The Ready High School boys basketball team finds itself in new territory this winter: It’s one of central Ohio’s best squads in Division III.
Although the Silver Knights more than doubled their 2015-16 win total when they finished 14-10 a year ago, they’re on their way to eclipsing that mark in coach Dan DeCrane’s fourth season.
“There’s been a lot to like,” DeCrane said. “I just drew a target sign on the dry-erase board because we know that (our start) means people are going to start looking for us and preparing that much harder for us.”
The Knights beat Franklin Heights 71-61 on Jan. 3 and DeSales 74-56 on Jan. 5 to improve to 10-0 overall and 3-0 in the CCL.
Ready continues league play Friday, Jan. 12, at Watterson, which was 3-5 overall after losing 54-47 to Mansfield St. Peter’s on Jan. 6 and is 2-1 in the CCL.
The Knights opened league play by edging St. Charles 55-54 on Dec. 8 and then won 68-48 on Dec. 15 at Hartley, which was without three starters because of injuries or illness.
“(Hartley’s) a great program and is still a very talented team,” DeCrane said. “I’m proud of how our guys … slugged through it.
“Our game is all mental. If we can do the right things mentally, we’re going to have a very successful season.”
The senior backcourt duo of Chanc Dawson and Brady Thomas has led the way, averaging 18.3 and 16.9 points, respectively, through eight games.
Forward Darius Parham, despite being a freshman, was averaging 8.1 points.
Bowling teams moving forward
The boys and girls bowling teams returned to Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-D Division action Jan. 10 against Linden-McKinley at HP Lanes.
Mary Zerrien was averaging 154.9 in COHSBC matches for the girls team, followed by Brooke Smith (127.3), Samantha Blackburn (123.7), Javana Joyce (114.5) and Maryann Rucker (102.2). The girls were 4-2 overall, 3-2 in the COHSBC-D and 1-1 in the CCL.
“Mary Zerrien continues where she left off last year,” coach Russ Rehner said.
The boys team was 3-3 overall, 2-3 in the COHSBC-D and 0-2 in the CCL. Baily Garren was averaging 162.5, followed by Preston Thach-Bun (146.8), Finn Hardenbergh (135.4) and Robert Shephard (119.8).
Shephard, a senior, joined the program in mid-December.
“Preston Thach-Bun has been bowling well as a first-year bowler,” Rehner said. “Garren continues to improve.
“Both teams are showing improvements in their skills since we started our season, and I hope they continue on this path for the rest of the season.”
Girls basketball team hopes to hit stride
The girls basketball team began the 2018 portion of its schedule by losing to Hartley 37-32 on Jan. 4 and beating Granville Christian 46-42 on Jan. 6.
The Knights, who beat Tuscarawas Central Catholic 64-32 on Dec. 28 and Shekinah Christian 59-28 on Dec. 30, are 6-4 overall and 0-1 in the CCL heading into their game Thursday, Jan. 11, at home against DeSales.
They also play a league contest Saturday, Jan. 13, at Columbus School for Girls.
DeSales was 4-7 overall after opening CCL action Jan. 4 by losing 53-33 to Watterson and falling to Gahanna 71-45 on Jan. 6.
CSG was 2-7 overall after losing to Northridge 48-33 on Jan. 6 and is 0-2 in the CCL, with losses to Hartley (80-17 on Nov. 27) and Watterson (67-24 on Dec. 9).
Ready followed a 37-14 win Dec. 11 at Patriot Academy by losing tight games to a pair of strong MSL opponents in London (41-39 on Dec. 13) and Fairfield Christian (54-43 on Dec. 19). London won its first seven games this season, and Fairfield Christian won five of its first six.
Through eight games, junior forward Derricka Bramwell was averaging 14.4 points and senior guards Dani Hall and Katelyn Wolfe were averaging 13.5 and 6.8, respectively.
Senior forwards Kim Lloyd and Nikki Hawkins and sophomore guard Bre Hejduk also have been key contributors.
Below are the coming schedules for the Ready boys basketball, girls basketball, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Jan. 12 -- At Watterson
Jan. 13 -- Beverly Fort Frye in Route 40 Classic at Zanesville West Muskingum
*Jan. 11 -- Home vs. DeSales
*Jan. 13 -- At Columbus School for Girls
SWIMMING & DIVING
Jan. 16 -- Grove City, Grove City Christian and Teays Valley at Grove City YMCA
Jan. 13 -- Dresden Tri-Valley Big Dawg Invitational