The Central High School open and girls bowling teams finally busted down the wall that separated biregional from state semifinals as the two second seeds advanced in the state prep bowling playoffs after losses in the advancing round the past two years.
Central defeated Dutchtown 18-9 in the advancing open match of the BR-NOLA biregional while the Central girls scored a 19-8 win over St. Joseph’s Academy.
The Central teams advance to the championship round of the playoffs on April 10 at Acadiana Lanes in Lafayette.
Dutchtown’s open team, which earlier in the day showed the strength of the second-year program when it beat Jesuit 18-9, split the six individual points with Central in the first game of the best-of-27-point match, but the Wildcats had more scoring power, posting a six-person total of 1,192 in Game 1 and 1,156 in Game 2 to take control.
The Central girls were paced by Haley Young with 239-601 in its win while the open division team got 649 from Parker Aucoin and 619 from Jacob Garretson.
“The kids bowled really well,” Central coach Phil Godley said. “They kept their emotions in check and made the shots they needed to make. I’m very proud of them. Dutchtown is an outstanding team and they beat an outstanding team (Jesuit).”
The most dramatic turn of the day may have come in an open advancer’s matchup of New Orleans schools as Brother Martin rallied from 9-7 and three total pins down after two games to score a 16-11 decision over Rummel.
It was high scoring from the start as the No. 1 seed Crusaders won four matches, including in the 1-2-3 average positions in posting a six-player score of 1,253.
Peyton Romano in the 3-average spot posted 256 and Chad Naccari in the 2-average position had 222.
Teams are posted with the lowest average in the lineup first and the highest sixth.
But Rummel responded in Game 2 winning five-of-six singles matches to take the lead as Perry Giambrone had 242 and Jonathan Hart 219 to lead the way.
Brother Martin coach Bruce Himbert had seen this before. His team was down 11-5 earlier this year to Rummel, but came back to get the win.
“All I did was walk in (to the huddle) and said we missed some spares again. We missed 18 spares the first two games,” Himbert said. “We only lost by only 80 pins the second game. I told them we need to make spares. We can strike with anybody. These kids (Rummel) can strike with anybody, too. They proved that. My 1-2-3 are special. They shot some big games. They can win.”
In the final game, Brother Martin again averaged better than 200, posting a 1,263 to win. Romano had 683, Kyle Schneider 626 and Max Oertiling 620 for the Crusaders. Giambrone, who had the first nine strikes for Rummel in the opening 261 game, posted 727.
In the other girl’s semifinals, the No. 1 seed from St. Scholastica finally ended the chance for Albany to defend its state title as SSA won 18-9 with Lauren Schneida posted 205 for high game for the winners.
Besides the members of the winning teams, the following bowlers advanced through singles qualifying: Girls: Bailee Chapman of East Ascension, Kayla Engeron of St. Charles Catholic, Keondra Eaton of Baton Rouge High and Ashley Hewes of Denham Springs. Boys: Giambrone and Hart of Rummel, Dylan Chesterman and Scott Vedros of Shaw and Chad Conard of Dutchtown.
The rest of the state region also bowled their event at Holiday Lanes in Bossier City and the Central open team will face No. 4 seed H. L. Bourgeois while Brother Martin will face No. 6 seed Lafayette High.
Lafayette beat No. 11 Benton, No. 3 Parkway and 10th-seed Terrebonne to get to the semifinals.
The Central girls will meet the No. 1 seed from Ellender in the state semifinals. Ellender was a 23-4 winner over H.L. Bourgeois and a 17.5-9.5 winner over Morgan City. Central Lafourche will be St. Scholastica’s opponent as the sixth seed beat Lafayette and second-seed Parkway by identical 14-13 scores.
Lafayette area bowlers advancing after team losses through singles include Michael Rachel of Comeaux in the boys and Johanna Trahan in Lafayette.