By Josh Brown
Troy Daily News
BEAVERCREEK — Welcome back, Trojans.
The Troy boys bowling team will be returning to the state tournament for the first time since 2013 and will be making its seventh trip overall after finishing fifth as a team to snare the final qualifying spot at Wednesday’s Division I district tournament at Beaver-Vu in Beavercreek.
Troy began the day in 17th place in the 24-team field after the first game of regular bowling then leapt all the way up to fifth heading into baker play, maintaining that spot to qualify as a team with 4,325.
Brayden Ganger led the way with 195-212-255—662, one of three Trojans to bowl a 600 series on the day. Carson Rogers rolled 179-230-199—608, Jordan Fisher rolled 173-216-214—603, Preston Jackson rolled 177-190-225—592 and Preston Gambrell rolled 189-247-154—608.
The Troy boys will compete at the state tournament March 9 at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl. The Trojan girls still have a chance to join them, too — they compete at the district tournament Thursday.
• Boys Basketball
VANDALIA — Milton-Union boys basketball coach Rusty Berner spent most of the 2018-19 season discussing the realities surrounding what the Bulldogs were up against this season.
And though that season came to an end Tuesday night, the reality is that it was a massive step forward.
The 18th-seeded Bulldogs were eliminated in the second round of the Division III sectional tournament Tuesday at Butler High School in a 70-32 loss to division rival and No. 3 seed Madison, but Milton-Union finished the season with an 8-15 record — matching the win total of the previous three seasons combined.
“I’m proud of the guys. They had a fantastic season,” Berner said. “We’re getting the program going back the right way. Tonight, we just ran into a buzzsaw.
“Madison is the team that won our league, and they’re a No. 3 seed for a reason. Their inside game hurt us tonight, our kids were physically outmuscled throughout, and we didn’t shoot particularly well either.”
The Mohawks (20-4) — who swept the season series from the Bulldogs this year, defeating them by 40 in their last meeting on Jan. 25 — took a 10-point lead after the first quarter, built a 30-12 halftime lead and never looked back. Grant Whisman had 18 points and Levi McMonigle added 17 to lead the way.
Caleb Wintrow led the Bulldogs with 11 points, Aaran Stone added seven points and four rebounds, and A.J. Lovin had seven assists and six rebounds as the Bulldogs went 11 for 55 (20 percent) from the field.
And even though the finish wasn’t what the team wanted, the regular season that preceded it was a big step forward.
“We won as many games this year as the last three combined, and this senior class did a lot of things from a leadership standpoint to get the program back on the right path,” Berner said. “And we’ve got a lot of guys coming back that got a lot of valuable experience. Still, I’m going to miss being in the gym with those guys on a daily basis. They were all hard workers and a great group to coach.”
Josh Brown is the Sports Editor of the Troy Daily News. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.