Whitmyer advances to State Bowling

By on March 12, 2014

whitmyerBrandi Whitmyer had McCaskey’s Jordan Balmer in a corner.

The Warwick senior forced Balmer to throw a strike on her first ball in the 10th frame to have any shot of winning their quarterfinal match at the Eastern PA Regional Bowling Championships.

Ultimately, the Red Tornado bowler did just that and escaped with a razor-thin 179-178 win to move on in the singles bracket finals at Leisure Lanes.

“(Brandi) had just one bad break in that game, but she turned it around at the end,” Warwick coach Bill Bernstein said. “With what she did in the 10th, she put the pressure on (Balmer) to throw a strike.”

The good news for Whitmyer is that she still managed to qualify for the PA State Singles Championships, to be held this Friday, March 14 at North Versailles Bowl in Pittsburgh.

Bernstein wouldn’t be surprised in the least to see her make a run in her final high school competition.

“I really think she has a legitimate chance to make a lot of noise,” Warwick’s skipper said. “At the end of the season, she’s just been bowling the best she’s done all year. She has a great attitude, which is going to help. She doesn’t really get shaken up or rattled too much, which is good. I think that comes from being a senior too. She’s bowled a lot, so I do feel really strong that this is a real good opportunity for her to make a push for a title.”

Earlier at Dutch Lanes in the singles qualifying rounds, competing in a field of 148 bowlers, Whitmyer grabbed the 12th and final spot to advance to the bracket finals, rolling a score of 1028 &tstr; just four pins ahead of 13th-place finisher Carlie Delong of Midd-West.

“It was (a good score),” Bernstein said of Whitmyer, who then advanced out of an opening-round quad-match with a 214 in the finals. “She did struggle one game, the second game (160). She wasn’t throwing a bad ball &tstr; just kinda wasn’t getting any breaks. We were about to make a ball change and she turned it around and threw a 243 in the third game. Right there in that third game, she bowled her way back into having a chance. And then she just stayed hot.”

Manheim Central’s Kelsey Hammons also competed in the girls qualifying round, placing 24th overall with a 968 (185-216-221-156-190).

In the boys singles qualifying round, Warwick freshman Ben White and sophomore Austin Barilar never really got as hot as they’d hoped to do. Out of 176 bowlers, White finished 94th with a 924 and Barilar was 131st with an 863.

“It’s the best of the best in one place and they’re only going to take the top 12, so that’s a really tough event to make it into there,” Bernstein said. “But (Ben and Austin) both have the ability and they’re both young, so it’s a really good experience for them. I’m hoping now that they got a taste of it, they really focus on getting back there next year and making some noise.”

As a team, by virtue of finishing in the top three in Section One, the Warriors were back at the Eastern PA Regionals for the first time in four years. They finished 10th out of 36 teams with a score of 4035, but fell a little bit short of advancing to the bracket finals. Governor Mifflin claimed the sixth and final spot with a 4129.

“We were pretty close to moving on, but just didn’t have a strong showing in the Baker portion of the tournament,” Bernstein said. “With such a young team, we are hoping to be back in that position again next year. Hopefully we’ll have a little different result and manage to earn a trip to the State tournament. But at the Regional event, you are bowling the best of the best, so no one is going to just give it to you. Everyone that qualified for states that day earned their way in. In fact, the last team to qualify (Governor Mifflin) did so by just one point. Talk about close.”

In three team games, the Warriors bounced back from a 916 to post solid scores of 977 and 1082. Junior Nic Skoronski came up just six pins shy of his first 700 series, finishing with a 694, which included a high school career-high 268 game.

“Nic bowled a great match,” Bernstein said. “He really was consistent all day and came oh so close to his first-ever 700 series.”

White was second on the team with a 628 (176-215-237), followed by Whitmyer (186-174-224&tstr;584), Barilar (215-161-204&tstr;580) and freshman Cole Snavely (149-159-181&tstr;489).

In the Baker games, Warwick had three solid scores of 217, 188 and 185, but it also struggled while putting up three scores of 160 or lower.

“I think we probably needed to stay around a 180 as our low,” Bernstein said, “because in the Baker round, you really do need to pick up pins, not lose them … But realistically, no one on our team has any experience bowling at a team event like that. This is the first time we’ve made it in four years, so nobody was bowling the last time we made Regionals.”

Bruce Morgan is the sports editor for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at bmorgan.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4451.





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