COLUMBUS — Throughout the third game, with a pair of 200s in his pocket, Wilmington High School senior Hunter Gallion was smiling, having a laugh or two with several other bowlers on his lane.
At the OHSAA Division I State Bowling Championship tournament at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl Friday afternoon, Gallion bowled a respectable 584 (201, 205, 178) series. He didn’t place.
He even fell 16 pins short of his goal of bowling a 600 series.
But he was not disappointed at all.
“I made it here,” he said. “I would have shot 600 if I made my spares.”
The 584 series is the highest ever by a Wilmington High School bowler in the state tournament. Gallion passed former teammate Elijah Martini who bowled a 566 during the 2019 state tournament. Gallion also bowled in the state in 2019.
“I’m proud of the way he’s grown, his mental game,” WHS head coach Dustin Brown said.
That was certainly on display during the third game. When other bowlers were pouting because of their scores, Gallion was more than content with his performance.
“He kept a good attitude about it,” Brown said. “He knows the kid from Xenia; he knows the kid from Troy. They were just happy they made it. To them, (making it) was a win. They weren’t going to beat themselves up over one day.”
Gallion said he used four balls throughout the day, going away from the ball he used in practice to post a clean game 205 in the opener. He followed with a 201 that included a split in the 10th frame.
In the third game, he had an early turkey (three strikes in a row) but had three opens that proved costly.
“I figured it out, but maybe I should have adjusted a little bit to make it carry (better),” Gallion said. “I hit the pocket a lot but left a stone 8, stone 9.”