Ninth-year coach John Thompson is seeing consistent improvement in his Hilliard Bradley High School boys and girls bowling teams thus far, but he believes the Jaguars need to improve their focus.
The boys team has returned two Division I district qualifiers in seniors Dalton Barclay and Dylan Hall, while the girls team has three bowlers back after competing at district a year ago in senior Claire Waggener and juniors Christy Hribar and Ava Miller.
"We have experienced (bowlers), but we still have some mistakes I would like to clean up," Thompson said. "Some of the mistakes come in the Baker games when one person leaves an open frame, then the next person is open and then it steamrolls down the hill and all of a sudden we have four opens in a row, and that doesn't make it. If one player leaves an open frame, then the next needs to close the frame to stop the string."
Entering a match against Columbus Academy on Dec. 19, the girls team was 2-1 overall and in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-B Division and the boys were 1-2 overall and in the league.
Last season at district, Barclay rolled a 603 three-game series to tie for 26th of 127 bowlers and Hall finished 34th with a 591.
Also on the boys team are seniors Nolan Croce, Daniel Curran and Scott Parker-Jones, junior Will Liberto, sophomores Quinton Treadway, Adam Wolf and Dillon Ysseldyke and freshman Brandon Dever.
"We need to work on spare pickups, 100 percent," said Hall, who had a 194.6 game average through three matches. "Spares are what wins games. If you pick up your spares every single time, you are guaranteed to shoot 180. If you have a strike, that puts it up to 200. If you could just pick up your spares, it makes a big difference."
The girls team finished 14th (3,021) of 20 teams at district last season, led by Hribar with a 522 three-game series to place 16th of 133 bowlers. Miller (413, 82nd) and Waggener (406, 86th) also rolled three games.
Hribar led the Jaguars through three matches with a 180.0 average. She rolled a 403 series with games of 209 and 193 in a 1,824-1,310 win over Reynoldsburg on Dec. 15.
"That was the first time in several years that we have had a girl break 400 (in a two-game series)," Thompson said. "We have some good girls and we're excited about what we can do."
Sophomore Marisabel Aguilar and freshman Callie Hribar and Olivia Johnson round out the roster.
"The girls program is in great position," Thompson said. "Claire is a senior and we have two juniors in Christy and Ava and we have a sophomore in Marisabel and a couple freshmen in Callie and Olivia. I feel we're stacked in the way that the program is set up for the next two or three years."
Boys basketball team endures key injury
The boys basketball team was 4-0 overall and 1-0 in the OCC-Cardinal Division before playing Worthington Kilbourne on Dec. 19, but the Jaguars have been without 6-foot senior point guard Braden Norris since the second game of the season.
The fourth-year starter broke his right foot in the final minutes of the second quarter in a 66-47 win over Teays Valley on Dec. 6. Norris had surgery on Dec. 11, but could return late in the season.
"The doctor said he could be back in early to mid-February if everything goes well," coach Brett Norris said of his son's prognosis. "As coaches, we spent a lot of time over the past week trying to figure out what we can and cannot do. Our kids have handled it as well as they can and have shown a lot of grit and character in the process of adjustment."
Norris averaged 16.1 points and was 86-for-219 (39.3 percent) on 3-point attempts last season, earning second-team all-state, first-team all-district and OCC-Cardinal Player of the Year honors. He has signed to play at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.
The Jaguars defeated Cincinnati La Salle 46-36 on Dec. 16 behind 17 points from Isaiah Speelman and 11 from Matt Allocco.
Girls basketball team loses first six games
The girls basketball team was still searching for its first win when it played Kilbourne in an OCC-Cardinal contest on Dec. 19.
Bradley was 0-6 overall and 0-2 in the league before facing the Wolves.
The Jaguars have been playing without senior point guard Teneea Heston, who injured her left knee. Entering the week, the fourth-year starter was still waiting for medical clearance to return to action.
"We're not sure when Teneea will be back," coach Kathy Lindsey said. "She might be back before the new year and she might not. She needs to get checked out again."
Through six games, senior post player Abbey White was averaging a team-high 10.5 points, followed by freshman guard Carly Callahan (6.8) and senior guard Kamerin Hillis (6.3).
"We're hanging in there, but we miss her," Lindsey said. "Teneea's a versatile player. She not only scores, but she helps us with passing and her ball-handling. We would have liked to have seen a couple different results, but we're close."
Byrum resigns as boys soccer coach
Nate Byrum has stepped down as boys soccer coach.
The Jaguars reached Division I district semifinals in each of Byrum's two seasons. Last fall, they finished 10-9 overall and tied Thomas Worthington for third (3-3) in the OCC-Cardinal behind champion Dublin Jerome (5-0-1).
Bradley was 16-18-4 overall and 6-5-1 in the OCC-Cardinal under Byrum.
"There were a multitude of reasons (for Byrum leaving)," athletics director Cort Hamilton said. "One of them is family because his daughter is becoming more involved in activities. He also lives in London, so he had that drive, and he's also looking for a new job and considering going back to school for a master's degree. ... We are very appreciative of the time and energy he invested in the program and wish him the best of luck."
Planck leads gymnasts in Hilliard Invite
Greta Planck was the top performer for the gymnastics team in the Hilliard Invitational on Dec. 16 at Davidson.
The senior placed third on floor exercise (8.875 points), fifth in the all-around (34.025 points) and on both balance beam (8.5) and uneven bars (8.35) and tied for ninth on vault (8.3) as the Jaguars finished third (129.975) of 14 teams, behind Dresden Tri-Valley (131.15) and Darby (130.2).
Lexi Patterson tied for seventh on beam (8.3), placed eighth on bars (8.05) and finished 10th in the all-around (32.725), and Elisa Reed tied for 10th on floor (8.55).
The Jaguars don't compete again until Jan. 6.
Dec. 2 -- Red and Blue Classic at HP Lanes
*Dec. 6 -- Darby at Game of Western Columbus
*Dec. 8 -- Groveport at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
Dec. 9 -- Holiday Baker Marathon at Columbus Square Bowling Palace
*Dec. 15 -- Reynoldsburg at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
Dec. 16 -- Wright State Raider Challenge at Beaver-Vu Bowl
*Dec. 19 -- Columbus Academy at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
*Dec. 20 -- Delaware at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
Jan. 6 -- Buckeye Classic at HP Lanes
*Jan. 8 -- Davidson at Ten Pin Alley
*Jan. 10 -- Worthington Kilbourne at Capri Lanes
*Jan. 11 -- Lancaster at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
Jan. 13 -- Sectional Preview at Twin Star Lanes
*Jan. 17 -- Pickerington North at Rule 3
Jan. 20 -- Pirate Challenge at Poelking South Lanes
*Jan. 22 -- Thomas Worthington at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
*Jan. 24 -- Newark at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
*Jan. 26 -- Centennial at Sequoia Lanes
Jan. 27 -- Jaguar Baker Marathon at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
Jan. 31 -- Girls: Olentangy at Delaware Lanes
*Feb. 2 -- Pickerington Central at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
Feb. 10 -- COHSBC tournament at Game of Western Columbus
Below are the coming schedules for the Bradley boys basketball and girls basketball teams:
*Dec. 22 -- Home vs. Dublin Jerome
*Dec. 22 -- At Dublin Jerome