Two Madison Central bowlers reached the semifinals of the singles competition in the KHSAA Region 8 Bowling Tournament at Danville on Saturday.
There was a large and enthusiastic crowd present for each session of the two-day tourney. When the recorded national anthem stopped playing at the first session, the crowd finished the anthem acappella style.
After all 58 boys had bowled three games, senior Josh Maynard ranked sixth with a series score of 629, which included games of 236 and 221. Junior Debborah Harrison ranked seventh among the 58 girls with a series score of 511 which included a best game of 192.
Bowlers who had one of the top eight scores qualified for the semifinals and bowled two more games. The four boys and four girls with the top scores qualified to bowl in the state tournament in Lexington on Feb. 13 and 14.
Maynard bowled a 204 score in his first semifinal game, and he ranked fourth at that point. However, he was faced with two splits and a wash out in his second game. Despite those obstacles, he finished with a respectable score of 170, but one of the bowlers he led after four games rolled the high game of the tournament (288) in the second semifinal round. Maynard finished in a tie for fifth place in the final standings.
Harrison rolled two strong games in the semifinals (188 and 178), but she could not move up as her competition rolled several high scores, including games of 258, 233 and 213.
At least one local high school bowler has advanced to the semifinal round in each of the three years that bowling has been sanctioned by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association. Central’s Adam Cromer made the semifinals in 2012, Southern’s Rebecca Sowder reached that level in 2013 and Maynard and Harrison joined that group this year.
Unfortunately, no local bowler has qualified for the state tournament to date.
The top four boys and top four girls in the regional meet bowled a step-ladder final to determine the regional champions. The boys winner was Cameron Walker from Boyle County, while the title for the girls went to Courtney Woolridge — the only entry from Garrard County.
In addition to the local schools, the field included teams from Boyle County, Clark County, Corbin, East Jessamine, Fleming County, Johnson Central, Lee County, Lincoln County, Lynn Camp, Montgomery County, Rowan County, Wayne County and West Jessamine high schools.
There are many excellent high school bowlers in Region 8, which encompasses east and southeast Kentucky. The high three-game series for the boys was 759, and 12 other boys rolled series scores exceeding 600. The best girl’s series was 729, and there was one 600 series and eight 500 series bowled by the girls.
The best games for the Central boys after Maynard’s 236 were 193 by seventh-grader Daelyn White, 171 by senior Grant Willoughby and 147 by freshman Corbin Roberts,
The best games for the Lady Indians after Debborah Harrison’s 192 were 155 by freshman Madisyn Hurst, 149 by Debborah’s freshman sister Danielle Harrison and 127 by sophomore Casey Dickerson.
Although no Southern girls reached the semifinals, all four entries bowled one or more good games and they placed well in the final standings.
Rebecca Sowder finished in 11th place with a 485 series, which included games of 170 and 169. Heather Smith placed 15th with games of 168 and 160, Megan Faught was 16th with games of 169 and 162 and Ciara Plants was 22nd with games of 169 and 146. All of these girls are seniors except Smith, who is a freshman.
The young and inexperienced Southern boys came through with a few good games in the singles tournament. Freshman John Richmond bowled a 176 game, sophomore Zeb Davis rolled a 153 game and senior Kemonty Bruce, who was bowling in his first season, recorded a 165 game.
The team competition using Baker games was held on Sunday. Five team members alternate bowling a frame in Baker games.
Each school could enter eight boys and eight girls in the seeding rounds for the Baker games. The total scores for each team’s top six boys and top six girls were used to determine the seeding for the team tournament.
The best scores for the Central boys in the seeding round were 183 by White, 181 by Maynard, 152 by Blake Jackson and 150 by Willoughby.
Debborah Harrison (181), Danielle Harrison (143) and Nikki Vickery (134) rolled the best games for the Central girls in the seeding round.
The best seeding round games by the Southern girls were 159 by Faught, 154 by Sowder and 136 by Smith.
Southern football player turned bowler — Kemonty Bruce — rolled the best seeding round game of any local bowler at 213. Zeb Davis had the next best game for the Eagles in that round at 166.
Both of the local boys teams lost in the first round of the team tournament. The Central boys were seeded 12th and lost a tough match to 5th-seeded Fleming County 3-2. The 13th seeded Southern boys lost 3-0 to 4th-seeded Boyle County.
The 8th seed Southern girls beat 9th seed Montgomery County 3-1 in the first round, but lost 3-0 to top seed West Jessamine.
The 5th seed Central girls topped 12th seed Rowan County 3-1, but lost a close match to 4th seed Lynn Camp, 3-2.
The future looks bright for the Central teams as they lose only two boys and one girl from this year’s squad.
Southern faces a rebuilding year as their top three girls are graduating and their boys are very young.
Both schools welcome new bowlers. Any student interested in bowling next season should contact Coach Mark Harrison at Madison Central High School or Coach Margaret Tilsley at Madison Southern High School.
High school bowling provides an opportunity to learn a life-long sport and to represent your high school in interscholastic competition.