They finished second in the state’s toughest district meet. They qualified for the final round of eight in their first appearance at the high school state bowling championships.
But Mechanicsburg girls bowling coach David Bush and his young team wanted to know just how good the Indians could be. They soon found out.
“We were kind of hoping to play Coldwater at some point just to see how good we were,” Bush said of Coldwater, the two-time defending champions.
Mechanicsburg got its wish, matching up with Coldwater for the Division II state championship at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl on Saturday. The Indians won the five-game finale 745 to 715. Mechanicsburg trailed 298-283 after the second game. They rallied to lead by 11 pins after the third game. They took a seven-pin advantage into the final game, which they won by 30 pins.
Mechanicsburg also knocked off top-seeded Urbana — which had won district a week before — 520-481 in the semifinals.
In the three-game individual portion, Mechanicsburg sophomore Katie Bush finished 17th with a 556. She was followed by freshman Ally Hosier (21st, 541), sophomore Lauren Mayberry (38th, 505), junior Emily Taylor (49th, 489) and sophomore Michaela Edwards (60th, 474).
“We felt we might have a chance when we made it into the final eight,” coach Bush said. “We weren’t too sure what we’d get from Urbana because we’d been up and down with them all year. They’d take one from us and we’d take one from them at the next tournament.
“We got to rolling and we threw a pretty good first game at state. We thought we had a chance.”
That feeling carries over to next season. The Indians return all five starters.
“It’s a well-balanced team. If you look at our scores from the tournaments we entered this year it’s a different girl leading the pack,” coach Bush said. “It just so happened at state Katie led us. They complement each other well.”
The win capped a championship weekend for Mechanicsburg. Prior to Saturday the Indians had three state titles overall: Travis Adams (1996) and Bryce Baker (2009) in wrestling and Kathy Huebner (1975) in track. The Indians doubled that with the bowling team — also the school’s first team championship — and two more wrestling titles with senior Austin Reese and freshman Kaleb Romero.
“It made for a great Saturday for Mechanicsburg,” Bush said.
Division II state bowling championship
Top five teams
5. Kenton Ridge
Top five individuals
1. Taylor Bodey, Urbana, Sr., 658
2. Alyx Kearney, Kenton Ridge, Soph., 650
3. Paige Sutfin, COl. Bishop Ready, Sr., 607
3. Belle Panza, Padua Franciscan, Jr., 607
5. Miranda Romano, Hubbard, Sr., 598