VERSAILLES — During the Christmas Break, the Versailles varsity boys bowling team bowled five matches.
The first match was against St. Henry. Both teams were tied for first place in the West Ohio High School Bowling Conference.
“St. Henry and Versailles are very close in season stats, so this is no doubt going to be a barn burner,” Versailles coach Doug Davidson said.
The first game was all St. Henry. The Redskins rolled over the Tigers with a score of 997 to 861.
“I told the boys there is a lot of bowling yet. I want to see what this team is made of. Go out this second game and get us back into the match,” Davidson said.
The guys responded and fired a 1,037 to St. Henry’s 869. This gave the Tigers a 40-pin lead going into the baker games.
As the baker games proceeded, neither team could put each other away.
“For two very good varsity teams, this was the absolute worst display of spare shooting I have ever witnessed,” coach Davidson said.
Going into the last baker game, the Tigers were down 25 pins, so this match was well within the Tigers’ reach.
St. Henry caught some good breaks and made all its spares to shoot 220 while the Tigers spare shooting was still very bad. St. Henry ended winning the match 2,770 to 2,662.
“Win or lose, you must always learn something from a match. The boys need to get better at handling the pressure in a tight and competitive match,” Davidson said. “We have a lot of bowling left. These kids are too competitive and will get better under pressure as the season progresses.”
Leading the Tigers were Michael Davidson 244, Ben Ahrens 224 and Dustin Ruhe 214.
The next four matches took place over two separate days with a double match each day. During a double match, the format is shortened to two regular games and two baker games.
Versailles defeated Marion Local 2,399 to 1,803. The Tigers were led by Dustin Ruhe 257-213, freshman Kyle Cotner 247-204, Michael Davidson 234, Zach Marshal 215. The Tigers broke the one-game school record of 1,101 by rolling a fine 1,105.
The next match at Astros Lanes in Wapakoneta was against the Mississinawa Valley Blackhawks. Versailles remained on fire defeating MV 2,506 to 2,104. Michael Davidson with a 227-268, freshman Alex Groff 244, Zach Marshal 223, Dustin Ruhe 209-209 and Ben Ahrens 201-210 led the Tigers.
They were not satisfied with breaking the school record the first match as they broke it again by rolling an 1,120.
“I guess one way to not miss spares is to just throw a bunch of strikes,” coach Davidson said. “After the defeat from St. Henry, we had a little emergency team meeting and practice the next day before our double match. I drilled up several new balls, made some surface changes on others and brought up freshman Kyle Cotner for these two matches. Freshmen Kyle Cotner and Alex Groff have really made some huge improvements since the beginning of the season. After the tough loss, I decided to start a couple of freshman as they have earned a chance at showing what they can contribute to the team. It looks like that was a great move.”
The next two matches were held at Varsity Lanes in St. Marys
The guys defeated Lima Temple Christian in the shortened format 2,104 to 1,395. Leading the Tigers were Michael Davidson 205-219 and Dustin Ruhe 199.
The second match was against the Ansonia Tigers. Versailles also won that match 2,342 to 1,503. Leading scorers were Michael Davidson 245-247, Ben Ahrens 233-196, Zach Marshal 208, Dustin Ruhe 201 and Alex Groff 190.
The Tigers remain in second place in the WOHSBC with a record of 8-1. After nine weeks, the top 10 individual averages for the WOHSBC are: Michael Davidson - Versailles 230, Cole Whitacre - Coldwater 207, Michael Stout - St. Henry 206, Garrett Stout - St. Henry 203, Troy Buehler - St. Henry 202, Blake Spangler - Coldwater 205, Chandler Keck - Wapakoneta 201, Dustin Ruhe - Versailles 200, Ben Ahrens - Versailles 199 and Brandon Kennard - Wapakoneta 198.
The annual Versailles high school bowling program fundraiser is slated for Jan. 26 at the Eagles in Versailles. This is hosted by the Ladies Auxiliary from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Come on out and let the Tiger bowlers serve you breakfast.