By Ben Stroup
The Buckeye Valley boys bowling team used a strong opening game to set the tone, ultimately punching a ticket to next weekend’s state showcase with a fourth-place finish during the Division I district bowling tournament Saturday at Palace Lanes.
The Barons, who were solid but not spectacular in their six baker games, relied on regulation to keep their season alive. They finished with a regulation total of 2,992 — the second highest total among the 20 teams in action. The first of their three games, a combined 1,003, put them atop the standings in the early going.
Buckeye Valley, which had the lowest baker total among the four state-qualifying teams (1,074), finished with a grand total of 4,066 to move on.
Leo Wells led BV with games of 225, 233 and 188 (646). Other contributors included Jimmy Davis (605 series), Tony Ruark (604), Nick Cooper (585) and Jacob Man (552).
Olentangy Liberty, which finished fifth — just 80 pins behind BV — came on strong in the end, but couldn’t quite catch the Barons. The Patriots had a regulation total of 2,780 and a baker total of 1,206 for a combined effort of 3,986.
Austin Abel led Liberty with games of 182, 226 and 225 (633).
Hayes and Olentangy Orange were also in action, finishing 10th and 16th with respective totals of 3,787 and 3,570.
Dakota Brugler led the Pacers with games of 175, 200 and 209 (584) while Pierce Harmon paced the Pioneers with games of 206, 144 and 204 (554).
Buckeye Valley finished 15th in its second straight trip to the Division II state girls bowling tournament, closing with a combined 2,741 Saturday at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl.
Senior Carly Kelley led the Barons with games of 201, 155 and 179. Her combined 535 was good enough for 35th place among individuals. Morgan Stuart, who finished with a combined 520, was 45th overall.
Coldwater, the top team after the qualifying rounds with a 3,393 team total, lost to Mechanicsburg — the eventual state champ — in the semifinals of the championships.
Follow Ben Stroup on Twitter @delgazette_ben.