Senior leadership could be the key to success for the Olentangy Orange High School boys bowling team.
Four seniors have led a balanced attack so far, sparking the Pioneers to a start of 4-1 overall, 4-1 in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-A Division and 2-1 in the OCC-Buckeye. Last season, they finished 7-10 overall.
Orange has five bowlers with averages within 17 pins, led by seniors Jaden Wiebell (183.0) and Andrew Kicas (182.5). Senior Tommy Ciaciura averages 179.7 after rolling a 533 three-game series to tie for 74th in the Division I district tournament last season.
Senior Gabe Jacobs (175.8) and sophomore Tanner Davidson (166.3) also have played well.
"The boys team is going to count on its seniors," said coach Rodney Palmer, who is in his fourth season. "Jaden, Andrew and Tommy have been here from when I started and they have started the season well."
The lone loss for the Pioneers came against defending state champion Westerville Central, 2,444-2,188 on Dec. 14. Wiebell led with a 239 game and a 405 series.
"They all get along well and have good team spirit," Palmer said. "They are really good at doing what's best for the team. In previous years, we have had players who were more about the individual than the team, but everyone is accepting their roles and we're expecting big things this year.
"The big thing for us, like all bowlers, is spares. That never changes. Spares win matches and they also get you past the cut in match play when you are in tournaments."
The girls team must replace 2017 graduate SarahKate Palmer, who rolled a 580 three-game series to finish 14th in last year's state tournament.
Returning from the district lineup are senior Haley Wemple (547, 19th) and junior Mckenzie Peterson (410, tied for 83rd).
The girls team is 4-1 overall and in the COHSBC-A and 2-1 in the OCC-Buckeye after finishing 10-6 overall last season. Sophomore Raymie Shields leads with a 158.6 average, followed by Wemple (151.1), Peterson (147.3) and senior Emma Storrer (134.2).
"They have good chemistry and they are constantly helping each other out," first-year coach D.C. Boysaw said. "They are comfortable talking with each other on how the lanes are going and helping each other make adjustments for the lane conditions. They stick together and everyone is accountable for their play."
The girls lost to Central 1,994-1,756 as Shields led with a 351 series.
"We have to concentrate on spares," Boysaw said. "They can throw four strikes and blow their average if they don't have any spares. They need to repeat their shots when they know the lane conditions, and they need to be accurate when they make their shots."
Divers lead way at Ned Reeb Invitational
Junior divers Lauren Cheetham and Luke Cheetham led the swimming and diving teams in the Ned Reeb Invitational on Dec. 15 and 16 at Ohio State.
Lauren Cheetham was runner-up in girls diving with 479 points, and Luke Cheetham was fourth in boys with 423.
Senior Mason Reid placed in two boys events, finishing 14th in the 100-yard freestyle (49.03 seconds) and 16th in 50 free (22.41).
For the girls, freshman Brooke Farren placed 14th in the 100 backstroke (1:01.04) while sophomore Erika Knodel finished 20th in the 100 butterfly (1:03.59) and 100 back (1:04.76).
Boys basketball team has balanced attack
Behind balanced scoring, the boys basketball team was 5-1 overall before playing Big Walnut on Dec. 19.
Senior forward Jalen Bethel averaged a team-high 14.3 points through six games, followed by junior guard Luke Ballinger (11.2), junior point guard Bryson Lane (11.0) and senior guard Matt McCollum (9.8).
The Pioneers are 1-1 in the OCC-Buckeye. They lost to Westerville Central 60-50 on Dec. 15 as Bethel scored 14 points and Ballinger had 13 points with three 3-pointers.
Myers, Ford leading girls basketball team
Senior guard/forward McKenna Ford and junior forward Taylor Myers have been the top scorers for the girls basketball team through six games.
Myers was averaging 9.8 points and Ford was averaging 9.3 points for the Pioneers, who were 1-5 overall before playing Big Walnut on Dec. 19.
Junior post player Aurelia Johnson was averaging 6.2 points.
Orange dropped to 0-3 in the OCC-Buckeye with a 46-34 loss to Westerville Central on Dec. 15. Myers scored 14 points.
Evans leads wrestling team at Liberty
Connor Evans' runner-up finish at 145 pounds led the wrestling team in the Liberty Classic on Dec. 15 and 16.
The senior lost to Olmsted Falls' Josh Jaeckin 18-3 in the final. Evans is 8-2 for the season.
The Pioneers had two other placers while finishing eighth (87) of 25 teams behind champion Liberty (214.5). Junior Cole Jackson (7-4) finished fourth at 113 and sophomore Rocco Torio (6-5) placed sixth at 126.
Dec. 2 -- Red and Blue Classic at HP Lanes
*Dec. 5 -- Olentangy Liberty at Sawmill Lanes
Dec. 9 -- Holiday Baker Marathon at Columbus Square Bowling Palace
*Dec. 11 -- New Albany at Capri Lanes
*Dec. 12 -- Beechcroft at Sequoia Lanes
*Dec. 14 -- Westerville Central at Capri Lanes
*Dec. 15 -- London at Madison Lanes
*Jan. 5 -- Gahanna at Capri Lanes
*Jan. 12 -- Marysville at Marysville Lanes
Jan. 13 -- Central District Preview at Columbus Square Bowling Palace
Jan. 16 -- Worthington Kilbourne at Capri Lanes
*Jan. 18 -- Westerville South at Capri Lanes
*Jan. 19 -- Olentangy at Delaware Lanes
*Jan. 22 -- Westerville North at Columbus Square Bowling Palace
*Jan. 31 -- Big Walnut at Capri Lanes
*Feb. 1 -- Delaware at Capri Lanes
Feb. 6 -- Olentangy and Olentangy Liberty at Capri Lanes
Feb. 10 -- COHSBC tournament at Game of Western Columbus
Below are the coming schedules for the Orange boys basketball, girls basketball, hockey and swimming & diving teams:
*Dec. 22 -- Home vs. Westerville South
Dec. 23 -- At St. Charles
*Dec. 22 -- At South
*Dec. 22 -- St. Charles at OhioHealth Ice Haus
SWIMMING & DIVING
Dec. 21 -- Delaware County Classic at Ohio Wesleyan