During its 48-26 loss to Watterson on Feb. 15 to close the regular season, the Ready High School boys basketball team made just one of 15 shots from 3-point range.
It would be an understatement to categorize that performance as out of the ordinary for a squad that averaged more than eight 3s per game during the regular season.
That performance didn’t linger, though, once Ready began Division III district tournament play.
After earning a 62-48 upset Feb. 25 at fifth-seeded Fairbanks in which they made 10 3-pointers, the 10th-seeded Silver Knights led 30-24 at halftime but were outscored 39-17 over the final two periods and lost at eighth-seeded Marion Pleasant 63-47 in a second-round game March 2.
“We’ve shot the ball (well), minus a game or two,” coach Tony Bisutti said. “It was a good bounce-back in that area (against Fairbanks). I feel like we run good enough stuff and we’ve got guys that have worked on their shooting.”
The loss to Pleasant gave Ready a final record of 11-13.
Against Fairbanks, senior guard Cade Dent made the first of four 3-pointers in the first quarter as Ready built a 20-12 lead.
The Knights led 34-21 at halftime and held a double-digit lead throughout the second half as Garrison Budd made five 3s and finished with 19 points and Darius Parham made two 3s and finished with 20 points.
Ready’s performance against Fairbanks came despite senior post player Cade Canter being in foul trouble much of the second half.
“I’d say (Canter’s foul trouble) motivated us to play harder,” Budd said.
The game against Pleasant was a rematch of a contest the Knights lost 54-41 on Dec. 22.
Parham made three 3-pointers and finished with 28 points in the tournament loss.
“As far as Fairbanks is concerned, they’ve won 20 games for a reason and they’re a good team,” Bisutti said. “Everybody talks about strength of schedule and that is a factor, but still, you’ve got to perform, make shots and execute on defense.”
Zerrien bowls at state tourney
Junior Mary Zerrien completed her season in the Division II state girls bowling tournament March 1 at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl.
After a 159 in her opening game, Zerrien finished with games of 186 and 164 for a 509 series that placed her 37th.
“It was a pretty good time,” she said. “Hopefully I’ll be back next year.”
Zerrien rolled a 564 in the district tournament Feb. 21 at HP Lanes to become 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.
Also competing for the Knights at district was junior Maryann Rucker, who had a 497.
Ready’s girls team made its only state appearance in 2014, when it placed ninth and Paige Sutfin finished third individually.
Zerrien averaged 173.9 in Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference action as the Knights went 10-3 overall and tied Hartley for second (8-2) in the COHSBC-D Division behind Watterson (11-0).
Senior Samantha Blackburn, junior Megan Hackman and sophomores Emma Pond and Katelyn Vargo also were key bowlers.
“I’m just more consistent this year and that’s what’s helped me out the most,” Zerrien said. “We only had one senior. There were a few wins we should have had, but we’ll just work harder next year.”
The boys team had no seniors. Sophomore Luke Jahn led the Knights in COHSBC average at 142.8 and junior Finn Hardenbergh, sophomores Wesley Hendricks and Aaron King and freshmen Brady Hicks and Zach Jahn also were key bowlers.
“Blackburn was the only senior out of both teams so hopefully everyone comes back and we’ll look forward to next year,” coach Russ Rehner said.
“(Zerrien showed more) consistency and maturity. Her mindset was to do better. She’s always had good mechanics, but you have to believe and this year she believed. Next year she’ll do even better and we’ll be back.”
Aiello, Halko make state in wrestling
The wrestling team had all six of its competitors advance from sectional to the Division III district tournament March 1 and 2 at Rayland Buckeye Local.
Then at district, Andrew Halko (145 pounds) was runner-up and Aiden Aiello (120) placed fourth to advance to state Thursday, March 7, through Saturday, March 9, at Ohio State.
Jacob Robinson (195) placed sixth, while Evan O’Connell (106) and Paul Martello (138) went 1-2 and Cameron Jones (126) went 0-2.
Halko, who went 0-2 at state last season, is 33-5 while Aiello is 32-8.
The Knights finished 15th (54.5) at district behind champion Galion Northmor (114) as 46 teams scored.
Most of girls team eligible to return
Of the 11 players on the girls basketball team, the only seniors were forward Derricka Bramwell and guard Ariyhana Marshall.
Replacing Bramwell, in particular, will be difficult considering she averaged 16 points and nine rebounds while making second-team all-district in Division III.
Marshall averaged four points.
Ready finished 9-14 overall and placed third (3-4) in the CCL behind co-champions Hartley and Watterson (6-1) despite having three freshmen among its key players.
The eighth-seeded Knights had their season end with a 57-29 loss at third-seeded Cardington on Feb. 23 in the second round of the district tournament.
Junior guard Bre Hejduk averaged 6.8 points and should be the most experienced returnee.
Junior forward Danielle Brown averaged 4.5 points.
Freshmen Sierra Schlosser (forward), Reagan Wheatley (guard) and Abby Grundei (guard) all played key roles.
Sophomore guards Catey Wolfe and Ava Hurd, junior forward Cydney O’Reilly and sophomore forward Jenna Ruth were others on the roster.
“For kids to come out of eighth-grade basketball and get thrown into varsity, it’s been tough (on the freshmen) both physically and mentally,” coach Joe Lang said. “It seems like here lately they’re feeling a little more confident in what we’re doing. They’ve really helped. Those three kids are really going to be key for us the next three years. We think Reagan Wheatley is going to be the point guard next year.”