Luke Berlin has come into his own with the Grandview Heights boys bowling team this season.
The senior has a 192.7 average and has become adept at making on-the-fly decisions during his play with the Bobcats, who are 3-7 overall and in the COHSBC-A Division.
"When Luke comes to practice, he's one of the first to get here and the last to leave," coach Ashley Stahurski said. "When he gets here, his practices are useful. It's not playtime for him. He's focused on making himself better. He's learning how to move on the lanes. If he sees something again, he's ready for it.
"He's starting to better understand oil patterns and he's thinking for himself, which is great. He's learning to do things by himself and ultimately that's what we want for all of them -- to think for themselves."
Berlin's average has risen as high as 197.3 this season as he tries to top the program's season record of 192.0, set by Conner Sarich in 2011-12.
"I had a 178 average last year and I didn't think I would get that high," said Berlin, who averaged 148.8 as a sophomore. "After last year, I was pretty happy with my season, but I wasn't as consistent as I thought I should be. This year I'm a lot more consistent."
Berlin said the consistency comes from practice and the experience that comes from playing in matches.
"This year I play on a lot of different lane patterns and that has helped me out," he said. "I know what to throw according to the lane patterns. If the lanes are really (oily), I know I need to slow the ball down and move a bit to the right so I can aim at the pins more. If the lanes are drier, I try to stay left and speed my ball up so it doesn't break all the way across the lane."
Berlin joined the program as a freshman, when his sister, Emma Berlin, was a senior. He didn't have much experience when he started but his skill and confidence have continued to grow.
Last season, he competed as an individual in the Division II district tournament, rolling a 528 three-game series to finish 44th of 76 bowlers.
"When I was a freshman, my sister, Emma, was on the team and I heard how much fun she had," he said. "In the seventh grade, I played basketball but it wasn't for me. I bowled for fun at first and then I kept getting better.
"When I was a sophomore, I wasn't very experienced on the lanes. Now I can control my ball better and read lane patterns a lot better."
Stahurski said she started seeing a difference in Berlin as a junior.
"I think he saw his potential last year and he really wants to build on that," she said. "It's his senior year and he wants to leave with some records and he's more than capable of getting them.
"Luke is very focused. He is closing frames that he wasn't closing before. He's striking more and he's throwing great shots, even in practice."
Berlin also plays baseball and was the Bobcats' ace pitcher last spring, going 5-1 with a 1.71 ERA, 18 strikeouts and seven walks in 49 innings.
"In bowling, it's you and the pins and in baseball, it's just like you and the batter," he said. "I know you have fielders behind you, but a lot of times you approach it one-on-one. It's a similar focus."
Berlin doesn't expect to play either sport in college. He has a 4.356 GPA and plans to study business and Spanish at Ohio State.
The bowling season starts to wind down with the MSL-Ohio tournament Saturday, Feb. 1, at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl. Last season, Berlin was second-team all-league.
The sectional is Feb. 21 at HP Lanes.
Berlin is proud of his performance this season.
"I'm kind of surprised, but I thought I would be able to do this, but I wasn't sure if I could put it all together," he said. "It all comes down to repetition; that's the important thing. You need to be able to throw the same ball, back to back to back. I'm doing that more this year."
Fergusons, Volker lead way at MSL swim meet
Charlie Ferguson led the boys swimming and diving team and Phoebe Ferguson and Annie Volker led the girls team in the MSL meet Jan 25 at Columbus Academy.
Charlie Ferguson won the 200-yard individual medley (2 minutes, 3.63 seconds) and 100 butterfly (54.4) as the boys finished fifth (111 points) of 13 teams behind champion Academy (238).
He also joined Ethan Deis, Adam Ellis and Blake Yates on the third-place 200 freestyle relay (1:41.2) and fourth-place 200 medley relay (1:55.31). Yates placed third in the 100 backstroke (1:04.43) and fourth in the 200 IM (2:14.91), and Ellis placed fifth in the 100 back (1:06.21).
Volker won the 100 back (1:02.66) and was fourth in the 200 free (2:04.06), and Phoebe Ferguson was runner-up in the 200 IM (2:13.43) and 100 free (55.46).
Ferguson and Volker were on the second-place 200 free relay (1:46.7) with Jada Heren and Meghan Watters and the third-place 400 free relay (3:53.63) with Heren and Sam Schaefer. The fourth-place 200 medley relay (2:11.65) featured Schaefer, Mabel Mattingly, Emma Rowland and Watters.
Kit Stevens was third in diving (298.15), and Heren placed sixth in the 100 back (1:07.74).
The girls finished third (156) of 14 teams behind Columbus School for Girls (393) and Academy (224).
"I am extremely happy and proud of the kids because a lot of them had their best times since district from last year or the freshman had their best times," coach Susan Ferguson said. "We had great times for not being shaved or tapered, and I'm excited to see what can happen in the upcoming weeks."
Collier, Lachey lead boys basketball team
Led by Brian Collier and Luke Lachey, the boys basketball team was 11-5 overall before playing KIPP Columbus on Jan. 27.
Collier averaged 19.3 points over the three games before Jan. 27, and Lachey averaged 13.3 over that span.
The Bobcats won three consecutive games before losing to Worthington Christian 48-30 on Jan. 25 to fall to 4-4 in the MSL-Ohio. Collier scored 14 points with four 3-pointers and Lachey added 13 points.
Lachey scored 19 points and Collier added 11 as Grandview defeated Academy 47-23 on Jan. 21 in a league contest.
Collier scored 33 points in a 58-36 win over Galion Northmor on Jan. 18.
Below are the coming schedules for the Grandview Heights boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling and swimming & diving teams:
*Jan. 31 -- Home vs. Buckeye Valley. The Bobcats lost to the Barons 65-45 on Dec. 17.
*Feb. 4 -- Home vs. Whitehall. The Bobcats lost to the Rams 56-44 on Jan. 3.
Jan. 30 -- Home vs. Fairfield Christian
*Feb. 1 -- Home vs. Wellington. The Bobcats lost to the Rams 52-28 on Dec. 20.
Feb. 1 -- MSL-Ohio tournament at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
*Feb. 4 -- Delaware at Sawmill Lanes
SWIMMING & DIVING
Feb. 1 -- Upper Arlington Invitational