WHS bowlers end season at States

By on March 23, 2016

 

Representing Warwick at the PA State Team Bowling Championships in Pittsburgh last weekend were (front row, left to right) Tony Lutz, Ashley Sham and Isaac Erickson; (back, l-r) Ben White, Cole Snavely, Braden Ewing and Austin Barilar.

Representing Warwick at the PA State Team Bowling Championships in Pittsburgh last weekend were (front row, left to right) Tony Lutz, Ashley Sham and Isaac Erickson; (back, l-r) Ben White, Cole Snavely, Braden Ewing and Austin Barilar.

As bowlers got underway at the PA State Team Championships last Saturday, March 19, something was becoming evident real quick.

Given the difficult oil pattern of the lanes at North Versailles Bowl in Pittsburgh, it was a struggle for all competitors. No one was exempt.

“Going into it, without knowing what kind of lane conditions there would be, I figured somewhere around 4000 (is where we’d have to score to advance to the finals),” Warrior coach Bill Bernstein said. “But after seeing what everybody was bowling after the first game, I knew it was going to be way lower than that. So even though we struggled out of the gate, I kept telling them, ‘Everybody else is struggling too, so you’re still in it.’”

As it turns out, not a single team reached the 4000 mark. And Warwick finished ninth in the qualifying rounds with a score of 3466, which left them 262 pins behind Butler (3728) for the fourth and final spot in the stepladder finals.

“It was just real tough to recover,” Bernstein said.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t any easier for senior Austin Barilar in the State Singles Championships on Friday, as he bowled a six-game series of 1020 and took 15th place. Only the top five bowlers moved on to the stepladder finals, where Central Philadelphia’s Brian Kennedy defeated Penn Trafford’s Noah Hayes 226-191 for the crown.

Barilar rolled scores of 179-174-158-178-181-150. Hayes claimed the fifth and final berth in the finals with a score of 1195 in qualifying.

“I think (Austin) averaged 170 for the day, which is 35 pins below his average,” said Bernstein, illustrating the tough oil pattern on the lanes.

Asked if there were any nerves involved for Barilar or it was just an off day, Bernstein said, “I don’t think it was nerves at all. He was pretty calm and collected. But I think he was just off and the lane conditions were really tough. So all of it just kinda put together made for a rough day. Everybody struggled a little bit.”

In the Team Championships, freshman Isaac Erickson, boosted by a first-game score of 235, carded a total of 587, which was good for the third-high series among all bowlers. Only Hempfield’s Josh Bittner (595) and Conrad Weiser’s Daniel Althouse (592) were better.

“Normally, your high series in a tournament, you’re looking at 650, 680,” Bernstein said. “The high series for anyone was 595. So not a single person at the State Championships bowled a 600.”

Junior Ben White finished with a 492, while Barilar chipped in with a 450. In two games, freshman Ashley Sham and junior Cole Snavely rolled scores of 317 and 298, respectively. Freshman Tony Lutz and junior Braden Ewing each bowled one game and scored a 148 and 134.

Penn Manor ended up taking home the State title, earning the No. 1 seed in qualifying play with a 3854 and then besting second-seeded Conrad Weiser (3759) two games to none in the finals.

“They deserve it,” Bernstein said of the Comets. “They’re a powerhouse team and they were the best team in our League the entire year. We happened to bowl great in the Regional finals to beat them, but it was going to take another amazing day to beat them. From anybody.”

In their third straight trip to the Eastern Regionals, beating Penn Manor for the crown and becoming one of just 12 teams to qualify for States is what Bernstein will remember from a phenomenal season.

“We were at Regionals two years in a row prior to this season and we said, ‘It’s time to do something when we’re there and have a real good showing,’ and obviously that happened,” Bernstein said. “I mean, winning the whole thing at Regionals was great, and then obviously making it to States for the first time ­ that’s the first time our boys team made it. So I don’t want to say it was unexpected, but realistically you’re talking about only the top six teams from the entire east make States. So it’s a pretty lofty goal to ever set, but going into Regionals, they were just peaking at the right time.”

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