For Nordonia bowling, goal No. 1 heading into the Division I sectional tournament at Roseland Lanes in Oakwood was the same as in the postseason: Survive and advance.
To do so, both the Knight boys and girls needed to finish in the top three at Roseland to advance to the district tournament.
As the tournament progressed, both Knight teams found themselves in a fight to go through. Ultimately, the Knight boys finished just above the line to advance, while the Knight girls finished just below.
Nordonia’s boys finished third at Roseland with 3,732 pins, finishing just 21 pins ahead of rival Stow-Munroe Falls for the final qualifying spot. Kent Roosevelt dominated the tournament, winning the sectional title with 4,492 pins, while Warren G. Harding took second with 3,849 pins.
However, the Knght girls took fourth at Roseland with 2,986 pins, finishing 84 pins behind Roosevelt for the final qualifying spot. Boardman won the girls title at Roseland with 3,484 pins, while Warren Howland was second with 3,122.
Nordonia boys coach Ty Lachowski was happy his team got through, but noted the Knights were not at their best Saturday
"It was a fight to make it," Lachowski said. "My kids put up a fight and did what they had to do to make it.
"It was rough," he added. "They have a different oil pattern down [on the lanes] for sectionals and districts. We didn’t throw too many doubles [back-to-back strikes] and we missed some easy spares. We’ve got some things we have to correct this week."
The Knights got off to a slow start with an 807 in the first game, but picked things up with a 961 in game two and a 920 in game three. Nordonia sat in third place with 2,688 pin heading into the Baker games, but was just four pins ahead of Hudson.
Nordonia rolled a 1,044 in the six-game Baker series (179-211-158-165-183-148), which was just enough to hold off Stow and Hudson.
Roosevelt dominated the boys individual tournament, finishing in the top three places. Roosevelt junior Chris LeSeuer won the boys individual title with a 756 series.
Senior Tyler Juriga was the lone Knight to finish in the top 10, taking ninth place with a 585 series (161-212-212). Senior Spencer Stehlik was close behind, taking 11th place with a 575 series (174-230-171).
Senior Zach Westbrooks rolled a 508 series (196-182-130), Senior Charlie Bzdafka rolled games of 196 and 226, while senior Lenny Bunsey rolled a game of 181.
In the girls tournament, Nordonia opened with a game of 787, but fell off with a 642 in game two and a 681 in game three. The Knights trailed Roosevelt by 136 heading into the Baker games.
Nordonia was able to cut the deficit with a 876 Baker series (126-136-160-160-130-164), but it was not enough.
The Knight girls will have one representative at districts, as sophomore Kara Freyhauf finished sixth in the girls individual tournament, claiming one of the three individual qualifying spots.
Freyhaug rolled a 524 series (218-160-146). Boardman’s Lexus Petrich won the girls title with a 641 series.
Junior Julia Frost rolled a 428 series (144-147-1370, while Kenzi Allen 410 series (179-118-113) and Emilie Cook rolled a 407 series (127-128-152). Freshman Hailey Whitten contributed a game of 133.
Prior to districts, Nordonia was set to host its Senior Night vs. Brunswick Tuesday at 4 p.m. at North Woods Lanes.
The Division I district tournament will take place at Stonehedge Lanes in Akron. The Knights boys will bowl Saturday at noon with the top six teams earning a berth at the state tournament. Freyhauf will compete Sunday at noon.
Reporter Michael Leonard can be reached at 330-541-9442, email@example.com or @MLeonard_GHO