Nordonia boys bowling rolled into Suburban League Postseason Tournament Saturday at Roseland Lanes in Oakwood with their eyes on the prize of winning the overall league title.
The Knight boys bowled well. The problem was rival Kent Roosevelt was on fire.
Roosevelt won the boys Postseason Tournament with 4,381 pins, besting the Knights (4,125) by more than 250 pins. By virtue of that victory, Roosevelt finished with 118 total points in the overall league team race, while Nordonia finished second with 109 points.
However, there was good news for Nordonia: The Knight girls saved their best for last.
The Knights won the girls postseason tournament with 3,525, besting runner-up Cuyahoga Falls (3,275) by 250 pins.
Nordonia’s win allowed them to leapfrog in to third place in the league overall team standings with 91 points. Tallmadge, which won the preseason tournament and went 10-0 duals, won the league title with 114 points.
Knight boys coach Ty Lachowski said his team had nothing to be ashamed of.
"We actually bowled really well," Lachowski said. "When you get guys bowling in the 700s, it’s a little hard to beat. They just bowled better Saturday."
Nordonia led the tournament after game one by bowling 1,156. but cooled off a bit in game two rolling a 950 before rolling a score of 1,084 in game three.
Trailing Roosevelt 3,399-3,190 heading into the Baker game, Nordonia was unable to catch Roosevelt, as it rolled a 935 Baker series (174-166-183-190-222).
Individually, Nordonia was led by senior Spencer Stehlik, who finished fourth in the individual race with a 718 series (257-243-218).
Charlie Bzdafik also broke 700 with a 708 series (276-222-210).
Nordonia also got a 650 series from Lenny Bunsey (250-199-201), while senior Tyler Juriga contributed games of 244 and 234. Bryce Lewin added a game of 221 for the Knights.
"You just have to tip to your cap to Roosevelt," Lachowski said.
After putting up season averages of 229 and 222 pins per game respectively, Juriga and Stehlik were each named first-team All-Suburban League.
Meanwhile, girls coach Larry Strimple was very happy with his bowlers.
"They had a good day," Strimple said. "I would say they’re peaking at the right time here. I would love to see them win sectional and then move on to districts."
Nordonia got stronger as the tournament went on. After opening game one in third place with 831 points, Nordonia rolled a 854 in game two and then a 951 in game three, which was the high game of the tournament.
Leading with 2,636 pins heading to the Baker games, Nordonia left nothing to chance, rolling an 889 Baker series (185-160-212-152-170), which was the high series of the tournament.
One key for the Knights was the performance of Emillie Cook, who rolled a 584 series (222-127-235) to take second place in the individual race, trailing only league bowler of the year Kirsten Moore of Tallmadge (665).
Kara Freyhauf took third place for Nordonia with a 555 series (144-216-195), while Julia Frost finished eighth with a 511 series (149-171-191).
Kenzi Allen finished just outside the top 10 with a 500 series (157-172-171), while Alayah Davis finished with a 486 series (159-168-159).
Both Knight teams will open the postseason Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Division I sectional tournament at Roseland Lanes. The top three teams in the sectional advance to the Division I district tournament at Stonehedge Lanes in Akron.
Lachowski said the Knights still are focused on returning to the state tournament in Columbus.
"Our first step is this upcoming weekend," Lachowski said. "We have to stay focused on the task at hand."
Reporter Michael Leonard can be reached at 330-541-9442, email@example.com or @MLeonard_GHO