Dylan Hall effectively was preparing for the Division I postseason when he competed Feb. 13 in the Hilliard Bradley High School boys bowling team's final regular-season match.
The senior drew a large crowd when he had a hot hand to start the match against Newark at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl. He rolled games of 266 and 235 to total a program-record 501 series during the Jaguars' 2,381-2,248 win in OCC-Cardinal Division play.
"When you start rolling like that, people start to crowd around and watch," said Hall, who has a 199.2 average. "That's when it got me. I rolled seven strikes to start and the crowd came and I started to choke.
"It just felt like a normal day and I'd shoot my 199 average and everything would be OK, but then it just started to flow for me. I was able to get my first 500 series."
His brother, 2015 graduate Brady Hall, rolled a 300 game as part of a 460 series in a match during his senior season and had a 190.3 average that season.
"Brady came by to watch me bowl (against Newark) and he always reminds me that he still has the 300 game over me," Hall said. "I still have the better series and I also have a better average than he did."
The Jaguars finished the regular season 8-5 overall, 7-4 in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-B Division and 2-4 in the OCC-Cardinal. They compete in the sectional Friday, Feb. 23, at HP Lanes.
The girls team competes at sectional Saturday, Feb. 24, at HP Lanes. The top 16 teams and the top 16 individuals not on qualifying teams in both sectionals advance to the district tournament March 3 at HP Lanes.
Last season, Hall rolled a 621 three-game series at sectional to place 12th of 246 bowlers to qualify for district along with teammate Dalton Barclay (506, tied for 73rd). Then at district, Barclay rolled a 603 series to tie for 26th of 127 bowlers and Hall finished 34th with a 591, with neither advancing to state.
The crowds get bigger in the postseason, but one of the biggest changes from the regular season is the format. Bowlers roll a two-game series in regular-season matches but roll three games in the postseason. There also are five bowlers competing at each lane in the postseason instead of two.
"(It's) all about strengthen and focus," Hall said. "You have two people in a lane during the (regular) season, but in the postseason, you have five. You have to keep your rhythm when you are waiting and you have to keep your strength. If you are tired out, you won't be performing well.
"You have to control all of your adrenaline. If you let all of it go in one game, you'll be dead. You have to maintain it and only use it when you need it."
Coach John Thompson said Hall's biggest assets include his knack for picking up spares and splits.
"Dylan pushes himself to be the best he can and he's good at picking up spares and splits," Thompson said. "He's one of the best players we have at picking up splits."
Hall has a 3.6 GPA and plans to major in mechanical engineering at Wright State, where he will try to walk on to the men's bowling team.
"College is a very different experience because you always have to be on your 'A' game, but you also have to enjoy yourself," Hall said. "I probably need to work on spares. No one is 100 percent on spares, but they want to be."
Williams advances to state swim meet
Macy Williams became the second member of the girls swimming and diving program to qualify for the Division I state meet.
The senior advanced to state in the 100-yard freestyle by placing sixth in a program-record 52.39 seconds in the district meet Feb. 17 at Ohio University.
At district, the top two placers in each swimming event automatically qualified for the state meet Friday, Feb. 23, and Saturday, Feb. 24, at Branin Natatorium in Canton. In addition, 16 at-large state berths were awarded for each event based on times statewide.
Williams is seeded 15th at state.
"It's pretty indescribable, especially since I didn't think I was going to make it (after completing the race)," Williams said. "I know it sounds cliche, but it's great to see the hard work pay off. It has paid off in a way I never dreamed of."
Kaitlyn Goldsmith qualified for state twice for Bradley, finishing 22nd in the 50 free in 2011 and 24th in the 50 free in 2010. The last swimmer to reach state for the Jaguars was Jon Satre, who finished 15th in the 100 backstroke in 2013.
Also at district, Williams finished ninth in the 200 free (1:56.04) and was a member of two relays. She swam a program-record 24.76 in the first leg of the 200 free relay that finished 18th (1:46.69) and anchored the 400 free relay that finished 22nd (3:54.54).
She was joined on both relays by Nebraska White, Maddy Taylor and Madison Wester.
Taylor also placed 30th in the 100 breaststroke (1:14.28) as the Jaguars finished 22nd (22 points) behind champion Upper Arlington (274) as 30 teams scored.
The boys team did not have any district qualifiers.
Girls basketball team wins district opener
Senior point guard Teneea Heston scored her 1,000th career point in the fourth quarter of the 24th-seeded girls basketball team's 42-33 win at 22nd-seeded Pickerington North on Feb. 17 in the opening round of the Division I district tournament.
The Jaguars improved to 11-12 and will play Friday, Feb. 23, at 14th-seeded Big Walnut in the second round.
Heston entered the game needing 10 points to reach 1,000 points, and finished with that amount. She reached the milestone with a free throw late in the fourth quarter.
"Getting 1,000 points isn't easy, especially because you have to score some points as a freshman, and that makes a big difference," coach Kathy Lindsey said. "It's a great accomplishment. Our only other (1,000-point scorer) is (2015 graduate) Meredith Miller."
Miller finished her career with 1,120 points and now plays at Western Michigan.
Freshman Carly Callahan had 12 points against North.
The second-round winner advances to a district semifinal against fourth-seeded Reynoldsburg or 49th-seeded Whitehall on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at a neutral site to be determined. The district final is March 3 at Ohio Dominican.
Boys basketball team to open district play
The boys basketball team will begin the postseason Saturday, Feb. 24, at home against 42nd-seeded Marion Harding in the first round of the Division I district tournament.
The third-seeded Jaguars are 20-1 overall.
The winner plays host to 46th-seeded Westland in the second round March 2.
Bradley survived a scare against Darby on Feb. 13, as it needed overtime to defeat the host Panthers 55-52 in OCC-Cardinal play. Braden Norris went 20-for-21 from the free-throw line and finished with 29 points.
The teams met again Feb. 16, with the host Jaguars earning a more comfortable 60-43 victory to finish 12-0 in the league. They have won 29 league games in a row and 23 consecutive games at home.
Isaiah Speelman, the league's Player of the Year, scored 27 points in the rematch.
Wrestlers set to begin postseason
The wrestling team is preparing to compete in a Division I sectional Saturday, Feb. 24, at Watkins Memorial.
The top four finishers in each weight class advance to the district tournament March 2 and 3 at Darby.
Bradley had to settle for a first-place tie in the OCC-Cardinal after losing to Darby 39-23 on Feb. 15 in a league dual at Memorial Middle School. The Jaguars and Delaware both finished 5-1 in the league, while Darby finished 4-2.
Against Darby, Kade Wareham (145 pounds) won by pin and Kellen Grainger (160) and Sam Pennington (113) both won by major decisions. Taner Diehl (106), Zander Ellison (138) and J.T. Lemmermen (152) all won by decision.
Below is the coming schedule for the Bradley gymnastics team:
Feb. 24 -- District meet at Worthington Kilbourne. Top three teams advance to state team meet March 2 at Bradley. Top eight individuals in each event and the all-around advance to state individual meet March 3 at Bradley.