Lafayette High’s chance to win a state boys bowling championship met the same fate against the same team for the second straight year as the Lions fell to eventual state champion Brother Martin on Friday in the semifinals of the Allstate/Sugar Bowl LHSAA bowling championships at All-Star Lanes in Baton Rouge.
The Lions fell 21-6 to the Crusaders who would defend their title with a win over Vandebilt Catholic in the final. Vandebilt, the top seed in Lafayette’s bi-regional, knocked off Catholic High of Baton Rouge to advance to the championship match.
Brother Martin’s win made it five of the past eight for New Orleans boys teams.
In the six-player best-of-27 point matches in which the players are aligned in individual matches from low average to high with two more points available for the team game score and three bonus points at the end for total pins, Lafayette was needing points early to stay with Brother Martin, which owned the top team average in the state.
But Lafayette’s Joseph Kokenge was the only bowler at the top of the lineup to get a point with a win over eventual state singles champ Max Oertling of Brother Martin, 190-159, and Jordon East got a 204-169 decision over Kyle Schneider.
The Crusaders firepower was on display despite not quite hitting their average and their first-game lead was 6-2 and 117 pins.
The second game gave some life to the Lions as the teams split the six points, but Brother Martin getting the two game points by nine when Kyle Schneider got a 235-223 decision over Jordan East. That put Brother Martin up 11-5 and with a big lead in total pins had the match in hand.
But Lafayette coach Keith Dhuet was more than pleased with his team that entered undefeated with a lineup of three juniors and three seniors. And if he has to bowl Brother Martin again, so be it.
“I want to keep bowling them,” he said with a smile. “We want to beat them. It was another good year for us. We got here, and they bowled a really good session. This match was what I expected — another good match like it was last year. The kids have really put a lot of heart into it. We should have a good returning group next year, so I would like another shot at them.”
Lafayette was paced by East, who rolled a 618 set on games of 204, 223 and 191, just missing advancing to the final round of singles.
In the boys singles, Comeaux’s Michael Rachal came out of the eliminator semifinals as the top advancer from the non-advancing teams and individuals with a 221 average after a 664 series that including a closing 268 game. In the championship round involving the 17 remaining boys, Rachal took home the bronze medal after shooting even better, this time a 667 with games of 222, 234 and 211. Oertling of Brother Martin took the gold with a 676 series.
The Central girls gave the Baton Rouge area its first state title since 2008, beating Morgan City in the final. In the semifinals, Central defeated Ellender and Morgan City downed defending champion St. Scholastica.
Jessie Smith of Central took the gold medal in singles with a 620 series.