Holden girls bowlers show how underdog can pull off upset

When the Holden girls upset the top-seeded undefeated Albany girls last week in the Baton Rouge-New Orleans Bi-Regional high school bowling playoffs, it caused many of the observers of the sport to look at things differently.

To advance to Friday’s state semifinals at Acadiana Lanes in Lafayette, a team had to win a minimum of 14 points in the best-of-27 system.

There are 18 individual matches worth one point (six each game) with the total of those six games worth two more points each game. At the end is a final three-point opportunity for most total pins.

Holden held a 5-3 advantage in the first game and kept that in the second game which was split 4-4. The third game went Albany’s way, 5-3, meaning the first 24 points were split 12-12. All the scores were added and Holden had a 2,467-2,459 advantage and won the match and the right for the Rockets to go to the state semis, 15-12.

“Albany was a very tough opponent,” said Holden coach Lisa Neal. “They beat us twice during the regular season. Our teams are good friends so the win was bitter sweet. “The girls just got in there and got the job done.”

Here’s where things may have taken a different turn from past years, especially in girls play.

Holden’s highest average is 161 (Gabrielle Reynolds), and the rest of their averages in the bi-regional ranged from 113-142. While those don’t seem like averages that would lead to championship success, remember its head-to-head matches for points, and that’s the key. Someone may bowl 200 against your 130, but it’s only worth one team point. There is nothing to say the 200 bowler may shoot 130 and put the next game right back in the other team’s court to win.

“(The) strength (of Holden’s team) is that in one way or another every player has contributed in getting us to this point,” said Neal. “Believe me, no one ever thought our little Class B school would be here, but while they were discounting us, we were quietly getting stronger, wiser, better at the game. We learned from our wins and our losses.”

Just think about the NCAA basketball Cinderella teams when you think of Holden, and you have your comparison.

Lafayette, Barbe go for four

Holden will face three-time champion Lafayette (2009, 2010, 2012), who made it in as a sixth seed ,despite a penalty from the LHSAA earlier in the season that forced them to forfeit four matches for using an ineligible player.

But Lafayette, trying to match the Denham Springs girls four titles (2005-08), beat Comeaux 22-5 and then Airline by the same score to get to the state semis.

In the open division, Barbe (winners in 2008, 2010 and 2011) will be going for their fourth title, but they will have to meet 2012 champ Archbishop Rummel of Metairie in the semifinals.

Rummel blitzed its way through the bi-regional with a 201/2-61/2 win over Brother Martin and 23-4 over Jesuit.

Broadmoor gets its shot

The Bucs showed their mettle at the top of the lineup in their 1-2-3 averages in the win over Central in the battle between district champs to go to the state open semis.

During the regular season, Ivan Isidore (146 average) won 18 points, Terry Mahoney (146) won 16 points and Ritch Bolden (176) 24 points. Their five points won and the scores they bowled to win those matches, especially in the first game, were a key to Broadmoor being in a winning position after two games against Central.

Spare notes

Broadmoor will face Morgan City in the semis, and the four semifinal matches will begin at 11 a.m. … St. Scholastica of Covington will meet Vandebilt Catholic in the other girls semifinal … The two championship matches will bowl at 1 p.m. … The state singles semifinals also begins at 11 a.m. with the finals at 1 p.m. as well … Any of the team bowlers who are still eligible, along with those that qualified from losing teams are eligible to compete in singles … Central coach Phil Godley said top bowler Jacob Garretson, who had to withdraw after six frames in the bi-regional because of excessive back pain, suffered a “fractured vertebrae.” It was revealed in an MRI and “(he) has to wear a back brace for three weeks.”