Boys Bowling: Westerville Central wins Division I state title


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Boys Bowling: Westerville Central wins Division I state title

Nothing was going to stop the Westerville Central High School boys bowling team from winning the Division I state championship March 11 at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.

The Warhawks captured their first state title by rallying to win the last two games in a quarterfinal against Vandalia-Butler and overcoming a poor start in the third game of the final against Wapakoneta.

"I am so proud of the guys and the way they kept battling and never gave up, from being down 2-1 in the quarterfinal and rallying (to beat Butler) to beginning the third game (of the final) with open frames," Central coach Julie Wells said. "They just never give up.

"We've been to the dance many times and sixth place was our best finish before this. But now that we've got one championship under our belts, we'll be working and planning for more."

The Warhawks finished third (3,580 pins) of 16 teams in the qualifying round as the top eight reached the best-of-five Baker championship round.

Third-seeded Central then defeated sixth-seeded Butler three games to two and beat second-seeded Centerville three games to one in a semifinal before sweeping fourth-seeded Wapakoneta three games to none in the final, winning 244-150, 202-182, 226-206.

In game three of the final, the Warhawks overcame open marks in the first two frames by rolling six consecutive strikes.

"You can never give up. We proved things can change in a hurry," said Central junior Cameron Gonce, who rolled a 654 (232-210-212) series to finish 10th of 102 competitors and earn second-team all-state honors. "We were able to put things together and just kept building."

Trailing Butler two games to one, the Warhawks rallied to win the third (189-160) and fourth (180-173) games. Against Centerville, they won three games in a row (205-175, 234-177, 225-184) after losing the first (202-163).

"That's been the case all year," Wells said. "The boys have stayed together, cheered each other and supported each other. They truly had the desire to be the best all year, and today they stayed in the moment and the support was there to help them through some rough frames. They didn't let a bad ball or frame ruin a game."

Sophomore Devon Richardson finished 19th (630) and junior Alex Fleetwood tied for 29th (599) for Central. Also competing for the Warhawks were senior Ben Lorenz, junior Ryan O'Connor, sophomores Zach Gonzalez and Nick Owsiak and freshman Wesley Minke.

In team qualifying, Pickerington North finished 14th (3,120), Whitehall was 15th (3,076) and Whetstone was 16th (2,863).

North was led by junior Jarrett Powers (626, 20th), while junior A.J. Stiffler (580, tied for 41st) led Whitehall and junior Josh Roeder (559, 52nd) led Whetstone.

Worthington Kilbourne junior Evan Place, competing as an individual, tied for 54th (551).