STOW -- By the time the match was over Feb. 7 at Sto-Kent Family Entertainment in Stow, the Stow-Munroe Falls and Hudson boys bowling teams were cheering for each other.
It was certainly unexpected behavior for a contest between the Explorers and Bulldogs.
Perhaps, but it was senior night for both schools and the teams were loose ahead of the Suburban League Tournament.
Stow's boys rolled a solid match to beat the Explorers 2,672-2,527. Meanwhile, the Lady Bulldogs completed a perfect run through the Suburban League, beating Hudson 2,196-1,799.
Stow's boys improved to 9-2 in the Suburban League, while the Explorers dropped to 7-5 overall and 7-4 in the league. The Lady Bulldogs finished at 9-0 in the Suburban League, while the Hudson girls finished 1-10 overall and 1-9 in the league.
Since it was Stow's final match of the season at Sto-Kent, Bulldogs head coach Glenn Duncan chose to insert reserve senior Austin Donovan into the starting lineup.
"He has improved a lot and we had a lot of guys bowl well around him," Duncan said.
Although Donovan was the Bulldogs' No. 5 bowler, Stow took control of the match early. A 265 game from junior Nick Arlequeeuw helped the Bulldogs take a 1,080-945 lead after one game.
"They started out hot," Hudson head coach John Brockway said. "We started out decent, but you can't play defense in bowling. It's tough to comeback from 100 pins down."
Stow stretched the lead to 2,067-1,920 heading int the Baker games.
Arlequeeuw led the Bulldogs with a 476 series (265 and 211), while senior Scott Hopkins rolled a 432 (207 and 225) and Christian Studt rolled a 427 (210 and 217).
However, Explorers' freshman Rhami Shiyah had the high series, rolling a 482 (244 and 238).
Down by 147 pins heading into the Baker games, Hudson gave itself a glimmer of hope by winning game one 244-194 and game two 182-176.
However, Stow rattled off seven straight strikes in the third Baker game to win 235-181 and clinch the match.
"We couldn't close the gap," Brockway said.
Also competing for the Explorers were Sam Karman (185 and 179), Joseph Horsch (179 and 175), Noah Twigg (188 and 161) and Andrew Brechtelsbauer (222).
Meanwhile, the Lady Bulldogs took control of the match from the start. Stow led 787-654 after one game and 1,662-1335 after two games.
Meghan Ritzinger led the Lady Bulldogs with a 430 series (194-236).
Hudson was led by a 340 series (156-184) from Alyssa Germano, but no other Hudson bowler broke 300 over two games. Celia Manders (125 and 136) and Jackie Smith (134 and 127) rounded out the top three for the Lady Explorers.
Stow swept the Baker games 152-141, 184-162 and 198-161 to clinch the match.
Brockway said he knew his girls team was up against a juggernaut, noting it was good for Hudson to field fully varsity and junior varsity teams this winter.
"We're just looking for improvement," Brockway said.
The Explorer boys lost to the Bulldogs 1,914-1,838 in the JV match. Austin Fernando (177 and 161) and Shaun Palmer (152 and 186) led Hudson.
The Lady Explorers lost 1,783-1,505 in the JV match. Lauren Malaska led Hudson with scores of 139 and 229, respectively.
Both Stow and Hudson were set to participate in the Suburban League Postseason Tournament Feb. 11 at Legend Lanes in Cuyahoga Falls. Results were not available at press time.
Division I sectional play for both the Hudson boys and girls teams are scheduled to take place Feb. 19 at Sky Lanes in Garrettsville.
The boys are set to bowl at 9 a.m. and the girls are scheduled to bowl at 2 p.m.