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Bowling: Crown Point confident going into Michigan City Regional

Crown Point senior Matt Locher has helped lead Bulldogs inSaturday's Michigan City Regional City Lanes. | Steve T. Gorches~Post-Tribune

Crown Point senior Matt Locher has helped lead the Bulldogs into Saturday's Michigan City Regional at City Lanes. | Steve T. Gorches~Post-Tribune

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Updated: March 3, 2013 6:11AM



When the Crown Point boys bowling team captured last week’s Westlake Sectional at Hobart Lanes, the team took a big step confidence-wise.

But in preparation for Saturday’s regional at City Lanes in Michigan City, Bulldogs coach Dwayne Locher was improvising with some innovative ideas — placing bowling towels over the first and third arrows among them — during practice in order to sharpen the one area his team still needs improvement in.

“The exercise helps us with hitting our mark,” senior Matt Locher said. “Coach does random exercises like those from time to time to help us with our consistency.”

And it’s that type of consistency that Coach Locher knows is necessary if his team is going to be successful Saturday and advance to next week’s South Bend Semistate.

“I’ve been trying to get the kids to learn to be consistent with their marks because that’s the biggest thing we’ve been inconsistent in,” he said. “I normally don’t put the towels that far up the arrows; I usually put them at the foul line, which makes the kids lift the ball onto the lane.

“For a while, I personally thought the kids didn’t believe in themselves — and I conveyed that to them. I told them they have to start cheering each other on and believe in each other. And we’ve been seeing a rapid increase in belief and confidence in recent weeks.”

Dwayne said that belief has been most noticeable in his son, Matt — the team’s top bowler, who has been bowling in the anchor spot for the past two seasons. He played a big part in not only helping the team edge conference rival Lake Central to reach the sectional stepladder final, but also in the championship match in which the Bulldogs overcame a 26-pin deficit to defeat Munster.

“Matt has gotten more positive, which is important because he’s a senior and the kids look to him for leadership,” Dwayne said. “And the part he plays in our overall success is essential.”

One detail that has dad encouraged is that his team traditionally competes well on synthetic lanes, which City Lanes has. Last month, a short-handed Crown Point team of four players shot an 820 and 770 at the Region Rumble at City Lanes — finishing ahead of five teams.

“The shot will be different Saturday, but the lanes are what they are,” he said. “Our best scores have come at Olympia Lanes. The shot will be a little longer on oil, from what I hear. But as long as the kids do what they’ve been practicing, it shouldn’t be an issue. It’s not how you start the game, but it’s how you finish.”

For Matt and his teammates, finishing strong is their primary goal.

“Coach gave us a pep talk before (sectionals) that really helped us,” Matt said. “We knew that we hadn’t really defeated a good team. On any given day, we now know that we can compete with anybody and win.”



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