Perrysburg’s Kessinger bowls sectional championship


MINSTER, Ohio Perrysburg junior bowler Connor Kessinger bowled a 159-278-216–653 series at Community Lanes to win a Division I sectional championship and he will advance to the district tournament as an individual.

Kessinger bowled 12 strokes better than Wapakoneta junior Eli Van Meter (223-223-195–641) and 22 strokes better than third place St. Marys senior Cayden Ballweg (211-229-191–631).

Perrysburg coach Aaron Wozniak said it was a strange series for Kessinger, but the 278 did the trick.

“He started off his day a bit shaky,’ Wozniak said. “It was his first time bowling sectionals, the approaches were a bit slick, so he began the first game with three open frames, including a foul in the third frame. He composed himself the second half of the game, and grinded out a tough 159 game.

“Second game, we moved a pair to our right (lanes 13 and 14). That pair was opened up a bit more than 11 and 12, allowing Connor to have a little more room to swing the ball to the right, and have a better entry angle and back end to the pocket, which improved his pin carry,” Wozniak continued.

“He threw 10 of 12 strikes in the game, and one of the non strikes was on the fill ball in the 10th frame. He was locked in, and helped lead our team to a tournament high game on the day of 1,067, which is a very good game on that oil pattern, vaulting us up from eighth to third place.

“The last game, we moved again to the right, this time to lanes (15-16). This pair played quite a bit tighter. Connor was the only one that could navigate and adjust to this pair with some success, and he was able to scratch and claw to a 216 game.

“The next highest game thrown by our team that game unfortunately was a 174, but we remained in a fairly comfortable third place.”

The district tournament is Friday, March 1 at Star Lanes at the Harbor in Port Clinton with bowling starting at 10 a.m. Wozniak is hoping Kessinger can advance to the state meet.

“We look forward to watching and coaching him to try to get to states,” Kessinger said. “He is an extremely humble and kind young man, great attitude, coachable, and embraces our sportsmanship expectations. Connor was a fantastic addition to our team this season.”

However, the Perrysburg team finished in fifth place, one spot and 23 strokes out of advancing to the district meet as a team.

The four teams that advance are St. Marys (4,170), Wapakoneta (4,051), Celina (3,766) and Maumee (3,763). Perrysburg scored 3,740.

Perrysburg had a team series of 859-1,067-788-2,714 and baker scores of 148-141-178-196-166-197–1,026.

“Connor continued to throw the ball well in baker games, but unfortunately we as a team could not finish what we started,” Wozniak said.

“Definitely an emotional roller coaster type day,” Wozniak said. “Started off solid, then we shot the highest game of any team in the tournament to get us up to third place, then boom. Things snowballed. We definitely let that slip through our fingers.”

Following Perrysburg in team scores were Van Wert (3,721), Lima Shawnee (3,700), Springfield (3,692), Anthony Wayne (3,474), Elida (3,454), Lima Senior (3,446), Bowling Green (3,073), Findlay (3,020) and Defiance (2,935).

For Perrysburg, senior Jamey Phillips bowled a 235-185-158–575 series, senior Rohan Gupta bowled a 152-214-174–540 series, senior Wyatt Sorg bowled a 174-222-131–527 series, senior Nate Ulrich bowled a 139 and 168 game and a substitute bowled a 109 game.

“Still a great season, going 16-3 in the regular season (school record for season wins), and this sectional was full of perennial powerhouse programs,” Wozniak said.

“Interesting info The other D-I sectional for the Northwest District was held in Fremont, and unfortunately there was a definite imbalance of talent between the two locations.

“Prior to Covid, it used to be one Northwest sectional with all Northwest D-I teams, and taking top eight. We would rotate between Interstate Lanes in Rossford and 20th Century Lanes in Lima. That would ensure the top teams in the district would be advancing.”

If at Fremont, Perrysburg would have advancedto districts by over 300 pins and the fourth place team at Fremont, Clay, which is advancing, would have finished 12th in the Minster sectional.

At Minster, BG bowled a 690-737-751–2,178 team series and had baker games of 117-172-114-172-167-153–895.

For the Bobcats, senior Lucas Lily bowled a 160-171-147–478 series, senior Zachary Parkhurst bowled a 143-141-161–445 series, and senior Jerrad Main bowled a 138-157-135–430 series.

BG junior Cyrus Higham bowled games of 155 and 134, junior Treyvon Ladler bowled games of 134 and 133, freshman Conner Main bowled a 175 game, and a substitute bowled a 94 game.

d a 94 game.

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