Fitch bowlers fly in sectional

HUBBARD – It was a memorable day for the Austintown Fitch Falcons as both the boys and girls bowling teams took home the sectional crowns at Bell-Wick Bowl in Hubbard.

The boys rolled an impressive 4,590, which is a total of their three team games and six baker games. The total was 271 pins better than second place finisher Boardman.

“Everything was just clicking tonight,” Austintown Fitch coach Dino Balkan said. “When they started practicing, the first couple of guys threw a few balls, turned to me and said, ‘I got the line.’ It was really just an amazing performance.”

That amazing performance had much to do with Fitch’s top two bowlers. Dwayne Learn Jr. shot a 789, including two games of 278, and Kyle Condrick who bowled a 715 series.

“Dwayne threw a 789 this year, and a 791 last year at sectionals,” Balkan said. “That’s really an amazing number.”

The top six boys teams advanced from Friday’s sectional to the district tournament on Feb. 24 at Crest Lanes. Along with Fitch and Boardman, Canfield (4,260), Champion (4,204), Niles (4,094) and Girard (4,043) will advance.

Included in the six teams moving on are six individuals from non-qualifying teams. Mitchell Cohol of Hubbard was the top individual qualifier with a 717 series. Following Cohol is Kenny Dungan of Howland (709), Brandon Bergstrom of LaBrae (661), Dave Clayton of Hubbard (659), Jay King (643) and Dan Demyan (625), both from Struthers.

On the girls’ side of the tournament, it was a slimmer margin for the Fitch girls to win the sectional title, but the numbers were just as impressive. The Falcons bowled a 4,114, defeating nemesis Hubbard by 155 pins. Like the boys, the girls bowled three team games and six bakers.

“I wasn’t expecting to come out and shoot like that,” Fitch girls’ coach Don Morrison said. “I was hoping between 920 to 950. I wasn’t expecting 970s and a 1,000 game.”

Fitch and Hubbard had the top five individuals of the tournament. Fitch’s Jessica Halas was the top finisher with a 684 score, followed by teammate Katie Viglio with a 670. Hubbard’s Brittany Ferrara finished third with a 642. In fourth was Lynnette Seebacher of Fitch (610), followed by Hubbard’s Jenna Wise (581).

“Everything was just really clicking today,” Morrison said. “Out of the top five girls in the sectional, I had three of them. It was just a phenomenal performance and I couldn’t be more excited.”

Joining Fitch and Hubbard at the district tournament, to be bowled on Feb. 23 at Crest, will be Boardman (3,504), LaBrae (3,458), Girard (3,318) and Howland (3,240).

Liberty’s Marissa Simon was the top individual qualifier for the district tournament. The senior threw a 574, which was sixth overall. Along with Simon at districts will be Stacy Tucker of Warren G. Harding (571), Danielle DeFalco of Niles (554), Breeana Burk of McDonald (542), Krystal Bates of Canfield (517) and Kayla Reese of Lakeview (515).

For both the boys and the girls at district, the top six teams and the top six individuals on non-qualifying teams will advance to the state tournament in Columbus March 1 and 2.