After winning OCC-Cardinal Division championships, the Delaware Hayes High School boys and girls bowling teams are preparing for the postseason.

The Pacers closed the regular season with a match against Buckeye Valley on Feb. 9 and will tune up for the Division I sectional tournament at HP Lanes by competing in the OCC Coaches Challenge on Sunday, Feb. 11, at Tiki Lanes.

The boys sectional is Feb. 23 and the girls sectional is Feb. 24.

"I think the girls team is pretty locked in. Now it's up to us to keep them there until the sectional," coach Darin Halstead said. "The boys team has been a little up and down but has a lot of talent. What we have to do with them is get them working on their Baker games and get them mentally tough so that a bad ball or frame doesn't drag the whole team down. It's all in their mindset."

The girls team won its third consecutive OCC-Cardinal championship, finishing 6-0 to edge runner-up Hilliard Darby (5-1).

"That was our first goal and it was pretty exciting to do as a senior," said Emma Wasielewski, who had a team-best 187.8 game average before Feb. 9. "We have three seniors and we've felt a little pressure after winning the league two years in a row and advancing to state last year. But we have the potential to get back to state as long as we stay focused and relaxed."

The girls team was 16-3 overall before Feb. 9 and placed fourth in the 13-team Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-A Division at 9-3, behind Gahanna (12-0), Olentangy (11-1) and Westerville Central (10-2).

Last season at state, Delaware finished 14th of 16 teams. Alicia Halstead, a 2017 graduate, led the Pacers, tying for 12th of 94 bowlers with a 583 three-game series to earn honorable mention all-state honors.

"It'll be even more difficult to return to state because there were four qualifying teams last year and three this year," coach Halstead said. "But I've been really happy with what the girls have done this season after losing their leading scorer (Alicia Halstead) to graduation last year. They've all stepped up their game to make up for that."

Through 19 matches, junior Alyssa Williams was second on the team with a 162.9 average, followed by senior Reagan Olson (161.6), senior Jenna VanGundy (158.9), junior Kelsey Rohrer (152.9) and sophomore McKenzie Cooke (141.5).

"I think we've had some ups and downs this year, but that happens from house to house where lane conditions change and it takes some time to figure it out," Olson said. "I had a slump in the middle of the season, but I'm coming along better now. We haven't reached our potential yet, where we had everyone on the top of their game in the same match."

Wasielewski said she keeps in touch with Alicia Halstead and has been encouraged and motivated by her friend.

"Alicia is one of my best friends and I talk to her almost daily," Wasielewski said. "She knows everyone had doubts about our team after she left, but she has really helped me focus on my game and the things I can control. I want to be as good as she is and lead us back to states."

The boys team also won the OCC-Cardinal title, going 5-1 as Darby and Worthington Kilbourne tied for second at 4-2. The Pacers were 11-8 overall before Feb. 9 and finished ninth in the COHSBC-A at 5-7, behind champion Westerville Central (12-0).

"The boys won the OCC title for the second time in three years," coach Halstead said. "A lot of those (overall) losses can be attributed to Baker games."

Through 19 matches, senior Dillon Murfield had a team-best 199.5 average, followed by senior D.J. Cocherl (193.4), junior Dylan Jebode (177.3) and junior Shaun Bendele (172).

Wrestlers finish 13th in Rieman Invitational

The wrestling team finished 13th (49 points) of 14 teams in its Rieman Invitational on Feb. 3, behind champion Cincinnati Elder (252.5).

Jacob McCloskey placed third at 182 pounds to lead the Pacers. Corbin May finished fourth at 160, Zach Williams placed fifth at 132 and Mason Sutandar was seventh at 170.

"We're never satisfied when we don't finish our tournament near the top," coach Josh Heffernan said. "I was impressed with how our young team competed and what they learned. I think they left the tournament a little tougher and with a better understanding of what they need to fix. It's probably the toughest single-day tournament in the state and they learned against great competition, so I was pleased with that."

Delaware had a chance to clinch the outright OCC-Cardinal championship when it competed against Hilliard Bradley in its league finale Feb. 8.

The Pacers entered the match 5-0 in the league while Bradley was 4-0. The Jaguars conclude league competition Thursday, Feb. 15, against Darby.

Boys basketball team squanders lead

The boys basketball team watched a 17-point halftime lead evaporate in a 58-55 loss to visiting Kilbourne in an OCC-Cardinal contest Feb. 6.

Delaware was 7-11 overall and 5-6 in the OCC-Cardinal before completing league play against Dublin Jerome on Feb. 9.

"We wanted to finish second in the league, but now we just have to prepare for the (Division I district tournament)," coach Jordan Blackburn said. "We had never had to play without Terin (Kinsway) before, but we had to experience that (against Kilbourne) due to foul trouble."

Kinsway, a 6-foot-5 forward who was averaging 15.3 points through 18 games, played a total of 12 minutes, 56 seconds against Kilbourne and scored five points before fouling out with 3:17 remaining and Delaware leading 52-48.

"We were outscored 33-8 without Terin in the game, including 12-0 early in the fourth quarter," Blackburn said.

Paul Burris, who also fouled out with 1:47 left, led Delaware with 17 points and Nate Griggs scored 16.

The district tournament draw is Sunday, Feb. 11. The tournament begins Feb. 24.

Girls basketball team preps for Eagles

The girls basketball team is seeded 40th of 50 teams in the Division I district tournament and will play at 13th-seeded Watterson in the first round Saturday, Feb. 17.

The winner plays 16th-seeded Teays Valley or 29th-seeded Olentangy in the second round Feb. 23 at the home of the higher seed.

Delaware lost its seventh consecutive game Feb. 6, falling at Kilbourne 42-36.

The Pacers were 7-13 overall and 1-10 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Jerome on Feb. 9 in their league finale. They concluded the regular-season Feb. 10 at home against Mount Gilead.

Swimmers compete at sectional meet

Members of the boys and girls swimming teams competed in a Division I sectional Feb. 10 at Thomas Worthington.

The winner of each swimming event automatically advanced to the district meet Saturday, Feb. 17, at Ohio University. In addition, 27 at-large district berths were awarded in each event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectional sites.

At district, the top two finishers in each swimming event qualify for the state meet Feb. 21-24 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. In addition, 16 at-large berths will be awarded in each swimming event based on times statewide.

The divers begin their postseason this week at district. The girls compete Monday, Feb. 12, and the boys compete Tuesday, Feb. 13, at the Dublin Community Recreation Center. The top five boys and top four girls qualify for state.

Athletes announce college decisions

Three athletes announced their college decisions Feb. 7.

Brody Kannally will play men's soccer at Ohio Wesleyan, Lauren McMillin will play women's soccer at Ohio Wesleyan and Todd Toney will play football at Tiffin.

bemerine@thisweeknews.com

@Brad_ThisWeek

Schedules

Below are the coming schedules for the Delaware Hayes boys basketball and wrestling teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL

Feb. 13 -- At Marysville

Feb. 16 -- Home vs. Buckeye Valley

Feb. 17 -- At Marion Harding

WRESTLING

Feb. 15 -- Home vs. Mason, Teays Valley and Watkins Memorial