By Josh Brown
TROY — Last season, the Troy girls bowling team learned that one disappointment didn’t have to be the end of the world … on its way to a state championship.
Thursday, they merely suffered their first one of the current season.
Butler posted its best score of the season Thursday at Troy Bowl, handing the Troy girls their first loss of the season, 2,272-2,188. And meanwhile, the Trojan boys bounced back from their worst match of the season on Tuesday, but the Aviators were able to rally in the final baker game to eke out a 2,429-2,403 win to complete the sweep on the day.
For the Troy girls (8-1, 6-1 Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division), it was their first loss in head-to-head play since last season on Feb. 2, 2016, when they also lost to the Aviators.
“I told the girls that every team that we bowl is going to give us their best shot,” Troy girls coach Rob Dever said. “Today, we bowled average, and they just bowled better than we did, so they deserved to win.”
Butler’s girls’ (7-2, 6-2 GWOC American North) previous best match was 2,168 against Piqua on Jan. 10 — and the Aviators had averaged 2014 in head-to-head matches entering the day. Troy, meanwhile, averaged 2232 in head-to-head matches entering Thursday’s play.
“I think their average per game is about 830, so they bowled about 100 pins over their average each game,” Dever said. “They were coming in wanting to knock us off, and they did. You can’t play defense.”
Jenna Stone led three Troy girls to break the 400 mark on the day, rolling 187-226—413. Cassidy McMullen rolled 226-185—411 and A’leigha Smith rolled 222-188—410, then Alyssa Shilt rolled 167-159—326, Jennica Funderburg added a 155 game and Kirsten McMullen a 132.
For Butler, Becka Helke rolled 231-186—417, Jessica Sacks rolled 158-224—382, Amanda Jackson rolled 181-196—377, Stephanie Crider rolled 189-177—366 and Lauren Davis rolled 190-138—328. The Aviators held a 949-939 edge after the first game, 1,870-1,847 going into the baker round, then won the first baker game 209-182 and the second 193-159.
It was also Troy’s first home match since last calendar year, but that didn’t matter, said Dever.
“This was our first home match in over a month, but that’s no excuse,” he said. “I mean, we bowl here all the time in practice and the kids bowl here all the time, so they know what the shot is. But we’ve got a lot of things still ahead of us to focus on.”
Troy’s boys (5-4, 4-3 GWOC American North), meanwhile, were coming off a 2,674-2,056 loss at Sidney on Tuesday, their lowest match total on the season — only to put unbeaten GWOC American North Division leading Butler (9-0, 8-0 GWOC American North) on the ropes Thursday.
“There at the end, we were up about 17 pins, so if we just finish well, we would have won the match,” Troy boys coach Doug Stone said. “Butler just came out and threw six in a row, and we couldn’t catch up. That’s a good thing to do (in a baker game), throw six in a row. Very hard to beat once you get that many strikes in a row — unless you can follow right behind them, and we couldn’t do that today.
“But the boys did very well, and I was happy with them. Coming off the loss to Sidney on Tuesday, the kids all bowled really well.”
The Aviators held a slim 993-985 lead after the first game, but Troy rallied and took a 2,030-2,009 advantage heading into the baker round. The Trojans then won the first baker game 187-184 and led by 24 pins going into the final baker game — which Butler won 236-186.
Jason Shiltz led the Trojans by rolling 214-267—481, one of three Troy boys over the 400 mark, as well. Aaron Stone rolled 225-217—442, Hayden Jackson rolled 236-201—437 and A.J. Kendall rolled a 210 game.
For Butler, Drew Sacks led the way with 186-248—434, Noah Detrick rolled 216-216—432, Paul Sacks rolled 227-192—419, Andrew Kapis rolled 226-157—383 and Brandon Warner added a 203 game.
Troy will be back on Troy Bowl on Tuesday, facing new GWOC American North Division rival Tippecanoe.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.