The Central High girls advanced to the championship match of the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Bowling Championship at All-Star Lanes on Thursday before falling just short in the championship match to defending champion Academy of Our Lady.
The Wildcats fell by a 14½-12½ decision to AOL in the six-player, 27-point match.
Brother Martin of New Orleans became the first boys team and the first since Denham Springs in 2008 to win four state championships with a 20-7 victory over No. 21 seed Rummel.
Central advanced by the same 14½-12½ score in its semifinal win over South Terrebonne, taking the three bonus points for total after three games and 18 individual bowlers by just one pin. AOL advanced with a 21-6 win over East Ascension. Hannah Grather led EA with games of 197 and 209.
In the championship match, it was Central looking like a second title would be a thing of destiny as Destiny Sheldon (222) and Destini Geautreaux (200) in the 3-4 positions pushed the Wildcats out to a 5½-2½ lead.
But the Penguins weren’t having much of the party atmosphere at Central’s home lanes, taking 7 of 8 points in the second game led by the 192 of Lauryn Hartsell and 212 of Danielle Poussard to go up 9½-6½. More importantly, AOL reversed the total and had a lead of more than 150 pins for a bonus three total points, putting them within two individual games of clinching.
Central made a strong effort, winning with Lacy Villarreal, Sheldon, Geautreaux and Southern signee Alanna Coward (201), but Mary Glenn (201) and Linzie Bladsacker got the two wins needed for AOL in the 14½-12½ victory.
“There is nothing to hang our heads about,” said Central girls and boys coach Phil Godley, who put both of his teams in the state semifinals for the second time in five years. “We bowled as well as we could and you come up two points short you have to tip your hat to the other team. It was a really good day. The bottom line was we still had a chance after the second game. I told them if we came out and did what I knew we could do … and we almost got them.”
If Central turned either of the individual matches AOL won in the deciding game, it could have meant a 13.5-13.5 tie and a full game rolloff to determine the title.
“It was exciting. I’m glad they responded to the challenge,” Godley said. “It was a positive.”
The Central boys, the No. 1 seed, found itself on the list of top seeds that lost to Rummel, 20-7. Rummel advanced through as the No. 21 seed, downing the 12, 5, 4 and 1 seeds before falling to Brother Martin. The Crusaders advanced with a 15-12 semifinal win over Central Lafourche.
The singles championship will be decided at 1:30 p.m. Friday at All-Star Lanes.