Boys bowling: Hobart lives up to hype, cruises to regional title
By Steve T. Gorches 648-3141 or firstname.lastname@example.org February 2, 2013 11:24PM
Updated: March 4, 2013 6:56AM
MICHIGAN CITY — From the beginning of the season expectations have been very high for the Hobart boys bowling team. And rightfully so, with a couple returning individual state finalists in Bobby Eberle and Jerry James Jr., and four starters averaging 197 or higher this season.
So the best way to live up to those expectations is to show the rest of the region that no one is going to come close to you.
That’s what the Brickies did Saturday’s regional at City Lanes, starting with a monster 1,077 team game with consistency — the low game was 187 and the high was a pair of 224s. It was the only team game above 1,000 all day. The Brickies followed with the second-highest game of the whole tournament — 998 — to lead the field by more than 300 pins headed into the five Baker games.
Needless to say, nobody caught Hobart for the top seed, and the Brickies held off Highland 384-362 in the final to capture the regional crown.
“I told the guys (before the tourney) they need to show everyone who’s going to be there at the end,” Hobart coach Jerry James Sr. said. “They had to want this — we have four guys who won’t be here next year.”
Those four seniors are James’ son, Eberle, Michael Blue and Cliff Somers.
Eberle also qualified first in the singles competition with a 658 series, but he lost in the final match to Penn’s Dustin Zehner.
Highland defeated Munster and South Bend Riley to reach the final.
“We live to bowl another day,” said Highland coach Tony Miller. “We made it count in the stepladder.”
The wildcard qualifier for next week’s South Bend Semistate (team closest to last qualifier in three northern regionals) will likely be Lake Central for the second straight week. The Indians finished third in the WestLake Sectional, but were only 10 pins from second to earn the wildcard.
On Saturday, LC left itself for dead with two Baker games remaining. And that’s when the boys started bowling well, finished with 194 and 233 to finish just six pins behind fifth-place Penn.
“They thought they were out of it and it unloaded the pressure,” LC coach Gregg Schmied said.
As of press time, the results of the Fort Wayne and Lafayette regionals were not posted.