Not a lot went right for the Nordonia High School boys bowling team at the state tournament this past weekend at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
Making their third straight appearance in the state tournament on Saturday, March 11, the Knights qualified for match play. However, they failed to advance past the first round. Nordonia fell to Wapakoneta by the score of 3-0, ending their season.
"We should have won two of the last three games," said Nordonia head coach Noel Liederbach. "We missed three spares in a row in the last game."
Nordonia ultimately finished in sixth place overall. The Knights' scores in the three regular games were 954, 1,005, and 1,050 for a total of 3,009 pins.
In the Baker games, Nordonia produced scores of 227, 172, and 157. That gave the Knights an overall team total of 3,565 pins.
Nordonia was the fifth seed entering match play. The Knights faced fourth seed Wapakoneta in the opening round. The Redskins beat the Knights in three straight games, posting 193-181, 211-164, 191-177 victories.
Westerville Central won the state championship, while Wapakoneta finished second and Centerville was third. Rounding out the top six were Cincinnati Oak Hills, Cuyahoga Falls, and Nordonia.
Senior Phil Toth led the way for Nordonia, finishing fifth overall with a 682 series. Toth rolled games of 197, 217 and 268. He earned all-state recognition for his performance. For that effort, Toth was named first team All-Ohio by the Ohio High School Bowling Coaches Association.
In addition, senior Conner Novak placed 16th with a 635 series, bowling games of 207, 237 and 191. Senior Nolan Postolka was next in 24th place with a 614 series. His games were 187, 214 and 213.
Junior Preston Keglovich produced a 605 series that included games of 181, 214, and 210. Also rolling games at the state tournament for Nordonia were senior Alex Cunningham (182) and freshman Tyler Juriga (168).
The Knights' senior class is the most accomplished bowling class in Nordonia school history. Its members have racked up over 25 tournament wins, four league titles, three sectional titles, three district titles, and three state tournament appearances. They also finished in second place in tournaments 10 times.
"It's something when you look back at what they've done in a four-year career," said Liederbach. "Overall, it's pretty overwhelming. They've done better than any other class in Nordonia history."
Unfortunately, Nordonia is losing that class to graduation. Novak and Toth will bowl collegiately at Wright State University. Postolka will attend either Ohio State or the University of Cincinnati, and Cunningham hopes to be part of Kent State's bowling club program.
Keglovich and Juriga are expected to return next season, along with two other freshmen -- Spencer Stehlik and Aidan Mcferren.
"Those guys form a very good starting nucleus," said Liederbach. "We just have to find a couple more pieces to add around them. We have to build things back up one block at a time."