Westerville Central High School bowling coach Julie Wells called it a "fast eight." In layman's terms, the Warhawks were two pins away from perfection in their sixth and final Baker game at the Eastland Lanes sectional tournament last Friday.

Westerville Central High School bowling coach Julie Wells called it a "fast eight." In layman's terms, the Warhawks were two pins away from perfection in their sixth and final Baker game at the Eastland Lanes sectional tournament last Friday.

Regardless, Central's 298 helped the Warhawks finish first with a total of 4,350 pins and advance to Saturday's district tournament at HP Lanes. The top three teams and top three individuals not on a qualifying team will advance to the state tournament on March 5 at Shawnee Lanes in Chillicothe.

"You couldn't ask for a better performance," Wells said. "Every shot was just great. Our anchor bowler, Zeke (Bayt) threw two beautiful shots and the last one was a fast eight. The four and seven pins stood. The rack exploded so fast, it just didn't hit those two pins on the way out."

Joining Bayt for the Baker games were Justin Kennell, Shuan Ritter, Jamie Robinson and Ryan Markin.

"That 298 was a combination of hard work and effort on the boys' part," Wells said. "We're looking for a very nice week next week. We're hoping that things turn out just as well (at district)."

Central was one of nine teams to qualify for Saturday's district tournament from Eastland Lanes that included Pickerington North (4,266), Walnut Ridge (4,239), Maysville (4,145), Westerville North (4,012), Hartley (3,994), Big Walnut (3,845), Buckeye Valley (3,788) and Chillicothe (3,767).

The top nine individuals not on a qualifying team who earned a berth at the district tournament were led by Hilliard Davidson's Jordan Ventresco (698) and Marion-Franklin's Dasan Williams (694).

At Rainbow Lanes, Zanesville finished first (4,022) ahead of Newark (3,968), Westerville South (3,944), Circleville (3,879), Gahanna (3,875), Granville (3,846), Unioto (3,804), Jonathan Alder (3,793) and Delaware (3,785).

"We missed some easy spares," Westerville South boys coach Mike Craig said. "We're still learning and trying to improve."

South is a young team. The Wildcats are led by Baker game anchor and freshman Zachary Pannell. Entering last Friday, Pannell was inexperienced bowling in a large tournament setting.

"At the beginning of the day I was kind of nervous," Pannell said. "It's loud. Everybody is clapping and having a good time. I really liked it."

•The Westerville Central girls team matched their counterparts on the boys side by finishing first at 3,998 at Eastland Lanes, ahead of Buckeye Valley (3,631), Maysville (3,392), Westerville North (3,374), Mount Gilead (3,195), Highland (3,149), Chillicothe Zane Trace (3,102), Big Walnut (3,075) and Ready (3,053).

The Warhawks have won four consecutive sectional titles. On Saturday at HP Lanes, the top three teams and three individuals not on a qualifying team will advance to the state tournament March 6 at Shawnee Lanes in Chillicothe.

At Rainbow Lanes, Westerville South's streak of two consecutive sectional titles was snapped. Cardington (3,426) edged South (3,400) for the sectional title, followed by Zanesville (3,396), Newark (3,351), New Lexington (3,280), Olentangy Liberty (3,136), Gahanna (2,988), Olentangy Orange (2,953) and Olentangy (2,902).

"Just being in the top nine got us to move on to the next level," South coach Jamie West said. "You would like to win, but the ultimate goal is to move on."

Bradley is in its first season of existence and will be represented by a bowler at the boys and girls district tournament.

"Overall, for a first-year program, I'm very happy with what we've done and where we've come from," Bradley coach John Thompson said. "The key for us is if you learn to bowl and have fun bowling, the scores will go up."