Winning the MSL-Ohio Division tournament is among the major goals each season for the Whitehall-Yearling boys and girls bowling teams.
Both teams are hoping strong performances in the league tournament Saturday, Feb. 1, at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl will help offset disappointing seasons.
Last year, the boys finished first in pool play with a 3,525, ahead of Worthington Christian (3,300), but lost to the Warriors 3-0 in the best-of-five Baker games.
Whitehall won league titles in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons.
"My thing was to get these guys good enough (for the league tournament)," coach Tavi Netotian said. "I would like to at least make the cut at sectional. If we could make the cut, that's a good thing, too."
The Rams will compete in the Division I sectional Feb. 21 at HP Lanes. The top 16 teams advance to district Feb. 29 at HP Lanes.
Whitehall was 2-8 overall and in the COHSBC-B Division before facing Hilliard Davidson on Jan. 29.
The Rams' frustrating season continued in an 1,808-1,804 loss to Pickerington Central on Jan. 24 at Holiday Lanes.
Whitehall rallied from an 835-710 deficit after the first game to take a 1,642-1,617 lead heading into the second of two Baker games. The Tigers rallied for the win by outscoring the Rams 191-162 in the second Baker game.
Elias Rozzelle led Whitehall with a 334 two-game series, followed by Sam McQuate with a 304.
In his first season with the program, sophomore Alexander Scott has been a solid contributor. He recorded the high two-game series (461) in the Sweet 16 Shootout on Jan. 18 at Poelking Lanes South in Dayton, including a 278 in the second game to finish first of 89 bowlers.
"This is a lot more fun than I thought it was going to be," Scott said. "We have every personality you can think of on this team."
Whitehall finished 14th of 15 teams in championship play.
"We have to learn how to be good bowlers and learn to compete at the varsity level," Netotian said. "I have no seniors on this team, and we've put them in more tournaments this year than we ever have to get the exposure. We have to learn to finish games."
Last season, the girls finished second (2,685) to Worthington Christian (2,926) during pool play in the MSL-Ohio tournament and lost 3-1 to the Warriors in the Baker games.
Jessica Gress earned league Player of the Year honors with a 511 series.
"I love that tournament," coach Lorie Shaw said. "We're just going to do our best and I think we can get there. We just have to work and make our spares."
The Rams won their sixth consecutive league title in the 2017-18 season under former coach Jess Biller, who is now guiding the New Albany boys and girls teams.
Whitehall was 2-8 overall and in the COHSBC-B before facing Davidson, but Gress has been a bright spot. The senior led the Rams with a 358 series in a 1,645-1,516 loss to Central on Jan. 24, and Kamdon Pauley had a 308.
Whitehall defeated Kilbourne 1,635-1,548 on Jan. 23 and finished 12th of 15 teams during championship play in the Sweet 16 Shootout as Gress led the Rams with a 327 to finish 22nd of 89 bowlers.
"We have to start making a few more spares, but I like where we're at," Shaw said.
Girls basketball team looks to avenge loss
The girls basketball team will look to avenge a 53-51 loss to Worthington Christian on Dec. 20 when it visits the Warriors on Saturday, Feb. 1.
Whitehall was 12-5 overall and 9-1 in the MSL-Ohio before playing Columbus Academy on Jan. 28. The Warriors were 13-3 overall and 10-1 in the league before playing Buckeye Valley on Jan. 28.
The Rams defeated Grandview 66-29 on Jan. 24 at home. Alexia Mobley had 21 points and 14 rebounds, Kiara Bagley had 19 points and five steals and Brooklynn Greer added 11 points.
Boys basketball team seeking league title
The boys basketball team looked to remain atop the MSL-Ohio standings when it played Wellington on Jan. 29.
The Rams entered the game 9-6 overall and 6-1 in the league, ahead of second-place Buckeye Valley (5-2).
Whitehall lost to Newark 59-52 in the Jared Sullinger Play by Play Classic on Jan. 25 at Ohio Dominican. Kei'Von Wiggins scored 15 points, Teddy Brown had 13 and Royal Sibley added 10.
Wiggins scored 29 points and Amir Dallas added 11 in a 51-38 win at Bexley on Jan. 21.
Below are the coming schedules for the Whitehall-Yearling boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling and wrestling teams:
Feb. 1 -- Home vs. Toledo Scott
*Feb. 4 -- At Grandview. The Rams defeated the Bobcats 56-44 on Jan. 3.
*Feb. 1 -- At Worthington Christian. The Rams lost to the Warriors 53-51 on Dec. 20.
Feb. 3 -- At Dayton Dunbar
*Feb. 4 -- At Bexley. The Rams defeated the Lions 42-37 on Jan. 10.
*Jan. 31 -- Hilliard Darby at Holiday Lanes
Feb. 1 -- MSL-Ohio tournament at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
Feb. 5 -- At Teays Valley