The primary goal for the Hilliard Bradley High School girls bowling team is always to reach the Division I state tournament, but this season the Jaguars are proving that they have the talent to reach that lofty ambition.

Bradley has had a strong start to the new year. The Jaguars won the Ashland Baker Bash on Jan. 12 at Luray Lanes, placed second in the Muskingum University High School Invitational on Jan. 21 at Park Lanes and were third as the host squad in the Jaguar Baker Marathon on Jan. 26 at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.

"We have the saying that we're going to state, and sometimes we're joking, but not this year," said senior Christy Hribar, who led the team with a 171.5 average through 10 matches. "Our team is so strong and we all carry our own weight, which is really, really nice because we can play off each other and support each other.

"We always go in with a clear head and we are going to have a good season. We always want to do better than last season."

The Jaguars were 10-1 overall, 8-1 in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-B Division and 5-0 in the OCC-Cardinal after beating Thomas Worthington 2,070-1,542 on Jan. 28.

Early in the season, Bradley placed second of 23 teams in the Red and Blue Classic on Dec. 1 at HP Lanes and finished fourth in both the Holiday Baker Marathon on Dec. 8 at Columbus Square Bowling Palace and the Wright State Raider Collegiate Challenge on Dec. 14 at Beaver Vu. In the event on Dec. 14, senior Ava Miller rolled a 401 two-game series for the top score of the 167 participants.

"We are able to help each other get better and make the next ball better," said Miller, who was averaging 153.8. "We have been doing well all year and want to continue that."

Assistant coach Greg Richards works with the girls team and is continually amazed by their performances.

"They jell and work well off each other," he said. "We have two seniors in Ava and Christy that can coach the other three girls and they are doing really well. The five of them together can make it to state if they bowl the way they are capable.

"I think we could be even better. They all have the capability of rolling over 200 individually. When they jell and bowl the way they can, there's no stopping them."

Sophomore Callie Hribar, who had a 165 average, said that being close-knit is one key to success.

"We're all very supportive of each other and we have all developed knowledge over the last couple years we have been bowling," she said. "We can almost coach ourselves and help out each other."

Junior Marisabel Aguilar said the familiarity between the players also plays a significant role in the team's winning ways.

"We basically have the same team as last year, and we have been doing so much better because of our love for the game and each other has grown so much," said Aguilar, who had a 145.7 average. "We have a good bond with each other."

Sophomores Olivia Johnson and Katie Yabroff had averages of 151.8 and 138.4, respectively.

"We have been having fun and getting along, which is always important," Johnson said. "I think we all are being supportive and helping each other."

The Jaguars are focusing on winning league titles as well as the postseason, which begins Feb. 22 with a sectional at HP Lanes. The district is March 2 at the same site. The state event is March 8 at Wayne Webb's.

"This year is clicking because we have known what to do for so long that we are finally putting it out there," Christy Hribar said. "We believe we can do it and we have broke through that mental block to be able to win tournaments.

"We know each other and can support one another. We're all in this together and we're going to keep moving on together. We're all a family."

Sims leads girls swim team in league meet

Kaitlyn Sims won the 200-yard individual medley in 2 minutes, 15.35 seconds to lead the girls swimming and diving team in the OCC-Cardinal meet held Jan. 25 and 26 at Thomas.

The freshman also placed third in the 100 butterfly (1:02.43) and joined Paige Williams, Madison Wester and Isa Brooks on the third-place 400 free relay (4:02.04), as the Jaguars finished sixth (101 points) behind champion Dublin Jerome (282.5).

Williams was fourth in the 500 freestyle (5:54.32).

The boys team finished eighth (40) in the league meet behind champion Jerome (398).

Carson Cross was 10th in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.72) and 12th in the 200 IM (2:18.54), Marshall Alspaugh placed 12th in the 100 backstroke (1:09.66) and Ben Wirantana was 12th in the 100 fly (1:03.57).

Boys team ranked second in state poll

The boys basketball team is unbeaten through 15 games and ranked second in the Division I state poll behind Cincinnati Moeller.

The Jaguars edged Newark 43-42 in the Jared Sullinger Ohio Scholastic Play by Play Classic on Jan. 26 at Pickerington Central for their 29th consecutive regular-season win. Matt Allocco led with 20 points.

A.J. Mirgon had 12 points to lead a balanced attack as Bradley won its 39th consecutive league game and 31st home game in a row by defeating Olentangy Berlin 52-26 on Jan. 25. Winston Stone had 11 points and Chris Mayfield scored 10 as the Jaguars improved to 10-0 in the OCC-Cardinal.

shennen@thisweeknews.com

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Schedules

Below are the coming schedules for the Bradley boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling, gymnastics, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL

*Feb. 1 -- At Delaware. The Jaguars defeated the Pacers 57-46 on Jan. 4.

*Feb. 5 -- Home vs. Dublin Jerome. The Jaguars defeated the Celtics 60-51 on Dec. 21.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

*Feb. 1 -- Home vs. Delaware. The Jaguars defeated the Pacers 39-35 on Jan. 4.

Feb. 2 -- Home vs. DeSales

*Feb. 5 -- At Jerome. The Jaguars lost to the Celtics 44-42 on Dec. 21.

BOWLING

*Feb. 4 -- Pickerington Central at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl

*Feb. 6 -- Olentangy Berlin at Delaware Lanes

GYMNASTICS

Feb. 4 -- At Davidson with *Berlin, Darby, *Delaware and Olentangy Liberty

SWIMMING & DIVING

Feb. 2 -- Upper Arlington Invitational

WRESTLING

Feb. 2 -- Division I, Region 6 team dual tournament at Darby. The quarterfinal, semifinal and final rounds will be held, with the regional champion advancing to the state team tournament Feb. 10 at Ohio State's St. John Arena.

*League contest