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Girls bowling: Boone Grove outdoes big schools, captures first regional title

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Updated: March 4, 2013 6:56AM



MICHIGAN CITY — Size doesn’t matter in bowling.

Just ask Portage, Lake Central, Highland and every other girls bowling team at Saturday’s Michigan City Regional at City Lanes.

All of them fell short of top seed Boone Grove in qualifying by almost 90 pins, and Portage — the second-largest school in Northwest Indiana — fell short of beating the little Porter County school as the Wolves captured their first regional title, 321-312, over the Indians.

It’s been a progressive improvement for Boone Grove at the regional level, finishing third two years ago and second last season.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that the Wolves beat the bigger schools since they’ve been doing that all year as the Suburban Conference and sectional champs, and shining in multiple other tournaments.

“We’ve been (beating big schools) for a couple years,” said Angelique McKeny, who is back with Boone after a year at Hebron. “I’m so glad I came back.”

In qualifying, it was anchor Paige Kraushaar rolling a couple big games (227 and 244), while her teammates chipped in during the Baker final.

“I’m lucky to be on this team,” said senior Mattie Smith. “They carried me today.”

But it was a little scary for the Wolves to start the two-game final against Portage. Boone started with five straight open frames, leading to coach Mike Kraushaar calling a mini team meeting.

“You don’t want to know what I said,” he said. “They stepped up.”

After the “talk” the Wolves had marks in 12 straight frames, including three straight strikes near the end of the first game and a clutch 4-9 split pickup by Haley Steinhilber in the second game.

“If she doesn’t pick up that 4-9, we don’t win,” Mike Kraushaar said.

Portage defeated Highland in the semifinal while the Trojans edged Lake Central in the first stepladder match.

“Our goal today was to qualify, not necessarily to win,” LC coach Stephanie Cooley said.

In singles, Chesterton’s Candice Tovo defeated Merrillville’s Carly Larson 199-179 to win a title for the second straight week. Tovo won the Porter-LaPorte Sectional the week before.



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