Another week and another championship for the Jonathan Alder girls bowling team.
The Lady Pioneers are having one heck of a winter, which continued with them claiming the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference tournament championship Saturday, Feb. 6, at Victory Lanes in Galion.
The tournament title came just one week after Alder won the MOAC regular season championship. It’s the third tournament championship won by this season by the Pioneers. Winning the crown wasn’t exactly easy, Alder topped runner-up Marion Harding by a mere 10 pins (3,123 to 3,113) with Fredericktown finishing third with a total of 3,095.
The tough scoring conditions prevented the scores from being very high, but also put a premium on making spares.
“The last three Baker games were intense and it came right down to the last balls thrown,” Alder coach Rusty Walter said. “Scoring was low again in the girls division with spares winning the title. We can do better at our spares, and getting the right equipment in the kids hand to make them.”
Mackenzie Heimlich (488) and Rachel Kaeser (478) were the top scorers for the Pioneers.
“Overall the ladies bowled pretty well on the hard scoring lane conditions. We can make more spares and we are going to continue to work on that part of our game,” the coach said.
The Alder boys team just missed out on winning the MOAC tournament title as it finished second to champion Buckeye Valley. The Barons scored a 3,489 and edged the Pioneers by 47 pins (3,442).
“The boys just needed to convert a few more makeable spares to win the championship,” Walter said. “Then the scoring is low and spares are a premium, we the coaches can’t express it enough to ‘grind it out.’”
Zach Otto earned first team all-tournament with a 528 series.
“It’s been a great season so far for the bowling teams,” the coach said. “The girls have won three tournament titles and the first-ever league championship. The boys team has been runner-up three times this season and was the league runner-up. The coaches have yet to get the best performances from all the varsity teams.”
The Pioneer teams have a demanding week ahead. The girls were scheduled to host a rematch with 2014 D-II girls state champion Mechanicsburg Monday, Feb. 8. The boys were to host Hilliard Davidson at the same time. Both teams will travel to Columbus Square Bowling Palace Wednesday, Feb. 10, to face D-I powers Columbus Briggs and Westerville Central.
The D-II sectional tournament will be held for the boys Friday, Feb. 12 at HP Lanes. The girls sectional tournament will be held there Saturday. Start times on both sectional days is 9 a.m.
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.
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