BY J. PATRICK EAKEN | MIRROR SPORTS — Anthony Wayne senior Austin Bellmore bowled games of 174, 168 and 201 for a total of 543 pins at the Division I boys sectional tournament and advanced to districts.
AW coach Lou Tenney was proud of the way Bellmore finished his prep career.
“He bowled with Anthony Wayne all four years,” he said. “It was his second year on varsity and he has greatly improved in the four years he has been there.
“We didn’t qualify as a team. We didn’t do very well at the sectionals, but we had that one bowler who did pretty well and qualified. He didn’t do well at districts, but he made it at least.”
At Astro Lanes in Wapakoneta, Bellmore finished 10th among 55 bowlers at the sectional tournament, but he failed to advance from districts to state.
“He’s left-handed, so that helps out a lot,” Tenney said. “He actually works really hard. He was struggling at the beginning of the year, but he went out and bought a new ball – a (Storm) Proton Physix, which is one of the very high-end balls out right now.
“He struggled with that a little bit and then he started to get his groove with it, and it worked really well for him.”
Tenney said there were adverse lane conditions in Wapakoneta that made Bellmore’s score that much more impressive.
“He scored a 543 series to make it and it was a very difficult shot,” Tenney said. “It was not a normal house shot – it was very dry in the middle and very wet on the outside. It was a tough shot and he did very well.”
At the district meet at Star Lanes at The Harbor in Port Clinton, Bellmore shot 555 (209-176-170).
That score was an 11-stroke improvement from Bellmore’s sectional performance, but he finished 27th out of 56 bowlers. He placed in the upper half but not well enough to move on to state.
As a team, AW scored a total of 3,103 to place last out of 10 teams. Maumee was ninth with 3,131 pins and had one bowler, senior Gabe Burton, advance to the D-I districts.
Burton tied for fifth at sectionals, scoring 567 (185-175-207), but at districts he rolled 584 (208-163-213) to finish in 21st place and just six pins away from qualifying to state.
At the sectional meet, Burton had help from another Maumee senior, Lars Lucio; four juniors, Andrew Bick, Michael Iwinski, Alex Leasor and Zane Dietering; and two non-starters who filled in as substitutes.
Bick bowled 497 (127-200-170), Iwinski shot 459 (155-162-142), Lucio had 445 (152-135-158), Leasor had a 116 game and substitutes shot games of 110 and 106 for a team score of 2,300 (729-778-793).
The Panthers, coached by Brian Zattau, had Baker games of 157, 138, 125, 125-151 and 155 for a total of 851.
Bellmore is the only senior for AW, which beat Maumee during the regular season, and Tenney says this is a rebuilding year and he’s hoping to see major improvement next year.
“We have our junior class, who will be seniors next year, but they’ve been with us since their freshman year,” he said. “Next year we should have a pretty solid team.
“They love to bowl. This was their first year on varsity, so hopefully their jitters will go away. We’ll have a pretty solid team next year.”
At this year’s sectional, two Anthony Wayne juniors tied at 452 pins. Ben Bethel shot 452 (145-154-153) and Brock Noaker rolled 452 (143-141-168).
AW sophomore Ian Gill shot 455 (137-190-128), junior Alex Kwiatkowski had games of 100 and 135 and freshman Luke Bethel had a 114 game.
As a team, the Generals bowled 2,251 (699-767-785) and had Baker scores totaling 852 (120-177-102-144-128-181).
Wapakoneta won the sectional title with a score of 3,894 and the top bowler was Celina junior Britton Hole, who shot 631 (191-213-227).
Tenney says AW’s regular season schedule was cut in half due to the coronavirus pandemic. Last year, they competed in four Baker tournaments, but this year they were in only one.
“We didn’t get killed all year,” Tenney said. “We were competitive but just not quite as much as some of the other teams like Napoleon, which was really good.
“Springfield was really good this year, too, and we actually held our own with both of those teams until the end. We won two matches and even with the COVID year we still went 2-4, so it still wasn’t horrible.”
While Tenney has underclassmen getting varsity experience, he has even more waiting in the wings at the junior varsity level, creating a strong foundation.
“Our junior varsity looks good, too,” he said. “They did win a couple matches this year. It was kind of difficult for them to compete because not every school has a junior varsity team, but they did.
“They beat Perrysburg in one match. It is really encouraging to know that our junior varsity is very excited to bowl and to move up. We have a lot of bowlers who want to learn and move up through the system.”