Daily Reporter staff reports
The Greenfield-Central boys bowling team secured its first-ever appearance in the Indiana High School Bowling State Finals by hanging on to the sixth and final qualifying spot during Saturday’s semistate at Southern Bowl in Greenwood.
The Cougars got off to a rough start Saturday, falling into eighth place —out of 12 teams — after two games, 67 pins back of sixth.
They used the next two games, however, to battle back, turning the 67-pin deficit into a 48-pin lead. From there, all they had to was hold on.
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“It was an outright dogfight,” said Cougars coach Brian Petrey, whose boys had to stave off charges from Avon and New Castle.
Greenfield-Central eventually locked down the sixth spot, defeating the Trojans by just 20 pins. The Cougars will now bowl in this Saturday’s State Finals at Cooper’s Sport Bowl in Anderson.
Joining the Greenfield-Central boys team at state is New Palestine’s Aaron Pierson, who secured a spot in the singles event.
Pierson bowls at 9 a.m., followed by the Cougars in the team event at 2 p.m. Both events will be live streamed at ihsb.org.
On the girls side, the Cougars’ road to the state finals endedSaturday. Greenfield-Central needed to finish in the top four — out of eight teams — but registered a seventh-place finish.
“They established themselves as an up-and-coming team this season,” Petrey said. “They are still a very young team, with four of the five starters being sophomores.”
Dragons place 2nd at weekend invitational
The New Palestine gymnastics team finished second at the Bloomington North Invitational on Saturday, totaling 104.65 points.
Owen Valley won the 13-team event with 108.4 points. New Palestine was one of three teams to break 100, as Bloomington South was third with 104.325 points. Franklin Central came in fourth (99.85), and New Castle (99.475) rounded out the top 5.
For the Dragons, Kate Fee came in second in the all-around with a total score of 36.3. Regan Elsea finished third (36.05).
Fee was second on floor, fifth on beam and third on uneven bars. Elsea was fourth on floor, second on beam and ninth on bars. Vault scores were unavailable.
The Dragons compete today against Franklin Central at New Palestine Elementary.
Curry, New Palestine take down Spartans
Facing a Connersville defense that was only conceding an average of 38 points per game, the Dragons started off the first quarter shooting red-hot from the field and stayed hot throughout the game in a 75-68 road win against Connersville.
The Dragons broke the game open in the third quarter and led by 17 points with eight minutes left to play. The Spartans (12-9) mounted a fruitless comeback in the final stanza.
It was another historic night for senior guard Ryan Curry, whose 24 points led all scorers. In the fourth quarter, Curry nailed two free throws to give him 1,000 points for his career.
He ended the game with 1,006. Just eight days after setting the individual game school record with 46 points against Shelbyville, Curry became only the sixth player in New Palestine history to reach the 1,000-point mark. Curry hit three 3-pointers and was a perfect 9 for 9 at the free throw line.
Senior Kevin Riley added 18 points with three 3s of his own. The Dragons hit 10 triples.
Ben Farley was the third Dragon to reach double figures with 10 points. Taylor Hiland and Caleb VanderWal chipped in with nine and eight points, respectively.
New Palestine (10-9, 4-2 Hoosier Heritage Conference) returns home next Friday night to take on rival Mt. Vernon (10-8, 3-2 HHC). A win for the Dragons assured them a share of second place with Greenfield-Central (9-12, 5-2 HHC).
Tough start sidetracks Royals against Braves
Eastern Hancock played even with Indian Creek in the final three quarters of Saturday’s game in Trafalgar, but a slow start kept them from beating the Mid-Hoosier Conference leaders.
The Royals (8-11, 2-5 MHC) trailed 21-9 after the first quarter and could never recover, eventually falling 72-60.
Addison True paced Eastern Hancock against the Braves (14-5, 8-0 MHC) with 19 points, as he knocked down 10-of-12 attempts from the free throw line. He also picked up five assists and a pair of steals.
Second-leading scorer Tom Barton delivered a career-best 16 points, while also notching a team-high six rebounds.
The Royals play again today at Edinburgh (11-8, 3-3 MHC).
Marauders lose lead in 4th quarter, fall at home
Mt. Vernon owned a three-point lead heading in the final period of Saturday’s tilt against Lawrence Central but could not hold on, falling 58-57.
The host Marauders received huge nights from Michael Ertel and Erick Shepherd but could not convert them into a victory, as they dropped their second straight contest.
Ertel led the way for Mt. Vernon against the Bears (8-12), scoring 19 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field.
Shepherd backed him up with 18 points of his own, while coming up a rebound short of a double-double. The sophomore forward connected on 14 of 16 free throws to the lead the Marauders, who shot 89 percent (24 of 27) from the line.
Michael Thompson added nine points and six rebounds for Mt. Vernon.
The Marauders (10-8, 3-2 Hoosier Heritage Conference) play again Friday at Hancock County rival New Palestine (10-9, 4-2 HHC). A win for Mt. Vernon would give the Marauders a chance for their third second-place finish in the past four years.