After finishing first in their two leagues during the regular season, the Westerville South High School boys and girls bowling teams had high hopes entering the Division I state tournament at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
Both teams struggled, however, and neither qualified for championship play.
On March 7, the boys finished 12th (3,188) of 16 teams behind first-place Clayton Northman (3,812), as the top eight teams advanced to the finals. Wapakoneta, which was seeded third entering championship play, defeated Olmsted Falls 3-1 for the title.
The girls team was last (2,622) of 16 teams during qualifying play March 8 behind first-place Centerville (3,373). Beavercreek, which was seeded third, defeated Akron Coventry 3-2 in the final.
"We went (13-0 overall in the regular season) on the girls side and that's why it was kind of heartbreaking (at state)," coach Jamie West said. "We just had a bad day. I'm not going to say we would have won, but finishing 16th was kind of disappointing for the girls and for me because I think we're a little bit better than that."
Hannah Gotschall, who was one of three seniors, tied for 51st of 104 bowlers with a 514 series. Sophomore Sydney Van Scyoc was 85th (312, two games), junior Rachel Ellis was 91st (178, one game), senior Maranda Reed was 92nd (171, one game), senior Mahaya Porter was 98th (143, one game) and junior Charley Goodwin was 99th (142, one game).
"Our goal in any year is to be as successful as possible and then if you make it as far as state, that's icing on the cake," West said.
The Wildcats won the OCC-Cardinal Division at 5-0, ahead of Delaware (4-1), Westerville Central (3-2), Gahanna (2-3), Westerville North (1-4) and Big Walnut (0-5).
South won the 12-team Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-North Division at 11-0, ahead of second-place Central (9-1).
The Wildcats finished second (3,273) of 20 teams at district March 1 at Eastland Lanes behind Briggs (3,424) and third (3,145) of 37 teams at sectional Feb. 21 at Eastland Lanes behind champion Briggs (3,345).
Ian Strapp, who was one of eight seniors for the boys, led the Wildcats at state by finishing 30th of 100 bowlers with a 571 series. Senior Adam Henson was 41st (554), sophomore James Price tied for 48th (544), senior John Levakis was 77th (370, two games) and freshman Parker Van Scyoc was 87th (202, one game).
South won the OCC-Cardinal at 5-0, ahead of Central (4-1), Big Walnut (3-2), Delaware (2-3), Gahanna (1-4) and North (0-5).
The Wildcats were first in the 14-team COHSBC-North at 11-2, ahead of Hilliard Bradley and Olentangy Liberty (both 10-3).
South was first (3,815) at district ahead of second-place Teays Valley (3,731) and 15th (3,397) of 40 teams at sectional behind champion Walnut Ridge (3,805).
Scarborough leads Central at state
Central junior Kelly Scarborough finished third (620) in the girls state tournament to earn first-team all-state honors.
"I'm very happy and proud of her," said coach Julie Wells, whose team finished 15th (2,862). "She did wonderful and I'm proud of all of them. They improved all through the season to get themselves to the state event."
Junior Savannah Slark was 29th (548), senior Katelynn Rygg was 32nd (539), sophomore Ange Leone was 77th (395), senior Maranda Tatman was 103rd (113, one game) and senior Gina Scarborough was 104th (104, one game).
"It's a tradition, so that's always our goal is to make it to state," said Wells, whose girls team has qualified for state five of the last six years. "That's always what we set out to do. Some years we don't get there, but most years we do."
Central was fourth (3,222) at district and sixth (3,059) at sectional.
The boys team finished fifth (3,629) at district, with fourth-place Zanesville (3,688) earning the final state berth.
Michael Spiers, who was one of three seniors, was 11th (580) at district.
Central was fifth (3,623) at sectional, as senior Austin Bleiweiss was fourth (602).
The Warhawks finished fourth in the COHSBC-North at 9-3.
Juniors Marcus Gonce and Conor Starkey were other top contributors.
Joseph competes for North at state
North freshman Kaylee Joseph tied for 51st (514) at state.
"I think for her especially being a freshman, it's a wonderful experience," coach Dean Dabe said. "It was a huge leap not just for her, but for the entire program. I thought she did an excellent job. It was nice for her to have her teammates there because it was a surprise to her. This makes for a really nice bonding experience."
The Warriors were seventh (2,896) at district as Joseph earned the final individual state-qualifying berth, placing sixth overall with a 534.
North, which was 11th (2,801) at sectional and placed sixth in the COHSBC-North at 6-5, had no seniors. Junior Myriah Child and sophomores Katelyn Couch, Ashley Evans, Alivia Garee, Kara Merryman, Emily Moore and Kayleigh Smith should be the top returnees.
The boys team finished 30th (2,980) at sectional led by junior Dylan Henthorne, who was 92nd (465).
North was 12th in the COHSBC-North at 2-11.
Top returnees should include junior Alex Mondlak, sophomore Matthew Gerardi and freshman Andrew Sturgell.
"We had a really young (boys) team," Dabe said. "(We) had three seniors, but only one of them (Nick Pannell) had any experience, so two were basically rookies. It was a rebuilding year, but they finished strong."