Now in her fourth season on the Gahanna Lincoln High School girls bowling team, senior Erika Reed has bettered her average each year.
This winter she has been among the top 20 performers throughout the season in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference, and she hopes the improved play will translate into a long postseason.
The latest step forward has come despite her being busier than ever.
Reed enlisted in the Ohio Army National Guard last September, and she participates in training at the Defense Supply Center Columbus once per month.
"I just felt like I needed to do something for my country," she said. "I go to drill once a month and after school I go off to basic, so it's a little bit difficult sometimes to have to juggle the Army schedule with school and bowling."
Reed, who said she has a great uncle who formerly was in the Ohio National Guard, has been able to participate in nearly all of Gahanna's bowling matches.
Her weekend duties with the guard also won't interfere with the bowling team's postseason.
Gahanna will compete in the 41-team Division I sectional tournament Feb. 21 at Eastland Lanes, with the top 20 teams and top 20 individuals not on qualifying teams advancing to the district tournament March 1 at Eastland Lanes.
Gahanna was 7-4 overall and 7-2 in the COHSBC-North Division before facing Hilliard Bradley on Feb. 4.
The Lions finished 2-3 in the OCC-Cardinal, which Westerville South won at 5-0.
Gahanna closes the regular season Thursday, Feb. 6, against Hilliard Darby at Ten Pin Alley.
Reed averaged 128.7 as a freshman but increased her average to 141.7 as a sophomore and 157.3 a year ago.
Entering the week, her 167.5 average was 14th in the COHSBC.
"(Being in the National Guard) is something she signed up for this year, and she's done a pretty good job dividing her time," coach Kelly Ferguson said.
Last season, Gahanna advanced to district, where Reed was 22nd (497) to miss a state individual berth by 32 pins.
Senior Mickayla Moyer (156.7 before Feb. 4), junior Samantha Toale (146.1), senior Erin Holt (136.5) and freshman Breanna White (129.2) have been other key bowlers this winter.
"Actually, it's going pretty well this year," Reed said. "It's a little different because we have (so many) seniors. I knew I needed to practice more this year so I could be a little bit better. We all encourage each other."
The boys team was 4-7 overall and 4-6 in the COHSBC-North before facing Bradley on Feb. 4 and Thomas Worthington on Feb. 5.
The Lions finished 1-4 in the OCC-Cardinal. Westerville South won the league at 5-0.
Boys team tries to stay in title race
The boys basketball team's hopes of winning the OCC-Ohio championship took a hit when it lost 51-50 on Jan. 28 at Reynoldsburg.
The Lions then beat Lancaster 80-52 on Jan. 31 and played Grove City on Feb. 4 in league games. They close the league schedule Friday, Feb. 7, at Pickerington North and Feb. 14 at home against Pickerington Central.
Gahanna, which also beat Canal Winchester 59-33 on Feb. 1, was 15-3 overall and 8-3 in the OCC-Ohio before playing Grove City.
Central, which beat Gahanna 62-58 on Jan. 10, was 9-1 in the league before playing Newark on Feb. 4. Central also has league games Friday, Feb. 7, at home against Groveport and Tuesday, Feb. 11, at North.
Newark was 8-2 in the league before playing Central and has league games left against Reynoldsburg (Friday, Feb. 7), Grove City (Tuesday, Feb. 11) and Lancaster (Feb. 14).
Coach Tony Staib was encouraged with his team's play during a 54-47 win over Newark on Jan. 24 that gave the Lions a season split with the Wildcats.
"I think the team is starting to jell and mature as we wind down the stretch here," he said. "You just sort of forget that eight out of the 11 guys we have are underclassmen and I think that showed at the beginning of the year."
The Lions recently learned senior post player Keith Scowden, who hasn't played this winter because of back problems, won't return. He averaged 4.1 points a year ago.
Defense stepping up for girls basketball team
The girls basketball team used strong defensive performances to beat Reynoldsburg 35-24 on Jan. 28 and Lancaster 41-24 on Jan. 31 in league games.
The Lions were 13-7 overall and 8-4 in the OCC-Ohio before playing Grove City on Feb. 4. They close the regular season Friday, Feb. 7, at Pickerington North.
On Feb. 15 at home, Gahanna will open the Division I district tournament against 23rd-seeded Walnut Ridge. The Lions received the 11th seed.
Wrestlers prepping for postseason
The wrestling team closes the regular season Saturday, Feb. 8, in the Jon Post Invitational at Westerville North.
The Lions are 3-3 in the OCC-Ohio and finish the league schedule Thursday, Feb. 6, at home against Grove City. They lost to Pickerington North 49-10 on Jan. 30.
Gahanna finished second (147.5) in the 16-team All-North Tournament on Feb. 1 at Dublin Jerome behind champion Amanda-Clearcreek (191). Senior Nick Nader (heavyweight) was first and sophomore Doland Martin (170 pounds) was runner-up.
On Jan. 25 in the 12-team Rieman Invitational at Delaware, Gahanna finished seventh (130.5) behind champion Massillon Perry (387). Junior Andy Chau (195) took second, Nader (heavyweight) placed third and sophomore Tanner Harding (145) and senior David Dembroski (152) both placed fourth.
The Lions will compete in a Division I sectional Feb. 15 at Pickerington Central, where the top four finishers in each weight class advance to the district tournament Feb. 21 and 22 at Hilliard Darby.
Hockey team to play in consolation bracket
The hockey team finished fourth in the Capital Hockey Conference-White Division and will compete in the consolation bracket of the Blue Jackets Cup.
At 12:40 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, the Lions will play Dublin Scioto or Worthington Kilbourne at OhioHealth Ice Haus in a semifinal.
The winner will face Cincinnati Moeller, Olentangy or Thomas Worthington in the consolation bracket final at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9, at the Ice Haus.
The Lions lost to St. Charles 7-3 on Feb. 3 in their regular-season finale. They are 16-10-2 overall and went 7-9 in the CHC.
The district tournament begins Feb. 14.