COLUMBUS — Sophomore Mason Keck finished second as an individual in the OHSAA Division II Boys Bowling Championship Saturday at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl.
As a team, the Falcons advanced to the head to head round of eight but lost to top-seeded Coldwater 3-1 in the opening round, thus giving the Falcons an eighth-place finish.
“Coldwater was the best opponent we faced all year,” Massie head coach Tyler Hayslip said. “Their fan base was like nothing I have ever seen before at a bowling tournament. I felt like every time we got ahead they would pick up an unmakeable spare conversation to keep their momentum going. The one opportunity we had we took advantage of and beat them in game 3. In game 4 we ran out of energy and it was over.”
Riverside went on to win the Division II state championship with a 3-1 victory over Coldwater in the title match.
Though unaware, Keck was leading the individual competition after two games. He had games of 224 and 255 for a 479 pinfall count with one game to go in the team 10-pin games.
Spencer Hannahs of Graham had 460 after two games and Carter Bertke of Coldwater had 469 after two games.
Hannahs finished with a 269 game while Keck had 198 in the third game to put Hannahs on top of the individual heap with a 729 series. Keck had 677 and earned first team All-Ohio honors.
As a team, the Falcons were 10th after the first game but moved to eighth with a 969 score in the second game. They struggled in the third game with an 865 and moved back to ninth place.
The 2,741 total meant the Falcons would have to bowl well in the baker games if they wanted to be one of eight teams in the bracketed championship round.
“At this level it was definitely a roller coaster of emotion,” Hayslip said. “Every frame had some sort of intensity to it. Every shot had a little something extra, whether that was an applause, a scream, or an aww if the shot was missed. Not knowing where you were after halfway through each game was heavily on the team’s mind.”
Just a week after struggling in the baker game opener, the Falcons took care of business to start the baker games.
“We had a conversation before bakers started that it was going to be the last time we may get to bowl with Gavan (Hunter),” Hayslip said of the team’s only senior bowler. “They needed to send Gavan out on a high note. The team bowled like there was tomorrow and luckily it was enough for us to make it to the second round and make the cut.”
The Falcons had 189 and 220 in the first of two baker games before settling with a 163 in the final baker game. The baker set was fifth best among the 16 teams.
The 3,313 team total was eighth. DeGraff Riverside was seventh with 3,334.
As the book closes on one season, another opens soon. With one senior, one junior and six sophomores on the 2022-23 team, there is hope this isn’t the last state tournament the Clinton-Massie bowling team reaches.
“This journey has come to an end,” Hayslip said. “A new journey will start in November. Only losing one senior has me hopeful there are good things to come in the next couple of years.
“I am very happy and proud that we were able to accomplish the things we did. It was a very awesome experience that this group of athletes got to be a part of.”
March 4, 2023
OHSAA Division II
Boys Bowling Championship
@Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl
Mason Keck 224, 255, 198 (677)
Brandon Moritz 208, 200, 173 (581)
Sam Massie 147, 245, 136 (528)
Gavan Hunter 196, 126, 147 (469)
Corvin Pittenger na, na, 211 (211)
Wyatt Smith na, na, na
Ian Adams na, na, na
Cooper Huddleston na, na, na
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email [email protected] or on Twitter @wnjsports