Fitch, Hubbard girls heading to state bowling

WARREN – After the first game of the girls district bowling tournament at Crest Lanes, the Austintown Fitch Falcons were sitting in third place behind Hubbard and Massillon Jackson.

And for the Falcons, who won last week’s sectional, that wasn’t going to fly.

The team then came out and bowled a tournament-high series of 1,043 in the second game and cruised from there to win the girls northeast district bowling title on Saturday. The top spot sends them to Columbus this Friday for the state tournament along with the other top five scoring teams.

“After the first game they were in third, and they weren’t too happy about that,” Fitch coach Don Morrison said. “After that, they came out strong in the second game and never looked back. They just really took it to another level, which I’m totally thrilled about.”

Fitch was simply dominant the rest of the day. After their three individual games and six baker games, the Falcons finished with a 4,020 pin count for the day, 251 pins better than second-place Jackson.

Coming in third place was Hubbard, which will be going to the state tournament for the fourth-consecutive year. They finished with a 3,729.

“We had a good first set, struggled a bit in the second, left some spares that kept us on the edge of our seats,” Hubbard coach Carol Kozbial said. “But we came back with a good third game. And luckily, not a lot of teams were bowling a lot better than we were. We also had a good start to the bakers which helped.”

Rounding out the teams qualifying to state from the northeast district were Massillon Perry and Akron Springfield.

While Fitch put up stellar numbers, the consistency of the day was the reason for the success according to Morrison.

“When you look at the baker games, in every game some team beat us, we didn’t win one baker game, which is a tribute to the consistency,” Morrison said. “There again, it goes to show that every spare, every pin, they all mean something.”

In addition to the teams, individuals from the area also qualified for the state bowling tournament, which will be held at Wayne Webb’s in Columbus.

Girard’s Casie Cupan advanced to the district tournament with her teammates, but is now moving on to state as an individual. The Girard senior bowled a 598 series to advance individually to state as the top five bowlers on non-qualifying teams advanced to the state tournament.

She was the second highest individual qualifier and finished the tournament seventh overall.

“She was really due for a great day,” Girard coach Todd Reinhart said. “She’s been bowling really well this past month, and thank God today wasn’t her last day to bowl.”

The clincher for Cupan was her second game of 230. At that point, Reinhart had a feeling she would have a good chance to move on to state.

“After her second game, when she bowled the 230, my assistant coach kept going back and forth, and then I saw her mom and brother doing the same thing. We knew she had a chance.”