Practice and focus have made a difference for the Grandview Heights High School boys and girls bowling teams.
Both were on winning streaks to start the new year.
The boys team had won four in a row before losing to St. Charles 1,777-1,713 on Jan. 14. The girls team will take a three-match winning streak into a non-league contest against Marion-Franklin on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at Columbus Western Bowl.
"Overall, the kids are improving and they are bowling better and bowling smarter," coach Tony Thivener said. "They now understand the importance of picking up a spare. If the player in front of them has a spare, they know that they need to maximize the score by concentrating and trying to get the most out of their roll."
The boys team defeated Haugland Learning Center 1,747-1,265 on Dec. 19 to close the 2012 portion of the schedule. Junior Jacob Bottorf was medalist with a 340 series, followed by sophomore Tristen Rose (338) and junior Austin Lewis (332).
On Jan. 2, the Bobcats defeated Beechcroft 1,751-1,649 as Lewis (226) led the way. They defeated Linden-McKinley 1,887-1,745 on Jan. 8 with Bottorf (353) as medalist and Rose rolling a 201 game.
Grandview beat Mifflin 1,794-1,283 on Jan. 9 with Rose (349) as medalist and a high game of 182.
Through 10 matches, Lewis led the team with a 167 game average, followed closely by Rose (166.9). Bottorf was third at 156.9, followed by senior Josef Palenius (148.8) and senior Joe Nichols (143.4).
"Joe Nichols has been really consistent for us," said Thivener, whose boys team was 7-4 overall and in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-Central Division before facing Centennial on Jan. 16. "He switched from being a straight(-shot) bowler to bowling with a hook and it has raised his average from around 100 to over 140. That happens a lot when bowlers put a hook on their shot."
The girls are 3-5 overall and in the COHSBC-Central. They defeated Beechcroft 1,219-986 as senior Taylor Woodhouse (226) led the way and beat Linden 1,363-1,152 as junior Sarah Kaltenecker (249) was medalist.
Grandview defeated Mifflin 1,265-1,249 as Kaltenecker (253) was medalist with a high game of 144.
Kaltenecker (112.4) leads the Bobcats in average, followed by junior Josie Pommering (107.8), Woodhouse (104.6), junior Hannah Jones (102.8) and senior Anna Field (101.3).
"The girls are having fun, but they have been really focused to give their best effort to win," said Thivener, whose teams will compete Jan. 24 against Hartley at Eastland Lanes. "They have been playing well in the Baker games and really remaining focused throughout their matches."
Wrestlers prep for Bobcat Classic
Coach Chad Davis is excited about the direction of his wrestling program as it prepares to play host to the 38th annual Bobcat Classic on Friday, Jan. 18, and Saturday, Jan. 19.
Grandview finished eighth (78) behind champion Whitehall (239) in the 17-team Licking Heights Invitational held Jan. 11 and 12.
Freshman Brendan Fitzgerald was runner-up at 120 pounds and is 14-2 overall. Junior heavyweight A.J. Pinyerd was third and has a 13-3 record. Junior Sam Callison was third at 182 and is 7-3 overall.
"The whole team is excelling and working hard to get down their technique," Davis said. "There has been a lot of competition in the wrestling room and that has helped us a lot."
Davis said other standouts have included junior Anthony Sagsetter (160) and freshmen Benton Bair (126) and Thomas Stanley (170).
The Bobcat Classic will include Africentric, Bexley, Buckeye Valley, Columbus East, Fairfield Union, Groveport, Logan Elm, Marion-Franklin, Northland, Watterson and Zanesville West Muskingum.
Last season, the Bobcats finished 11th (34.5) of 12 teams, behind champion Hamilton Township (303.5). They had only three competitors, but they all placed. Pinyerd (heavyweight) and sophomore Ben Jump (126) were fifth and Callison (170) was sixth.
"We're excited about the way things are going," Davis said. "We have six wrestlers with winning records, and we would like to keep that going."
The Bobcats have elected not to compete in the inaugural Division III state dual tournament, which begins Wednesday, Jan. 23.
"Mainly because of the size of our (nine-athlete) roster, we're not a dual-meet team yet," Davis said. "We believe at this time, working in the wrestling room would be more beneficial for us."
Boys basketball team continues torrid pace
The boys basketball team won two of three games in five days and was 9-2 overall before playing Amanda-Clearcreek on Jan. 15. Grandview is 6-1 in the MSL-Cardinal Division.
The Bobcats won a league game at West Jefferson 65-63 on Jan. 8 as senior center Andy Treasure scored 20 points and sophomore forward Hunter Schmalz added 11.
Senior forward Luke Miller scored 20 points and senior guard Payton Jones had 18 in a 67-57 loss Jan. 10 at North Union, which snapped the Bobcats' six-game winning streak.
Grandview rebounded with a 50-41 league win over Harvest Prep on Jan. 12. Miller and Jones scored 12 points apiece and Schmalz and Treasure scored eight each.
"To play three quality teams like that in five days and come away with two wins was good for us," coach Ray Corbett said. "West Jefferson is always an emotional game, but we were able to gut it out.
"In the West Jefferson game, Andy Treasure popped his ankle in the first quarter and was able to play the rest of the game to lead us. Then he got into foul trouble and didn't play much against North Union, but that's not an excuse. They did some things to us that forced us into mistakes, but Payton and Luke stepped up and had big nights for us scoring-wise."
The Bobcats have a pair of league road games coming up against Fisher Catholic on Friday, Jan. 18, and Licking Heights on Tuesday, Jan. 22. The Bobcats defeated Fisher Catholic 64-54 on Dec. 8, but lost to Licking Heights 60-44 on Dec. 14.
"We didn't take care of the ball (against North Union) the way we should have," Corbett said. "We definitely have to work on ball security, but looking back, maybe there were some adjustments that we could have made that would have helped. We need to pressure teams and do a better job with the basketball."