York County high school bowling teams shine at regional, earn state tournament berths
In their first year of competing at the PIAA high school level, the Central York and Spring Grove bowling teams made strong statements in the recent Eastern Regional Championships.
The two York County teams earned berths in the Pennsylvania State High School Championships on Friday, March 18, and Saturday, March 19, at Dutch 222 Lanes in Ephrata, Lancaster County.
The Central team of Madison Brenneman, Max Minnich, Bryce Kline, Daegan Gotwalt Kamryn Brenneman and Brady Knox (alternate) captured second place at the regional event. Seeded No. 1 after qualifying, the Panthers received a bye in the quarterfinals and then defeated Wilson in the semifinals before falling to Exeter in the final.
The Spring Grove team of Deric Anthony, Myles Garland, Brayden McFarland, Blayze Denny, Brayden Wagman, Landon Carl (alternate) and Riley Smith (alternate) advanced to the quarterfinal round.
The top six teams from the Eastern Region and the top six from the Western Region will compete in the state tournament.
Dallastown, York Tech and Kennard-Dale also competed in the 36-team Eastern Regional.
Looking ahead to the state tournament, Panther coach Julie Carson said: "We're excited to be competing."
Carson said the Panthers, the only co-ed team in the state tournament, have a lot of talent and their greatest strength is their solid lineup.
"No one person carries this team," she said. "We pick each other up, and every bowler can deliver under pressure."
Rocket coach Jason Baker said his team is "super excited" to be in the state tournament. But he admitted his team is a dark horse.
"I don't think many people thought we would make the top six," he said. "I know we exceeded our expectations. We bowled higher than our average in the Eastern Regional and we need to do it again at the state tournament."
The Eastern Regional and the Pennsylvania State Championships feature the Baker format, where each bowler rolls two frames. Bowler No. 1 rolls frames 1 and 6, No. 2 rolls frames 2 and 7, and so forth.
The Baker format emphasizes the team aspect and puts pressure on every bowler.
"You need to make your best shot on every ball," Carson said.
Baker said one of the Rockets' strengths is their depth, which allows him to substitute mid-game and mix up the lineup.
"Getting the right combination of bowlers and chemistry is important," he said. "Bowlers have to rise to the pressure, but stay relaxed. That can be difficult to do."
Individual competition: In individual competition, Central's Madison Brenneman and Bryce Kline qualified for the state tournament.
Singles action will be held Friday, March 18.
Brenneman won her opening-round match at the Eastern Regional, but fell to Makayla Grenell of Shikellamy in the quarterfinals. Kline lost his opening-round match.
Kamryn Brenneman and Blayze Denny of Spring Grove were named to the Eastern Regional all-tournament team.
Sister battle: In earlier District 3 competition, Madison Brenneman, a senior, captured the girls' singles title with a 189-168 win over her sister, Kamryn, a sophomore.
The battle between sisters was intense.
"Madison earned the title," said Kamryn. "I didn't go easy on her. I wanted to bowl my best."
Madison wasn't thrilled about having to bowl her younger sister.
"It would have been embarrassing if I had lost to Kamryn," she said. "I really needed to win, or else I wouldn't have heard the end of it."
Reach Barry Sparks at email@example.com or on Twitter at @ydsports.