Prep bowling scores continue to trend upward

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While we wait to see if high school sports will resume this spring, the final statewide regular-season numbers for bowling continue to suggest growth and improvement in the sport.

On the boys side, the number of bowlers statewide with a 200 average or higher reached 24 this year, up from 19 last season and 17 in the spring of 2018.

For the second straight year, the state’s highest average comes from the Baton Rouge area. Joshua Green of Lee Magnet averaged 229 this spring, a leap of 28 pins from his 201 average last season.

Andrew Levron of Central Lafourche, who rolled one of the two 300 games in the state this spring, finished a tick behind Green at 228. Mason Blount of Holden, who turned in the state’s high series with an 802, was third with 227, and Alex LeDuff of Central – which ended the regular season as the No. 1 seed for the second straight year – was fourth with 215, a year after finishing the prep season with a 172 average.

The New Orleans area produced the next three highest averages in the state – Adam Atkins of East Jefferson at 215, Ben Hunn of Jesuit at 211 and Drew Gardner of Brother Martin at 210. Atkins, getting an opportunity to bowl in varsity action for the first time, had the state’s other perfect game this spring.

Central, Brother Martin, Central Lafourche and Jesuit – which had the four highest team averages in the state – each had three bowlers average 200 or higher, contributing half of the 200-plus averages statewide.

The LHSAA has not released a list of potential qualifiers for the boys singles championship, but unofficially, 80 bowlers averaged 178 or higher this season, including 21 from the New Orleans area.

In girls action around the state, the number of bowlers who averaged 190 or above doubled this year, from four to eight.

For the second consecutive season, Kelsi Stegall of H.L. Bourgeois had the state’s highest average at 211, up a pin from a year ago. Stegall had the state’s highest three-game series with a state record 758.

East Ascension’s Hannah Grather was second in the state with a 208 average, followed by Jayden Hauck of Hammond’s co-ed team at 205.

The New Orleans area’s high average was Archbishop Chapelle’s Jessica Ladd at 199. Last year’s girls high average bowler, Alahna DeGruy of Bonnabel’s co-ed team, finished at 196.91, just ahead of Chapelle’s Sarah Rubi, the 2019 individual state champion, at 196.89.

Trista Quinley of Airline, who won the individual title in 2018, had the state’s highest game this year, a 289.

Unofficially, a 150 average would qualify for the girls singles championship, in which the top 48 bowlers in the state compete. One-third of those qualifiers come from the South Central (Houma/Thibodaux) area, with 11 from New Orleans.

With the regular season in the books, hopefully activities can resume to crown team and individual champions later this spring.

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