COLUMBUS — It just wasn’t Wilmington’s day in the Division I OHSAA Boys Bowling Championship Friday at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl.
Wilmington finished 11th overall in the qualifying round and missed advancing to the championship round by 68 pins.
“Just being on this stage, just being the first was big,” WHS coach Dustin Brown said following the qualifying round. “I’m so proud of what this team accomplished this year.”
Individually, Elijah Martini was the top Hurricane bowler with a 566 series. He had games of 222, 195 and 149.
Grant Pickard followed with 562 (210, 171, 181) and Jordan Tackett was third with 537 (165, 197, 175). Jordan Macik had games of 219 and 159. Hunter Gallion had a 192 game.
Wilmington’s struggles were apparent from the start.
The Hurricane has averaged 1,009 (at sectional) and 1,042 (at district) the past two weeks in regular team games.
On this day, the pins just weren’t falling the Hurricane’s way.
“It was a struggle today,” Brown said. “Spare consistency was huge. We weren’t consistent on our spares.”
Wilmington opened with a 949 team game, good enough for ninth place. With the top eight teams in the qualifying round advancing to the championship round, WHS was in OK shape.
But then games of 898 and 871 followed.
“It felt like we were almost close to getting an OK line then the next pair of lanes felt different,” said Brown, in his first-year as WHS coach. “It was hard to get a good read.”
Wilmington went from ninth to 14th after the three team games. The 2,718 team total was 106 pins away from advancement.
Hurricane bowlers believed baker games are the strong suit of the team. As things started, that notion seemed prophetic. Wilmington started with a spare then had four strikes in a row.
“We were on 290 pace, I thought we can do this,” Brown exclaimed. “That would have been huge … it just didn’t pan out.”
Wilmington opened three straight frames and, in essence, that was the end of the hopes to advancing.
“They bowled all the way through to the end,” said Brown. “They did shoot a 600 series for the bakers, we just needed to go bigger than that.”
Wilmington had a 605 series in baker games, fifth best among all 16 teams.