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H.S. Bowling conference breakdown

Duneland

Last year: The Highland boys edged Lake Central for the regional title. Under the guidance of hall of famer Bill Morton, Lake Station also rode a wave to semistate and missed qualifying for state by just six pins. Hobart boys had a solid year, as Jerry James and bowler of the year, Bobby Eberle, qualified for state. The Griffith girls contended all season and qualified a bowler for semistate.

Bowlers to watch: BOYS: Jake Riffle, Tyler Trombetta, Logan Rosing, Taylor Peters, Adam Batlinen (Highland); Carlos Calderon, Matt Laviolette, Andrew Grasham (Lake Station); Jordan Gilbert, Kyle Snuffer, Zachary Gilbert (Wheeler); Mike Blue, Bobby Eberle, Jerry James, Bob Kammer III (Hobart); Mitch Burk, Mike Koliboski (Griffith); Larry Cowan, Ricky Gutierrez (Morton); GIRLS: Lindsey Norton, Danielle Rudnickas, Catie Bales, Jessica Dziezak (Highland); Destaine Millsap, Shelby Jorgensen, Shay Koda, Jessica Drwal (Lake Station); Sarah Koliboski (Griffith).

Outlook: Highland girls are off to a solid start, having won the Post-Tribune Bowl-O-Rama on Sunday. Highland and Lake Station return solid cores from last season’s teams and will attempt to repeat and improve after memorable 2011 seasons.

Westlake

Last year: Lake Central boys had a memorable semistate, expecting to hear that they missed the cut, only to find out they made state by six pins in a moment of exuberant drama. Crown Point boys were also a semistate qualifier. Lake Central girls won a regional title, while Kelly Belzeski and Caroline Dienes were state qualifiers. Jake McCoy won sectional and regional crowns. Clark’s Jeremy Rusnack finished his high school career strong, and Merrillville’s Carly Larson was a state qualifier on her way to P-T girls bowler of the year.

Bowlers to watch: BOYS: Nate Maciwzewski, Ryan Gorman, Colin Young, Joey Dorsch, Andy Schmied (Lake Central); Matt Locher, Justin Melvin, Cory Locher, Kevin Wilson (Crown Point); Tyler Hansen (Munster); Joey Witkowski, Alex Swierc, Richie Witkowski (Merrillville); Ed Perry, Jake McCoy (Andrean); GIRLS: Kelly Belzeski, Caroline Dienes, Allison Sellers, Kierstyn Rush, Laura LeVander, Jamie Zega (Lake Central); Shelby Lawson, Sarah Bond (Crown Point); Carly Larson, Kasey Stewart, Mikaela Cristofaro, Amber Falaschetti (Merrillville).

Outlook: Both Lake Central boys and girls are deep and dangerous. The boys’ two squads were first and second at the Bowl O’Rama and their sights are set high for a state run. The girls are a dozen deep hoping to get back to state after not making it last year. Larson and Stewart will attempt to lift Merrillville to new postseason heights. McCoy will look to have another solid individual season, while helping his team contend.

Porter-LaPorte

Last year: The Portage girls qualified for semistate, but were denied a trip to state by less than 10 pins. The Chesterton boys were denied a trip to semistate, but Jacob Hollingshead was regional runner-up, while teammate Nate Sipe finished sixth.

Bowlers to watch: BOYS: Patrick Norred, Sam Welch, Chris Hebb (Michigan City); Jake Stargill, Zach Stovall, Jordan Trent, Austin Pavy (Portage); Johnny Gorches, Nathaniel Sipe, Scott Lohman, Matt Ozimek, (Chesterton); Nate Neito, Zach Perschke, Patrick Arndt (LaPorte); GIRLS: Jackie Rhoda, Caitlin, Nicole Walton (Portage); Paige Hines (LaPorte); Ciara Lafata, Candice Tovo, Heidi Tucker (Chesterton)

Outlook: As the case for many years, Portage will be back in the state hunt behind a group of talented girls, especially Rhoda and Walton. Chesterton boys will also be back in the hunt and attempt to at least match their 2010 semistate trip. Westville joins Indiana High School Bowling for the first time with a boys team in this conference.

Suburban

Last year: Boone Grove, behind standouts Paige Kraushaar and Mattie Smith, reached semistate. Hebron also qualified for Semistate, behind the leadership and performance of Emily O’Leary. Hebron’s Anthony Morales finished 15th at Regionals.

Bowlers to watch: BOYS: Cory Duck, Tim Victor (Hebron); Josh Higgins (Boone Grove); Eric Hamstra, Ryan Postma (Kankakee Valley); Nick Marlett, Caleb Elliott (Lowell); Michael Justice (Rensselaer); GIRLS: Paige Kraushaar, Mattie Smith, Kayla Yadron (Boone Grove); Tiffany Berdine (Hebron)

Outlook: Boone Grove girls, behind their trio of seniors, will attempt to build on last season’s success and finally reach the final level. Hebron boys and girls will be competitive in conference as well.

— correspondent Anthony Nasella



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