Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Versailles Varsity Bowlers compete in Ohio Invitational Tournament

Girls finish 2nd, Boys finish 9th

Girls Team: kneeling: Hannah NIekamp, Megan Ward,
Kelsey Berning. Standing: Coach Davidson, Olivia Bruening,
Paige Holsapple, Megan Monnin, Tori Minnich,
Brook Wehrkamp, Coach Phlipot
The Boys and Girls Varsity Bowling team traveled to the 64 Lane Palace Lanes in Columbus on Saturday, December 7th to compete in the Ohio Invitational Kickoff Classic. This is the largest High School Bowling Team Tournament in the United States. They were competing with the best teams in the State of Ohio based on last year's achievements. There were 31 boy’s teams and 28 girls teams competing.

All Tournament Team:  Megan Monnin, Michael Davidson,
and Brooke Wehrkamp
The format was 3 games of regular bowling and 2 Baker Games. Then each division was cut to the top 16 teams based on total pinfall. Both the Boys and Girls Team made the cut after the qualifying rounds which started at 1pm. The Boys were in 5th place out of 31 teams. Out of the 16 teams that made the cut for the boys, there were only 3 or 4 teams that were Division 2 schools, the rest were Division 1. This is the 1st year the OHSAA that bowling has been 2 divisions. (although this tourney did not matter as they were all grouped together)

After the break, the match play finals were the top 16 teams with #1 seed bowling #16 seed, etc. The format was the best 3 out of 5 Baker Games. “I really felt going in that the guys had a great chance to win this for the 1st time ever. They proved themselves by qualifying 5th out of 31 teams against some of the best teams in the State. With our Baker average being 192 for the season, all we needed to do was bowl like we had been all year. Unfortunately, the wheels fell off and we posted the 3 worst Baker games of our season. Austintown Fitch did not beat us, we beat ourselves.” Said Coach Davidson. The boys were led by Michael Davidson with a 674 series and Ben Ahrens with a 614 series. Michael also finished 2nd out of the 155 boys and made the All-Tournament Team. Kyle Condrick from Austintown Fitch finished 1st with a 682 series.
With the Girls finishing in 3rd place at this tournament last year, they were looking to improve this year. Their goal from the start of the tournament was to bring home the championship. The girls started out with a nice score of 854 for the first game. The 2nd game they caught fire and rolled a 1,011 with a 256 by Megan Monnin and a 200 by Kelsey Berning. As the lanes changed a little bit, they struggled a bit but still ended up rolling a respectable 814 with a 219 from Brooke Wehrkamp. The team rolled a 213 and a 183 in the 2 Baker Games. After all of the scores were tallied, Coldwater was seeded #1 and Versailles was seeded #2. This could not be drawn up any better since the two WOHSBC teams would not face each other until the finals if they both kept winning their head to head matches. Before we get to the match play, Megan Monnin and Brooke Wehrkamp made the All Tournament Team for the girls division, both with a 599 series. They tied for 6th place.

The 1st round of the Bakers games, the Lady Tigers bowled Nordonia and was well in control by winning the 1st two games. However, Nordonia took the next 2 to force a 5th game. “I think with the weaker Nordonia team coming back to force a 5th, it was a wake up call to the girls. Anything can happen in the Baker games,” said Coach Phlipot. The girls did not want to go home and ended up moving to the next round. Their focus the next two matches was a bit different and won the round of 8 and the round of 4 both in 3 games over Division 1 Centerville and Beavercreek. The 3rd game, anchor bowler Brooke Wehrkamp needed to roll a strike to force a 9th and 10th frame roll off. She buried it and all 10 went in the pit. Brooke had the hot hand so she bowled the 9th and 10th frame rolloff against their anchor bowler. “This right here is what it is all about. I know you are nervous, but just take a couple extra deep breathes and block everything else out of your head and just make 4 good shots,” said Davidson. Brooke did just that and rolled 4 absolutely perfect shots for strikes to seal the deal for the Tigers. “This is what I love about this team, there are many girls that we can put in the anchor position. It just depends on who has the hot hand at the time, “ said Phlipot.

As a lot of people expected, it was yet another showdown between the Lady Tigers and the Lady Cavaliers of Coldwater. The last two times the girls faced each other, each of them prevailed in one with Versailles winning the WOHSBC title and Coldwater defeating Versailles at the State Championships and then eventually moved on to repeat as State Champions. “I really feel that the Versailles and Coldwater girls have the best two teams in the State. On any given day, either team can beat the other. When it comes to head to head baker games, it really boils down to filling frames and not giving the other team any momentum.” Said Coach Davidson.

Coldwater started the Baker’s by winning the 1st 2 games 191-150 and 212-176. The 2nd game it looked as if the Tigers were going to win as Coldwater opened the 1st 3 frames. However, they proceeded to roll 5 straight strikes. “This shows right here why they are back to back state champs. You can never count them out of a game until it is mathematically impossible.” Said Coach Phlipot. The 3rd game the Tigers was not to be denied another game as they started with the 1st 5 strikes. However, they tried to let the Cavs back in as they missed 3 easy single pin spares at the end of the game. (203-164) The 4th game was anybody’s game going into the 9th and 10th frames. Coldwater ended up winning the 4th game by a narrow margin of 185-180 to win championship. “Anytime these two teams face each other, you can expect a good match, and that is what happened again. Our girls fought as hard as they could tonight after the long and grueling 8 hour tournament,” Said Coach Davidson.

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