Basketball and wrestling fans across central Ohio were treated to a big
week of action. In wrestling, a pair of Ohio Capital Conference athletes
garnered individual state champions. On the girls basketball scene, an Ohio Capital Conference division
garnered not one or two but three district championships. And in boys
Basketball and wrestling fans across central Ohio were treated to a big week of action. In wrestling, a pair of Ohio Capital Conference athletes garnered individual state champions. On the team scene, a team from Union County and another from Madison County each finished in the top five of its respective divisions.
On the girls basketball scene, an Ohio Capital Conference division garnered not one or two but three district championships. And in boys basketball, a City League school pulled off a big upset, a Dublin school found the third time was the charm and a Pickaway County school put together a big third quarter run to keep its season going.
To find out whom, read on.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Dublin Coffman boys basketball: The third time was the charm for the Dublin Coffman Shamrocks against Upper Arlington. After losing two tight regular-season contests against the Golden Bears, the Rocks prevailed where it counted the most by claiming a 50-48 Division I Central District semifinal win at the Ohio Expo Center Coliseum.
Michael Green and Christian Heine each scored 14 points to lead Dublin Coffman and Kyle Molock added 13 points. The Shamrocks, now 19-3 overall, held Brian Sullivan, who torched Coffman for 35 and 28 points in the first two clashes, to just 10 points.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Josh Demas, Westerville North wrestling and Randy Languis, Dublin Scioto wrestling: It’s hard to pick one state champion over another. Demas dropped from 171 pounds down to 162 pounds with an illness, but battled through the disadvantage of the illness to battle through to a state title match, where the Westerville North product dispatched Copley’s Sam Wheeler 9-3 to garner his second consecutive Division I state crown. Languis had a closer match for the Irish, edging Massillon Perry’s Shane Foster 5-4 to claim the Division I 140 pound title. With 18 seconds left, Languis landed an escape for the winning point.
NEWS, NOTES & NUGGETS
Just short at state: Marysville’s Jake McCombs dropped a 3-1 decision in a Division I 125-pound state title match with Gus Sako of Lakewood St. Edwards. In Division II at 189 pounds, Miami Trace’s Travis McIntosh was pinned by St. Paris Graham’s Max Thomusseit in a state title match. West Jefferson’s Marco Gualtieri fell in a 135-pound Division III state title match, 5-4, to Payton Oney of Greenwich South Central. West Jefferson and Marysville had the strongest team showings from central Ohio at state. West Jeff finished fourth with 56 points in Division III, and Marysville took fourth in Division I at 64.5 points.
A Brave run: The Logan Elm boys basketball team, a Division II Final Four participant last season, trailed Waverly 27-22 at halftime of a Southeast District semifinal game. The Braves moved to a man-to-man defense to outscore Waverly 30-13 in the second half for a 52-40 win. Logan Elm went on a key 14-2 run to end the third quarter, led by Adam Blake scoring seven of his team-high 20 points. Logan Hauserman had 13 points and seven rebounds and Tyler Pritchard added 11 points for the 21-2 Braves.
Devil of a time: The Marion-Franklin boys basketball team landed the biggest upset in Division I Central District semifinal action by claiming a 66-57 win over previously undefeated Westerville South. The Red Devils, champions of the City League South Division, improved to 18-4 on the season and reached their first district final contest since 1993. Elijah Macon, who had a six-inch height advantage over every Westerville South player, led the way with a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds. DeJuan McGaughy added 14 points for Marion-Franklin.
Watterson moves on: The second-seeded Bishop Watterson boys basketball team avoided an upset bid by seventh-seeded Eastmoor Academy to claim a 37-35 win. Zach Riddle, who scored 11 points for the Eagles, hit the winning basket for Watterson, which moved to 16-6 on the season.
Ready turns to big performance: Joe Graessle scored 26 of his 30 points in the first half to help power the Bishop Ready boys basketball team to a 55-36 rout of Grandview Heights, a Division III regional finalist a season ago, in a district semifinal game. Graessle powered a 13-1 first half run for Ready with a trio of three-pointers and a steal and layup.
Stout Union: The North Union girls basketball team denied Amanda-Clearcreek a second consecutive Central District championship by forcing 20 turnovers with its pressing defense to take a 54-39 Division III district title win. The Wildcats went on a 7-0 run to end the first half to take a 30-20 halftime lead. Shanda Ridgeway led North Union, now 20-4, with 18 points and Reagan Stofcheck added 15 points, including a back breaking three-pointer at the end of the first half and another in the third quarter.
OH-IO: The Ohio Capital Conference Ohio Division has more than proved to be the toughest girls basketball league in the district this season. The division swept all three Division I district championship games.
Reynoldsburg improved to 19-5 and won its first district title since 1991 with a 56-50 victory over Brookhaven, led by Kenyell Goodson scoring 20 points and Aryelle Covington and T’Shera Lucas each contributed 11 points. Reynoldsburg took a 15-3 lead after the first quarter and held a 27-16 advantage at halftime.
Pickerington North coach Dave Butcher won his 22nd consecutive district crown as the Panthers beat New Albany 68-56. Michele Hare scored 14 points for Pickerington North, now 23-1, which went on a 16-2 run over parts of the second and third quarters.
Gahanna took the other win for the division by upsetting second-seeded Dresden Tri-Valley 45-39, led by Haley Schmitt scoring 11 points. Gahanna, which finished fourth in the Ohio Division, handed Tri-Valley its first loss of the season and improved to 17-6 overall.
Division III Central District boys basketball championships, Thursday, at Ohio Expo Center Coliseum
Centerburg tries to make a magical season even better by trying to win a district title. Ready looks to close a district title against a talented Worthington Christian squad.
Bloom-Carroll vs. Centerburg, 6 p.m.
Bishop Ready vs. Worthington Christian, 9 p.m.
Division I regional girls basketball championship, Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Otterbein
A probable OCC Ohio matchup for a Final Four ticket should be very intriguing for central Ohio hoops fans.
Pickerington North-Xenia winner vs. Gahanna-Reynoldsburg winner
Division II Central District boys basketball championships, Friday, at Ohio Expo Center Coliseum
The Watterson-Canal game is a rematch of a regular-season game won by Watterson in overtime
Bexley vs. DeSales, 6 p.m.
Watterson vs. Canal Winchester, 9 p.m.
Division II Southeast District boys basketball championship, Friday, at Ohio University Convo
The Braves are trying to win back-to-back district titles for the first time in over four decades (1962-1963).
Logan Elm vs. Vincent Warren, 7 p.m.
Division I Central District boys basketball championships, Saturday, at Ohio Expo Center Coliseum
Look for the Coffman vs. Marion-Franklin game to be the highlight of another big day of basketball at the Fairgrounds. Gahanna and Northland are the favorites in the last two games but are a treat to watch.
Dublin Coffman vs. Marion-Franklin, 10 a.m.
Westerville North vs. Gahanna, 12:30 p.m.
Northland vs. Westerville Central, 3 p.m.