Random thoughts on the bowling I saw this weekend either in person or on the television:

On Friday in Lafayette at Acadiana Lanes, I was pleased to watch and cover the annual state high school championships, won by the St. Scholastica girls and the Brother Martin boys. Both teams beat Central in the championship round. It was certainly quite a battle, but the consistency of St. Scholastica won out in the girls match despite some good bowling by the Central girls.

I honestly thought Central’s open division team had a good shot against Brother Martin if they could get a hold of the match early. Although up 5-3 after the first game, they didn’t quite have as big a lead as I thought they needed, and when Brother Martin reeled off 21 strikes in the first 30 shots of the second game, it did two things: It brought to a crescendo the large and loud fan base of Brother Martin and although the Central bowlers may not admit it, it just became obvious sitting right next to the lanes that the attitudes had changed. The Crusaders had all the momentum and all the confidence and a majority of the crowd going nuts while Central looked a little stunned.

Now, let it be said that what the Central teams did is not to be diminished. For both of those teams to make it to the ultimate match in their divisions is something that has only happened once before since the official start of the championships in 2005. They are young, losing only one senior on each starting team. They have a good coach in Phil Godley, and the state singles runner-up Parker Aucoin, who will move into the anchor spot for the Wildcats.

If there was an MVP for Brother Martin in the biregional and final two matches on championship day, it would have to be the Crusader’s third bowler, senior Peyton Romano. He bowled 689 in the semifinals and won 5-of-6 points on the day.

“Peyton started about the last six matches or so. I don’t know if he realized this was it and a light went off in the head,” said Brother Martin coach Bruce Himbert. “He’s been special. Probably (the finals) was his worst match in the last six. He listened. He worked. He did what I asked him to do. When he threw a bad shot, I went over and talked to him and he moved. He made the move he had to make. That’s all I can ask for.”

That’s really all you can ask in this game. Oh, and the atmosphere at Acadiana. Maybe SSA coach Pete Bertucci summed it up best. “It’s crazy or what,” he asked. “This environment is just insane. It’s a football game on a lane. It’s just nuts. Everyone gets into it. The crowd. The stress level … but we just try to have as much fun as we possibly can no matter what happens.”

It was another amazing playoff season for prep bowling. Congrats to all.

NCAA title back to Nebraska

It was a great match Saturday on ESPNU as Nebraska bested Stephen F. Austin 4-2 in the best-of-seven baker format for the NCAA women’s bowling championship.

The lane conditions chosen this year were more conducive to good scores and allowed the bowlers to shine. That’s a good thing. Hard to argue with Nebraska’s five NCAA women’s bowling championships, and it’s hard to argue with the decision to form the Southland Bowling League to help last year’s champ, Sam Houston State, and this year’s finalist, SFA, in getting recognition by bringing together eight strong independent teams to form a league. Four of the league’s teams made the final eight.

Can’t wait until 2017 when the title is decided in Baton Rouge at the River Center.

Honor roll notes

We didn’t get the notes in last time because of the prep bowling, so let’s get caught up on those: Mary Mansur had 729 (266-269) while Karen Curry had a first 200 of 210 and Herman Darley a 181 all-spare game. Senior bowler Jerry Deslatte had a 728 (225). Christine Rabalais (621) and Carolyn Forbes (600) topped 600 a first time, while Eric Johnson had a 223 triplicate. Jason Ballard had 300 and 800 with an 815 (279-236-300).

Now on to this reporting period with scores a plenty. Brinkley Robinson a 300 in an 833 set, while Alex Domingue had 780 with a 299. Sumner Taylor was also over 800 with an 811 with a 286 game. Four ladies topped 700 with Eva Courtney 747, Deidra Johnson 739, Mary Mansur 739 and Tristan Senegal 736. Juan Coston, Jr., led the youth leagues with 684, while Vernon Landry (712) and Shirley Milliken (617) were the best in the senior leagues.

Brandon Knutson bowled his first 300 game and Allen Cope and Darrin Senegal added to their perfect game totals with 300 games. Senior bowler Susan David had a 188 game, 50 pins over average, while Julie Masterson topped 200 a first time with 204. Randy Summers and Greg Snee both show 299, while Dee Thurman’s 702 was a first over 700. Devin Legendre posted 298, while senior bowler Iry LeBeau topped the average by 50 pins with a 216.

Back in two weeks near the end of the month. Until then, good luck and good bowling.