Pickerington Central Roundup: Tigers' Jaycie Arnet 'steady' in first trip to state bowling

Dave Purpura
ThisWeek group
In her first trip to state, Central junior Jaycie Arnet tied for 36th and closed the season by averaging a program-record 166.6.

For bowling in her first Division I state tournament, Pickerington Central junior Jaycie Arnet kept an even keel throughout her entire round March 5 at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl. 

Coach Jason Roach called Arnet “Steady Eddie” for her performance, not only at state – where she tied for 36th of 105 competitors – but all season, in which she set the program record for average at 166.6 pins per game. 

“I didn’t have to tell her a thing (March 5). It’s her personality,” Roach said. “You don’t have to tell a kid like her. She kind of knows. She knows it’s all about timing. If she keeps her first and second step smooth and even and not real fast, she’s going to build speed and she’ll be fine. She maybe only got excited late in the second game because she wanted a double (strike) in the 10th frame but other than that, she was even keeled the whole way. 

“She was in the pocket the whole day. She didn’t get every pin she wanted but she picked up a lot of spares.” 

Arnet followed her opening game of 194 with games of 168 and 158 to finish with a 520 series. 

“I struggled a little bit, but I was able to figure out where to place and what to do. All in all, it wasn’t that bad. For my first time, it wasn’t that bad,” Arnet said. “I tried to just shake everything off and not think too much about my splits. I just knew I had to pick one up. The next frame, do better. I knew it would be OK no matter what.” 

Arnet was seventh (575) at district Feb. 22 at HP Lanes to earn an individual state berth. She was 60th at district as a sophomore and 29th as a freshman. 

Her average has steadily increased, from 142.8 as a freshman to 154.9 last year. 

“I’ve gotten better at keeping myself improving, to fix myself and grow. I was able to focus on myself, my approach and my starting position,” Arnet said. “When I practice by myself, I focus more on my starting position and my approach more than I do on the lanes. That’s what I’ve been doing the entire year. That was the biggest adjustment I made.” 

Most of the lineup is eligible to return from a girls team that finished 8-2 overall, 7-2 in the COHSBC-B Division and 2-1 in the OCC-Central.  

Sophomore Kylie Finan averaged 161.9, followed by sophomore Alexis Tulius (153.9), junior Sydney Brown (141.2) and senior Allison Whisman (137.1). 

Almost the entire boys lineup is expected back as well, led by sophomore Jared Baden (190.2), freshman Myles Etherington (182.1) and sophomores Brandon Bradley (168.7) and Alex Bookman (161.1). They went 3-10 overall, 3-9 in the COHSBC-B and 1-5 in the OCC-Central. 

“There is no doubt in my mind that she should be back (at state) next year with the team,” Roach said of Arnet. “With her leadership and how much the kids love her, that will help us next year. She will be helping the younger girls out because of the experience she gained this year.” 

The Tigers' Garner Wallace, a Northwestern football recruit, averaged 14.4 points and was named the league Player of the Year and second-team all-district.

Boys basketball team  

falls in district final 

The boys basketball fell one win shy of its eighth Division I district championship, but coach Eric Krueger lauded his team’s season after a 46-37 loss at third-seeded Hilliard Bradley in a district final March 6. 

Senior guard/forward Garner Wallace and sophomore forward Devin Royal each had nine points to pace the sixth-seeded Tigers, who had a 12-game winning streak snapped and finished 15-5. 

Despite falling behind 17-4 early in the second quarter and not scoring for 8 minutes, 38 seconds, Central used its defense to claw back and tied the game at 26 late in the third. Bradley scored the final four points of the period and pulled away with a 9-2 run that lasted into the fourth quarter. 

“Our guys battled … but that run at the end of the third quarter made the difference,” Krueger said. “Our guys battled. I’m really proud of the season (considering) the adversity and injuries we dealt with. We did a lot of good things, the kids battled all year. Getting off to a tough start, we turned things around. We lost to a really good team in their gym. 

“I have no complaints as far as the effort the guys gave me (March 6) or over the past four or five months.” 

The Tigers went 10-0 in the OCC-Buckeye to win their seventh league championship in 10 years and, after a 58-57 setback at DeSales on Jan. 18, did not lose again until the district final. 

Wallace, a Northwestern football recruit who was named league Player of the Year and second-team all-district, averaged a team-high 14.4 points.  

Royal, who was first-team all-league and third-team all-district, added 13.9 points per game and is one of several key players eligible to return. That group also includes juniors Josh Harlan (guard) and Lance Pressley (forward) and sophomores Gavin Headings (center/forward) Sonny Styles (forward). 

Senior forward Zakai Alexander and Harlan were second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district, while Styles was special mention all-league and Pressley was honorable mention all-league. 

Wrestling season

ends at district 

One of the wrestling team’s two Division I district qualifiers and the majority of its lineup are eligible to return after going 1-4 in the OCC-Buckeye under first-year coach Ryan DiSabato. 

Junior Mekhi Hargrow went 0-2 at district March 6 at Hilliard Darby to finish 11-9. Senior Cameron Griffith also went 0-2 at district and ended 17-12. 

Griffith and Hargrow, both of whom placed fourth at sectional Feb. 27 at Upper Arlington, were the only two Tigers to finish with winning records. 

Others eligible to return include junior Ian Camp (145), sophomores Landon Gentry (126) and Caden Gilbert (132) and freshmen Ray Jackson (heavyweight) and Macaiah Thompson (120). 

Jackson went 7-17 and placed sixth at sectional. 

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com 

@ThisWeekDave 

BOYS BASKETBALL 

•Record: 15-5 overall 

•OCC-Buckeye standings: Pickerington Central (10-0), Reynoldsburg (8-2), Newark (6-4), Groveport (4-6), Lancaster (2-8), Central Crossing (0-10) 

•Seniors lost: Zakai Alexander, DeShon Evans, Gary Garrison, Mahlon Moorer, Tyler Robinson, Elhadji Thiam and Garner Wallace 

•Key returnees: Gavin Headings, Lance Pressley, Devin Royal and Sonny Styles 

•Postseason: Defeated Columbus West 77-26; def. Mifflin 77-50; def. Olentangy 62-34; lost to Hilliard Bradley 46-37 in Division I district final 

BOWLING 

•Record: Boys – 3-10 overall; Girls – 8-2 overall 

•League finishes: Boys – 11th (3-9) in COHSBC-B behind Gahanna (11-1), tied for sixth (1-5) in OCC-Central behind Gahanna and Pickerington North (5-1); Girls – Third (8-2) in COHSBC-B behind Gahanna (10-0), second (2-1) in OCC-Central behind Gahanna (4-0) 

•Seniors lost: Boys – Caleb Gallagher, Haven Hayes, Jude Shreffler, Zach Walker and Garner Wallace; Girls – Molly Rice and Allison Whisman 

•Key returnees: Boys – Jared Baden, Alex Bookman and Brandon Bradley; Girls – Jaycie Arnet, Sydney Brown, Kylie Finan and Alexis Tulius 

•Postseason: Boys – 26th (3,371) at sectional behind champion Marion Harding (4,316); Girls – Sixth (3,110) at sectional behind champion Jonathan Alder (3,580), sixth (3,182) at district behind champion Gahanna (3,938) 

WRESTLING 

•OCC-Buckeye standings: Lancaster (5-0), Newark (4-1), Central Crossing (3-2), Reynoldsburg (2-3), Central (1-4), Groveport (0-5) 

•Seniors lost: Nick Chesser, Cameron Griffith and Nnamdi Ikwuakam 

•Key returnees: Caden Gilbert, Mekhi Hargrow, Ray Jackson and Macaiah Thompson 

•Postseason: 11th (46) at sectional behind champion Upper Arlington (241), did not score at district