Penn Manor claims Eastern Regional girls bowling championship | High School Bowling

One team had a surprisingly easy win. Another lost in excruciating fashion.

Penn Manor coasted to the girls title in the Eastern Pennsylvania Regional Bowling Championships Saturday at 222 Dutch Lanes while Hempfield’s boys were eliminated in the semifinals on the last ball of the match.

“It’s very amazing, because it’s all I’ve ever wanted since I joined this team,” said Penn Manor’s Willow Hee, the team’s lone senior. “It’s all I’ve dreamed, and especially coming with these girls, it’s amazing.”

“One pin,” said Hempfield coach Tom Degnan after his team lost 2-1 to Exeter, dropping the third game 181-180. “The good news is they’ve come a long way. Obviously, winning their section, being (Lancaster-League) league champions, winning a major tournament early in the year. They’ve had a great, successful run this year.”

Both teams advanced to the bracket-style finals by qualifying second, earning byes into the semifinals and sports in the state tournament in two weeks.

The Comets (3,641 pins in qualifying) went up against Neshaminy (third in qualifying, 3,565 pins) in the semifinals, and did had some mystery as they needed three games, winning 178-165, 132-178, 190-161.

In the final against Governor Mifflin, Penn Manor won by 63 and 66 pins.

“We just wanted to stay focused, let the ball do its work and just throw it down the lane,” said anchor Eva Brubaker, a sophomore. “We all hit our mark, we all made our spares and it just went on from there.”

“Phenomenal. These girls bowled their hearts out,” said Penn Manor assistant coach Frank Hee. “We’re looking at one senior, one freshman, one junior and two sophomores. So there’s a lot of young talent here.

“It was divine intervention because we had lost to Neshaminy before and also lost to Governor Mifflin.”

After splitting the first two games, Hempfield appeared to be reasonably in control of the last one, up 125-103 after six frames following four straight strikes and Exeter with a split in the sixth. The Knights were up 171-151 going into the 10th. But anchor Mitchell Barnes left a 10-pin, which he missed, and Exeter’s Keith Lerch struck out.

“They’ll review it and get back on track for states,” Degnan said. “And I will emphasize the importance of one pin, again and again and again. You never give a pin away.”

Exeter went on to win the boys title, 2-0 over Central York.

“One thing I can say about the girls is they’re very consistent and they seem to have the right attitude about the game of bowling,” said Penn Manor head coach Chris Vital of his team, which will join Hempfield’s boys at the Pennsylvania State High School Bowling Championships March 18-19 at Dutch Lanes. “I just feel the girls have a lot of togetherness on this team.”

Elizabethtown’s Daniel Eberle made the regional boys all-star team after rolling a 680 series in qualifying.

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