Caleb Brooks believes the odds might be in his favor this weekend.

Caleb Brooks believes the odds might be in his favor this weekend.

The Ready High School sophomore wrestler, who finished fifth at 106 pounds in the Division III state tournament a year ago, enters state coming off a district championship.

He won a district title at 126 on Feb. 26 and 27 at Heath to improve to 46-3 and opens the state tournament Thursday, March 3, against Josh Clary (25-9) of Miamisburg Dayton Christian.

Brooks will be joined at state by sophomore Tristin Siemer, who was the district runner-up at 170.

"I had a tough match in the finals (at district), but it was one of my better matches," Brooks said. "How I'm wrestling right now, my goal of winning is real attainable. I'm excited."

Brooks, who beat Steubenville Catholic Central's Luke Coniker 5-1 for the district title, is one of six wrestlers at state at 126 who placed a year ago. The only wrestler to finish higher at state than Brooks in a past season, though, is Ashland Mapleton's John Smith, who enters as a district champion after finishing fourth at 132 last season.

Siemer opens the state tournament, which concludes Saturday, March 5, against Rootstown's Luke Sorboro.

Siemer, who went 0-2 at state last season at 160, lost to Belmont Union Local's Matt McFarland 6-3 in the district final.

"It's pretty exciting," Siemer said. "I think I can make it onto the podium this year."

Ready finished seventh (695) at district behind champion Galion Northmor (111) as 49 teams scored.

Andrew Halko went 3-3 and placed sixth at 113. Patrick Jansen went 2-2 at 182, Matthew Stover was 1-2 at 160 and Charles Omameh went 0-2 at heavyweight.

Girls basketball team falls in district final

For the second year in a row, the girls basketball team's season ended with a Division III district runner-up finish.

After beating sixth-seeded North Union 41-37 on Feb. 23 in a district semifinal at Worthington Christian Middle School, the third-seeded Silver Knights lost to second-seeded Marion Pleasant 52-51 in two overtimes in a district final Feb. 26 at Ohio Dominican.

"This is our third (district final) in a row, and it never gets old," coach Joe Lang said. "This team has overachieved from what I thought they'd do. They deserved to get there."

Ready finished 19-7.

Against Pleasant, Delaney Cutteridge scored 20 points and Dani Lancia added 14.

Ready led 23-16 at halftime, but the Spartans rallied to within 30-28 by the end of the third quarter. The game was tied at 42 at the end of regulation and 47 after the first overtime.

Against North Union, Cutteridge made six of eight free throws in the final period and finished with 17 points, five steals and four assists. Rachel Neff added eight points and 12 rebounds.

Bowlers finish 10th at state tourney

After placing 15th in the Division II state tournament a year ago, the boys bowling team improved to 10th (3,468) at state Feb. 26 at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.

Junior Ryan O'Harra finished 10th overall with a 682 three-game series, earning him second-team all-state honors.

"I only missed one spare all day and had two or three sets of (getting four strikes in a row)," O'Harra said.

Also competing were senior Chris McCarty (614) and juniors Ian Binns (587), Tylan Beckelheimer (523), Conner Carrera (160, one game) and Jacob Winslow (135, one game).

The top eight teams during regulation advanced to the championship round, which was won by Urbana.

"We missed a lot of spares and had a lot of missed opportunities, but our low game was 930, so that's 180 apiece," coach Russ Rehner said. "They represented themselves well."

Boys team expects to return top scorers

With 1 minute, 26 seconds to go in the second round of the Division III district tournament Feb. 24 at fifth-seeded Mount Gilead, the boys basketball team was within three points after trailing by as much as 18.

What the ninth-seeded Knights showed during the comeback attempt, before losing their postseason opener 56-48, is among the reasons second-year coach Dan DeCrane is optimistic despite the team's 6-16 final record.

That Ready expects to return its top three scorers is another.

"We had a lot of opportunities early in the game and we should have been winning at halftime," DeCrane said. "I thought we were prepared because we play bigger schools. I don't know that they embraced the moment. I felt like we didn't play at our best, but that's sports sometimes.

"Maybe our youth showed a little bit. I told them that I was proud of them for the steps we took this year. We really like our younger kids. We've just got to keep building our player development."

The Knights finished last (0-8) in the CCL behind St. Charles (7-1), DeSales (5-3), Watterson (5-3) and Hartley (3-5).

Sophomore guard Brady Thomas, who was third-team all-district, and juniors Chanc Dawson (guard) and Dominick Volini (forward), who were honorable mention all-district, should be the top returnees. Thomas was first-team all-league and Volini made the second team.

Thomas averaged a team-best 12.5 points, followed by Volini (11.8), Dawson (10.9) and senior Dominic Lombardi (5.0). Thomas led in assists per game (4.5) and free-throw percentage (71), Dawson led in rebounds per game (5.0) and Volini led in field-goal percentage (56).

Also eligible to return are juniors Alex Burns (guard/forward), Collin Siemer (guard) and Eric Willford (forward).