Kent Lowe: With prep bowling singles format fixed, it’s time to look at the team competition

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There’s no doubt that the LHSAA has hit a home run (I know, wrong sport) when it comes to their new state championship singles format that debuted  Friday.

OK, maybe they threw a few strikes instead.

The stepladder was going to be a hit once the change was voted in. But who knew the title matches we would end up with and the outstanding bowling we were going to see?

Here’s what is most important: High school bowling now has a wonderful, tried-and-true format in the qualifying round and the modified stepladder that has worked in major professional and amateur tournaments for multiple decades. It took a while, but everyone can see what the future holds in the state singles.

I missed this year’s finals for the first time in several years because of an out-of-town assignment but was able to watch a broadcast of the singles championship.

They might talk about the final match of the boy’s singles between Preston West of Dutchtown and Jonathan Arena of Archbishop Shaw for years to come after top-qualifier Arena defeated West, who qualified in the sixth and final spot, 287-280.

It looked exactly like one of those high-scoring matches that happen every so often on the PBA Tour. But this time it was two high school bowlers throwing a combined 20 consecutive strikes. After West finished with 280, Arena had to get up in the 10th frame and throw the first two strikes there to clinch the title.

And then there is Sydney Lee of Dutchtown, who opened with a string of strikes in the girl’s final in defeating Paris Mendones of Airline, 258-217. Lee’s ability to carry at All-Star Lanes was the difference as Mendones hit the pocket but couldn’t get all 10 consistently on the opening shot.

Both No. 1 seeds after qualifying won. So this first year, the leader wasn’t penalized in the stepladder. It was a show and that’s the way to determine the title.

Now that the singles are in much better shape, let’s talk team and I know I’ve brought this up before.

I have never been a fan of this six-player thing in the state team event. Bowling is not a best-of-27 point format and, having broadcast the events on several occasions, it is very difficult to explain or show exactly what is happening over four lanes.

It was very exciting in 2022 when Brother Martin rallied to win in a thrilling match that centered on a couple of matches in the Crusaders’ rally in the title match. They also had the miraculous rally in the quarterfinals this year. But many of these matches are in an almost decided state after two games and it is very rare when these rallies happen.

This has nothing to do with Brother Martin’s five straight titles (fifth won Thursday) or Denham Springs’ four consecutive back in the early years or the dominance of the Dutchtown girls this year. I don’t know what a different format gets you as far as winners but I think there can be more entertainment value in the championships.

First of all, there are a bunch of teams struggling to field six players for matches on a regular basis. Secondly, competitiveness has to be considered as well.

Bowling is a four or five player sport. Colleges do not bowl six-player matches. They bowl a lot of Baker system matches which is an exciting competition that produces one score with bowlers bowling a couple of frames each.

I understand the six-player, four lanes match works for the timing for lane availability between the end of school and evening adult leagues. But there has to be a method of full games and Baker combined that would fit the time spot. Wouldn’t you love to see the state team title decided in a best-of-seven Baker scoring match? I sure would.

Next year, two divisions are coming to high school boys/coed bowling — Class 5A and then all the others. Any format changes to team play would be at least two years away. Please. Someone. Anybody. Let’s throw some ideas against a wall and see if anything sticks. Let’s make the team event as exciting as singles is now before singles becomes the more regarded state prep bowling title.

Back with you on April 18 as we officially close the book on BR Singles Tournament legacy. Until then, good luck and good bowling.

Top house leaders

Men

All-Star Lanes

Ryan White 808 (280); Whitney Ledet 796 (275); Gregory Snee 793 (259), 744; Juan Coston Jr 774 (280); Eric White 769 (280); Chad McCain 761 (266); Braxter Smothers 754 (278); Joshua Green 752 (279), 750; John Montgomery 745 (258); Jon Lipsky 745 (278); Philip Trahan 744 (269); Floyd Patterson 739 (265); Glenn Adams 735 (258); Josh Summers 731 (299); Robert Blackwell 729 (268)

Premier Lanes

Whitney Ledet 784 (269); Kerry Landry 749 (269); Robbie Villenurve 739 (277); Aaron Deutsch 722 (255); Chad Conard 718 (247); John Montgomery 715 (247); Russell Owens 710 (268); Matt Campbell 707 (253); Truvon Smith 706 (257); David Berg 700 (276); Ryan Beam 695 (256); Roger Marquez 694 (244); Randy Summers 693 (257); David Michel 682 (235); Bobby Herring 681 (247).

Women

All-Star Lanes

Summer Doiga 752 (277); Sarah Broussard 691 (255), 606; Christine Dunaway 648 (226); Anne Eunice 639 (256); Tiffany Blackwell 637 (214); Felicia Baker 628 (227), 623; Bernadine Thompson 624 (236); Haley Young 621 (238), 607; Kierstyn Rush 620 (219); A Vicknair 618 (228); Patsy Dew 617 (225); Deidra Johnson 616 (244); Van Do 607 (257); Barbara Baker 607 (236); Karen Beam 603 (225) 

Premier Lanes

Karen Beam 603 (234); Madison Comeaux 591 (202); Coye Melancon 548 (235); Jamie Johnson 536 (212); Sharon Moore 528 (196); April Owens 519 (180); Kathy Jones 516 (187); Kim Cessna 514 (206); Gwen Babin (501) 190

Youth Leagues

U18-13

Preston West 729 (258); Braiden Torres 643 (236); Sydney Lee 597 (204); Chase Cagnolatti 592 (221); Luke Brunet 590 (244); Andre Hodge 588 (211); Ashtyn Yoches 584 (223); Addison Legendre 583 (223); Anthony Authement 557 (206); Aiden Kirby 555 (235); Jayda Allday-Logue 545 (201); Parker Blanchard 543 (205); Cadence Cagnolatti 540 (192)

U12

Riley Freeman 479 (177); Liam Guitreau 460 (169); Jordan Beam 395 (149); Rhylee Mumphrey 383 (134)

Senior Leagues

Men

Paul West 712 (245); Vic Sages 687 (267); Brian Von Gruben 669 (243); Pete Palisi 663 (246); Bernie Gourgues 660 (246); Jerry Campbell 658 (245); Jerry Deslatte 647 (236), 627, 623; Gary Zeringue 628 (246); Brien Stewart 628 (247); Anthony Rotolo 624 (237); Tim Toler 622 (215); Wilbert Ursin Jr. 617 (223); Ted Girouard 611 (258); Hugh Ramirez 604 (233)

Women

Deborah Zeringue 526 (197), 501, 473; Charlene LeBlanc 520 (190); Kathy Cross 509 (189); Shirley Peterson 507 (192); May Nelson 506 (185); Wilhelmina Allen 503 (197), 476; Della Perkins 499 203), 471; Lana Girouard 499 (209); Lena Soto 489 (176); Patricia Bates 485 (188); Claudette Leboeuf 483 (188); Joan Corne 479 (167); Brenda Williams 479 (179), 474; Debra Bolling 473 (165); Barbara Tullier 467 (190)

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About Mary Weyand 14391 Articles
Mary founded Scoop Tour with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research. With ample knowledge about the Automobile industry, she also contributes her knowledge for the Automobile section of the website.

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