The Pickerington High School Central and North bowling teams sought strong finishes to the regular season this week.
Central's boys, who had won four of six matches before a 1,701-1,591 loss to Independence on Jan. 23, were 4-8 overall and in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-South Division before facing Columbus East on Jan. 27. The Tigers, who started 0-5, had wins this month against Eastmoor Academy (1,812-1,723 on Jan. 8), Columbus South (1,733-1,268 on Jan. 15), Africentric (1,616-806 on Jan. 21) and Columbus West (1,646-1,618 on Jan. 22).
Jordan Kozak led Central with a 164.8 average per game through 10 matches, ahead of Gared Popp (154.4) and Steven Gardner (147.6). Kozak's 390 series, the team's best entering the week, powered Central over Eastmoor.
Central's girls were 1-9 overall and in the COHSBC-South before facing East on Jan. 27. The Tigers picked up their first win Jan. 21, defeating Africentric 1,159-1,027.
Sarah Grim had the team's two best series entering this week, a 316 in a 1,813-1,061 loss to Briggs on Dec. 4 and a 310 in a 1,599-1,053 loss to Reynoldsburg on Dec. 17. Grim averaged a team-best 146.4 per game through nine matches.
Both Central teams were scheduled to conclude their regular seasons with matches against Grandview on Jan. 28 and Teays Valley on Jan. 29.
After a 6-2 start, North -- which fields only a boys team -- had lost four of five matches to fall to 7-6 overall and in the COHSBC-South before facing Teays Valley on Jan. 28.
Chris Hoyle and Quentin Nietz have been the Panthers' top bowlers most of the season. Hoyle bowled a 413 series in a 2,170-1,734 loss to Walnut Ridge on Jan. 21 and a 407 in a 1,995-1,836 loss to Groveport on Jan. 17.
Nietz's 416 series in a 1,920-1,699 win over Independence on Dec. 16 was North's best before Jan. 28.
North finishes its regular season with matches at Rule 3 against Whitehall on Thursday, Jan. 30, and Eastmoor on Friday, Jan. 31.
Neither Central nor North is scheduled to compete again until a Division I sectional Feb. 21 at Eastland Lanes.
-- Dave Purpura