Bowling: Shaw’s Arena, Dutchtown’s Lee win state singles titles

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BATON ROUGE – The first-ever final round of the singles event in the Ochsner LHSAA Bowling Championship Friday at All Star Lanes certainly set a tough bar for future editions to top.

After Dutchtown sophomore Sydney Lee opened with seven consecutive strikes in a 258-217 victory over Airline’s Paris Mendones in the girls championship, the boys matchup between Archbishop Shaw sophomore Jonathan Arena and Dutchtown’s Preston West took things up several notches.

Arena and West combined to string 20 consecutive strikes, with the last two by Arena in the 10th frame clinching a 287-280 victory.

The singles finals were broadcast live by Crescent City Sports.

In a remarkable display of high-quality shot-making, Arena and West matched each other shot for shot. West finished the match first and closed the match with 10 consecutive strikes for a 280, forcing Arena, who followed a first-frame spare with strikes in the second through ninth, to throw two more strikes in the 10th to win the match.

Arena delivered in a big way, stuffing the pocket on two shots to take the win.

It was the second set of clutch shots Arena made on Friday. In the morning qualifying session, he struck out in the final frame to wrap up a 730 series, one pin ahead of teammate Riley Elwood, to claim the top seed.

West – who broke his own state record with a 238 average this year – grabbed the last spot in the six-player, modified stepladder finals with a 695 series. He reached the final with games of 247 and 268 in the first two matches, each of which featured three players.

2023 LHSAA boys singles bowling scorecard

Lee was the top seed in the girls bracket after a 665 qualifying series. She waited in the wings as her Dutchtown teammate Ashtyn Yoches won the opening match with a 225, but was overtaken by Mendones, who fired a 234 in the second match to move on to the final.

Mendones never missed the pocket in the title match but didn’t have the carrying power of Lee, who continued to string strike after strike in building a large lead and completing the team/individual championship double.

Sydney Lee of Dutchtown, Jonathan Arena of Archbishop Shaw

The only local to reach the girls’ final round was Archbishop Chapelle’s Olivia Bares, who qualified fifth but was eliminated in the opening match.

Two New Orleans region bowlers just missed the finals in seventh place. Brother Martin’s Jacob Vangilder was three pins behind West for the last spot, and De La Salle’s Amelia Haynes finished two pins off the cut in the girls division.

Other local top 10 finishers included Jesuit’s William Carpenter (10th) and Chapelle’s Elizabeth Hamilton (eighth).

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Lenny Vangilder


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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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