Bulldog Boys Bowling Team Takes Bronze at State TourneyIssue Date: March 7, 2019
Girls Finish Seventh in First State Trip
Peshtigo has established a history of strong state bowling performances, but with four of its key contributors graduating last year after a handful of state second-place finishes, that was a bit up in the air this season.
The Bulldogs showed up at state this year and put in another good performance, taking third in the Division II field.
Peshtigo started off by bowling games of 193, 194 and 195 before heating up a bit and bowling 214 and 217, sitting in third place after five rounds.
Peshtigo came out slow in the second round, bowling a 157 in game six. The Bulldogs cleaned things up to bowl 191 in game seven, 203 in game eight and 205 in game 9. In the final game of the round, the Bulldogs bowled a 277, one of the best games of the weekend by any team.
"As they got into that set, they were really throwing the ball well," Peshtigo coach Rob Lund said. "A couple of hiccups, a couple splits that took some pins away, but that was a good set for us. We really stayed consistent, which led us into the last five, where we started out really well."
Peshtigo did start out well in the 11th game, bowling a 247. The Bulldogs stayed hot with 219 and 216 in the next two games, but they fell off a bit to finish with games of 175 and 166. Regardless, they were the third seed after 15 games, good enough to qualify for the knockout round with Antigo, Ashwaubenon, Lake View Technology and Amherst/Rosholt. Fifth seed Anherst/Rosholt knocked off fourth seed Lakeview Technology in match one to set up a rematch from last years final with the Bulldogs.
Peshtigo started hot against Amherst/Rosholt with a 256 game, holding a 256-235 lead. The Bulldogs fell off a little, with a 198 in the second game, but it was enough to hold onto a 454-440 win and earn a date with Ashwaubenon.
Ashwaubenon bowled a 224 in the first game, while Peshtigo finished with a 146. The roles reversed in the second game, but not quite enough, as Ashwaubenon scored a 147 and Peshtigo finished with a 206, falling 371-352.
Peshtigo senior and conference bowler of the year, Nolan Lemke took 51st in the singles field. He rolled just a 137 in game one, with 87 through his first seven frames. He switched balls and threw a couple of good balls to salvage the round a bit and he came out better in the second game with a 191. In the third game, he rolled a 247 for a 575 total.
"He really just settled down, got himself into his own rhythm and started to throw the ball well," Lund said. "He really was only 30 or 40 pins away. If he does what he normally does and throws 195, 190, he's going to be in the top 25 for the next round, so it was a little bit discouraging that way but it was good to see him not give up on it after the bad first game."
Lemke is one of three seniors graduating for Peshtigo. For good programs, you replace and rebuild, however.
"It's going to be tough to lose three more seniors after losing four last year, but overall, we'll still be O.K.," Lund said.
Freshman Travis Lund and sophomore Nevyn DeMille were both part of Peshtigo's top five, so they'll move into leadership roles, while some JV bowlers will also need to make the jump as Lemke, Jared Madsen and Hunter Gauthier graduate.
Coach Lund wanted to thank the fans that attended the tournament saying that once again Peshtigo had the "loudest and proudest" group in attendance.
Peshtigo's girls finished seventh in qualifying, with five advancing. The Bulldogs had a 755 though five games. The shot a 157 and 178 in the first two games, sitting in a decent position, but they cooled off with a 116, 136 and 168 to finish the first five.
The Bulldogs finished with games of 170, 138, 152, 185 and 160 in the second round. They started the third round with their best score and the best score of any team in Division II, a 231. They bowled 177, 130, 169 and 143 to score 2,410 for the 15 games.
"I think they were much more used to the atmosphere then and they kind of got into more of a groove," coach Tony Strublic said of his team's adjustments after an up and down first round.
Strublic said scoring a 231 in one game, Division II's best single-game score, was "something to hang your hat on."
This was the girls' first time at state. "I'm really proud of them," Strublic said. "They worked their butts off all year and when we first started this program, you could tell they wanted to be good at it and they wanted to get somewhere. They didn't just want to come in and socialize. They really wanted to become a good team of good bowlers, so I'm really proud of them."
Morgan Nicklaus, Katelyn Lewis, Trinity Ries, Autumn Macejak and Rachel Chaney were the team's main five bowlers. Everybody figures to return to the team next year.
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