Defending champions Brother Martin and St. Scholastica are still alive but will face challenges as they look to repeat Friday when the semifinals and finals of the 2016 Allstate/Sugar Bowl LHSAA bowling championships begin at 11 a.m. at Baton Rouge’s All-Star Lanes. There is a $5 admission charge.
Brother Martin, looking to make it five titles for New Orleans area schools in the boys-coed division in eight years, faces Lafayette in the semifinals for the second straight year, while Catholic High-BR faces Vandebilt Catholic in the other semifinal.
On the girls side, with a possible rematch of last year’s championship between St. Scholastica and runner-up Central looming, St. Scholastica will face Morgan City in one semifinal, while Central meets Ellender in the other.
The team champions will be decided in matches at 1 p.m. Singles competition will also be decided in rounds at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. with defending champions Kayla Engeron of St. Charles Catholic and Robert Beecher of Brother Martin still alive.
Undefeated Brother Martin’s match with Lafayette last year was a grind as the Crusaders led just 9-7 going to the last game of that match.
Lafayette is undefeated as well this year. And while Brother Martin will put six bowlers with 200 averages on the floor, Lafayette can counter with a consistent lineup that can go high led by Jordan East at 190 and Taylor Patin at 189.
“They stayed focused on getting a chance for a rematch with Brother Martin,” Lafayette coach Keith Dhuet said. “They are excited about the opportunity to play them again. They know they will need to play their best to win.”
Catholic, attempting to win the school’s and Baton Rouge’s first boys/coed title since 2007, has a close-knit group that seems to have as much confidence as any local team in years.
“… Make adjustments and do some positive self-talk. If we can do that, I think we can make it to the final game,” coach Robin Deck said.
Vanderbilt Catholic is led by Taylor LeBlanc at 213 and Jordan Soudelier 217. Catholic counters with Austin Bertrand (206 average), Christian Gendron (188) and Philip O’Neill (183).
As the Central girls take the lanes, it’s hard to imagine that the school didn’t a field a girls team in 2012 and 2013, but since then has advanced to the bi-regional, the state final and at least to the semifinals the past three years. Central is trying to bring the Baton Rouge area its first girls title since 2008.
“The girls have done everything I’ve asked from practicing twice a week, joining youth leagues and doing fundraisers for new equipment,” Central coach Phil Godley said. “They have such a positive attitude, and it’s been a joy to be a part of their ride.”
Central (12-0) is led by Sarah LeDuff and Brianna McCurley, both averaging 179. Three other bowlers have averaged more than 165 season. St. Scholastica (11-1) is led by Meghan Kreeger at 170 and Megan Bounds 165. Ellender (11-1), has strength at the bottom with Elizabeth Voisin their top average at 193, while Morgan City, just the fifth seed on the West side despite being 11-1, can counter with Hannah Pipes (184) and Meghan Amador (172).