Last Saturday was expected to be a busy day for Delaware Christian School sophomore Jeff Copley.

Last Saturday was expected to be a busy day for Delaware Christian School sophomore Jeff Copley.

After competing in the boys district bowling tournament at HP Lanes in the morning, Copley was headed back to join his Delaware Christian boys basketball teammates for the Eagles' first-round Division IV district tournament game against Tree of Life at Delaware Hayes that night.

"I'm thankful that the schedules worked out to where I am able to do both," Copley said. "That was a worry."

It was also helpful to Copley that he competes as an individual in bowling. If the Eagles had a team, it would be difficult for Copley to attend both bowling and basketball practices.

"I've been bowling since I've been in the second grade, and I bowl in a Saturday league at Morrow Lanes, which is close to where I live," he said. "So I get to work on bowling on my own terms."

Copley rolled a 673 in the sectional Feb. 19 at Rainbow Lanes, which was the second-best series behind Newark's Bret Peck (675). Copley opened with a 254 and followed with a 205 and 214.

"I bowled pretty well and just kept my mistakes to a minimum," he said. "I kept the ball in the pocket and tried to hit my mark."

Copley, who had a 526 in the sectional at Rainbow last year and failed to advance to district, says he has around a 185 average in his league at Morrow Lanes.

"I have good days and bad days and a 600 series is not unusual, but I've never reached 700," he said. "My best is a 693."

He may have to roll a career best to advance to state. The top three teams and top three scorers not on a qualifying team advance to the state meet Friday at Shawnee Lanes in Chillicothe. Last year, the three individual state qualifiers from the Central District were Unioto's Dallas Johnson (734), Peck (728) and Hartley's Tim Eichhorn (715). Three others rolled at least 700 and did not advance.

•The Hayes boys team also advanced from the sectional at Rainbow. The Pacers earned the last of the site's nine district-qualifying positions by recording a 3,785.

Zanesville (4,022), Newark (3,968) and Westerville South (3,944) took the top three spots in the 29-team field.

The Pacers edged Olentangy by six pins for the final spot. Delaware entered the event as the fourth-highest seed in the sectional.

"I thought we would've done better, but we were able to advance, and that's all that matters," coach Steve Carnahan said. "We came through in the Baker games and that's what saved us. Most of the guys couldn't find their line in the first Baker game (145), but we picked it up in the next three Bakers (210, 217, 215) and closed pretty well (189, 186 in the final two Bakers)."

Josh Hauersperger, who had a 639 at sectional last season, led the Pacers with a 596 (200-186-210). Jacob Hamel had a 569 (197-159-211) and Kyle Hovatter had a 542 (148-189-205).

The rest of the Pacers bowled two games, including Tom Smith's 336 (158-178), Josh Jones' 294 (187-113) and Ray Getz's 282 (133-149).

•The Hayes girls team finished 12th (2,781) and failed to advance, although sophomore Ashleigh Keller qualified to district as an individual.

Keller tied Circleville's Shyanne Rose for the fifth-best score, as both had a 458. Keller rolled 143, 139 and 176. Africentric's Aja Browning-Prysock had the top score with a 655.

"Ashleigh bowled 10 pins over her average, so it was a good tournament for her," Carnahan said. "I'm happy for her. She's only going to get better."

Cardington-Lincoln won the team title with a 3,426 and Westerville South (3,400) and Zanes-ville (3,396) followed. Olentangy (2,902) took the last of the nine district-qualifying spots.

Following Keller in the Pacers' scoring was Tayler Kunce's 413 (151-132-130), Olivia Ballard's 401 (145-122-134) and Mo Flahive's 358 (116-139-106). Jordan Sierawski had a 207 (107-100) and Shanon Evans bowled one game, a 110.

The girls state tournament is Saturday at Shawnee Lanes. The top three teams and three individuals not on a qualifying team advance from district.