League champs!

By on February 20, 2019
Members of Warwick’s bowling team are all smiles while posing with the Lancaster-Lebanon League champi-onship trophy on Tuesday at Cain’s Lanes in Manheim. Shown are (front) Ashley Sham; (back row, left to right) Tony Lutz, Tyler Miller, Isaac Erickson, Carter Snavely, Matt Geib, Kyle Morris and coach Neal Vital.

Members of Warwick’s bowling team are all smiles while posing with the Lancaster-Lebanon League champi-onship trophy on Tuesday at Cain’s Lanes in Manheim. Shown are (front) Ashley Sham; (back row, left to right) Tony Lutz, Tyler Miller, Isaac Erickson, Carter Snavely, Matt Geib, Kyle Morris and coach Neal Vital.

Warrior bowlers sweep Penn Manor in finals

When Warwick faced off against Penn Manor Tuesday in the finals of the Lancaster-Lebanon League team bowling championships, there was a definite feeling of deja vu. The two teams had reached the finals in three consecutive years, with the Comets winning the last two.

With this year’s venue being Cain’s Lanes in Manheim, the result would be different.

Prevailing in two straight games by scores of 922-907 and 852-778, the Warriors captured their first L-L team championship since 2005 and snapped the Comets’ six-year run at the top.

Along the way, Warwick knocked off Garden Spot and Cedar Crest in the first two rounds.

“We’ve been working on winning the finals since our sophomore year,” Warwick senior Ashley Sham said. “It feels amazing to finally accomplish it.”

“I think we just wanted it more than they did,” said senior Tony Lutz, when asked about getting over the Cedar Crest hurdle. “After losing to them so many times, we just had to come back from that.”

“All during the regular season we bowled house shots,” senior Isaac Erickson said. “This was much more challenging. It definitely evened the playing field.”

In game one of the finals, Warwick was led by sophomore Tyler Miller (243) and Erickson (202). In the clinching game, no one topped 200, but tri-captains Lutz (195), Erickson (192) and Sham (184) topped the scoresheet.

“At the end of the day, they were the last team standing,” Warrior coach Neal Vital said.

The scores in the finals series were lower — by design — as the two teams struggled not only to connect on strikes, but to convert spares as well. The oil pattern was set up to make sure of that.

“Throw the score out the window because they won,” Vital said. “Generally, when the lanes are made a little tougher, you can’t make the ball hook much from the outside. When you take that away, it just makes them have to adjust. We did that probably the best of anyone today.”

When asked if it was a relief to finally defeat Cedar Crest and Penn Manor, it was an easy answer for Vital.

“Relief would be the understatement of the year,” he said.

Earlier, the Section Two champion Warriors breezed through the quarterfinal round with a 2-0 victory over Section Three runner-up Garden Spot.

The semi-final was a matchup with Section One champ Cedar Crest, the only team to beat Warwick in the regular season. This was also the same Falcon team which bested Warwick in two non-league tournament finals, and the squad with the second highest average in the league, behind only Warwick.

The Falcons won game one 1,029-1,013, placing the Warriors with their backs against the wall. While Warwick stayed consistent over the next two games (1,015 and 1,026), the Falcons slipped to 897 and 981, sending the Warriors to the final series against Penn Manor, a team they had beaten 7-0 in the regular season.

The Comets advanced on nearly the same route, sweeping Section Four champ Northern Lebanon 2-0 before coming from behind to nip Section Three champ Cocalico 2-1.

There were some noteworthy scores for Warwick during the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds. Erickson posted a 240 and Lutz a 224 in game two of the GS series. Sham rolled a 247, while Erickson shot 232 in game two against Cedar Crest. Carter Snavely had a 233 in game three against the Falcons, while Lutz had a 226 in game one.

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