Boyle County bowling ends year with 4th straight region title, more state experience

Published 8:46 am Friday, February 16, 2018

Boyle County bowling’s bid to go back-to-back fell short at state.

But the Rebels still had an incredible season.

Boyle boys won the 8th Region tournament for the fourth-straight year and Chip Carter brought home the region singles championship to qualify for state. It’s the first time in the history of Kentucky High School bowling that a team has won four-straight region championships.

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In the region tournament we knew it wouldn’t be an easy task,” coach Zach Cooley said. “Our region is the biggest in the state and I believe one of the strongest too.”

Cooley said the Rebels had the top qualifying score of 1131, 67 pins ahead of No. 2 West Jessamine. That earned the team a first-round bye.

In the quarterfinal round, Boyle beat Lee County 3-0 to advance to the semifinals.

“In the semi-finals we really had our back against the wall against Fleming County,” Cooley said. “We were down 1-0 and were well behind in the seventh frame of the second game. We caught a few breaks and used them to our advantage to overcome the deficit in that game to tie the match 1-1 and went on to win 3-1. If we go down 2-0, I don’t know if we would have been able to claw our way out of that hole and advance, but that speaks to the team we have: Scrappy, tons of fight and a never-give-up attitude.”

Boyle faced rival West Jessamine in the finals and continued their strong stretch of games, taking the first two. West rallied to tie the match 2-2 before Cooley said his team “settled down in game five” to win the team’s fourth-straight region title.

Cooley said Carter led the way in the team portion and continued his dominance in individual play.

“Chip had a great day in the team event portion of the tournament on Saturday (Jan. 27), he was throwing the ball really, really well and could play the lanes in a way that no other kid in the building could,” Cooley said. “So that worked in our advantage and I moved him into the “anchor” position (fifth and 10th frame of baker games). We were in some high-pressure situations throughout the day and he answered the bell. He was solid all day long.

“On Sunday, Chip used the momentum he gained on Saturday. Lane conditions definitely were not easy but he led the tournament in qualifying, getting the No. 1 seed for the stepladder finals and he defeated Dawson Hodge of Lincoln County 228-192.”

Boyle senior Daniel Montgomery finished fifth, missing the state-tournament cut by one pin, Cooley said. Fourth place was 924, he had 923 pins fall. Carter led qualifying with a 984 total.

The team returned to state, but this year’s event was held at Executive Strike and Spare in Louisville. Last year, Boyle won state at Eastland in Lexington, which is now closed.

“The atmosphere was a bit different in my opinion, bigger bowling center that a lot of our kids hadn’t been to before,” Cooley said. “In Lexington at Eastland, all of our kids had been there on multiple occasions and we had a bit of a comfort zone there.”

Cooley said his speech to the team was no different than what he had said all year.

“I stressed to the team for the entire season that the hard work we have put in over the years and the accomplishments we have had in the past that we better be prepared for everybody’s best shot,” he said. “We had to be prepared for teams to come out swinging and firing for us. I didn’t take a different approach for the state tournament, I treated it like any other tournament during the season because we had performed very well. We won several tournaments during the course of the regular season and didn’t lose a match.”

The Rebels were the No. 4 qualifying team with a 1098 pin fall. West Jessamine was first with 1224.

In the first round, Boyle topped Taylor County in straight sets. In the quarterfinals, though, Boyle faced No. 5 qualifier Simon Kenton and couldn’t get past the Pioneers.

“Lane conditions for the state tournament were tough to say the least,” Cooley said. “I feel like the kids were focused and prepared but we just didn’t have it that day… plain and simple. Simon Kenton had two solid bowlers at the back end of their line-up and those two bowled extremely well against us, they made a lot of quality shots in key situations to put us away.”

Simon Kenton would finish second, falling in the championship to Butler.

Carter placed 14th out of 32 challengers in the state individuals competition.

Cooley noted a pair of seniors — Isaiah King and Daniel Montgomery — for being incredible leaders this year. They join fellow senior Kevin Moreno as the three that Boyle will be without next year.

“Both have been part of the bowling program since the beginning, five years ago,” Cooley said. “Isaiah has been a five-year “starter” for the team, and no doubt our leader. Daniel really came on between his sophomore and junior years and put together two really nice seasons and our team wouldn’t have had the success we have had without either.”

Cooley said both had college bowling opportunities but will focus on education in college. King was a member of the all-tournament team in every tournament that had one this season, Cooley said, including: Kick Off Classic (St. Xavier), Colt Classic (West Jessamine), Jaguar New Year Challenge (East Jessamine), Indian Invitational (Madison Central). Montgomery also made the all-tournament team in the Colt Classic.

“Although we graduate three bowlers, we do return a solid group of experienced bowlers for next season,” Cooley said. “Seniors to be: Chip Carter, Luke Morris, Jonathon Burguess and William Rayens. We also have two sophomores-to-be (Montana Jarman and Brandon Osborne) who will be relied upon heavily next season. Freshman Parker Price and sophomore Brandon Williams will also have key roles going into next season as well.

“I do believe the kids will work extremely hard in the off season and be ready to go in October and give all they have for us to get back to the top.”