Bowlers roll on into post-season

By on February 25, 2015
Ephrata’s Ian Wettlaufer studies his shot during recent action. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Ephrata’s Ian Wettlaufer studies his shot during recent action. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

The Lancaster-Lebanon League team bowling championships were held last Thursday at Cedar Lanes in Lebanon, with number one seed Penn Manor taking home the hardware for the second straight year. The top two teams from each of the League’s four divisions squared off in the quarterfinals, beginning at nine a.m.

Section Two Champ Ephrata (64-27), fresh from receiving the title trophy, took on Section Three runner up Lampeter-Strasburg (59-32) in the first round. The Mounts found themselves in a hole right away, dropping the first game 1009-936. But Ephrata wasn’t done. The Mounts stormed back, taking the last two games of the match by scores of 1038-911 and 1008-950.

The quarterfinal win was anchored by Lee Enck (234, 216, 171, 621 Triple) and led off by junior Captain Ian Wettlaufer (186, 225, 206, 617). High Triple for the match was rolled by Logan Molchany (158, 223, 242, 623) The strength of the Ephrata team continued to be its balance, getting a triple by Jared Bigley (148, 215, 194, 557), a double by Freshman Samantha Heindel (210, 159) and a single by Tyler Walton (195).

Then came the biggest challenge, the returning champion Penn Manor in the semi finals. And this young team didn’t back down one bit. Despite losing the first game 1106-1016, the Mounts bowled better.

A huddle with Coach Bryan Dissinger inspired the troops.

“We said that we’re in this if everyone bowls one better shot per game. That team is as strong as they come. There is no shame in that.”

Each one of the five was stronger in the second game of the semi’s, besting the first game by 95 pins. This time Bigley (221, 256) led the way with Enck (224, 249) right on his heels. The rest of the team effort included Molchany at (194,206), Walton (194,203) and Wettlaufer 183, 197). Ephrata’s 1,111 in their second game (Penn Manor 1145) was tied for second best of the day (with Warwick).

“We’re just solid,” said Dissinger. “As we bowl more and more, I think we’ll have one or two guys break into elite status. We gained a lot of experience today.” With no seniors to lose, and two strong eighth graders ready to join the team next year, the future does appear bright.”

In addition to the team championships, the L-L League held its boys and girls Individuals Tournaments this past week as well.

Friday at Dutch Lanes, the L-L Boys competition was held. A total of 85 bowlers competed with Warwick’s Ben White emerging as the overall champion. White defeated Lancaster Catholic’s John Pleger, 203-147 in the finals.

Ephrata was led by Enck and Wettlaufer, who finished 11th and 13th respectively. Enck knocked down a total of 1953 pins on the day while Wettlaufer had a score of 1924.

Cocalico also had three bowlers finish in the top 32 of the competition. They included Justin Burd, who placed 20th (1858); Chris Muraco, who finished 21st (1851); and Christian Reberio, who was 32nd (1704) overall.

Monday afternoon at Leisure Lanes, the L-L Girls competition was held. Garden Spot’s Katelyn Martin captured the title, edging Elizabethtown’s Brittany Ritzman, 225-221 in the finals.

Ephrata’s Samantha Heindel was the top local finisher, placing 11th overall with a score of 1717. Cocalico had two top 20 finishers. They included: Hannah Keller, who placed 12th (1703); and Hayley Keller, who was 19th (1491).

Up next, the post season continues with the District Three Singles competition to be held Saturday, Feb. 28 at Hiester Lanes in Reading, beginning at noon.

Finally, the L-L All-Star Teams were announced this past week and Ephrata landed three boys on the Section Two squad. They included: Enck, 202.95 average; Wettlaufer, 202.61 average; and Bigley, 200.85 average.

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