The Ready High School boys bowling team competed at Ohio's highest level for the third consecutive season March 4 at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
Following 15th- and 10th-place state finishes, respectively, the Silver Knights entered the Division II state tournament with a boost of confidence after their performance at district Feb. 23 at HP Lanes.
After finishing fourth in the sectional Feb. 18 at HP Lanes, Ready battled throughout the 14-team district tournament with eventual champion Jonathan Alder (3,966) and third-place finisher Licking Valley (3,930) to place second (3,936) as the top two moved on.
Senior Ryan O'Harra, who led the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference in regular-season average, rolled a 706 three-game series to capture the individual championship.
"We were much better than we were (at sectional), which was encouraging," coach Russ Rehner said. "The shot was a little more conducive for us. The oil pattern was a little longer, which made it easier for our two-handed bowlers. Ryan was phenomenal."
O'Harra, a senior who placed 10th at state a year ago, was joined in the top 10 at district by senior Ian Binns (seventh, 607).
"We had a week of practice to get the oil pattern down," Binns said. "We're a high-revolution team and the sectional had a lighter oil pattern."
Seniors Ben Dawson (tied for 28th, 541), Conner Carrera (34th, 530) and Leo Dunkle (61st, 445) also competed at district.
Last year at state, Ready rolled a 3,468 during the team-qualifying competition but came up short of the top eight by 77 pins. The top eight teams advance to the championship round.
"My nerves were calm (at district)," O'Harra said. "I found my line during practice pretty well and adjusted fairly well. I haven't competed (at Wayne Webb's) since state last year. I just like the big crowd there and the pressure."
In the girls district tournament, freshman Mary Zerrien tied for ninth (524) but missed advancing by one spot and 16 pins. The top three individuals not on qualifying teams qualified for state.
Sophomore Brooke Smith placed 66th (326).
Boys basketball team
On March 1, the sixth-seeded boys basketball team opened the Division III district tournament by beating 14th-seeded Liberty Union 67-46 in a second-round game.
The Knights played fourth-seeded Galion Northmor in a third-round game March 4.
If Ready beat Northmor, it will play second-seeded Columbus Academy or 10th-seeded Mount Gilead in a district semifinal Tuesday, March 7, at a site to be announced. The winner plays top-seeded Worthington Christian, third-seeded Grandview, eighth-seeded Centerburg or 12th-seeded Fairbanks in a district final Friday, March 10, at Ohio Dominican.
The district champion plays in a regional semifinal March 15 at Kettering Fairmont.
Ready improved to 14-9 with the win over Liberty Union. Dominick Volini scored a career-high 27 points and Chanc Dawson added 14.
qualify for district
The wrestling team had seven competitors in the Division III district tournament March 3 and 4 at Troy.
In a 12-team sectional Feb. 25 at Madison Plains, the Knights tied Mount Gilead for third (117) behind North Union (166) and Morral Ridgedale (126.5).
Andrew Halko (132 pounds), Daniel Halko (152), Patrick Jansen (195), Cameron Jones (113) and Matthew Stover (182) all finished second. Also moving on were Sam Herdenbergh (third at 220) and Jacob Robinson (fourth at 160).
Donovan Sanders was sixth at 145.
The top four finishers in each weight class at district will advance to state Thursday, March 9, through Saturday, March 11, at Ohio State.
Girls basketball team
losing three starters
Despite a 3-10 start, the girls basketball team nearly reached .500 by season's end.
With a 48-47 loss at eighth-seeded Worthington Christian on Feb. 25 in the second round of the Division III district tournament, the Knights finished 11-13 overall.
They tied DeSales for third (2-5) in the CCL behind Watterson (7-0) and Hartley (5-2) and ahead of Columbus School for Girls (0-4).
"When we were 3-10, I felt like we were in trouble," coach Joe Lang said. "From that point on, the kids went 8-3 and really stuck together. Every game we just tried to get better."
Lang completed his 36th season with 500 career wins, a milestone reached when his 14th-seeded team won at sixth-seeded Utica 41-35 in the first round of the tournament Feb. 21.
The Knights lose four seniors, including starters Dani Lancia (forward), Maria Menke (forward) and Aly Wiseman (guard).
Wiseman scored 18 points in the tournament loss and averaged 7.5 for the season.
Lancia averaged a team-high 9.8 points, and Menke averaged 4.3.
Junior guards Dani Hall (9.1 points) and Katelyn Wolfe (5.2 points) should be the top returnees.
Sophomore Derricka Bram-well, a 5-foot-10 forward, should see an increased role next season after averaging 4.9 points. She scored a season-high 13 against Utica.
Freshman guard Bria Hejduk was another key player off the bench for a program that had just 17 players in grades nine through 12.
"We'll have Hall and Wolfe coming back, so that's two starting guards," Lang said. "Derricka Bramwell had a good year. Bria Hejduk is a freshman who's going to be a good player and (sophomore wing player) Lauren Whitt from the (junior varsity) team should be able to help. ... We've just got to get some more kids to play."