STOW — In recent years, the Nordonia and Stow-Munroe Falls bowling teams have rolled with the state’s finest.
So it’s natural a bit of a rivalry has developed between the Bulldogs and Knights.
The matchup was renewed Tuesday at Sto-Kent Lanes — and the boys match added another chapter to one of Northeast Ohio’s top bowling rivalries.
Nordonia fell behind early, rallied and then hung on to win by 18 pins, edging the Bulldogs 2,518-2,500. Nordonia improved to 2-0 in dual meets, while Stow dropped to 1-2.
There was no such drama in the girls match, as Stow overwhelmed a young Nordonia team 2,338-1,606. Stow improved to 3-0, while Nordonia dropped to 0-2.
Having edged the Bulldogs at the Suburban League Preseason Tournament, Nordonia boys coach Ty Lachowski said he expected a match like this.
“I told them to be ready for a dogfight,” Lachowski said. “It’s always tough to play here, and Stow has a very good team.”
Stow coach John Martin noted the match turned on a very slim margin.
“They were competitive right to the end,” Martin said. “If we get one ball to carry a strike [in the Baker games], we win. Spares are important, but if you put strikes together you’re going to get a lot of pins.”
The match came down to the final frame of the last Baker game, which Nordonia headed into with a 19 pin lead. In the final frame, Knight junior Tyler Juriga was dealt a split on his first ball, but he then converted it and threw a strike on his final ball.
Stow ended up winning the final Baker game 179-178, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Knights.
“He likes knowing he’s in that position,” Lachowski said of Juriga. “He thrives on that pressure. He’s the rock of the team.”
Juriga ended up Nordonia’s top bowler with a 456 series (227-229), while Spencer Stehlik had a 450 series (235-215), Including Nordonia’s top game. The Knights also got a 395 (215-180) from Kyle Drazile, a 387 (173-212) from Zach Westbrooks and a 171 game from Charlie Bzaadfka.
“The whole team contributed to this one,” Lachowski said. “They all had a hand in this.”
Nordonia actually trailed 1,033-983 after the first game, but won Game 2 1,007-903 to take the lead heading into the Baker games 1,990-1933.
Stow won the first Baker game 211-174 to trim the lead, but Nordonia edged Stow 179-176 in the second Baker game.
“It is what it is,” Martin said. “It’s part of a transition from last year’s team. They’re trying out figure out their roles. When we get to January, we should be fine.”
Stow senior Alex Ridings had a tough first game of 152, which Martin attributed to a bad ball. Ridings switched back and rolled to 224 to lead Stow in game two (376 series).
Stow was led by a 425 series (236-189) by sophomore Nolan Snowberger and a 424 series (235-189) by Will Bender. Stow also got a 353 series (219-134) from Wyatt Pryor and a 358 series (191-167) from Zack Bialek.
Stow girls keep rolling
Stow girls coach Nikki Stiteler was happy to see her team continue its early season dominance.
“They’re doing a good job,” Stiteler said. “I just want them to keep learning. As long as they keep improving, I’ll be happy.”
Stow opened with a 876-656 advantage in game one and stretched to an 1,803-1,255 lead heading into the Baker games. For good measure, Stow swept the Baker games, winning 170-111, 150-120 and 214-120.
Senior Taylor Roberts led the Bulldogss with 450 series (203-247), which included the high game of the evening. Kayla Flake also broke 400 for the Bulldogs with a 421 series (234-187). Stow also got a 380 from senior Hayley Roberts (179-201), a 305 series from Jessica Lawrence (158-149) and a 247 series from Kelsey Jacobson (101-146).
It was a long night for Nordonia girls coach Larry Stimple and his charges.
“It wasn’t pretty,” Stimple said. “We’ve got got a very young team, mostly sophomores and freshmen except for our two returning starters. It’s going to take some time.”
Nordonia was led by a 324 (171-153) series from Samantha Lewis. She was the only Knight to break 300 pins.
Stow was set to travel to Twinsburg Wednesday at 4 p.m., while Nordonia will host Brecksville-Broadview Heights Friday at 4 p.m.