Considering what transpired during a game against North Union earlier this season, the Ready High School girls basketball team had all the fuel it needed -- and a solid strategy -- for the rematch.
On March 1 in a Division III district final at Worthington Christian Middle School, the fourth-seeded Silver Knights held Wildcats forward Mason Jamison to 11 points -- eight under her average -- and shot well enough from the outside to earn a 59-57 victory.
Ready avenged a 50-43 loss to second-seeded North Union on Jan. 18 and won its fifth district championship in 33 seasons under coach Joe Lang.
Jamison had 23 points in the earlier matchup.
"We knew the first time we played them that we didn't key on Jamison," junior forward Lauren Ruth said. "This whole past week we worked on stopping her and stopping their post play.
"It's a great feeling because we've worked so hard this year. This was one goal we wanted to get and it's a great feeling to get into the regional."
Ready, which improved to 18-6, played Jamestown Greeneview in a regional semifinal March 5. The winner plays Versailles or Casstown Miami East in a regional final at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 8, at Springfield.
The regional champion plays Nelsonville-York, Sugarcreek Garaway, Proctorville Fairland or Greenfield McClain in a regional semifinal March 14 at Ohio State.
Ruth scored 22 points and Caroline Riewe had 16 as both players made four 3-pointers in the rematch with North Union.
Ready beat 12th-seeded Utica 62-31 on Feb. 25 in a district semifinal at Worthington Christian Middle School. Margie Berkemeyer scored 18 points, Riewe had 12 and Ruth 10, and the Knights caused 22 turnovers.
"We haven't been to a district championship game in a long time, so it means a lot to me and my teammates," said Berkemeyer, whose team last won a district title in 2007. "The first time we played (North Union) we were close but we weren't on our game, and we've worked as hard as we could."
Garren takes 3rd in state wrestling
Looking to build on a 5-1 lead in his semifinal match in the Division III state wrestling tournament Feb. 28 at Ohio State, senior Patrik Garren was pulled down while making a shot on Fremont St. Joseph Central Catholic senior Corey Durbin.
A few seconds later, Garren's hopes of winning a second state heavyweight title were over as he was pinned in 3 minutes, 49 seconds.
Although the move didn't work out for Garren, who bounced back to finish third March 1, he plans to use the experience as motivation for when he begins competing next year at the University of Pennsylvania.
"It seemed like he was dominating the match, but credit that kid for having that move in his arsenal," coach James Yonushonis said. "Patrik was winning 5-1. The good college heavyweights really get after it and he ended up getting pulled down on a shot and lost. It's shocking -- a hard pillow to swallow -- but God has a plan for Patrik."
Garren, who was third at state as a sophomore and won the title a year ago, beat Martins Ferry's Jon Bodkin in a consolation semifinal and Dayton Christian's Nate Jackson in the third-place match by 9-3 scores.
Garren finished 4-1 at state and 47-2 on the season.
"I'm glad I didn't just give up, but it definitely sucks," he said. "I felt like I was wrestling pretty well and it was just that one move. It was a fun career and I'll use this in college."
Also competing at state were seniors Patrick Stover (152 pounds) and Will Martello (160). Stover went 1-2 to finish 37-7 and Martello went 0-2 to finish 32-17.
Ready tied for 26th (19) behind champion Delta (141) as 94 teams scored.
Sutfin ties for 3rd in state bowling
Senior Paige Sutfin took advantage of her last opportunity to shine at the prep level.
After missing the state tournament by one spot as a sophomore, Sutfin helped the girls bowling team win its second consecutive league title as a junior.
Just before last year's postseason, however, she became ineligible.
Determined not to let anything get in her way this winter, Sutfin finished second in average in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference and then helped Ready advance to state for the first time by winning medalist honors at district Feb. 22 at HP Lanes.
At the Division II state tournament March 1 at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl, Sutfin rolled a 607 series to tie Parma Padua's Belle Panza for third and make first-team all-state. Urbana's Taylor Bodey won the title (658) and Springfield Kenton Ridge's Alyx Kearney was second (650).
"I've worked so hard to have this opportunity," Sutfin said. "I've worked on my grades a lot this year. My first game was kind of bad, but I moved my score up over 50 pins and shot 248 in my second game."
Ready settled for ninth (2,906) during the qualifying round as the top eight advanced to the championship round.
Seniors Madison Whitehead (44th, 495), Marina Sweet (57th, 479), Jordan Bair (69th, 459) and Kay-Lee Dunkle (80th, 382) also competed.
"We're just happy to be here this year," Sutfin said. "Our goal was to make it our senior year and we just stuck together."
Boys basketball team wins 2nd-round game
The boys basketball team beat Columbus Academy 49-45 on Feb. 26 to advance to at least a district semifinal for the third consecutive season.
The second-seeded Knights were 17-5 before playing sixth-seeded Centerburg on March 4, with the winner to play top-seeded Hartley or 10th-seeded Fredericktown in a Division III district final at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 6, at the Fairgrounds Coliseum.
Hartley was 15-7 and Fredericktown was 13-11 before their district semifinal.
Ready lost to Hartley 54-46 on Jan. 4 and 54-49 on Jan. 17.
The Knights, who were district runners-up a year ago, would play Proctorville Fairland, Chillicothe Southeastern, Wheelersburg or Chesapeake in a regional semifinal at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 12, at Ohio University if they won a district title.
The regional final is March 15 at Ohio University.
Against 13th-seeded Academy, Anthony Pulsinelli scored 14 points, Shane Lee had 11 and Matt Yoho added eight to help Ready to its fifth consecutive win.