There was no easy solution for Ready High School girls basketball coach Joe Lang at the Division III district tournament drawing Feb. 3.
If he placed his team in the bracket whose district final will be held March 2 at Granville, the Silver Knights likely would have to get past top-seeded and defending state champion Africentric.
The bracket in which the district final is slated for Worthington Christian Middle School includes the second through fifth seeds.
Believing a first-round home game was to Ready's benefit, Lang set his team up with a matchup at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, against Cardington.
The winner visits second-seeded North Union at 7 p.m. Feb. 21, but at least that potential matchup wouldn't be completely foreign to the Silver Knights.
North Union beat Ready 57-55 on Dec. 15 by making what according to Lang was a halfcourt 3-pointer at the buzzer.
"We were down 12 in the fourth quarter and we went on a press and (senior guard Kim) Lloyd hit a 3 with (about) two seconds left to put us up one," Lang said. "I told them to not let them get a long pass so they threw it to their big kid and she caught it and one-handed it in. ... I think (we) feel like (we) can play with that team."
One issue the Silver Knights will be dealing with the remainder of the way is their health.
Junior guard Caroline Riewe was lost for the season during a 66-53 loss to Johnstown on Jan. 22. Junior forward Bobbie Menke injured an ankle during a recent practice and could be out for two more weeks.
Filling in for Menke has been junior Elisabeth Palazzo, who scored 14 points during a 52-39 win over Grandview on Feb. 6.
Ready also celebrated senior night against Grandview for guard Carly Culbertson and Lloyd, who scored two and 14 points, respectively.
"I think Palazzo has stepped up and done a good job," Lang said. "She's physical, strong and she's competed. She's only 5-8, but she's really stepped up. (Sophomore guard) Madison Gatley and (freshman guard) Delaney Cutteridge have been doing a good job splitting the job that Caroline was doing.
"(Culbertson and Lloyd) are both three-year varsity players who have been unbelievably loyal. They're hardworking kids and have been more concerned about everyone else more than themselves."
Boys basketball team preps for tourney
Boys basketball coach Don Worstell believes his team's schedule should prepare it well for the Division III district tournament.
Ready was 10-9 overall before playing North Union on Feb. 12. The Silver Knights finish the regular season Friday, Feb. 15, at home against Marion Elgin.
North Union was third and Ready was fifth in last week's area coaches poll.
The Silver Knights finished 1-7 in the CCL with a 55-48 loss to DeSales on Feb. 8.
Ready is seeded eighth for the tournament and opens at home Feb. 23 against 20th-seeded Heath. The winner plays at fifth-seeded Grandview in the second round Feb. 27.
"I really like our team," Worstell said. "They're a fun group to coach and I feel like they play pretty good basketball. They don't seem to be physical enough every night in the CCL, but we're excited for the tournament. It's hard for the competitor in us to have all of those losses in close games, but we're not going to let it beat us up. There were several games we just didn't get it done at the end. We feel very prepared."
Senior guards Doug Strickler and Kyle Wilgus have been key players all season, and juniors Matt Yoho and Josh Gantz have given the Silver Knights a strong presence with their play at forward and in the post.
During a 51-43 win Jan. 29 over Granville, Wilgus scored 16 points and Gantz had 13 as the Silver Knights outscored the Blue Aces 36-28 in the second half. Granville was fifth in last week's Division II area coaches poll.
"We've had a very balanced team this year with good contributions from all the kids," Worstell said. "We defend pretty consistently. I'm very comfortable with our ability to defend other teams. Our schedule has been very, very good."
Wrestlers excited for postseason
The wrestling team will compete in a Division III sectional tournament Friday, Feb. 15, and Saturday, Feb. 16, at Madison Plains.
Competing for the Silver Knights will be juniors Patrik Garren (heavyweight), Will Martello (152), Steven Pozz (126), Dalton Scott (138) and Patrick Stover (145). All won CCL titles Feb. 2 except for Pozz, who was second.
Garren was 29-1, followed by Scott (22-8), Stover (22-9), Martello (21-10) and Pozz (16-11) before Ready's matches Feb. 6.
"We like going to other schools and seeing some other faces, but you'd be surprised with how much we get done (with only five competitors)," coach James Yonushonis said. "It's nice that most of them except for Patrik are around the same weight."
The top four individuals in each weight class at sectional advance to the district tournament Feb. 22 and 23 at Duncan Falls Philo.
Swimming season ends at sectional
No members of the boys and girls swimming teams advanced to the Division II district meet Friday, Feb. 15, at Ohio State.
In a sectional Feb. 9 at Upper Arlington, the boys were last (8) of five teams behind champion Grandview (280) and the girls were last (19) of four teams behind champion Centennial (332).