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Andover Central girls live it up with bowling regional win

Published Feb. 27 at 7:16 p.m. | Last updated Feb. 27 at 7:17 p.m.

With reigning state bowling champion Augusta on one side of them and perennial state qualifier Bishop Carroll on the other, Andover Central’s girls were in a potentially intimidating spot Thursday at Seneca Bowl.

Instead, the Jaguars turned their space into a fun zone.

Rolling strike after strike, Central built a 143-pin lead after the first game of the Class 5-1A regional, and went on to claim the team title with a 2,563 pinfall total – 220 pins ahead of second-place Carroll. Central senior Keri Ladigo rolled a 699 series to win the individual competition and led the Jaguars back into the team portion of next week’s state tournament for the first time since 2011.

“We just wanted to keep our spirits up and be really loud,” said Ladigo, whose quest for sound was aided by a vocal group of Central fans. “We didn’t care how annoying we were.”

Central’s four-player total of 923 in the opening game essentially lifted any suspense over which team would win the competition. The drama was reserved for the second and final state berth, which Carroll claimed by rallying past Eisenhower and Kapaun Mount Carmel in the final game.

Carroll’s 2,343-2,334 advantage over Eisenhower, coupled with the Golden Eagles’ victory in the boys competition earlier in the day, preserved a streak in which both Carroll teams have reached state since the tournament’s inception in 2005.

“We had over 40 pins to make up on Eisenhower in that last game,” Carroll coach Jim Nance said. “We were sweating it.”

Ladigo, a two-time, top-10 finisher at state, spent most of the first game trying to find her groove. She rolled a 216, while senior Tristen Hall, who opened with a 277, and freshman Natalie Howarter (255) provided most of the fuel for the Jaguars’ fast start.

“To come out with a 923 in that first game just put us way ahead and then, we actually had two good games after that,” Central coach Doug Snyder said. “But to get off to such a great start like that, that was a lot of fun.”

The Jaguars added to their lead with an 842 score in the second game. Ladigo took the lead role, opening with eight consecutive strikes before a spare in the ninth frame left her with a 277.”

“Once I got things figured out, everything came back and I was happy,” Ladigo said. “I couldn’t ask for anything better than to have my teammates bowl well and just keep me going.”

Ladigo closed her series with a 206 for a seven-pin victory over Eisenhower’s Bridget Lagana (692). Carroll senior Hollyann Johansen, a two-time 5-1A individual champion, was third with a 673.

Johansen’s 254 in the finale propelled Carroll to the runner-up spot. The Eagles started the third game in fourth place, 45 pins behind Eisenhower and one behind Kapaun.

“To be truthful, I couldn’t imagine going to state as just an individual qualifier,” Johansen said. “It would be the biggest culture shock not to have my teammates there with me.”

Carroll will have a full assortment for state March 7 at Northrock Lanes after its boys posted a winning pinfall total of 2,626. Senior Jamel Gunther (704) finished second individually and his classmate, Gus Morgan (678), was fourth as the Eagles qualified along with runner-up Eisenhower, which bowled a 2,583.

“I thought we’d need to shoot anywhere from 850-900 every set to have a chance,” Nance said. “We shot 865, 888 and 873. We made some errors, but overall, we were pretty consistent.”

Eisenhower, led by Zach Jayne’s 695 series and third-place individual finish, led Carroll by one pin after five Tigers rolled 201 or better in the second game. But the Eagles outscored Eisenhower 873-829 in the final game for the title.

Goddard freshman Griffin Bryant rolled a 706 – his best series by 87 pins this season – to edge Gunther by two for the boys individual title.

“I’m very surprised I placed this high because I know Eisenhower has Jayne, and he’s pretty good, and Jamel is really good for Carroll,” Bryant said. “It just seems like when the pressure is on and the oil is fresh on the lanes, I do fairly well.”

Class 5-1A

At Seneca Bowl

Top 2 teams, top 6 individuals from non-qualifying teams advance

Boys

Team scores – 1. Carroll 2,626 (Gunther 704, Morgan 678, Schmidt 625, Rogers 585, Hampton 573, Simons 543); 2. Eisenhower 2,583 (Jayne 695, Sowers 651, Dyer 609, Chambers 589, Runyan 573, Gile 499); 3. Augusta 2,538; 4. W. West 2,517; 5. Kapaun 2,483; 6. Andover 2,356; 7. Andover Central 2,343; 8. Liberal 2,324; 9. Collegiate 2,291; 10. Goddard 2,288; 11. Mulvane 2,175; 12. Independent 2,079.

Individual results – 1. Bryant, Goddard, 706; 2. Gunther, Carroll, 704; 3. Jayne, Eisenhower, 695; 4. Clark, Andover Central, 678; 5. Renollet, Kapaun, 678; 6. Morgan, Carroll, 678; 7. Orocio, Augusta, 673; 8. Tager, W. West, 662; 9. Oberg, W. West, 655; 10. Sowers, Eisenhower, 651; 11. Bise, Mulvane, 648; 12. Hallmark, Augusta, 638; 13. Plummer, Andover, 634; 14. Owens, Augusta, 631; 15. Schmidt, Carroll, 625.

Girls

Team scores – 1. Andover Central 2,563 (Ladigo 699, Howarter 669, Hall 567, James 559, Wheeler 449, Clark 416); 2. Carroll 2,343 (Johansen 673, Hamilton 568, Bouska 542, Lathem 494, Morgan 479, Bohr 447); 3. Eisenhower 2,334; 4. Kapaun 2,310; 5. Augusta 2,233; 6. Mulvane 1,979; 7. W. West 1,978; 8. Liberal 1,895; 9. Andover 1,820; 10. Goddard 1,667; 11. Collegiate 1,641.

Individual results – 1. Ladigo, Andover Central, 699; 2. Lagana, Eisenhower, 692; 3. Johansen, Carroll, 673; 4. Howarter, Andover Central, 669; 5. Kane, Eisenhower, 626; 6. Watson, Augusta, 616; 7. Arma, W. West, 609; 8. Ensign, Kapaun, 605; 9. Dwyer, Kapaun, 589; 10. Hamilton, Carroll, 568; 11. Hall, Andover Central, 567; 12. James, Andover Central, 559; 13. Phillips, Kapaun, 550; 14. Bouska, Carroll, 542; 15. Relph, Kapaun, 538.