COLUMBUS: The Woodridge boys bowling team didn’t let inconsistencies in regulation hinder its hopes of a strong finish at the Division II state tournament Friday at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl.
Despite entering the championship round as the seventh seed, the Bulldogs beat Triway 3-0 and were tied with Urbana at one game apiece in their semifinal matchup.
Woodridge ended up falling to the Hillclimbers 3-1 (192-171, 187-188, 247-207, 234-203), however, and finished fourth overall.
It was the first state appearance in program history for the Bulldogs.
“For it being our first time ever at state and to make the final four, I’m so proud of them,” Woodridge coach Keith Shovestull said. “We had an outstanding anchor in Brandon Fleming and it’s been balanced scoring all year for us.”
Woodridge advanced to the championship round despite not having any bowlers make the top 15 overall in regulation. Zane Patterson bowled 649 to place 24th, followed by Fleming (643), Alex Fuller (599) and Austin Fleming (571). Logan Leipold and Michael Laguardia also competed.
“It was a tough fight [against Urbana] and we just battled,” Brandon Fleming said. “We struggled during the qualifying round but just kept pushing each other and keeping our confidence going.”
Triway had the second-best score (3,787) during the qualifying round and finished fifth overall, and Coventry placed seventh.
The Comets came up just short in the first game of their opening match of the championship round and couldn’t recover during a 3-0 loss to Urbana.
Coventry lost 215-213 in the first game, 228-204 in the second and 241-205 in the third.
“We should have won the first game but we had a bad one in the 10th [frame],” Coventry coach Aaron Rose said. “Every game was over 200 but they just beat us. I’m proud of my team. They came a long way this year.”
Coventry finished with a 3,571 during regulation to earn the sixth seed.
Comets sophomore Shane Sacher placed fourth overall (715) to make first-team all-state. Union City Mississinawa Valley’s Joe Teeter won the championship with a 748.
Also competing for Coventry during regulation were Jacob Stahl (599), Daniel Thomas (580), Trentyn Leibert (563) and Wallace McKenzie (529).
“It was a good game [against Urbana] but they just got more strikes,” said Sacher, who had eight consecutive strikes during one stretch in his opening game of regulation. “It feels real good to be here. It brings a lot of attention to the school.”
Joining Sacher on the all-state first team was Crestwood senior Bradley Woodrum, who placed third (719).
“It was a pretty good [day],” Woodrum said. “I stayed underneath the ball. I was hoping for top 10 but getting in the top 3 was (good). It was definitely worth it.”
Also competing individually were St. Vincent-St. Mary senior Justin Hofacker (618) and Crestwood junior Nicholas Toke (514).
Triway lost to Woodridge 191-190, 214-201, 206-181 in its first match of the championship round.
The Titans’ Jacob Yoder, one of five seniors in the program, finished ninth (685) during regulation to make second-team all-state. Jacob Myers (660), Jared Yoder (632) and Chace Cogar (625) also had strong performances.
“We had a lot of opportunities but the pressure was on,” Jacob Yoder said. “It was still an accomplishment to get here.”
Minerva finished 15th (3,233) during the qualifying round behind Brendan Garrison (603).