Ready High School junior Patrik Garren joined a fraternity that included some familiar faces as the state wrestling tournament wrapped up March 2 at Ohio State.
A few minutes after he beat Loudonville senior Austin Cary 5-2 in the Division III heavyweight final, Garren stood atop the far right podium to signify that he'd won the program's first state championship since 1999.
Standing near the top of the middle podium was the only wrestler to beat Garren this season, Whitehall senior Alex Farrow, after he earned a Division II state runner-up finish.
At the top of the left podium was Hilliard Davidson senior Travis Gusan, who captured the championship in Division I.
"Me and Travis have never wrestled in a real match, but we've practiced a little and we've been friends for a while," Garren said. "It was sweet because we all (know each other) and it's nice to see everyone up there."
Garren, who finished third at state last season, led the championship match 2-0 by the end of the second period before Cary scored on an escape.
Garren got a takedown point with 26 seconds left in the match to make it 3-1 but gave up a point for stalling with 17 seconds to go. Garren sealed the match with a takedown in the closing seconds.
"It's still pretty unreal, but I'm trying to get used to it," said Garren, who has 101 career victories. "It feels awesome."
"We just prayed before every match and combine that with all the hard work, moments like this are why you do all the hard work," coach James Yonushonis said. "Four matches is a long tournament and it's not like he got four 30-second pins."
Garren, who went 42-1 this season, opened state by pinning Genoa Area's Cody Buckner in 12 seconds. He then beat Akron Manchester's Jacob Hanzel 6-2 and Doylestown Chippewa's Zack Srock 4-2 to move into the final.
Garren scored 24 points to help Ready place 21st at state behind champion Troy Christian (95.5) as 94 teams scored.
Also competing at state for the Silver Knights was junior Dalton Scott, who went 0-2 at 138 to finish the season 31-12. He lost to Liberty Center's Zach Niner 6-4 in his first match and then fell to Massillon Tuslaw's Chance Marthey 3-1.
Boys basketball team advances to semifinal
The boys basketball team likely wouldn't have advanced to a Division III district semifinal March 5 against fourth-seeded Fredericktown without the play of junior forward Josh Gantz.
During Ready's 45-42 win over fifth-seeded Grandview on Feb. 27, Gantz blocked 11 shots, including a 3-point attempt at the buzzer. The eighth-seeded Silver Knights improved to 13-10 and moved into a second consecutive district semifinal.
"Josh Gantz was huge," coach Don Worstell said.
"We were playing hard and we forced a lot helpside," Gantz said. "My long arms came into play for us."
If it beat Fredericktown, eighth-seeded Ready would play second-seeded Columbus Academy or sixth-seeded Worthington Christian in a district final at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 7, at the Fairgrounds Coliseum.
The district champion will play Versailles or Dayton Stivers at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, in a regional semifinal at Kettering Fairmont. The regional final is 7 p.m. March 16 at the same site.
Ready last won a district title in Worstell's first season in 2010.
Also against Grandview, senior guard Doug Strickler had 13 points and junior guard Kelly Culbertson had six assists as the Silver Knights outscored the Bobcats 15-7 in the fourth quarter.
"We feel like we have a lot of kids that can play and play with a lot of energy," Worstell said. "Our press was good. They had a good defensive plan and were hard to score on."
Girls team's season ends in district semi
The girls basketball team couldn't overcome the inside game or the 15-for-16 shooting from the free-throw line of fourth-seeded Fredericktown during a 46-37 loss in a Division III district semifinal Feb. 28 at Worthington Christian Middle School.
Ready, which placed fourth in the CCL at 2-6 behind tri-champions DeSales, Hartley and Watterson (6-2) and ahead of Columbus School for Girls (0-8), finished 14-11 overall.
"(Fredericktown) did a great job at the foul line," coach Joe Lang said. "They're a good team and their size bothered us. They've got a 6-2 girl (senior Hope Huvler) and a 6-0 girl (junior Emily Williams) and they altered shots that we missed. I thought they did a great job with their 2-3 zone in the second half."
Senior guard Kim Lloyd and sophomore forward Lauren Ruth each scored 14 points against the Freddies. Ready shot just 11-for-33 from the floor.
Lloyd averaged 14 points and made first-team all-league and second-team all-district.
Senior guard Carly Culbertson averaged 5.4 points.
Ruth would be the leading returning scorer next year after averaging 9.2 points and making second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district. Junior post player Margie Berkemeyer averaged 7.6 points through 20 games but did not play in the district tournament because of illness.
Juniors Elisabeth Palazzo (forward) and Bobbie Menke (forward), sophomore Madison Gatley (guard) and freshman Delaney Cutteridge (guard) were other key players.
Junior guard Caroline Riewe started in the season's first half before getting injured.
Ready, which was the eighth seed, opened the district tournament with a 52-31 home win over Cardington on Feb. 16 and upset second-seeded North Union 52-48 in double overtime Feb. 21 in the second round.
The Silver Knights had lost to North Union 57-55 on Dec. 15.
"We've got eight or nine kids coming back that I think all can play," Lang said. "Berkemeyer and Riewe will be back and I think they'll be better. We had Palazzo step in for Berkemeyer and Bobbie Menke stepped up in terms of playing tough and playing strong. Gatley and Cutteridge stepped in to take over for Riewe. I think the key will be Lauren Ruth because somebody's got to pick up the slack (offensively)."