Bowling: Olentangy Orange Pioneers boys squad caps standout season at state

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
Orange freshman Bobby Drexel reacts after rolling a strike during the Division I state tournament March 6 at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl. The Pioneers finished 15th.

The Olentangy Orange boys bowling team delivered a strong opening performance in its first Division I state tournament appearance since 2015.

The Pioneers were in seventh place after a first game of 932, but their focus waned and they finished 15th (2,979) of 16 teams March 6 at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl. Marion Harding was in first place entering the championship round with a score of 3,582, but the Presidents lost to Ashland 3-2 in the final.

Orange was led by senior Marcus Turner (559, 44th), followed by junior Jake Burre (513, 66th), junior Nick Kicas (477, 73rd), freshman Bobby Drexel (458, 75th) and junior Jaydon Goldenberg (452, 76th).

“I think they might have given up a little bit, and they can’t do that,” coach Rodney Palmer said. “We have to stay mentally focused on what we need to do, and they understand that. 

“In the Baker games, we told them to have fun and enjoy themselves and they kind of relaxed a little bit more. After game one, things got a little tense for them and I think they were also watching others instead of doing what they needed to do.”

The Pioneers reached state by earning the third and final qualifying spot with a 3,952 in the district tournament Feb. 22 at HP Lanes. Harding (4,195) and Hilliard Bradley (4,169) were the other qualifiers.

“They are a great group and I’m not sure anyone expected us to do anything or win our league or to go undefeated in the OCC-Buckeye, especially in this COVID year,” said Palmer, whose team won the COHSBC-A Division at 11-0 and the OCC-Buckeye at 7-0. “For us to make it through this without losing bowlers was really a testament to these guys taking care of themselves and doing what they needed to do not to get sick.”

Juniors Eve Wicks (441, tied for 47th) and Lauren Berend (429, tied for 53rd) competed for the girls team at district.

Liberty's Carter Street competes in the Division I state tournament March 6 at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl. He rolled a 591 to tie for 30th.

•The day after he competed in the Division I boys state tournament, Liberty junior Carter Street participated in a non-high school event at Sawmill Lanes. 

Street plans to stay busy with tournaments and college visits over the next several months. That’s  after a season in which he led the COHSBC in average, won a district championship and had the best local finish at state for the second year in a row. 

Street, who averaged 230.3 in the COHSBC, finished third with a 665 three-game series at sectional Feb. 19 at HP Lanes and won district with a 782. 

Then at state, he rolled a 591 to tie for 30th.  

“(The state tournament) is such a short format that you can’t have bad games,” Street said. “The mindset I have in this is I’m going to take my chances to try and shoot as big of a game as possible. I could have probably tried to shoot a low-200 game every game, but that’s not going to win so I’m not going to try that.” 

Street helped the Patriots go 12-1 during the regular season, earn a runner-up finish at sectional and finish seventh at district. 

Also at sectional, senior Nick Bateson finished ninth (627) and junior Dave Hart was 13th (613). 

Other key contributors for the Patriots were senior Matthew Lawrence, junior Ethan Shek and sophomore Austin Warnecke. 

The girls team, which didn’t have enough bowlers to post a team score at last year’s sectional, grew significantly in participation numbers this winter and will lose only one senior in Emily Williams. 

Juniors Estella Krysty, Audrey Morris, Caroline Smith and Kalyn Ullman and freshmen Carley Budreau and Sam Yates are among those eligible to return. 

“I’m glad we got (the season) in with COVID,” coach Steve Nole said. “We had a full girls team for varsity and (junior varsity) and had two j.v. boys teams, so I’m looking forward to next year having numbers again.” 

—Jarrod Ulrey 

Olentangy's Phoebe Anderson competes in the Division I state tournament March 5 at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl. She rolled a 533 to tie for 65th.

•The Olentangy girls team’s second consecutive appearance in the Division I state tournament did not quite turn out like the Braves hoped.

Led by sophomore Phoebe Anderson’s 533 series, the Braves finished 14th (2,688) of 16 teams in the qualifying round March 5 at Wayne Webb’s behind first-place Gahanna (3,263).

Anderson tied for 65th, followed by juniors Katie Claar and Savannah Claar (tied for 70th, 452), Alex Oberyszyn (73rd, 440) and Hannah Lamar (79th, 400).

Gahanna went on to win its third championship in four seasons.

The Braves finished 12th at state last year in their first appearance.

“I was just missing my target to the right a lot which caused a problem with my scoring. … We struggled (as a team), not playing the oil like we should have,” Anderson said. “Last year was actually a bit better. The oil pattern was a bit different (March 5), but I’m just happy to be here, honestly. That was an accomplishment in itself.

“We’re only losing one senior (Lillian Heinze), but it’s good that the rest of us will be back next year so hopefully we can get back here and perform better.”

State capped a season in which Olentangy went 14-1 overall, 10-1 in the COHSBC-A to win the league title and 5-1 in the OCC-Buckeye to place second behind Big Walnut (6-0).

Anderson averaged 178.2, ahead of Lamar (169.7), Katie Claar (167.3) and Savannah Claar (166.5).

Juniors Kai Whitacre and Nathan Holycross and sophomore Alex Hilger are expected back from a boys team that went 3-12. Holycross averaged 173.5, ahead of Hilger (171.3) and senior Derek Rather (159.4).

—Dave Purpura

•Senior Bella Bland (422, tied for 60th) and sophomore Megan Roubinek (369, 82nd) competed for the Berlin girls team at district.

They were two of the top performers for the Bears as Bland had an average of 161.9 and Roubinek averaged 151.7. Junior Michele Starner averaged 160.9 as Berlin finished 14-6 overall, placed second (9-2) in the COHSBC-A  and tied for third (5-2) in the OCC-Cardinal.

Junior Jacoby Oliverio and sophomore Aaron Shoaf led the boys team. Shoaf had an average of 189.3, ahead of Oliverio (185.6) and senior Mason D’Amore (172.0) as the Bears finished 4-17.

Oliverio bowled a program-record 500 two-game series in a 2,098-1,996 loss to Newark on Jan. 26 in OCC-Cardinal play.

—Scott Hennen

sports@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSports

BERLIN

Record: Boys —  4-17 overall; Girls — 14-6 overall

League finishes: Boys — 10th (3-9) in COHSBC-A behind champion Orange (11-0), seventh (1-6) in OCC-Cardinal behind champion Hilliard Bradley (7-0); Girls — Second (9-2) in COHSBC-A behind Olentangy (10-1), tied for third (5-2) in OCC-Cardinal behind co-champions Bradley and Newark (6-1)

Seniors lost: Boys — Mason D’Amore, Malachi McKinney and Adam Ward; Girls — Bella Bland

Key returnees: Boys — Jacoby Oliverio and Aaron Shoaf; Girls — Megan Roubinek and Michele Starner

Postseason: Boys — 38th (2,974) at sectional behind champion Marion Harding (4,316); Girls —17th (2,736) at sectional behind champion Jonathan Alder (3,580)

LIBERTY

Record: Boys — 12-1 overall; Girls — 3-9 overall 

League finishes: Third (9-1) in COHSBC-A behind champion Orange (11-0), tied for second (5-1) in OCC-Buckeye behind Orange (7-0); Girls — Eighth (3-6) in COHSBC-A, fifth (1-3) in OCC-Buckeye behind champion Big Walnut (6-0) 

Seniors lost: Boys — Nick Bateson, Matthew Lawrence and Brendan Sheehan; Girls — Emily Williams 

Key returnees: Boys — Dave Hart, Ethan Shek, Carter Street and Austin Warnecke; Girls — Carley Budreau, Estella Krysty, Audrey Morris, Caroline Smith, Kalyn Ullman and Sam Yates 

Postseason: Boys — Second (4,000) at sectional behind Harding (4,316), seventh (3,782) at district behind champion Harding (4,195); Girls — 26th (2,432) at sectional behind champion Jonathan Alder (3,580) 

OLENTANGY

Record: Boys — 3-12 overall; Girls — 14-1 overall

League finishes: Boys — 12th (2-10) in COHSBC-A behind champion Orange (11-0), seventh (1-6) in OCC-Buckeye behind champion Orange (7-0); Girls — First (10-1) in COHSBC-A, second (5-1) in OCC-Buckeye behind Big Walnut (6-0)

Seniors lost: Boys — Patrick Dempsey, Derek Rather and Nick Wilson; Girls — Lillian Heinze

Key returnees: Boys — Alex Hilger, Nathan Holycross and Kai Whitacre; Girls — Phoebe Anderson, Katie Claar, Savannah Claar, Hannah Lamar and Alex Oberyszyn

Postseason: Boys — 35th (3,038) at sectional behind champion Harding (4,316); Girls — Tied for seventh (3,066) at sectional behind champion Jonathan Alder (3,580), fourth (3,411) at district behind champion Gahanna (3,938), 14th (2,688) in qualifying round at state behind first-place Gahanna (3,263)

ORANGE

Record: Boys —  13-3 overall; Girls — 7-8 overall

League finishes: Boys — First (11-0) in COHSBC-A, first (7-0) in OCC-Buckeye; Girls — Seventh (7-3) in COHSBC-A behind champion Olentangy (10-1), sixth (1-4) in OCC-Buckeye behind champion Big Walnut (6-0)

Seniors lost: Boys — Garrett Cook, Ravishankar Ravishankar and Marcus Turner; Girls — Sidney Brisson and Abigail Fulton

Key returnees: Boys — Jake Burre, Bobby Drexel, Jaydon Goldenberg and Nick Kicas; Girls — Lauren Berend and Eve Wicks

Postseason: Boys — 13th (3,683) at sectional behind champion Harding (4,316), third (3,952) at district behind champion Harding (4,195), 15th (2,979) in state qualifying round behind first-place Harding (3,582); Girls — 23rd (2,597) at sectional behind champion Jonathan Alder (3,580)