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Friday, February 4, 2022

Highlands Girls Bowling Wins Region Crown

Bluebirds Headed to State for Eighth Time in Program History

Twitter Photo. The Highlands Bluebirds girls bowling team won its first 5th Region crown since 2018 on Tuesday.

The Highlands Bluebirds girls bowling team came together well despite a lot of inexperience posting a record of 7-1.

The Bluebirds hoped to put it together in the 5th Region Tournament held at their home Bellewood Lanes. They did it claiming their first region championship since 2018 Tuesday.

Highlands bowled a total of 799 to take the third seed out of six teams in the preliminary round. The Bluebirds then took down sixth-seeded Pendleton County, 3-2 (118-167, 114-100, 135-168, 165-131, 135-92).

But the Bluebirds took down second-seeded Campbell County in the semifinals and Newport Central Catholic in the championship game by 3-0 scores. Highlands bested Campbell County by scores of 113-111, 191-125, 180-129 then NewCath by 125-117, 151-94, 180-129 scores.

"We started off slow. But we were able to get on a roll and after that, we were unstoppable," said Madison Clore, Highlands senior. "We never gave up and we continued to persevere in order to win. Our team has worked hard to get to this point and I am proud to be a part of it. This team is full of positivity, determination and energy, which will helps us go far in state."

Clore and senior Kristen Egan were the only two with varsity experience returning from last year's team that qualified for state. But the likes of seniors Macy Hedenberg, Carissa Armstrong, Jade Rehberger and Chloe Bramble made quick contributions. Bramble credited Head Coach Andy Eckerle for creating the positive environment

"We obviously had our work cut out for us at the beginning," Bramble said. "I know a lot of the girls joined the team simply because it sounded like something fun to do without all the pressure. However, everyone that had joined this year grew to love the sport very quickly and we were all very invested. We had practice twice a week aside from matches and bowled frequently in our free time. A lot of the girls would go to (Coach) Eckerle's classroom throughout the day to look at standings and talk about strategies."

Highlands saw Abby Bach go down and win the first individual girls state championship in school history last year. But no bowler made it individually for the boys or girls teams this year. Hedenberg placed seventh in the region meet making it to the semifinals out of 30 bowlers. The highest score on the boys side was 20th out of 31 bowlers.

The Highlands boys finished 4-4 on the season. The Bluebirds earned the fifth seed in the preliminaries bowling 994. The lost to Dayton, 3-1 (190-189, 141-150, 197-165, 177-141) in the first round.

The state tournament takes place Monday at Executive Strike and Spare in Louisville starting at 8:10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. Highlands bowls on Lanes 45 and 46.

This marks the eighth time the Highlands girls have qualified for state as a team. They own four region crowns in school history.

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