The Northmor girls’ bowling team inched closer to qualifying for the eight-team single elimination tournament part of the Division II state meet on Saturday.
Competing at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl, the Golden Knight girls had finished 16th in 2020 and 13th in 2021, but improved to 10th place this year.
A total of 16 teams make the state meet. All of them bowl three regulation games, as well as three Baker games, with the top eight squads advancing to a single-elimination tournament to determine the state champion. That tournament was won by Wooster Triway, who topped Napoleon in the championship.
Northmor missed out on the single-elimination tournament by 61 pins. They were only 11 out of eighth place after the three regulation games, but could not get over the hump during the Baker games.
“The girls worked hard to get to state this year,” said head coach Russ Montgomery. “We could have done better at picking up spares and we would have finished higher than 10th. The top four teams really separated themselves, so the middle eight teams fluctuated a lot. We were only down 11 after three games.”
Northmor was in 10th place after regulation games of 749, 728 and 795. However, a total of 479 pins over their three Baker games did not permit them to rise any farther in the team standings. However, with four of his five competing girls returning next year, the coach feels that with some improving, his team has the potential to be in it for the long haul.
“We’ve got to get the underclassmen to understand the importance of the first ball, bowling mechanics and picking up spares,” he said. “This is our third straight appearance and fourth since 2017. We look forward to this every year.”
A high point for the Lady Golden Knights was the performance of junior Kourtney Rinehart, who earned honorable mention All-Ohio status for placing 12th overall. Rinehart bowled games of 190, 187 and 191 to finish with a total of 568 pins.
“It feels different; it’s a good feeling, I guess,” she said of her top-15 placement. “It was a little rough, but all-in-all, I didn’t do bad.”
Rinehart felt that her team had a good performance, too — something she’s noticed all year.
“Overall, my team really stepped up this year,” she said. “They paid more attention and focused more.”
Junior Taylor Cantrell finished tied for 49th with 468 pins, while senior Kahlan Ball was 62nd with 439. Also, sophomore Emma Rinehart took 70th with 415 and freshman Emily Ball was 73rd with 383.
Cardington junior Payton Goodman had a very strong showing at the Division II state bowling meet on Saturday, finishing sixth overall with 586 pins and earning second team All-Ohio recognition.
Goodman opened with a 232 game — the third-best opening-game score in the meet — and followed that up with games of 156 and 198.
“It’s just a ‘wow’ moment,” she said. “I just wanted to have fun and do my best and be happy I made it this far.”
For Goodman, competing at the state meet was a different experience, as she was alone instead of with her team for this competition.
“It was a little weird not being with my entire team, but I had my coach, so it wasn’t horrible — just different,” she said.
For her senior year, Goodman has high hopes, especially since she barely missed out on obtaining first-team All-Ohio status. The top five bowlers are named to the first team and the fifth place competitor, Hailey Degenaro of Struthers, beat Goodman’s score by two pins.
“Definitely,” she responded when asked if narrowly missing out on making the first team would motivate her. “I missed it by three pins, so I want to get up there next year.”