Boys Bowling: Brother Martin tops Jesuit, Shaw to reach state semifinals again

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KENNER – Brother Martin had to knock off two of its biggest rivals from the New Orleans area Tuesday to reach the semifinals of the boys/co-ed division of the LHSAA bowling championships for the seventh straight time.

Next up is a different task, at least for this group of Crusaders – avenging a regular-season loss.

Brother Martin and top-seeded Catholic High advanced out of Tuesday’s action and will meet in one semifinal Monday at 10 a.m. at Premier Lanes in Gonzales. The teams met on Feb. 8, with the Bears winning 20-7, the first regular-season loss for Brother Martin since 2013.

Central and East Ascension, who advanced out of Monday’s lower bracket matches at Creole Lanes in Houma, will meet in the other semifinal.

To get back to the semis, Brother Martin (14-1) turned in its two best scoring efforts of the season – a 3,777 team series in defeating Jesuit 23½-3½ in the second round, followed by a 3,862 series in a 26-1 quarterfinal victory over Archbishop Shaw.

“They executed very well,” said Brother Martin coach Bruce Himbert. “I think they wanted to go out and maybe make a statement … we lost a match this year, but don’t forget about us.”

As it did in the regular season meeting with Jesuit a month ago, Brother Martin jumped to a 6-2 with a 105-pin edge in total pins after one game. The Blue Jays were poised to tighten the margin in the second game, but a late Brother Martin rally turned the momentum as the Crusaders took a 12½-3½ lead into the final game.

“I went up to them in the fifth or sixth frame,” Himbert said, “and said ‘Jesuit won the first half of this (game). We need to win the second half. Don’t worry about anything that happened in the beginning; let’s execute now.”

Momentum in hand, Brother Martin swept all eight points in the final game.

Less than a half-hour later, it was on to the quarterfinals against Shaw, and Brother Martin took it up another notch, averaging better than 221 for the first two games in closing out the Eagles.

Himbert was concerned about a potential letdown. “You just got finished beating the team that was probably your biggest competition (Jesuit),” he said, “but these kids came out, took care of business, they made shots and did everything they needed to do.”

Three Crusader seniors stepped up in different ways Tuesday.

*Drew Gardner – the only remaining starter from Brother Martin’s 2019 state championship team – had a 218 in the opening game of the first-round match against St. Michael, rolled a 654 series that included a 258 game against Jesuit and closed out the day with a 717 set against Shaw.

*After seeing only nine games of action in the regular season, senior southpaw Andre Hoyuela was huge throughout the day, averaging 217 for eight games, including a team-high 675 series against Jesuit.

*Carson Sheehan came off the bench against Jesuit in the second game and delivered a team-high 232.

When a scheduling postponement deprived Brother Martin of a true Senior Day, Himbert took the opportunity with the Shaw match in hand to get his four seniors – Gardner, Hoyuela, Sheehan and Darren Martino – together in the lineup for the final game for their final match in the New Orleans area.

Jesuit (12-2) – which entered as the No. 12 seed – defeated Holy Savior Menard 20-7 in the first round, breaking open a close match by sweeping all eight points in the final game. Gary Sims had a 641 series and Michael McGovern had a 237 final game from the No. 1 spot to lead the Blue Jays.

Shaw (9-6) topped No. 4 seed Captain Shreve 19-8 in the first round and defeated Lafayette 18-9 in the second round. Jonathan Arena opened with a 223 and had a 562 series in the Captain Shreve victory, while Jonathan Freeman had a 693 series, including a 255 middle game, against Lafayette.

In the other portion of the bracket, Catholic (15-0) reached the semifinals after a 23½-3½ triumph over St. Amant in the opening round, a 20-7 victory over H.L. Bourgeois in the second round and an 18-9 win over Vandebilt Catholic in the quarterfinals.

Benjamin Herman rolled a 676 series to lead Catholic in the quarterfinal win. The Bears gained the momentum late in the opening game when D.J. Mills defeated Johnny LeBlanc 202-194 at the No. 6 spot to not only gain a point, but flip total pins in Catholic’s favor. A potential 6-2 deficit for the Bears turned into a 5-3 edge.

Now the Bears and Crusaders will face off again, 11 weeks to the day after their first meeting, in the same bowling center.

“That’s the team that beat us,” Himbert said. “We’d like to make amends for that.”

With the boys semifinals set, the action shifts to the girls bracket Wednesday at All Star Lanes in Baton Rouge. Archbishop Chapelle (12-0) is the No. 2 seed and two-time champion Academy of Our Lady is seeded 12th.

LHSAA Bowling Playoffs
Boys/Co-Ed
Tuesday’s Matches
at AMF All-Star Lanes, Kenner
First Round
(1) Catholic-BR 23½, (32) St. Amant 3½
(16) H.L. Bourgeois 24, (17) Haughton 3
(9) Dutchtown 22, (24) Ponchatoula 5
(8) Vandebilt Catholic 27, (25) Madison Prep 0
(5) Brother Martin 26, (28) St. Michael 1
(12) Jesuit 20, (21) Holy Savior Menard 7
(20) Lafayette 18, (13) Hammond 9
(29) Archbishop Shaw 19, (4) Captain Shreve 8

Second Round
(1) Catholic-BR 20, (16) H.L. Bourgeois 7
(8) Vandebilt Catholic 21, (9) Dutchtown 6
(5) Brother Martin 23½, (12) Jesuit 3½
(29) Archbishop Shaw 18, (20) Lafayette 9

Quarterfinals
(1) Catholic-BR 18, (8) Vandebilt Catholic 9
(5) Brother Martin 26, (29) Archbishop Shaw 1

Monday’s Matches
at Creole Lanes, Houma
First Round
(3) Teurlings Catholic 16, (30) Patrick Taylor 11
(19) Acadiana 19, (14) Byrd 8
(11) David Thibodaux 14½, (22) Loranger 12½
(6) East Ascension 21½, (27) Ellender 5½
(7) Central 18, (26) St. Thomas More 9
(10) Denham Springs 22½, (23) Archbishop Rummel 4½
(18) South Terrebonne 20½, (15) St. Paul’s 6½
(2) Central Lafourche 24, (31) Baton Rouge 3

Second Round
(19) Acadiana 21, (3) Teurlings Catholic 6
(6) East Ascension 17, (11) David Thibodaux 10
(7) Central 18, (10) Denham Springs 9
(2) Central Lafourche 24, (18) South Terrebonne 3

Quarterfinals
(6) East Ascension 23½, (19) Acadiana 3½
(7) Central 16, (2) Central Lafourche 11

Semifinals
April 26 at Premier Lanes, Gonzales
(6) East Ascension vs. (7) Central, 10 a.m.
(1) Catholic-BR vs. (5) Brother Martin, 10 a.m.

Championship
April 26 at Premier Lanes, Gonzales
Semifinal winners, 2 p.m.

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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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