A rough start statistically and physically didn’t prevent Ready High School junior Mary Zerrien from making the Division II state girls bowling tournament for the first time.

On Feb. 21 in the district tournament at HP Lanes, Zerrien put together her best performance in the final game of individual competition after making a ball switch.

With a 564 that included a 235 in her third game, Zerrien placed fourth overall to advance to state Friday, March 1, at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl.

“My hand started swelling the second game so I couldn’t even put my fingers in one of the balls,” Zerrien said. “So I changed to another ball and struggled a lot because I couldn’t put my fingers into that ball either, but I had a good third game.”

Zerrien is 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.

The top three individuals not on qualifying teams at district advanced to state, and Zerrien was the final individual qualifier.

Also representing the Silver Knights at district was junior Maryann Rucker, who tied for 18th (497).

“(Zerrien was) very consistent (and) showed good mechanics (and) good spare shooting,” coach Russ Rehner said. “They (both) had fun out there and bowled well. I’m proud of both of them.”

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

“I’ve never bowled at Wayne Webb’s, but it depends on the (oil) pattern they put down,” Zerrien said. “I think I’ll be able to adjust to whatever they put down. (The lanes at district) were very dry so my ball was hooking a lot. I just couldn’t give up.”

Girls basketball team competes in tourney

A 23-0 second-half run officially propelled the girls basketball team to an impressive opening victory in the Division III district tournament.

The groundwork for the Knights’ 52-26 home win over 20th-seeded North Union on Feb. 19, though, likely was set a few hours prior to that, according to senior forward Derricka Bramwell.

“We had a good practice earlier (in the day), so practice came into the game,” Bramwell said. “We just had confidence in ourselves. We were able to communicate as one.”

Coach Joe Lang didn’t contradict Bramwell’s explanation but added to her theory.

“Don’t ask me why, but I told them, ‘(Feb. 17) and (Feb. 18) were probably the two best practices we had the whole year,’ “ Lang said. “We came out (against North Union) and except for a slow start at the start of the second half, we played like we practiced.”

The win advanced the eighth-seeded Knights to a second-round game, which they lost 57-29 on Feb. 23 at third-seeded Cardington to finish 9-14. Bramwell scored 12 points.

Against North Union, Bramwell had 18 points and Bre Hejduk and Ariyhana Marshall both scored 11.

Ready played North Union without freshman starting guard Abby Grundei, who was ill.

Boys basketball team faces Fairbanks

The 10th-seeded boys basketball team was 10-12 before opening the Division III district tournament Feb. 25 at fifth-seeded Fairbanks.

The winner plays eighth-seeded Marion Pleasant or 17th-seeded Galion Northmor in a second-round game Saturday, March 2, at the home of the better seed, with the winner to face third-seeded Johnstown, 13th-seeded Liberty Union or 16th-seeded Fredericktown in a district semifinal Tuesday, March 5, at a neutral site. The district final is March 8 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

Wrestlers move on to district tourney

The wrestling team finished third (107) in a 12-team Division III sectional Feb. 23 at Madison Plains behind West Jefferson (166.5) and North Union (142).

Aiden Aiello (120 pounds) and Andrew Halko (145) won titles, Paul Martello (138) and Jacob Robinson (195) were runners-up, Evan O’Connell (106) was third and Cameron Jones (126) placed fourth as all of the Knights’ competitors advanced to district Friday, March 1, and Saturday, March 2, at Rayland Buckeye Local.

At district, the top four finishers in each weight class move on to the state tournament March 7-9 at Ohio State.

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek