MEDINA — Clearview’s girls bowling team might not have shocked the world Sunday at the Division II sectional at Medina AMF, but the Clippers definitely surprised themselves.
Clearview racked up 3,118 pins to finish second, just 47 behind winner Triway. Coventry outscored Keystone 171-164 in the final Baker to sneak past the Wildcats for the final qualifying spot by a mere two pins.
Kelsey Dominguez (527) and Marissa Bowser (471) led Clearview with the second- and eighth-best series.
“I just can’t believe it,” said Dominguez, a 2015 district qualifier as an individual. “I’m still shocked.”
Not to be outdone, the Clearview boys rallied from seventh place after the first regular game (740) to qualify for the Boardman district on Feb. 24.
The Clippers earned the third of three qualifying spots with a score of 3,477, 35 pins behind second-place Lutheran West (3.512). Triway defended its title with 3,958.
It’s the first time either Clearview team has made it to district in the seven-year history of the program.
The Clearview girls finished last at last year’s Medina sectional, 960 pins from qualifying.
“I’m still shocked,” Bowser said. “I wasn’t hitting my mark the first game so I had to keep moving over to find my shot. I’m not sure how we overcame the nerves. I was nervous the whole time. I’ve never been nervous before for bowling.”
The Clearview girls led Triway by 40 pins through the three regular games before Triway broke away in the Baker round. The Clippers still had the third-best Baker of the day (864).
“I just kept my eye on my mark,” Dominguez said. “I kind of had a feeling we were going to do well. We had a great year winning conference so I knew we had a chance. Lane conditions weren’t easy, at least at the beginning. There was no movement or action at first, but by the second game the lanes began to break down.”
After a rough first game, the Clearview boys got back on track, scoring 2,384 in the three regular games, good for fifth place heading into the Baker — 68 pins from qualifying. Triway (2,862), Lutheran West (2,508), Elyria Catholic (2,449) and Akron St. Vincent-St, Mary (2,427) held the top four spots heading into the Baker.
Jacon Ritter led the Clippers with a 549 series, good for ninth overall, while Adam Nichols had a 481, good for 19th.
So how did the Clippers regain their groove?
“Personally, I had to slow down my ball just because the oil was getting pushed around a lot,” Ritter said. “We just got into a better mindset. It’s still a little unbelievable what we accomplished. It was a nice comeback, coming back from seventh place.”
“The first game we were down, we weren’t positive,” Nichols said. “You’re going to miss spares, it’s nothing new. It was a whole team effort. You can’t single out one person and say they did amazing because it was a whole team effort.”
The Clearview boys had the second highest Baker total (1,093), a mere three pins behind Triway.
“We’ve dealt with adversity all year,” Clearview coach Scott Sloboda said. “The pins aren’t always going to fall your way. You have to put the negative behind you and focus ahead to the future frames. I couldn’t be more proud of both groups of kids. It’s been a nice ride this year. Hopefully, it’s not over.”
Brookside’s Eric McElheny (581), a senior, and Steven Biltz (580), a freshman, advanced as the top individual qualifiers from non-qualifying teams. It’s McElheny’s third trip to districts in four years.
Keystone junior Trinity Pfeifer earned an individual berth, but was disappointed that her team so narrowly missed the cut. The Keystone girls were looking for their first district berth since the 2013-14 season.
“It’s overwhelming,” Pfeifer said. “I’m excited but sad that I’m not going to be with my team. People were not getting their spares. For Baker, it just felt like we just kept getting splits. Some of the splits were too difficult to get.”
The Keystone girls (2,101) were in third through three regular games, behind Clearview (2,254) and Triway (2,414). The ’Cats were 11 pins ahead of Black River (2,090) and Coventry (2,023). Coventry rolled a 933 in the Baker while Keystone had 853.
“The way we bowled a week ago in our conference finals we came in here with a lot of confidence,” Keystone coach Kevin Minnich said. “Unfortunately, it’s based on who is hot today. Our Baker average (142) today was awful. That killed us. If anything, that second Baker (116) was the nail in the coffin. Our season average for Baker (149) was higher.”
Senior Shianne Wacker (531) and freshman Lillie Wacker (520) of Black River were the top two individual qualifiers from non-qualifying girls teams. It will be Shianne’s second straight district appearance.
Contact Paul Heyse at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Top 3 teams advance to Boardman district, Feb. 24
1, Triway, 3,958; 2. Lutheran West, 3,512; 3. Clearview, 3,477; 4. Elyria Catholic, 3,421 (56 pins behind); 5. Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, 3,364; 6. Brookside, 3,265; 7. Keystone, 3,173; 8. Firelands, 3,148; 9. Wellington, 2,742; 10. Open Door, 2,479; 11. Akron Buchtel, 2,271
Individual qualifiers (top 3): 1. Eric McElheny (Brookside), 581; 2. Steven Biltz (Brookside), 580; 3. Elijah Washington (St. Vincent-St. Mary), 563
High series: 1, Jared Yoder (Triway), 636; 2. Bradac Halpin (Triway), 603; 3. Kyle Krebs (Triway), 582; 4. McElheny, 582; 5. Biltz, 581. Other top local finishers: 8. Tyler Walker (Elyria Catholic), 550; 9. Jacob Ritter (Clearview), 549; 12. Nick Twining (Keystone), 523; 13. Zack LaGuardia (Elyria Catholic), 518; 14. Anthony Mishak (Elyria Catholic), 514; 15. Brian Smith (Firelands), 514; 18. Damien Hughey (Firelands), 492; 19. Adam Nichols (Clearview), 481; 20. Kevin Koepp (Keystone), 479
High game: 1, Halpin, 245; 2. Shawn Gerber (Triway), 227; 3. Jared Kroyer (Lutheran West), 226. Top local finishers: Walker, 224; McElheny, 218 and 215; Biltz, 215; Smith, 202; Ritter, 199; LaGuardia, 192; Twining, 187; Randy Sizer (Wellington), 186; Seth Cogar (Keystone), 180; Hughey, 178
Top 3 teams advance to Boardman District, Feb. 24
1, Triway, 3,165; 2. Clearview, 3,118; 3. Coventry, 2,956; 4. Keystone, 2,954 (2 pins behind); 5. Black River, 2,886 (68 pins behind); 6. Firelands, 2,712; 7. Wellington, 2,706; 8. Brookside, 2,495
Individual qualifiers (top 3): 1, Shianne Wacker (Black River), 531; 2. Lillie Wacker (Black River), 520; 3. Trinity Pfeifer (Keystone), 501
High series: 1, Shianne Wacker, 531; 2. Kelsey Dominguez (Clearview), 531; 3. Lillie Wacker, 520; 4. Madeline Burns (Triway), 508; 5. Pfeifer, 501. Other top local finishers: 7. Suzanna Stark (Brookside), 490; 8. Marissa Bowser (Clearview), 471; 9. Eva Hartwig (Wellington), 462; 10. Nicole Sparks (Wellington), 457; 11. McKayla Ortiz (Keystone), 453; 13. Sarah Ritter (Clearview), 438; 14. Kerigan Borton (Firelands), 437; 15. Gabby Suprun (Clearview), 428; 17. Amanda Cogar (Keystone), 419; 20. Julianna Frazier (Open Door), 405
High game: 1, Shianne Wacker, 211; 2. Dominguez, 207; 3. Karlee Immel (Triway), 205; 4. Lillie Wacker, 203. Other top local finishers: Pfeifer, 197; Bowser, 197; Borton, 195; Sparks, 188; Hartwig, 88; Ritter, 185; Ortiz, 180