Mike Patterson Omaha World Herald
Papillion-La Vista avenged two previous losses against Papillion-La Vista South in Wednesday’s final of the Metro Conference boys’ tournament.
The Monarchs won 3-1 in the best-of-five championship at Maplewood Lanes after the Titans defeated Papio twice in December.
Coach Derik Jensen said he was optimistic going into the tournament despite the Monarchs’ 9-8 regular season record.
“I felt pretty confident,” he said. “I didn’t think our record represented our talent.”
Winning team members included Will Fraser, Colby Wallace, Parker Wolfe, Jake Franks, Easton Kinsey, Austin Watts and Jonas Halstead.
The Monarchs started the day with a quarterfinal win over Omaha Northwest and then a semifinal win over Omaha Burke. The Titans defeated Millard West in the quarterfinals and defending Metro champion Millard North in the semifinals.
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The Monarchs had the upper hand with 209-182 in Game 3, stringing together six strikes from the third through eighth frames. That took Papio one win off the title.
Papio South started strong in Game 4, hitting in the first two frames, but the Monarchs countered with strikes in the third and fourth. Papio had four more attacks and needed them because the Titans had attacks in the last four frames.
When it was over, the Monarchs held on to a 213-206 win and their first Metro boys title in the tournament’s second year.
“That fourth game got my heart going,” said Jensen. “The way they’ve been stringing those strikes together late certainly worried me.”
Jensen also complimented Papio South coach Alan Busch on his team’s performance.
“I have to compliment Alan,” he said. “It was great that two Papillion teams made it to the final.”
Titan team members included Aaron Streeter, Aydan Belfiore, Blake Paulhamus, Dayton Wiese, Jonathan Tejral, Kylan Giandinoto and Noah Fichtl.
Fraser, a sophomore who was Papio’s best bowler on Wednesday with an average of 213 in three games, said the win felt good.
“The schools have a rivalry, and that always gets you excited,” he said. “It was an exciting game, but we got through it.”
Fraser added that the team was ready to enjoy the win.
“We like to celebrate together,” he says. “We’re going to Applebee’s.”
Millard North’s Jeff Birkentall was the best individual bowler of the day with a 680 series, averaging 226.
The girls portion of the Metro tournament will be held at Maplewood Lanes from 8 a.m. Friday.
The Boys Top 10 (with series of three games)
1. Jeff Birkentall, Millard North, 680.
2. Addison DeBoer, Millard North, 641.
3. Will Fraser, Papillion-La Vista, 624.
4. Easton Kinsey, Papillion-La Vista, 603.
5. Neko Manna, Millard South, 600.
6. Noah Fichtl, Papillion-La Vista South, 599.
7. Dayton Lester, Bellevue West, 597.
8. Parker Wolfe, Papillion-La Vista, 591.
9. Blake Paulhamus, Papillion-La Vista South, 586.
10. Daniel Lester, Bellevue West, 581; Carlos Echeveste Sinecio, Omaha South, 581.
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