ANDERSON — Eastside’s boys bowling team took third place in the Indiana High School Bowling state tournament Saturday.
The Blazers had the second-highest score after the 12 Baker games and reached the stepladder round, where they lost to Terre Haute South.
DeKalb participated in the girls state tournament for the first time ever and finished in eighth place. The Barons had a score of 1,678.
Angola’s Jaden Howard tied for eighth in the girls state singles competition with a score of 539.
Noblesville was the top seed after the 12 Baker games at 2,306, and the Blazers scored 2,255. Terre Haute South was third at 2,208 pins, while Carmel was the fourth team to reach the stepladder round at 2,174.
Terre Haute South knocked off Carmel in the first two-game stepladder match 335-300 and earned a shot at the Blazers. The Braves prevailed 396-365.
“The kids weren’t down,” Eastside coach Brandon DePew said. “Of course they wanted to win, but they understood stood how far they’ve come and they were proud of it.
“With our whole team coming back, expectations will be very high next year. The kids are already talking about next year, and how they’re going to practice all summer.”
Terre Haute South won the first game with Eastside 195-180 in the stepladder round. A late surge by the Blazers brought them in range for second game.
“The second game was pretty close all the way through, but we still had those 15 pins to make up,” DePew said. “They were able to put some strikes together at the end, and we left a lot of one-pins.”
The Braves won the second game 201-185.
DePew said the Blazers flipped the script for the 12 Baker games. Having started fast all through the tournament, they bowled better at the end this time.
“We were right around the top four for the first seven or eight games, so it’s not like we bowled terribly,” DePew said. “The last four or five games we bowled really well and we qualified second.”
Eastside, a smaller school comprised of small communities, was in the hunt despite going against some of the state’s larger schools.
“Not that it means as much in bowling, but it is still neat to know we were competing at that level,” DePew said. “We had one of the biggest crowds, so they definitely knew we were there.”
Noblesville defeated Terre Haute South 394-359 to win the state title. Griffith was the girls team state champion, winning over top qualifier Brownsburg 344-330 in the final stepladder match.
Evan Davis of Clarksville was the boys singles state champion, and Morgan Schoon of Griffith took the girls state title.