It looked like Wednesday at Dutch Lanes was going to be an important day in Lancaster-Lebanon League bowling.
Would Elizabethtown keep its unbeaten record intact? Who would take over the lead in Section Three?
Warwick answered one of those questions by handing the Bears their first lost points of the season with a Game 2 win. And Manheim Central answered the other, edging Cocarico 4-3.
“You bowl these top teams in Section One and Two, it’s not reality to think you’re going to go undefeated,” said Elizabethtown coach Frank Telenko, whose team still came out on top 5-2 to improve to 54-2 in Section Two, 68-2 overall. “So maybe that monkey is off our proverbial back.”
Despite the Bears’ success this season — including a state-record series on Friday — the Warriors had the chance to pull even in the loss column with a sweep. Instead, the Warriors (30-12, 37-12) fell further behind.
“We’ve been bowling well, so all I wanted these guys to come out of this match with was to know that they can beat anybody in the league,” Warwick coach Neal Vital said. “And they chased them the first game and got them the second.”
Meanwhile, Central finished with a flourish in the final game to earn the 4-3 decision after Cocarico took the first game.
“I wasn’t expecting that finish,” Barons coach Alan Sides said after cleanup bowler Jesse Hurst completed a 10th-frame comeback by striking out for a three-pin victory, 922-919. “That was a pressure finish.”
Elizabethtown, which posted a mind-boggling 3,617 series Friday against Ephrata, posted a still-impressive 3,270 against Warwick (after a 3,263 Tuesday against Lebanon). The Bears took a 1,112-1,070 victory in the first game.
But things turned a bit in Game 2 and Warwick, led by a 266 from Brayden Kahler and a 267 from Taylor Miller, pulled out a 1,063-1,039 victory.
“You have to turn around and look at what they shot, and they beat us,” Telenko said. “This is the second opponent in a row that shot 3,100 and we still won total. We’re not going to come out and shoot 3,600 every week. We have to take care of our business and do the things that we can do.”
Elizabethtown was back to form in Game 3, winning 1,119-1,038.
“We were just approaching the same as we approach every match, which is make good first shots and try to avoid splits as much as possible, which is what we got into in the second game,” said Daniel Eberle, who led Elizabethtown’s balanced attack with a 681 series, with the other four at 618 or more.
“It’s always you just have to keep consistently at the same spot. For me, personally, you’ve got to keep your feet slow, because that’s my biggest problem,” he said of his series.
Ayden Pope had the Bears’ second-high series, a 675.
“(Tuesday) was our high (series) and today was just below that,” said Vital, who got a 713 series from Matt Geib and a 707 from Kahler. “So we’ve been kind of gaining momentum.”
A few lanes away, Ethan Howard led the way with a 588 series for Manheim Central (44-12 Section Three, 53-24 overall), which took the narrow lead in Section Three over Cocalico (43-13, 43-19). Landon Statts added a 582 for the Barons.
For Cocalico, Jared Ferguson rolled a 679, helping the Eagles win the first game 962-911 and total 2,746-2,725.
“As a team, we bowled pretty well,” Cocalico coach Bryan Miller said. “You always think you could have done this, you could have done that.”
“They’re a complete team,” he said of the Barons. “They prepared, they threw good strikes when they needed them; they earned it.”