LEXINGTON – Since the Kentucky High School Athletic Association sanctioned bowling as an official sport four seasons ago, the competition has gotten tougher and deeper.
The Simon Kenton High School boys bowling team had no margin for error when it tried to repeat its 2013 task of winning the state championship. The Pioneers put forth a strong effort but were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the KHSAA team tournament Feb. 13 at Collins Eastland Lanes.
SK was the fifth seed out of 16 teams in qualifying with a 1,267, which was a 211 average for the six scores that counted. SK beat 12th seed Scott County in the first round 3-1 (193-216, 218-173, 223-218, 250-133), averaging 230 in the three wins.
The Pioneers couldn’t sustain that strength against local rival Boone County in the quarterfinals. The Rebels won 3-1 (176-197, 244-205, 226-201, 181-157).
“You can’t have a couple of mistakes bowling against good teams down here,” head coach David Hampton said. “They take advantage of them and you’re done.”
Hampton praised the depth of the state field. Nine of the 16 teams averaged better than 200 in qualifying, with the next two teams coming close.
“The two times we’ve been down here this is the toughest competition in the state tournament,” Hampton said. “The kids did well. This is the highest qualifying score we’ve ever had. We had a great season. There are teams that wish they here and they’re not. We made it, region champs, so I’m happy about that.”
The SK girls lost in the first round of the team tournament to Bullitt East, 3-0 (166-118, 167-146, 182-181). The Pioneers were the 14th seed and Bullitt East the third seed. SK shot 908 in qualifying (151 average).
SK’s Jonathan Cummins shot 617 in the boys singles tournament to finish 17th, and Brian Fecher shot 531 to place 29th. Zac Trenkamp of Holy Cross finished 32nd with 466 and Kevin Jones of Dixie Heights was 24th with 586.
Becca Nienaber of Scott finished 18th in the state singles tournament with a 540 for three games (180 average). Kat Truitt of Beechwood finished 32nd in singles with 426.
Beechwood lost in the first round of the team tournament. The Tigers were the 16th seed and lost 3-0 to the top seed and eventual state champion Pleasure Ridge Park, 166-119, 224-135, 232-131.
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