Fifth-year Hilliard Bradley High School bowling coach John Thompson hopes this is the year everything falls into place for his teams.

Fifth-year Hilliard Bradley High School bowling coach John Thompson hopes this is the year everything falls into place for his teams.

In his first two years at Bradley, the boys team won two OCC-Capital Division championships. The next two years, the girls team accomplished the same feat.

This year, both teams entered the holiday break in first place in the OCC-Capital and within striking distance of the lead in their respective Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-North Division races.

"We finally have the chance to win both sides at the same time," Thompson said. "Sure, we have highs and lows on each team and we're still developing kids, but we're getting kids interested in bowling earlier and by the time they're ready to bowl on varsity, that experience is showing."

The boys team improved to 5-0 overall and in the 14-team COHSBC-North with a 2,706-1,905 win over Thomas Worthington on Dec. 20 and is 2-0 in the six-team OCC-Capital. The Jaguars are second in the COHSBC-North behind Westerville Central (6-0).

The boys team is led by junior Brady Hall, who had a 380.8 three-game series average through four matches. Rounding out the roster are seniors Dustin Chandler, Kevin Pirt and Brandon Richards, juniors Andrew Jester and Brandon Knadler and sophomores Kyle Brown and Drew Casey.

Hall had a 245 game in a season-opening 1,970-1,944 win over Darby on Dec. 3 and a season-high series of 426 in a 2,158-1,731 win over Big Walnut on Dec. 5. Bradley's other wins have come against Davidson (2,112-1,857 on Dec. 12) and Westerville North (1,982-1,755 on Dec. 16).

Chandler, Hall, Knadler, Pirt and Richards each has had a 300 series or better through four matches.

"I have eight guys on this team who can throw a 200 game without thinking about it," Thompson said. "They still struggle once in a while, but I can put any of those guys in any spot and we won't lose anything."

The girls team is 3-1 overall and in the 12-team COHSBC-North, one win behind Olentangy, and is 2-0 in the OCC-Capital.

Senior Abbie Lucas and junior Summer Ryan have paced the Jaguars, closely followed by senior Becca Hunter and sophomore Samantha Willman.

Through four matches, Lucas had a 132.8 game average, just ahead of Willman (129.8), Ryan (128.5) and Hunter (118.6).

Also on the team are sophomores Alanna Carpenter-Kidder, Lauren Kennedy and Jenna Stern and freshman Margaret Birnbrich.

Lucas recorded a season-high series of 297 on Dec. 12 in a 1,329-1,238 win over Davidson. Bradley's other wins have come against Darby (1,328-1,293 on Dec. 3) and Big Walnut (1,396-1,342 on Dec. 5).

The Jaguars lost to Westerville North 1,595-1,512 on Dec. 16.

Bradley is in the OCC-Capital with Darby, Davidson, Olentangy, Olentangy Liberty and Olentangy Orange. Also in the COHSBC-North are Big Walnut, Darby, Davidson, Gahanna, Liberty, Olentangy, Orange, Thomas, Westerville Central, Westerville North, Westerville South, Worthington Christian and Worthington Kilbourne.

Thomas and Worthington Christian only have boys teams.

Panthers workingwith young rosters

Without a returning starter on his boys team and only two returners on his girls squad, sixth-year Darby coach Bob Clute planned to spend the holiday break continuing to help his athletes hone their skills.

The boys and girls teams both are 1-3 overall and in the COHSBC-North and 0-2 in OCC-Capital play.

Sophomore Justin Clute, the coach's son, is the boys team's only returning letterwinner. Returnees for the girls squad are seniors Emily Elias and Karenna Maaser.

"So far, yes, I like what I see, but I'd like to see us score a little better," coach Clute said. "We don't have a lot of bowlers."

Justin Clute has a 370.3 series average to lead the boys team, and juniors Sebastian Clute and Andy Rice and sophomore Kyle Wintering all have had a 300 series so far this season. Also on the team are junior Ethan Mullet and sophomore Phillip Lichwa.

The boys team opened with a 2,003-1,870 win over Kilbourne on Dec. 2 but lost its next three matches, falling to Bradley, Westerville South (2,470-1,800 on Dec. 14) and Orange (2,114-1,869 on Dec. 17).

Freshman Karoline Betteridge led the girls team in its final three matches before the holiday break, including a 296 series in the loss to Bradley. Maaser bowled a 249 in a season-opening 1,160-1,098 win over Kilbourne on Dec. 2.

Also on the girls team are freshmen Amanda Logan and Lauren Perry.

"I didn't know about (Betteridge) coming in, but she's definitely been our best bowler. She seems to have the most consistent shot for us right now," coach Clute said. "Karenna is a good bowler. She needs a little more practice. I am looking for more consistency from her and Emily, but I trust they'll get there."

The girls team's other losses have come against Westerville South (1,978-1,304 on Dec. 14) and Orange (1,347-1,076 on Dec. 18).

Both teams resume their seasons Jan. 6 against Gahanna at their home venue, Ten Pin Alley. Five of the Panthers' final nine matches are at Ten Pin Alley, which coach Clute hopes will play to his teams' advantage.

"Ten Pin is a lot different than most alleys we go to. I have to get them to understand it's going to be different at other places," he said. "We have to know how to play at our alley, but that it could be totally different somewhere else. Our alley, the lanes hook a lot more. We're a team that doesn't throw big hooks, so there, that works. Teams that are used to throwing the big hooks, the ball will hook even more."

Wildcats coach highon teams' talent

The Davidson girls team is still seeking its first win, but fifth-year coach Adrian Jasinski likes the Wildcats' potential.

"This is probably the best team we've had in four years," Jasinski said. "As a team, they're shooting just as well if not better than some of the teams we've had the past few years. We picked up our recruiting around the school and got some talented girls out. We're blessed to have some underclassmen with some serious potential."

Sophomore Paige Varney had a 317 series in a season-opening 1,693-1,539 loss to Olentangy on Dec. 3 and classmate Riley Clevenger had a 256 series on Dec. 12 in the loss to Bradley.

Also on the roster are seniors Vanessa Antivero and Cassidy Ball, junior Carrie Varney and sophomores Jessie Campbell, April Kelly, Jenna Randoll and Morgan Reasinger.

Ball and Reasinger also have had a series of 200 or better this year for the Wildcats, who are 0-4 overall and in the COHSBC-North and 0-3 in the OCC-Capital.

The Wildcats' other losses have come against Westerville Central (1,717-1,199 on Dec. 16) and Orange (1,635-1,386 on Dec. 17).

The boys team is 1-3 overall and in the COHSBC-North and 1-2 in the OCC-Capital.

Freshman Jace Schier began his career with a 406 series in a 2,285-2,007 loss to Olentangy on Dec. 3. He followed up that performance with a 328 series in the loss to Bradley on Dec. 12.

Senior Zack Starner and sophomore Jace Schneider had a 382 and a 335 series, respectively, against Olentangy.

"(Schier) is listening to what we're telling him. It's starting to translate," Jasinski said. "Sometimes when you have a young team, it's just a matter of the guys getting their heads together. They'll bowl the way they should. It just takes time."

Also on the team are seniors Robbie Gilliland, Zach McCulka and Amir Rasul, sophomore Keith Rodeman and freshman Jack Rubin.

Davidson lost to Westerville Central 2,291-2,000 on Dec. 16 before earning its first win, 2,127-2,107 over Orange on Dec. 17.