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 final
The boys basketball team likely wouldn't have advanced to a Division III district final without the play of junior forward Josh Gantz.
During Ready's 45-42, second-round tournament 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 then defeated fourth-seeded Fredericktown 40-35 in a district semifinal March 5 at Delaware to improve to 14-10 and advance to a district final March 7 against sixth-seeded Worthington Christian at the Fairgrounds Coliseum.
Gantz played a big role in that win, too, as he had 12 points and six blocks.
"We feel like we have a lot of kids that can play and play with a lot of energy," coach Don Worstell said.
The Ready-Worthington Christian winner will play Versailles or Dayton Stivers at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, in a regional semifinal at Kettering Fairmont. The winner plays Cincinnati Summit Country Day, West Liberty-Salem, St. Bernard Roger Bacon or Cincinnati Madeira at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 16, in a regional final at Fairmont.
The regional champion advances to a state semifinal March 21 at Ohio State.
Also against Grandview, senior guard Doug Strickler had 13 points and junior guard Kelly Culbertson added six assists as the Silver Knights outscored the Bobcats 15-7 in the fourth quarter.
Against Fredericktown, senior guard Kyle Wilgus made four free throws in the final minute for his only points.
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)."