By Josh Brown
Troy Daily News
TROY — The Troy girls bowling team found the only thing that can slow it down in its final home match — broken lane mechanisms.
And even that was little more than a speedbump.
Troy’s girls, despite three bowlers being moved to different lanes for roughly three frames in the first game before moving back, coasted from beginning to end Thursday in their final home match at Troy Bowl, defeating rival Piqua 2,220-1,551 for their 32nd straight Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division win. And the Trojan boys, with no lane mishaps to speak of, built some momentum, as well, rallying from a big deficit after the first game to defeat the Indians 2,317-2,258.
The Trojan girls, who had already clinched their sixth straight division championship two weeks ago, finished the regular season 16-1 and 15-0 in the GWOC American North, giving them 32 straight wins in the North in head-to-head play heading into Saturday’s GWOC Tournament.
“We were 15-0 this year in the North and 15-0 last year, and this gave us 32 straight wins,” Troy girls coach Rob Dever said. “For the seniors that have been here for the last 32 in a row, that’s pretty impressive.”
Cassie McMullen led the Trojans with 228-237—465, sealing one of the top two averages in the GWOC American League for the season. She entered the day with a 200.9 average, leading the North Division and trailing only Fairborn’s Natalie Hanson’s 204.6 in the American.
Kayleigh McMullen was right behind with 215-207—422 and Stephanie Crider rolled 183-222—405 to give Troy three girls over the 400 mark. Alyssa Shilt rolled 182-156—338 and Kylie Schiml rolled 130-116—246.
For Piqua’s girls (3-13, 3-12 GWOC American North), Katelyn Lear rolled 145-152—297, Jasmine Gilardi rolled 151-115—266, Victoria McBride rolled 120-127—247, Katlyn Arthur rolled 121-119—108, Desiree Warner rolled a 108 game and Emma Hinkle added a 102.
Troy bowled a consistent 938-938 in the first two games and led 1,876-1,260 despite a breakdown on lanes 13 and 14 forcing three of their bowlers and two of Piqua’s to move to lanes 1 and 2 for a handful of frames. Once the problem was fixed, though, they moved back and didn’t miss a beat. And in the baker round, the Trojans rolled 169-175 to the Indians’ 136-155 to close out the win.
“The girls did really well today handling adversity, with the lane breakdown, moving and then moving back,” Dever said. “We had about three frames here, three or four down there and then came back for the last couple. I joked a little, saying we were part of a travel league now. But all three of them bowled well. I just tried to tell them you can’t worry about what you can’t control, you’ve just got to deal with it — and they did.
“I think the girls were pretty focused on tonight (and not looking ahead to the GWOC Tournament). For the seniors, it’s their last home match, so they wanted to do well. And they’re just competitors. They want to do well every time. They’re very motivated.”
Troy’s boys, meanwhile, fell behind by 44 pins after the first game as Piqua (9-7, 8-7 GWOC American North) took a 1,033-989 lead. The Trojans (14-3, 12-3 GWOC American North), though, battled back cutting the Indians’ lead to only 11 at 1,909-1,898 heading into the baker round, then Troy took an 11-pin lead by winning the first baker game 209-187 and closed out the win with a 210-162 final baker game.
“We were down 44 after the first game and 11 after the second, then we came out in that first game of bakers and did really well,” Troy boys coach Doug Stone said. “We went ahead of them and never looked back. We had two very good baker games.
“I would’ve liked to have finished a little stronger. I would’ve liked to have not been down after two games, but we came back in the end, and that’s what counted. We showed that we can come back.”
Carson Rogers led the Trojans with 269-168—437, Preston Gambrell rolled 212-192—404, Jordan Fisher rolled 188-196—384, Brayden Ganger added a 191 game and Preston Jackson rolled a 173.
For Piqua, Shane Kerrigan led the way with 237-195—432, Austin Jenkins rolled 202-181—383, Nick Jess rolled 201-178—379, Ryan Fleisher rolled 203-172—375 and Ethan Gevedon rolled 190-150—340.
The GWOC Tournament will be held Saturday at Poelking South Lanes.
Josh Brown is the Sports Editor of the Troy Daily News. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.