Bowling: Ponchatoula, Dutchtown, Denham Springs, Byrd advance to girls semifinals

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For the first time since 2017, there will be a girls bowling state champion from outside of the New Orleans area.

Top-seeded Ponchatoula, No. 2 seed Dutchtown, Denham Springs and Byrd won two matches each Wednesday at Premier Lanes in Lafayette to advance to next week’s semifinals of the Ochsner LHSAA State Bowling Championships.

The New Orleans region was shut out after the two representatives in the bracket met in the first round, and the winner was eliminated in the second round.

Defending champion and No. 14 seed Archbishop Chapelle eliminated and 2018 and 2019 champion Academy of Our Lady 15½-11½, but the Chipmunks lost in the quarterfinals 22½-4½ to Denham Springs.

Against AOL, the Chipmunks won two and tied one match on the low pair in the opening game to take a 4½-3½ lead, but the Penguins rallied in game two to take an 8½-7½ lead. With total pins separated by just two pins heading into the last game, it was basically a battle for high team score in the final game.

Chapelle rolled its best game of the day, an 885, led by Alexandra Young’s 185, to close out AOL and not only hand the Penguins (12-1) their first loss of 2022, but avenge two earlier defeats this season.

Eight of the 18 individual matches were decided by nine pins or less.

Wednesday’s script was the opposite of 2019, when AOL, which lost twice to an undefeated Chapelle team in the regular season, eliminated the Chipmunks in the quarterfinals.

Laney Sasso had an opening-game 178 and captured three points at the No. 6 position for the Penguins. Young went 3-0 at No. 3 for the Chips.

In the second round, Denham Springs won 7½ of eight points in the opening game to cruise past Chapelle into the semifinals.

Young had a middle-game 171 and captured two points to lead Chapelle, which finished 9-5.

The surprise of the day was Byrd, which was the No. 13 seed in the bracket but took out two higher-seeded teams from the Bayou region in No. 5 H.L. Bourgeois and No. 4 Central Lafourche.

Dutchtown and Ponchatoula will head to the semifinals with unblemished records. The Griffins had no trouble getting through the early rounds, losing just 1½ total points in victories over Central and St. Scholastica.

The biggest drama came in Ponchatoula’s quarterfinal against St. Amant. The Green Wave trailed 11-5 after two games and faced a 116-pin deficit in total pins, but behind a 201 final game from anchor Kayla Cowell, it rallied to claim seven of eight points and the three-point “super total” bonus for a 15-12 victory.

The semifinals and finals are March 31 at All Star Lanes in Baton Rouge. Six of the eight semifinalists in the boys and girls brackets are set, with the remaining spots to be filled Friday at AMF All Star Lanes in Kenner – a session postponed 72 hours by Tuesday’s severe weather and school closures.


Ochsner LHSAA Bowling Championships

Wednesday – at Premier Lanes, Lafayette
First Round
(1) Ponchatoula 22, (16) Albany 5
(8) St. Amant 23, (9) Loyola Prep 4
(5) Central Lafourche 19, (12) Teurlings Catholic 8
(13) Byrd 17, (4) H.L. Bourgeois 10
(14) Archbishop Chapelle 15½, (3) Academy of Our Lady 11½
(6) Denham Springs 25, (11) Ellender 2
(7) St. Scholastica 22½, (10) Lafayette 4½
(2) Dutchtown 26½, (15) Central-BR ½

Second Round
(1) Ponchatoula 15, (8) St. Amant 12
(13) Byrd 16, (5) Central Lafourche 11
(6) Denham Springs 22½, (14) Archbishop Chapelle 4½
(2) Dutchtown 26, (7) St. Scholastica 1

March 31 – at All Star Lanes, Baton Rouge
Semifinals – 10:30 a.m.
(1) Ponchatoula vs. (13) Byrd
(2) Dutchtown vs. (6) Denham Springs

Championship – 1:30 p.m.
Semifinal winners

Monday – at Holiday Lanes, Bossier City
First Round
(3) Denham Springs 23, (30) Airline 4
(14) St. Amant 18, (19) Southside 9
(22) St. Thomas More 20, (11) Captain Shreve 7
(6) Archbishop Shaw 21, (27) Haughton 6
(7) Central Lafourche 24, (26) St. Michael 3
(23) Alexandria 17, (10) Byrd 10
(15) Archbishop Rummel 14, (18) South Terrebonne 13
(2) Catholic-BR 19½, (31) East Ascension 7½

Second Round
(14) St. Amant 17, (3) Denham Springs 10
(6) Archbishop Shaw 20, (22) St. Thomas More 7
(7) Central Lafourche 21, (23) Alexandria 6
(2) Catholic-BR 18, (15) Archbishop Rummel 9

(6) Archbishop Shaw 22, (14) St. Amant 5
(2) Catholic-BR 23, (7) Central Lafourche 4

Friday – at AMF All Star Lanes, Kenner
(postponed from Tuesday, weather and school closures)
First Round – 10:30 a.m.
(1) Brother Martin vs. (32) Acadiana
(16) Madison Prep vs. (17) Central-BR
(9) Jesuit vs. (24) Patrick Taylor
(8) Dutchtown vs. (25) Teurlings Catholic
(5) Hammond vs. (28) Loranger
(12) Vandebilt Catholic vs. (21) David Thibodaux
(13) Ponchatoula vs. (20) Baton Rouge
(4) Lafayette vs. (29) St. Paul’s

Second Round – 1:15 p.m.
Brother Martin-Acadiana winner vs. Madison Prep-Central winner
Jesuit-Patrick Taylor winner vs. Dutchtown-Teurlings Catholic winner
Hammond-Loranger winner vs. Vandebilt Catholic-David Thibodaux winner
Ponchatoula-Baton Rouge winner vs. Lafayette-St. Paul’s winner

Quarterfinals – 3:15 p.m.

March 31 – at All Star Lanes, Baton Rouge
Semifinals – 10:30 a.m.
(6) Archbishop Shaw vs. (2) Catholic-BR
Quarterfinal winners from Kenner

Championship – 3:30 p.m.
Semifinal winners

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Lenny Vangilder


Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…

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