Troy girls bowling team wins D-I district title


BEAVERCREEK — It was one of the most exciting finishes in Division I district bowling history at Beaver-Vu Lanes Thursday.

Only six pins separated the top three teams.

And in the end, Troy was able to rally in the final baker game to win the district title.

The Trojans finished with 3,827 to take first, Vandalia-Butler was three pins back to with 3,824 and Wlimington was third with 3,821.

Bellefontaine with 3,802 and Beavercreek with 3,779 also advanced to state.

“It looks like we had (dropped to third going to the last baker game),” Troy bowling coach Rob Dever said. “I knew it was close. Everything is happening so fast, you don’t know exactly where you stand. We did just enough to win the district title.”

After taking a 92-pin lead over Wilmington and 140 pin lead over Butler to the baker games, the Trojans found themselves trailing Butler by 12 pins and Wilmington by 15 pins going to the final baker game.

“I had told the girls we were still in first after third baker game,” Dever said. “It is just when you are bowling games in the 150s and the teams around you are bowling 170s and 180s, it feels like the whole world is gaining on you. I think that was part of it.”

In the final baker game, Troy would roll a 180, while Butler rolled a 165 and Wilmington rolled a 159.

And Aiyana Godwin’s strike in the ninth frame would end up being a big moment for Troy.

“It was kind of a crazy game,” Dever said. “We started the game with three strikes, then we had two opens and then we had two strikes. Aiyana (Godwin) struck in the ninth frame and then we had an open in the 10th. It just seemed like it was strike or nothing the last game.”

Kiandra Smith had led the Trojans in the first three games of bowling, rolling games of 205-233-211 for a 649 series to finish third overall and take all-district honors.

“Kianda (Smith) really bowled well,” Dever said. “But, they all bowled well.”

Aiyana Godwin had games of 236-136-193 for a 565 series and Baylie Massingill had games of 193-201-169 for a 563 series.

McKinlee Gambrell had games of 200 and 173, Libby Burghardt had games of 165 and 162 and Kristin Sedam had games of 154 and 168.

Troy had a 953 game in the opener to jump out in front and followed with games of 932 and 914 to open a sizeable lead.

“The first game, we averaged 190 a bowler which is really good,” Dever said. “Then, the lanes started to break down and the shot got tougher. We were over 900 all three games. I will never complain abut that. That is really good.”

Troy’s first five baker games were 184-158-193-147-166, losing the lead in the fifth game when Butler rolled a 202 and Wilmington had a 204.

But, the Trojans were able to respond in the final game when it mattered.

The girls state bowling tournament will be held at HP Lanes on March 9.

While Troy has had much success at state, the tournament is moving from Wayne Webb Lanes to HP Lanes.

“We bowled there twice this year,” Dever said. “So, we are very familiar with the lanes and the environment. It won’t be anything new for them.”

Troy will be one of 16 teams competing for the title. After three games, the top eight will advance to bracket play to determine the champion.

“Nobody cares where you finished at district,” Dever said. “Our next goal is to get in the top eight at state. Once you get into the final eight, it just comes down to who is hot at the right time.”

Like Troy was in the final baker game Thursday.

Sweetman earns

trip to state

Piqua junior Miranda Sweetman earned a trip to state by having a career day at district Thursday.

Sweetman, who averaged 153 this year and had a high game of 203, rolled games of 195-212-209 for a 616 series to finish seventh and earn a trip to state.

Sweetman credited the Fairmont girls bowling team and the Firebirds coach for helping her surprise herself. They instantly bonded with her and helped her relax.

“I didn’t expect to bowl like that,” Sweetman said. “The first game did give mem confidence. I am just happy that I could make my teammates proud.”

After her second game, Sweetman started to think about the possibility of getting to state.

“Especially, after I got off to a good start in the third game,” Sweetman said. “I realized there was a good chance I could get to state.”

When the announcement came that she had qualified, she got emotional.

“I was like a kid in a candy store,” Sweetman said. “I was so happy. I was so happy, I started crying.”

Now, she looks forward to the state tournament and bowling at HP Lanes.

“I think it is going to be a great experience,” Sweetman said. “I want to beat my best score and represent my team well.”

As she did with a career performance Thursday.

Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]

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