The Wapakoneta boys and girls closed out perfect seasons this past Saturday at 20th Century Lanes in Lima. The girls outdistanced Parkway 2,627-2,255 and the men romped past Van Wert 2,993-2,437.
Time will tell if they could carry the momentum all the way to and through the state finals in Columbus.
While the Wapak squads captured the team titles, it was the battles for the next few spots in the standings that drew a great deal of attention to the fans in the stands.
On the girls side of the conference:
Coldwater had the bye for the final week of the season and was left to root for Parkway. There were moments where Parkway was in the match but ultimately the balance of Wapak proved to be too much.
Coldwater finished the season at 11-1 and I am not too sure that there is anybody in Coldwater fandom that would have predicted that at the beginning of the season.
Versailles, which will head to sectional play in the Dayton area secured third place at 10-2 with a walkover victory over LCC on the final Saturday of the season. Cecilia Riepenhoff continued her trek to individual honors with a strong 188 game under tough circumstance and continued to catch the eye of many in the crowd. She is going to be very good.
The cavalry charge for the weekend starts right after Versailles.
Celina, which will be heading to the D1 qualifier in Port Clinton, Mississinawa Valley which will be going south with Versailles, St Marys and Parkway were all clustered at 8-4. Marion Local, Minster and Temple Christian were another notch in the standings back with a shot at a district berth when the girls take to the lanes at 5 Friday evening at Community Lanes in Minster.
Prospects are not real rosy for LCC and New Bremen at this point but watch out for Riepenhoff and Kira Irick of New Bremen for future singles play.
The key performers for the girls in league action Saturday were Amanda Stachler, once again from Parkway with a 221. She was joined at that mark by Meagan O’Connor of Mississinawa Valley. We have mentioned the Warren sisters this season but that is the first nod for their teammate. Mississinawa Valley’s Quincy Warren did roll a 211 Saturday however.
Hannah Niekamp of Versailles rolled a 213 and Katie Manger stroked a 208 for Wapak.
The boys’ side of things is maybe even more chaotic!
Wapak may have finished perfect but it is off to D1 land now with a rapidly improving Celina team which will have to travel for its next match!
D2 land will be an incredible battlefield however when action starts at noon Saturday in Minster.
Coldwater and St Henry finished in a dead heat for second at 12-2 and hold the top seeds but there are no guarantees as to what four teams will be making the trip to Interstate Lanes and district play. It will be an even tougher battle than that of the girls’ action.
Once again, Versailles and Celina will be out of the mix as they will be traveling to other areas or levels but there are a bevy of teams that will challenge the top two seeds for the rights to advance.
Minster, Lima Central Catholic and Ottawa-Glandorf are within a game of each other and Van Wert just behind.
At quick count that is at a minimum six teams for four spots plus Defiance and Patrick Henry are unknown quantities. Saturday will be fun!
Joe Roof of O-G had a great Saturday, taking series honors for the conference (and making his mother quite proud in the process) with games of 248 and 237.
Roof inched out Versailles’ Alex Groff, who took game honors with a 279 and added a 204 game.
Tyler Wenning of Coldwater matched the 248 of Roof and Alan Albers of St Henry drilled a 246.
Rounding out the top single game performers for the week were Caleb Fetzer of Van Wert and Kolyn Wiehe of Celina with 233 scores. It was the first mention for Wiehe this season.
With the close of the season came the honors of top league average!
Wapak’s Brandon Kennard did not set a league mark but then again he is only a freshman. Kennard finished the season at 218.2 taking down the record of the best I have ever seen Brian Garman who had held the norm at 217.08
The battle for the girls title was tight to the final couple of strokes of the final frame.
Britni Hosterman of Wapak who had a fantastic season held on to take the honors over Coldwater’s Paige Hartings and Stachler in one of the closest battles for individual glory in the history of the conference. Hosterman finished at 190.4, Hartings closed at 189.6 and Stachler was at an even 189.
What an end to one season, and it certainly bodes well for a great second season.