When Mary Zerrien was an eighth-grader, Ready High School wasn’t able to field a girls bowling team because of low participation numbers.

Now a junior, Zerrien helped the Silver Knights continue their resurgence this winter by making the Division II state tournament for the first time.

She rolled a 509 three-game series March 1 at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl to finish 37th of 104 bowlers.

“It was a pretty good time,” she said. “Hopefully I’ll be back next year.”

After a 159 in her opening game, Zerrien rolled games of 186 and 164.

“(Zerrien showed more) consistency and maturity,” coach Russ Rehner said. “Her mindset was to do better. She’s always had good mechanics, but you have to believe, and this year she believed. Next year she’ll do even better and we’ll be back.”

Zerrien rolled a 564 in the district tournament Feb. 21 at HP Lanes to become the sixth individual to advance to the state tournament from Ready, which also has had three boys teams and one girls squad qualify in previous seasons.

Also competing for the Knights at district was junior Maryann Rucker, who had a 497.

Ready’s girls team made its only state appearance in 2014, when it placed ninth and Paige Sutfin finished third individually.

Zerrien averaged 173.9 in Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference action as the Knights went 10-3 overall and tied Hartley for second (8-2) in the COHSBC-D Division behind Watterson (11-0).

Zerrien was first-team all-CCL and senior Samantha Blackburn, junior Megan Hackman and sophomore Katelyn Vargo were second-team all-CCL. Sophomore Emma Pond also was a key contributor.

“I’m just more consistent this year and that’s what’s helped me out the most,” Zerrien said. “We only had one senior. There were a few wins we should have had, but we’ll just work harder next year.”

The boys team had no seniors. Sophomore Luke Jahn led the Knights in COHSBC average at 142.8 and junior Finn Hardenbergh, sophomores Wesley Hendricks and Aaron King and freshmen Brady Hicks and Zach Jahn also were key bowlers.

“Blackburn was the only senior out of both teams so hopefully everyone comes back and we’ll look forward to next year,” Rehner said.

Aiello, Halko make state in wrestling

Aiden Aiello and Andrew Halko represented the wrestling team in the Division III state tournament, which began March 7 and concluded March 9 at Ohio State.

In the district tournament March 1 and 2 at Rayland Buckeye Local, Halko was runner-up at 145 pounds and Aiello placed fourth at 120. Ready finished 15th (54.5) behind champion Galion Northmor (114) as 46 teams scored.

Halko was 33-5 heading into state while Aiello was 32-8. Halko went 0-2 at state last season.

Also at district, Jacob Robinson (195) placed sixth, Evan O’Connell (106) and Paul Martello (138) both went 1-2 and Cameron Jones (126) went 0-2.

Boys basketball coach sees bright future

After winning its first three games, the boys basketball team lost eight of its next nine.

Still, positives occurred even in the lowliest times for the Knights, who finished 11-13 under first-year coach Tony Bisutti.

“For sure, the toughest part was that we went through a stretch where we really got better but we weren’t winning games because we were in a really brutal stretch of our schedule,” Bisutti said. “I was convinced then and I’m still convinced that better times are ahead for this group.”

A 62-48 upset Feb. 25 at fifth-seeded Fairbanks in the first round of the Division III district tournament backs up that assessment.

The 10th-seeded Knights lost at eighth-seeded Marion Pleasant 63-47 on March 2 in the second round, but three of their five players who scored in that game are eligible to return.

Included in that group is sophomore forward Darius Parham, who had 28 points against Pleasant to close the season averaging 15 points.

An honorable mention all-district selection, Parham was part of a sophomore class that also included guards Garrison Budd and Azzan Daniels.

“We’ve got a lot of 2021 (graduating class) talent,” Parham said.

Budd averaged 8.9 points.

Junior guard Brock Baker, who missed most of his sophomore season with injury, averaged seven points.

Another sophomore who could help next season is P.J. Daniels, who transferred from Hartley earlier this winter. He’s a 6-foot-1 guard who averaged four points last season for the Hawks.

Others eligible to return include sophomore guards Charlie DeLuca, Cael Dent, Kyle Gramlich, Keenan Johnston and Cole Matthews.

Ready is losing a four-member senior class that was led by Cade Canter (7.1 points), Cade Dent (5.0 points) and Jaishan Norris (8.7 points).

“Parham and Budd are both sophomores and Azzan Daniels is a sophomore but he didn’t play last year so he’s kind of like a freshman,” Bisutti said. “Brock Baker missed most of (last) season so he’s a junior but he’s like a sophomore. We’re getting there.”

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek