In its third season, the Columbus Academy bowling program continues to make big strides.
The boys team qualified for the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference tournament for the first time and finished seventh (2,782) in the eight-team event behind champion Westerville North (3,378) on Feb. 2 at Sequoia Pro Bowl.
The top three teams from each of the conference's three divisions qualified, although Teays Valley did not attend because of bad weather.
Aaron Brown led the Vikings with a 546 series and was named third-team all-conference.
Max Smith had a 505 series.
Academy had a program-best score in defeating Haugland Learning Center 2,091-1,571 on Jan. 29 at Capri Lanes.
"I knew we could break 2,000. It doesn't surprise me," coach Dan Olexio said. "We've had success this year because we've had somebody on in every match. You know you're going to get a time when you get everybody on or at least two or three guys."
The previous high score came last season in a 2,014-1,490 win over Briggs.
The Vikings also surpassed 2,000 pins in a 2,087-1,698 win over Northland on Jan. 31 at Columbus Square Bowling Palace.
"This is impressive," Olexio said. "In our school we only have 360 people. That's a pretty small number and we're competing against basketball, swimming and wrestling (for participants), so it's exciting."
Academy closed the regular season by defeating Beechcroft 1,860-1,698 on Feb. 1 at HP Lanes. Smith had a 379 series, followed by Brown (336) and Victor Liu (301).
Smith leads the team with a 182.1 average, followed by Brown (165.5) and Liu (162).
Academy finished second (12-3) in the COHSBC-Central Division behind Ready (14-1).
The girls team finished fifth (6-4) in the COHSBC-Central behind champion Ready (10-0).
The Vikings defeated Beechcroft 1,547-1,027 on Feb. 1 as Rabia Khan had a 285 series and Emma Farrenkopf had a 273 series.
Alyssa Rock leads the team with a 131 average, followed by Khan (126.9), Farrenkopf (125.3) and Carolyn Vara (119.3).
"The girls didn't quite make the conference tournament, but we have a young team and we have a lot of strong girls coming up," Olexio said.
The teams will compete in the MSL tournament Saturday, Feb. 9, at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl. The sectional tournaments are Feb. 15 (girls) and Feb. 16 (boys) at Eastland Lanes and Columbus Western Bowl.
Wrestling team to compete in league meet
The wrestling team will compete in the MSL-Ohio tournament Saturday, Feb. 9, at Heath.
The Vikings defeated Bexley 42-21 and Beechcroft 48-6 on Jan. 31 at Bexley.
Dan Jones is 25-4 at 195 pounds, Tim Leathery is 20-13 at 138/145, Johnston Allinder is 19-12 at 170, Calvin Wuorinen is 14-5 at 132/138, Jeremy Schroeder is 18-13 at 145, Sam Wittman is 17-12 at 120/126 and Taylor Smallridge is 15-12 at 126/132.
"The kids are doing a good job," coach Paul Bukky said. "We have marked improvement steadily. The kids just seem to be responding. I expect a lot out of them and they're rising to the occasion."
The Vikings have competed without sophomore Luke Albers (220), who will miss the remainder of the season because of a concussion sustained before the season.
Boys basketball team defeats Lakewood
The boys basketball team rebounded from a 47-44 loss at Worthington Christian on Jan. 29 to defeat host Lakewood 60-41 on Feb. 1.
Against Worthington Christian, forward Daniel Aronowitz and post player Aakaash Paladugu each scored 12 points.
Paladugu scored 19 points and Aronowitz scored 12 against Lakewood.
"I thought we did a nice job switching defenses," coach Jeff Warstler said. "We got stops and we were patient offensively, which made Lakewood have to work for a longer time on defense. I thought we were able to wear them down some on both ends. (Reese) Dupler is a great player and we held him to 10 points. It was just great team defense."