Second-year DeSales bowling coach Miranda Singer doesn’t believe her boys team has been fazed by the move from Division II to I this season.

Despite the step up in competition, the Stallions finished first (3,901) of 16 teams in the Division I district tournament Feb. 29 at HP Lanes to earn their first district championship.

Gahanna (3,813) and Marion Harding (3,793) placed second and third, respectively, as the top three teams advanced to state March 6 at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl.

“They didn’t seem to care too much or think it was much different,” Singer said of competing in Division I. “I figured they could still make the top three, but I had no idea that they could be first. … If they continue to do what they do, they could do particularly well (at state).”

Andrew Swift led the Stallions by placing ninth with a 606 three-game series, followed by Bryan Ritzler, who finished 15th (578).

“This group of guys has been together for the last three years with the exception of (freshman Caden Lester),” Swift said. “We knew what we had to do. The division doesn’t really affect how we bowl. We just have to come out and do what we know we need to do.”

Olentangy Liberty’s Carter Street finished first overall with a 704 series to earn one of the three individual state berths. Briggs’ James Pappas (645) and New Albany’s Grant Kresina (635), who finished second and third, respectively, earned the other two.

Pappas, who said he has battled back and leg injuries for most of the season, will compete in his second state tournament.

“This means everything,” Pappas said. “I’ve been hurt all season. Now that I’m at state, I just have to perform there and go from there. … (District) was a roller coaster. I could have let it slip so many times, but I found a way to throw doubles and went from there.”

Westerville Central tied Jonathan Alder for fourth (3,764), while Briggs finished sixth (3,735), Pickerington North was seventh (3,726), Reynoldsburg finished eighth (3,545), Hilliard Darby was 10th (3,505), Olentangy Orange was 13th (3,460), Westerville South finished 15th (3,308) and Groveport was 16th (3,219).

Westerville Central girls earn another state berth

The Westerville Central girls team finished first of 16 teams in the Division I district tournament Feb. 29 at HP Lanes to earn its third consecutive state berth.

The Warhawks rolled a 3,599 to finish well ahead of runner-up Gahanna (3,318). Olentangy (3,305) and Delaware (3,282) finished third and fourth, respectively, as the top four teams advanced to state March 7 at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl.

“We’re very happy,” Warhawks coach Tony Gonzalez said. “To be one of the top teams to qualify and to win (the district title) is a great accomplishment for these girls.”

Reace Gonzalez led the Warhawks, finishing first overall with a 591 series.

“We’re looking forward to (state),” coach Gonzalez said. “The girls are really excited and confident. We’ve won four tournaments in a row, so we’re pretty hot.”

Central also got strong performances from Payton Hartgrove (fourth, 561) and Deja Curry-Brown (fifth, 557).

Marysville’s Madison Strouse (third, 570), Whitehall’s Jessica Gress (seventh, 546), Walnut Ridge’s Raya Dye (eighth, 538) and Briggs’ Dakota Fink (11th, 523) earned the four individual state berths.

Fink, a senior, will be competing at state for the fourth time.

“It’s been crazy,” Fink said. “I love going to state, but it’s a roller coaster of emotions. Today was pretty bad. I didn’t think I was going to make it. I thought I was going to be short, but I made it. Going to state without my team still stinks, but I’m here to carry Briggs’ girls.”

Gress, also a senior, will be making her first state appearance.

“This means so much to me,” Gress said. “Coach (Lori) Shaw and I have worked so hard last season and worked so much harder this season for this outcome. I would never be in this position without her coaching.”

Hilliard Bradley finished sixth (3,029), Westerville South was ninth (2,831), Pickerington Central was 11th (2,800), Pickerington North finished 12th (2,773), Thomas Worthington was 13th (2,723), Worthington Kilbourne finished 14th (2,620), Orange was 15th (2,525) and Darby finished 16th (2,475).

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