HS follow-up: Lake Central boys motivated to win bowling state title
Post-Tribune staff report February 17, 2013 11:10PM
The Lake Central boys bowling team pauses in the 10th frame of the Indiana High School Bowling state finals on Saturday at Arrowhead Bowl in Lafayette. | STeve T. Gorches~Post-Tribune
Updated: March 19, 2013 6:46AM
LAFAYETTE — As if the Lake Central boys needed any additional ammunition in its quest for the Indiana High School Bowling boys state title that the Indians captured on Saturday at Arrowhead Bowl in Lafayette, it seems some vocal critics gave the boys bulletin board material for more motivation.
“We’ve responded to some things that were being said about us over the past few weeks,” assistant coach Rick Young said. “Some fans of other region teams said we didn’t belong here because we made it to state via the wild card (twice).”
Head coach Gregg Schmeid wasn’t shy in telling the boys the blunt information as fuel for the team’s fire.
“I definitely shared it just to get the boys going a little more,” he said. “We didn’t make the rules and we certainly didn’t cheat to get here. And, in the end, the boys more than proved that they deserved to be here.”
First-time success: When Chesterton senior Candice Tovo made the decision to participate in bowling for the first time this season, she put together a season to remember – winning sectional and regional titles and qualifying for Saturday’s state finals in singles.
And even though Tovo fell short in her goal to reach the stepladder finals after bowling a 503 (164, 161, 178), she still marvels that she was able to advance to the state meet.
“I’m so happy to have made it here,” Tovo said. “This being my first year, this is more than I could have every thought I could do. (Chesterton boys qualifier) Nate Sipe talked me into coming out for the team and I’m glad I did.
“My timing wasn’t great today and I wasn’t releasing the ball right. Letting go of the ball and following through was tough today.”
Good experience: When Sipe began the Indiana state meet with a 235 game, there were hopes that the senior and sectional champion could keep up the pace and qualify for the stepladder finals. But Sipe closed out his last two games with 174 and 181 for a 590 series in 11th place –— 54 pins shy of fourth. Still, he came away from the state experience with his head held up high.
“Making the top four would have been great, but this was a great experience,” he said. “I wanted to keep it going, but the next pair was on the last pair, which is always a nerve-wracking situation anywhere you go. In the third game I still couldn’t hit my mark. Once I finally was able to the read, I still couldn’t hit it.”
Coming clean: As much as it was an indescribable thrill for Merrillville senior Carly Larson to win the girls state singles title, she found equal satisfaction in her spare game at the state meet.
“I’m the most proud of the fact that I made all of my 7-pin conversions today,” she said. “My mindset was the cover my spares.”
She also admitted that while getting ready for the championship match, she was briefly overtaken by the weight of the moment.
“I had a moment where I was like, ‘Oh my God,’ because I realized what was going on,” she said. “But I wasn’t going to let that matter because I knew winning state wasn’t the biggest goal.”
Tired of being fourth: Excuse Portage girls coach Debbie Gossett for being tired of coming to the Indiana High School Bowling state finals and falling short.
For the second time in three years, the Indians made the stepladder finals, but lost their first match to finish fourth. And both times it was a loss to Alexandria. Another trip to state resulted in a sixth-place finish.
“One of these days we’re going to get over this fourth-place hump,” Gossett said. “They had some nerves. It’s pretty overwhelming (at state).”
Five lead to sixth: The Highland girls were in the top four for at least a couple of the five Baker games during qualifying, which would have made it an all-region girls stepladder finals. But the Trojans ran out of gas down the stretch to finish sixth.
Much of the reason for falling off the pace late was only having the minimum five girls on hand due to one of the team members having other school-related obligations.
“They should be proud of themselves — they finished sixth in the state,” Highland coach Lisa Dickerson said. “We only had five, so everyone had to grind it out on their own.”
State spots to go around: Chesterton may have won its 15th consecutive sectional championship. but it wasn’t the only one smiling at the end of the contest Saturday afternoon. Runner-up Valparaiso (second) and Michigan City (third) also had swimmers qualify for state.
Valparaiso’s Andrew Antonetti punched his ticket to state in two different events. The Vikings’ junior posted times of 1:43.77 in the 200 freestyle and 4:42.51 in the 500 free.
Michigan City’s Matt Quinlan followed suit and qualified for state in both the 100 breaststroke (58.04) and 200 IM (1:56.32). The Wolves’ senior came within .06 seconds from taking first place from Chesterton’s Jack Waller in the breaststroke.
Despite finishing second to teammate Blake Pieroni, the Trojans’ Patrick Curley still managed to qualify for state in the 200 IM with a time of 1:54.90.
— Staff writer Steve T. Gorches and correspondents Anthony Nasella and Will Culbertson contributed