This year’s Baton Rouge regional of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association bowling playoffs were set up to have a bit of a surprise when the two-day event at Metro Bowl concluded on Tuesday as half of the coed bracket had two perennial local powers facing two teams posting their best lineups and seasons ever.
The No. 1 seed Central continued its unbeaten run to the April 4 Baton Rouge-New Orleans bi-regional with a strong second and third games that gave them a 16-11 win over Catholic High, the nine seed and 2007 state champions, who have never missed a bi-regional appearance.
Catholic jumped out to a 5-3 advantage after one game in the 27-point matches as Curtis Westmoland was on his game with an opening 246 that would lead to a 658 set. Up 44 pins in total, Central wiped that out and tied the match with a 63-pin win in game two as Sean Murphy hit for 233 in an individual win.
In the final game, the teams split the six individual points to leave it at 11-11, but Central had more total pins in the top and bottom threesomes to win two points for the game and the three bonus for total to get the win.
The other match in the top bracket matched fifth-seeded Scotlandville against last year’s runner-up, St. Michael, which got a 705 and a 279 game from Gregory Snee and a 630 from Angela Falgoust in an easy 24-3 win. St. Michael got 15 of 18 individual points despite Scotlandville’s Frederic Taylor rolling 663 and Deontrae Taylor 623.
That meant Scotlandville and Catholic would met in one of the lucky loser matches for a spot in the bi-regional. Scotlandville got the win by an 18-9 score as Taylor had 235-643 to lead the way.
Westmoland was again on his game with 247-650.
On the other side of the bracket, the bi-regional advancers were No. 2 seed Broadmoor with a strong 24-3 win over Runnels. Jade Villeneuve had 626 and Ritch Bolden 245 for the winners. Sixth-seed Denham Springs surprised third-seed Baker by an 18-9 margin as Kyler Campbell had a 565 series with a 202 game. Jonathan Ingalls, in the No. 1 singles, was 76 pins over average with a 219.
Baker and Runnels met in the lucky loser match, and Baker got back into the bi-regional with a 21-6 victory as Bryan Cage had a 223-558 to complete the six teams that will advance to the nine-team field at All-Star Lanes Baton Rouge.
Things were equally dramatic on the girls side as four teams bowled for three spots in the five-team bi-regional.
Top-seeded Albany had no problems with St. Joseph’s Academy in a 24-3 decision as Harley DeKeyzer had 213-598. Third-seed Holden downed the four-time state champion from Denham Springs 17-10 as Gabrielle Reynolds had a 201-550 for the winners. Both winning teams are through to the bi-regionals.
That put Denham Springs in a must win against SJA to keep its bi-regional streak intact. Denham Springs had just enough to get there again with a 14-13 win. Kelsye Campbell had 200-459 to lead the winners.
Seedings for teams and singles competitors not on the advancing teams will be announced later for the April 4 event.
The state semifinals and finals in both team and singles will be held at Acadiana Lanes in Lafayette on April 12.