Tuesday, April 23, 2019 Elyria 55°
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High School Sports

High school bowling: Banner day for local competitors in sectional tournament

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MEDINA — There was an avalanche of good news for area teams and individuals Sunday in the Division II sectional tournament at Medina AMF.

The Keystone girls earned their first district berth since the 2010-11 season, winning the sectional title over Black River by 91 pins — 3,065 to 2,974. The Wildcats missed the district cut by a mere two pins lastg year, while the Pirates missed by 65 pins.

On the boys side, Clearview qualified for the district tourney for the second straight year, finishing second among three teams behind Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, 3,676 to 3,582.

Individually, Elyria Catholic senior Paige Sexstella (164-184-180-528) and Wellington junior Kevin Rutkowski (189-234-147-570) won sectional singles titles to advance. Sexstella bested the other two district qualifiers — sophomores Nicole Sparks of Wellington (515) and Gabby Suprun of Clearview (455).

Rutkowski’s 234 in his second game gave him just enough of a lead to hold off St. Vincent-St. Mary junior Micah Smith (187-213-166-566) by four pins.

The Keystone girls were led by sophomore McKayla Ortiz (third place, 491) and senior Trinity Pfeifer (fourth, 468). Senior Amanda Cogar was 10th (434) and sophomore Erin Yates was 12th (426), while sophomore Jessica Gerhardinger fought off a sore back to finish 26th (396).

“This year is so much better,” Pfeifer said. “Last year we missed by two points and this time we were first place. It’s a great feeling.”

Black River led Keystone briefly through two games, 1,545 to 1,450, after rolling 809. The Wildcats took the lead for good with a strong third game (733), opening up a 65-pin lead over then second-place Coventry — 2,215 to 2,150.

“It’s both Trinity and Amanda (Cogar’s) senior year so it feels great to do it as a team,” Ortiz said. “We practiced our spares and practiced our sport shot.”

Keystone knows what it needs to do at the district tournament Sunday at North Olmsted’s Buckeye Lanes.

“Single-pin spares is definitely one of the struggles we had today,” said Ortiz.

“Seven- and 10-pin spares,” said Pfeifer. “But we need to also continue to have fun. That was important today, especially when we were struggling a bit. Someone always managed to come up with a new joke.”

Wildcats coach Jerry Johnson was thrilled with his team’s performance.

“We didn’t want the two-pin difference,” he said. “We struggled in the first two Baker Games (114 and 121), but I told the girls that we weren’t going to let it get us down and it didn’t. We tried to joke around a little to get the tension out of it and start picking the spares back up.”

Sexstella and Rutkowski each finished only 24th a year ago at the Medina sectional with respective scores of 377 and 472.

“I’m very surprised,” Sexstella said. “I didn’t think I gave myself enough room over the other girls with the scores I put up. I didn’t think I was going to be up there. Things didn’t go well my first game. I had 3-4 opens. It was hard adjusting, but as the games went on I was picking up almost everything. I only had one or two opens in the last two games. It was nerve-racking not being with the boys team since I bowled with them the whole season.”

Sexstella is the EC girls’ first district qualifier since Hannah Saunders in 2015.

Rutkowski was equally shocked. He didn’t realize what he had accomplished until he walked into the scorer’s room at the conclusion of the Baker round.

“It feels great,” he said. “I’m a little shocked to be at the top, for sure. I made some good adjustments, especially in the second game. I think being relaxed helped. Everything just came together. The lanes just fit better than the last tournament we had.”

Rutkowski’s teammate Nicole Sparks earned the Wellington girls first district berth since Ashley Garn advanced in back-to-back seasons (2012-13). She had a huge day, rolling 131 pins over average.

Sparks recently lost her mom, Debra Sparks, who died unexpectedly on New Year’s Day at the age of 41.

“I prayed to my mom,” Sparks said. “I prayed to her and she pulled me through. I was just trying to beat my high-game score of 188. I bowled well the third game, too (179). I wasn’t expecting that. I was expecting to go all the way down.”

Rutkowski finished only 18th at the North Shore tournament in Division 2 on Feb. 3 with a 477. Sparks was only 30th at the NSBC tourney with a 225 two-game series.

Seniors Adam Nichols (third, 166-162-233-561), Jacob Ritter (sixth, 202-182-165-549) and Johnny Rehoreg (14th, 165-179-163-507) led the Clearview boys.

“We just stayed consistent,” said Nichols. “We knew coming in that it wasn’t going to be handed to us. I knew we were a good team, but we had to prove to everybody else. I feel collectively we’re a good group. We have good chemistry. When somebody needs to move right or to move left, we know when to tell them that. We know how each other bowls.”

The Clearview girls barely missed a return trip to districts, missing by just 15 pins to Coventry for the third and final spot. Last year, Coventry edged Keystone by two pins for the final berth.

Contact Paul Heyse at (440) 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com

Boys

Top 3 teams advance to North Olmsted District, Feb. 18

1, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary 3,676; 2. Clearview 3,582; 3. Triway, 3,523; 4. Wellington 3,296 (227 pins behind); 5. Lutheran West 3,266; 6. Keystone 3,245; 7. Firelands 3,078; 8. Elyria Catholic 3,063; 9. Brookside 2,978; 10. Fairview 2,967; 11. Black River 2,935; 12. Akron Buchtel 2,676

Individual district qualifiers – top 3

1, Kevin Rutkowski (Wellington), 570; 2. Derrick Hollis (Lutheran West), 529; 3. Ian Pfeiffer (Fairview), 523

High series

1, Rutkowski, 570; 2. Micah Smith (St. Vincent-St. Mary), 566; 3. Adam Nichols (Clearview), 561. Other top local bowlers: 6. Jacob Ritter (Clearview), 549; 9. Anthony Mishak (Elyria Catholic), 519; 10. Alex Morris (Firelands), 518; 11. Sam Bourdess (Black River), 513; 12. Steven Biltz (Brookside), 512; 13. Jacob Deimer (Brookside), 510; 15. Johnny Rehoreg (Clearview), 507; 16. Miles Reed (Clearview), 504; 17. Evan Gerding (Wellington), 497; 19. Tyler Walker (Elyria Catholic), 493; 21. Cameron Holan (Open Door), 482; 22. Tyler Mullins (Firelands), 481; 23. Jeremy Bodner (Keystone), 475; 25. Job Butcher (Keystone), 457

High game

1, Rutkowski, 234; 2. Nichols, 233; 3. Steven Dickason (Wellington), 229. Other top local bowlers: Gerding, 220; Bourdess, 213; Morris, 205; Ritter, 202; Holan, 202; Mishak, 201; Biltz, 195; Tyler Mullins, 190; Brandon Moore (Clearview), 190; Diemer, 183; John Mullins (Firelands), 182; Reed, 180; Rehoreg, 179; Walker, 178; Jose Howard (Open Door), 177; Diemer, 176; Butcher, 174; Cameron Heston (Keystone), 173

Girls

Top 3 teams advance to North Olmsted District, Feb. 17

1, Keystone 3,065; 2. Black River 2,974; 3. Coventry 2,959; 4. Clearview 2,944 (15 pins behind); 5. Triway 2,891; 6. Wellington 2,787; 7. Open Door 2,634; 8. Brookside 2,375; 9. Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary 2,229

Individual district qualifiers – top 3

1, Paige Sexstella (Elyria Catholic), 528; 2. Nicole Sparks (Wellington), 515; 3. Gabby Suprun (Clearview), 455

High series

1, Sexstella, 528; 2. Sparks, 525; 3. McKayla Ortiz (Keystone), 491; 4. Trinity Pfeifer (Keystone), 468. Other top local bowlers: 6. Lillie Wacker (Black River), 463; 8. Suprun, 455; 9. Suzy Stark (Brookside), 439; 10. Amanda Cogar (Keystone), 434; 11. Abbie Michalak (Wellington), 429; 12. Julianna Frazier (Open Door), 426; 13. Erin Yates (Keystone), 426; 14. Eva Hartwig (Wellington), 425; 15. Sarah Ritter (Clearview), 421; 16. Malia Bowser (Clearview), 420; 17. Devin Cullen (Black River), 418; 22. Juliana Phillips (Firelands), 410; 25. Lydia Wacker (Black River), 397

High game

1, Suprun, 199; 2. Sparks, 189; 3. Hannah Stevanus (Black River), 188; 4. Sexstella, 184. Other top local bowlers: Hartwig, 82; Ortiz, 181; Amanda Badillo (Open Door), 171; Pfeifer, 166; Stark, 165; Michalak, 164; Lillie Wacker, 162; Lydia Wacker, 162; Cullen, 159; Frazier, 155; Phillips, 154; Danne Symons (Brookside), 153; Yates, 152; Meg Felty (Open Door), 151

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