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Bowling sectionals: Portage girls hold off Chesterton

Updated: March 1, 2013 7:23PM



LaPORTE — For a team that went undefeated in the regular season and won a couple tournaments, it was a little too close for comfort for the Portage girls in the championship of the Porter-LaPorte Sectional on Sunday at Casey’s Lanes.

It didn’t matter in advancing, since the top two teams move on to Saturday’s Michigan City Regional, but it’s always nice to take home the trophy and Chesterton almost stole the hardware from the heavily-favored Indians.

The Indians barely edged Chesterton in both ends of the two-game Baker final (156-155 and 188-187) to win 344-342.

Portage coach Debbie Gossett wasn’t surprised at the upstart Trojans.

“I knew Chesterton could bite somebody in the butt and I just hoped it wasn’t us,” she said. “Candice Tovo (Chesterton’s anchor who won the individual sectional title last week) is really bowling well.”

And she had to toss some kudos toward the Trojans’ coach.

“I have to give you props,” she said to Chesterton’s Randy Lohman. “That was fun … though it wouldn’t have been fun if we lost.”

The Indians needed three strikes in a row in the second game to come back from a deficit. The third one came from the conference’s high average in Nicole Walton, who made up for not advancing in singles last week.

“All I could do was really just throw the ball the best way I know how,” Walton said about her strike.

The Chesterton boys made up for the girls falling short by rolling to the title. The Trojans out-shot second-place LaPorte by more than a hundred pins in qualifying, then defeated the Slicers 383-323 in the final.

Not throwing away pins with open frames was the key, especially in the second game when they shot 921 on the challenging lane condition.

“That’s when they finally starting marking with a strike mixed in,” Chesterton boys coach Randy Priano said. “It’s all about spares for us.”

He also said it helped to have the singles competition on a different day — one of two region sectionals to do that.

“It helps them stay fresh without their hands starting to hurt,” Priano added.



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