecutive district championship at the Division III Steubenville district with 138.5 points. Pleasant collected three individual titles with Aaron Edington winning be a 9-4 decision at heavyweight, Colton Beavers prevailing over Aaron Shook of Newark Catholic 5-1 at 189 pounds and Quinton Cooperider winning by technical fall at 145. West Jefferson finished second at Steubenville with 114 points.
Cold water: No. 3-seeded Lakewood had cold water thrown on its fairy tale season, being upset 70-41 at the hands of Columbus Bishop Watterson. Chris Grabosky led 12-10 Watterson with 19 points. Lakewood, which won its first league title since 1980 last month, finished its season at 17-4.
First year, first trip: Lewis Center Olentangy Orange clinched a trip to The Barn for the Central District tournament with a 65-49 victory over Newark Licking Valley. Orange, in its first year as a school, was paced by Zack Joseph with 25 points. Orange, now 16-5, went on a 13-0 surge in the final period to take control.
Third time is the charm: After losing to Licking County rival Newark Catholic twice during the regular-season, the Heath girls basketball team notched a win when it counted most, defeating the Lady Green Wave in convincing fashion, 55-39. After coughing up leads of 14 and nine points in the first two games against Newark Catholic, Heath (15-7) held the Lady Green Wave without a field goal in the fourth quarter to cruise to the win, and a ticket to the Division III Central District girls basketball tournament. Megan White led Heath with 13 points in the second quarter, and 30 for the game.
Close call: Cody Hall came through in the clutch for the Granville boys basketball team. Hall scored all six of his points in overtime, helping the Blue Aces (14-7) past New Albany 58-54 to send Granville to the district tournament.
Rock solid: The Dublin Coffman hockey team scored a 3-0 victory over Oxford Talawanda in a district semifinal game. Chris Ridgway had two goals for the Rocks and Alex Rogers tallied his six consecutive shutout, stopping 35 shots. Coffman (24-4-1-1) plays Centerville Saturday for the district title.
Climb the Mount: Ben Severns knocked down a basket with 15 seconds left, helping to lift 16-6 Mount Vernonpast 16-6 Westerville Central 39-36 to send the Jackets to the district tournament. Severns had a game-high 15 points for Mount Vernon.
Division III Central District boys basketball tournament, tonight, at Ohio Expo Center Fairgrounds Coliseum: District semifinals, London Madison-Plains vs. Grandview Heights, 6:15 p.m., Bloom-Carroll vs. Columbus Bishop Ready, 8 p.m.
Division I Central District girls basketball tournament, tonight, at Olentangy Orange High School: District semifinals, Gahanna vs. Dublin Coffman, 6:15 p.m., Grove City vs. Columbus Bishop Watterson, 8 p.m.
State wrestling tournament, Schottenstein Center, Thursday-Saturday: The best wrestlers in Ohio invade the Schott for the state tournament. Hilliard Davison, Marysville and Columbus DeSales are among the best teams competing from the Central District.
Division II Central District boys basketball tournament, Thursday-Friday, at Ohio Expo Center Fairgrounds Coliseum: District semifinals, Thurs. March 5, Granville vs. Canal Winchester, 6:15 p.m., Columbus Bishop Watterson vs. Lewis Center Olentangy Orange, 8 p.m.; Fri. March 6, Sunbury Big Walnut vs. Columbus Eastmoor Academy, 6:15 p.m., Columbus DeSales vs. Delaware Buckeye Valley, 8 p.m.
Division I Central District boys basketball tournament, Saturday, at Ohio Expo Center Fairgrounds Coliseum: District semifinals, Dublin Coffman vs. Columbus Beechcroft, 10 a.m., Mount Vernon vs. Grove City, 11:45 a.m., Newark vs. Upper Arlington, 2 p.m., Reynoldsburg vs. Dublin Scioto, 4:15 p.m., Gahanna vs. Westerville North, 7 p.m., Columbus Northland vs. Columbus Whetstone, 8 p.m.