By Josh Brown
TROY — For the Troy’s girls bowling team, keeping up their own torrid pace is proving to be a challenge.
For the Trojan boys, it’s been tough to get back to the pace set at the beginning of the season.
The Troy girls won their 10th straight head-to-head match Thursday afternoon at Troy Bowl, recovering from a slow start to pull away for a dominant 2,346-1,581 victory over Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division rival Piqua. The Trojan boys — who began the season with seven straight wins — however, dropped their fourth straight as the Indians snapped a seven-game losing streak by holding on for a 2,209-2,194 victory to earn a split on the day.
For the Trojan girls (10-1, 10-0 GWOC American North) — who won a state championship two seasons ago and were the state runners-up last year — it’s already been another landmark season, with a number of team records falling.
The Trojans began the match slow, though, with an 886 in the first individual game. They bounced back, though, with a 1,088 to put it out of reach and take a 1,974-1,346 lead heading into baker play, beating Piqua 155-123 and 217-112 to seal it.
“They struggled the first game, but they put it together the second game,” Troy girls bowling coach Rob Dever said. “They’ve been bowling at such a clip that it’s hard to keep that up. They’ve been making it look easy, but it’s really not that easy. It’s hard to maintain that clip.
“We’ve broken the individual game record, the two-game series and three-game series. That about covers it all. We’ve even set the baker game record, too. They’re definitely putting their mark on the record books.”
Three of Troy’s girls topped the 400-series mark. Alyssa Shilt led the team on the day with 196-248—444, Jenna Stone rolled 210-231—441, A’leigha Smith rolled 158-245—403, Cassidy McMullen rolled 201-195—396, Sierra Brown added a 169 game.
For Piqua’s girls (5-8, 3-7 GWOC American North), Kyra Buchanan rolled 144-181—325, Chloe Koon rolled a 146-154—300, Ashley Peterson rolled a 140-123—263, Kalista Hill rolled a 142-101—243, Katelyn Lear added a 116 game and Stephanie Davis added a 99.
And most of the Troy lineup was on that state championship team two seasons ago — and they still remember that, after winning 10 straight head-to-head matches to begin that season, it was Piqua that snapped that streak.
“Yeah, Jenna even talked about it today,” Dever said. “We bowled Versailles earlier in the year and they got really hot. That’s our only loss this year. You just never know. You can’t take anything for granted.
“It comes back to that they’re just a good team. When one girl is down, someone else is there to pick them right up. Honestly, 886 is the lowest we’ve had in a while, and they bounced right back. These girls are mentally resilient, they’re all mature and they’ve been through it before. They do a good job handling it when they’re not doing well. I definitely like our chances of doing well in the postseason.”
Troy’s boys (7-4, 6-4 GWOC American North) trailed by 84 pins after the two individual games, 1,914-1,830, but the Trojans rallied during baker play, trailing by 58 pins after the first baker game, 2,070-2,012. Troy topped Piqua 182-139 in the final baker game, but it simply wasn’t enough.
“We had a chance to win tonight. Piqua just bowled a little better than we did,” Troy boys coach Doug Stone said. “We came back. The boys are bowling well. They’re just in a slump, and they can’t get over that hump.
“Once we get them all on the same page, we’ll be alright. We started out 7-0, but then we ran into a couple of teams that have really bowled well here.”
Troy’s boys were led by Carson Rogers with 193-213 for a 406 series. Aaron Stone — who rolled a 300 game a week ago — rolled 211-181—392, Logan Jones rolled 198-166—364, Jordan Fisher rolled 169-173—342, Brian Joins rolled a 193 game and Preston Jackson added a 133 game.
“It was nice having the 300 game and a few nice scores from the other guys here and there,” Stone said. “Getting them all on the same page is what we’ve got to work on.”
For Piqua’s boys (6-7, 4-7 GWOC American North), Nick Jess led the way with 202-244—446, Caleb Smith rolled 195-184—379, Shane Kerrigan rolled 183-196—379, Austin Jenkins rolled 170-199—369 and Sean Hatke rolled 169-172—341.
Both teams are back in action Monday, with Troy traveling to Greenville and Piqua traveling to Butler.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.