Carlynton bowlers look forward to WPIBL postseason
Carlynton bowling coach Dan Kuhn had two ways to describe the Cougars boys team — loose and locked in.
Entering the final stretch of the season, Carlynton is 7-0 and is in first place in the Southwest section. A veteran core of players has put the Cougars on the verge of reaching the WPIBL team championships for the first time since 2012.
“In bowling matches, you can’t have one guy,” Kuhn said. “It needs to be a collective whole doing well. Even when we have one having a below-average game, we will have one or two have an above-average game. There is no weak link.”
The WPIBL team championships are set to take place on Feb. 13 at Nesbits Lanes and Feb. 14 at AMF Noble Manor.
Senior Gabe Prepelka is leading the Cougars. His average of 202.29 is the third highest average in the Southwest Division and is in the top 20 of the WPIBL.
“His throw is tighter and more controlled this season,” Kuhn said. “He has the same motion every throw.”
With the season coming to an end, the Cougars have three other bowlers on the verge of qualifying for the WPIBL individual championships. Boys bowlers must have a 170-or-better average and 21 games to make it to the individual postseason.
Sam Knable is less than a pin away in his average. The senior enters the final matches with an average of 169.78.
“He is fully committed to bowling,” Kuhn said. “He has matured as an individual. He is communicating with me better and is taking it more seriously as a senior.”
Both junior Mason Small (169.76) and senior Andrew Engleka (165.25) are hovering near the 170 mark.
With only three matches remaining, the Cougars are on the prowl for perfection.
“The guys have proven to be clutch,” Kuhn said. “We have had matches come down to the last frame, and they are all marking and picking up spares or strikes. I think we are fully capable of sweeping the final games and go into the playoffs undefeated.”
The girls team, meanwhile, is going through a maturation process. The Cougars (3-4) have relied on a group of sophomores. Gwen Kalimon leads the team with an average of 108.95. Faith Aliano is close behind with an average of 107.20.
The Crusaders girls team (6-2) has qualified for the WPIBL team championships. The top two teams from each section advance to the WPIBL championships.
It will be the second trip for the team in the last three seasons.
Junior Spencer Putnam leads the squad with her 161.76 average. It is the second highest in the Southwest section and will guarantee her a spot at the WPIBL individual championships. Girl bowlers must have a 140-or-better average and at least 21 games.
One Canevin boys bowler will compete in the individual championships. Mike Smith’s average of 204.13 is the second highest in the Southwest section. He has a high game of 276.
The girls team is 5-3. The play of a strong sophomore class has boosted the Colts. Dawn Manzini leads the team with a 149.50 average. Anna Comis (124.33) has the team’s second highest average.
The boys team is 1-7. Seniors Michael Rennie (164.67) and Brentaro Yamane (163.29) have the Colts’ highest averages.
Nathan Smith is a freelance writer.