The name on the trophies was status quo, in the end. The fight to get there was not.
For the 20th time in 20 tries, the Homestead girls won the NHC swim and dive championships Saturday. For the 15th time in 16 tries, the Homestead boys followed suit.
But both genders were pushed by strong efforts from Carroll, which came up just 35 points short on the girls side (547-512) and 28 points shy on the boys side (533-505).
I think Carrolls girls, especially the young freshmen, really stood up a lot better than expected, Homestead coach Chad Englehart said. Everybody knew the boys meet would be competitive, but the young girls did really well for (Carroll coach) John Gibson today.
The key moment, Englehart figured, came in the 200 individual medley, where Reagan Cook led a 1-2-3 Homestead sweep with a conference record 2:05.33 time. That countered a 1-2-3 sweep from Carrolls Zoe Toscos, Ciana Heaston and Alexandra Bednarz in the 200 freestyle. Cook also won the 500 freestyle.
It was a real nice answer to their start, Englehart said.
Also standing out for Homestead were Bailey Pressey, who won the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke. Courtney Kresl won the 50 free and 100 free for Carroll.
On the boys side, Cody Craig won the 50 free and finished second in the 100 free, and Kevin Frebels near-record performance in diving led a 1-2-3 sweep for Homestead that halted an early parade of Carroll victories. Brian Niebuhr won the 200 free and 100 free and Blaine Nichols the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke for Carroll.
BISHOP LUERS 79, MUNCIE SOUTH 73, OT: James Blackmon Jr. went for 44 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Knights in Muncie. Luers blew an eight-point lead with a minute left in regulation but outscored South 11-5 in the overtime.
COLUMBIA CITY 45, BELLMONT 34: At Columbia City, Emily Whiteleather scored 10 points to lead the Eagles.