Bowling state finals outlook
Bowling State Finals
When: Saturday — 8 a.m. singles, 1 p.m. team event
Where: Arrowhead Bowl in Lafayette
Girls team qualifiers: Portage, Boone Grove, Lake Central, Highland, Jimtown, Huntington North, Noblesville, Terre Haute North, Alexandria, Muncie Southside, Avon, Richmond
Girls local singles qualifiers: LAKE CENTRAL — Allison Sellers, Kierstyn Rush; BOONE GROVE — Paige Kraushaar; PORTAGE — Jackie Rhoda; CHESTERTON — Candice Tovo, Heidi Tucker; MERRILLVILLE — Carly Larson
Other girls to watch on teams: BOONE GROVE — Angelique McKeny, Mattie Smith, Kayla Yadron; PORTAGE — Nicole Walton, Paige Chapman, Caitlin Pidgeon; LAKE CENTRAL — Samantha Watson, Caroline Dienes, Caitlin Fortner; HIGHLAND — Jessica Dziezak, Lindsey Norton, Catie Bales
Boys team qualifiers: Highland, Lake Central, Hobart, Northrop, Carroll, McCutcheon, Franklin Central, Lawrence Central, Pendleton Heights, Terre Haute South, Muncie Southside, Wabash
Other boys to watch on teams: HIGHLAND — Adam Batliner, Jonathan Payne, Tayler Peters; LAKE CENTRAL — Nathan Maciejewski, Ryan Gorman, Andy Schmied; HOBART — Jerry James, Michael Blue, Bobby Eberle
Boys local singles qualifiers: HOBART — Bobby Kammer; CHESTERTON — Nate Sipe; PORTAGE — Jordan Trent
Outlook: Having a team win semistate isn’t a precursor to good things at state (just ask this year’s girls semistate champ Portage, which won semistate two years ago and finished fourth at state), but having four very talented region teams in Lafayette this weekend could be a good premonition. All four girls teams have experienced success this season, from conference to tournaments to postseason. These aren’t accidental state finals qualifiers. Boone Grove and Portage are slight favorites, but LC and Highland aren’t slouches either, and could make a run to the title, too. With seven individuals in singles, there’s also a good chance at ending the region’s dubious distinction of not having a singles champ in the first 13 years of Indiana High School Bowling. And four of the most talented girls in the area are among the qualifiers — Boone Grove’s Paige Kraushaar, Portage’s Jackie Rhoda, Lake Central’s Allison Sellers and Merrillville’s Carly Larson. Any of them could win a state title.
Four Northwest Indiana boys teams qualified for the state finals, but on Thursday Munster had to pull out due to at least two of its members being suspended due to inappropiate actions. The three teams remaining all have a good chance to challenge for a title. Lake Central may have snuck through the first two round of the postseason, but once the Indians got to a center they like (Chippewa in South Bend), they looked comfortable. Arrowhead Bowl fits that mantra since they were at state finals last year. Hobart and Highland have both shined most of the season, and have hit the postseason sport shot well. In singles, the three boys that qualified aren’t accidental qualifiers. Kammer, Sipe and Trent have all lined themselves up well on the sport shot the last three weeks.
— Deputy sports editor Steve T. Gorches