COLUMBUS – The Versailles boys bowling team finished sixth overall in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division II state tournament on Saturday at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl in Columbus.
The tournament format included three regular games followed by three baker games producing a team score and then a cut to the top eight teams. After a lunch break the top eight continued on to compete in a match play bracket format until the top team was decided.
Versailles bowled next to Woodmore to start the day and rolled a 980 in game one. The Tigers were led by Alex Groff (227), Kyle Cotner (194), Brody Hyre (166), Jacob Wenig (224) and Luke Shellhaas (169). Versailles was fifth overall after game one.
During the practice match the Tigers realized the oil pattern as slick so equipment changes were made. In warmups the boys looked good, Coach Tyler Phlipot said, and were able to find their marks.
In game two Versailles again rolled a 980. The Tigers were led by Groff (205), Cotner (147), Hyre (178), Wenig (245) and Shellhaas (205). Wenig kept consistent with hitting his mark, helping the Tigers remain in fifth place after game two.
In game three Versailles rolled an 878. Groff (180), Cotner (187), Wenig (160), Shellhaas (212) and Hyre/Aydan Moran (139) led the team. The Tigers fell to sixth overall after game three.
Overall scores starting decreasing in game three as the oil pattern started to break down, Coach Phlipot said. Shellhaas was able to make the right adjustments to mark every frame.
In the baker games Versailles rolled scores of 195, 176 and 167. Wenig, Moran, Shellhaas, Cotner and Groff contributed to the baker scores. Although they didn’t score as well as hoped, Coach Phlipot said, they were able to stay consistent.
During the lunch break it was announced that Wenig made the second team all-Ohio with a 10th place overall finish. Groff finished 20th overall, Shellhaas finished 32nd overall, and Cotner finished 61st overall.
After the team scores were tallied the Tigers jumped to fifth overall and made the cut.
“This is a long day of bowling for the teams involved and emotions are high,” Coach Phlipot said. “I told the kids to relax during lunch and keep bowling their game during match play.”
In the quarterfinals Versailles faced fourth seed St. Marys. The winner of the best out of five baker game series would proceed to the semifinals.
Versailles came out strong, taking a 1-0 lead, but then St. Marys found its marks and put up high scores, leaving the Tiger team short, losing overall 3-1.Versailles won game one 171-151, lost game two 231-168, lost game three 184-160 and lost game four 223-146.
St. Marys went on to defeat Woodridge in the semifinals and then Hillsboro in the final match to become state champions.
“This was a great team to coach,” Coach Phlipot said. “The boys all worked hard and supported one another as the season progressed. We made it to Columbus, and although we wanted to be at the top we are proud to make it so far. The senior bowlers should be proud of their accomplishments over the last four years. They were state qualifiers four years in a row. I wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.”
Top eight teams: St. Marys (1), Hillsboro (2), Struthers (3), Woodridge (4), Coldwater (5), Versailles (6), Urbana (7), Springfield Emmanuel Christian (8)