Having returned five letterwinners, including three who competed in the Division I state tournament last season, the Delaware Hayes High School girls bowling team is looking to get back to state this season.

"Our goals are to have a good time every game, win the mind game and qualify for state as a team again this year," seventh-year coach Darin Halstead said. "That will require each girl to improve their averages by 15 to 20 pins this year."

At state last season, the Pacers finished 14th (2,943) of 16 teams at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.

Alicia Halstead, the coach's daughter and a 2017 graduate, tied for 12th of 94 bowlers with a 583 three-game series to earn honorable mention all-state honors.

Returning for the Pacers are seniors Reagan Olson, Jenna VanGundy and Emma Wasielewski, junior Kelsey Rohrer and sophomore McKenzie Cooke.

Last season, VanGundy had a 152.1 game average and rolled a 557 at state to finish 23rd, Wasielewski averaged 179 and rolled a 453 at state to finish 73rd and Olson averaged 153.8 and bowled a 443 at state to place 74th.

"Emma, Jenna and Reagan are leading the team and are doing a fine job at keeping the girls in the lines of team expectations," coach Halstead said. "They are working the team atmosphere while also focusing on making themselves better."

Rounding out the roster are juniors McKenzie Knodell, Laiha Slayton and Alyssa Williams.

"Everyone is continuing to get better each week, learning from every match and preparing for end of the season match play," coach Halstead said. "We have a lot of experience with five girls on last year's state-qualifying team. That taught them how to stay focused and to let the mistakes go while making the correction for the next shot.

"But we do need to work on missing the easy spares on more challenging lane conditions and making adjustments sooner than later on any condition."

Delaware is 5-1 overall, 3-1 in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-A Division and 1-0 in the OCC-Cardinal Division. The Pacers lost to Gahanna 2,039-1,955 on Dec. 4 after opening Nov. 27 with a 1,906-1,682 win over Buckeye Valley.

The other wins have come against Beechcroft (2,018-1,214 on Dec. 6), Hilliard Darby (1,776-1,569 on Dec. 8), London (1,662-1,301 on Dec. 11) and Westerville South (2,209-1,806 on Dec. 12).

Last season, the Pacers finished 15-2 overall, won the OCC-Cardinal championship and were runners-up in the COHSBC-North.

The boys team has returned five letterwinners and is expected to be led by seniors D.J. Cocherl and Dillon Murfield and junior Dylan Jebode. Also returning are senior Caleb Carroll and junior Shaun Bendele.

Cocherl had a team-best 195 average last season when the Pacers finished 7-12 overall, tied for fourth in the OCC-Cardinal and tied for eighth in COHSBC-North. Murfield averaged 192, followed by Jebode (167), Bendele (140) and Carroll (133).

Cocherl advanced to district last season as an individual, finishing 51st of 127 bowlers with a 570 three-game series.

Rounding out the team are freshmen Talon Coffee, Mark Copley and Brody Crowder.

"D.J., Dylan and Dillon have been leading in scoring," coach Halstead said. "They are working with Talon, Mark and Brody on the mental portion of the game. We want to be competitive in every match, place in the top 10 at districts and to have at least one bowler in the top 10 of our conference."

Delaware is 4-2 overall, 3-1 in the COHSBC-A and 0-1 in the OCC-Cardinal.

The Pacers defeated Buckeye Valley 2,025-1,568 on Nov. 27, Gahanna 2,297-2,084 on Dec. 4 and Beechcroft 2,187-1,416 on Dec. 6 before losing to Darby 2,207-2,146 on Dec. 8. They then beat London 2,014-1,700 on Dec. 11 before losing to Westerville South 2,370-2,054 the next day.

Cocherl has a 210 game average, followed by Murfield (193.1), Jebode (179.9), Coffee (168.1), Bendele (168) and Copley (152.6).

Young gymnastics team looking for 'growth'

The gymnastics team has returned its top two athletes from last season and third-year coach Heather Besselman is excited to see how some of the younger gymnasts develop over the course of the season.

The Pacers, who have no seniors, are expected to be led by junior Elise Mays and sophomore Elizabeth White.

In the district meet last season, Mays led Delaware in the all-around with a 32.175, tying for 33rd of 90 gymnasts, and finished 14th of 134 gymnasts on balance beam (8.7). The top nine finishers in each event and the all-around advanced to state.

White tied for 46th in the all-around with a 31.125, with her top finish coming on floor exercise (26th, 8.525).

Other returnees are sophomores Morgan Barry, Chelsey Co and Caitie Lipps. Completing the roster are freshmen Sophia Hance and Jeorgia Turturice.

"We are looking to have growth this year with a young team," Besselman said. "Our goal is to place in the top third as a team at districts. We have several girls who have the potential to qualify for the state meet in individual events if they stay healthy and continue the progress that we are making."

The Pacers, who finished 17th of 23 teams at district last season, opened Dec. 9 by finishing last (112.05) in a quad-meet behind Worthington Kilbourne (127.8), Olentangy Orange (119.2) and Big Walnut (117.8).

Boys basketball team bounces back

After losing its first three games, the boys basketball team rebounded to win its next two.

Delaware was 2-3 overall and 1-0 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing at Dublin Scioto on Dec. 15.

The Pacers opened with the Tip-Off Classic at Grove City, losing to Independence 68-65 on Dec. 1 before falling to the host Greyhounds 72-59 on Dec. 2. They then lost to Mifflin 50-46 on Dec. 5.

Buoyed by a 28-point, 17-rebound effort by Terin Kins-way, Delaware beat visiting Darby 59-45 in its league opener Dec. 8 and then defeated visiting Hilliard Davidson 45-37 on Dec. 12 as Nate Griggs led a balanced attack with 12 points.

Paul Burris and Addison Harvey both had nine points against Davidson and Dominic Byers scored eight.

bemerine@thisweeknews.com

@Brad_ThisWeek

Schedules

BOWLING

Nov. 27 -- Buckeye Valley at Colony Lanes

*Dec. 4 -- Gahanna at Colony Lanes

*Dec. 6 -- Beechcroft at Colony Lanes

*Dec. 8 -- Hilliard Darby at Game of Western Bowl

Dec. 9 -- Holiday Baker Bash at Columbus Square Bowling Palace

*Dec. 11 -- London at Madison Lanes

*Dec. 12 -- Westerville South at Columbus Square Bowling Palace

*Dec. 18 -- Westerville Central at Columbus Square Bowling Palace

*Dec. 20 -- Hilliard Bradley at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl

*Jan. 5 -- Groveport at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl

*Jan. 9 -- Worthington Kilbourne at Colony Lanes

*Jan. 10 -- Olentangy at Delaware Lanes

*Jan. 11 -- Olentangy Liberty at Sawmill Lanes

*Jan. 16 -- Westerville North at Columbus Square Bowling Palace

*Jan. 19 -- Thomas Worthington at Capri Lanes

*Jan. 23 -- New Albany at Colony Lanes

*Jan. 26 -- Big Walnut at Capri Lanes

*Jan. 30 -- Marysville at Colony Lanes

*Jan. 31 -- Newark at Park Lanes

*Feb. 1 -- Olentangy Orange at Capri Lanes

Feb. 9 -- Buckeye Valley at Colony Lanes

Feb. 11 -- OCC Challenge at Tiki Lanes

GYMNASTICS

Dec. 9 -- vs. Big Walnut, Olentangy Orange and *Worthington Kilbourne

Jan. 5 -- at Hilliard Davidson with Hilliard Bradley, *Hilliard Darby and Washington Court House Miami Trace

Jan. 17 -- at Dublin Coffman with *Dublin Jerome, *Dublin Scioto, Bradley, Darby and Davidson

Jan. 23 -- at Davidson with Dresden Tri-Valley, Bradley, Darby and *Thomas Worthington

Jan. 26 -- Westerville Central Warhawk Invitational at Worthington Youth Boosters

Jan. 31 -- at Marysville

Feb. 10 -- OCC-Cardinal meet at TBA

*League contest

Below are the coming schedules for the Delaware Hayes boys basketball, girls basketball, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL

*Dec. 19 -- At Thomas Worthington

*Dec. 22 -- At Worthington Kilbourne

GIRLS BASKETBALL

*Dec. 19 -- Home vs. Thomas Worthington

*Dec. 22 -- Home vs. Worthington Kilbourne

SWIMMING & DIVING

Dec. 21 -- Delaware County Classic at Ohio Wesleyan

Dec. 22 -- Dublin Coffman at Dublin Recreation Center

WRESTLING

*Dec. 21 -- Home vs. Dublin Scioto

*League contest