On an afternoon when Saline honored its two seniors, Ben Learman and Brittney Tuck, the Hornets had a chance to clinch a tie for the SEC Red title.
The Saline boys’ varsity bowling team entered Tuesday’s match against Huron at Maplewood Lanes needing a victory to catch Monroe and share the conference championship.
Things couldn’t have started better for Saline. The Hornets won the first Baker game 205-157 and the second game 198-173. That put the Hornets off to a 10-0 lead.
But the River Rat bowlers came to life during match play.
In the first match, Huron won 7-2. Dallas Casey and Cameron White (233) picked up points for Saline. Learman bowled a 187 but was edged by his Huron opponent. The River Rats picked up four points on total pins, 1,015-915.
Saline picked up three of the five individual points in the second match, but still lost the total pin count and fell 6-3. Winning for Saline were Learman (221), Logan Sole (199) and Casey (249). Huron picked up two individual points and won the pin count, 1,062-1,025.
Devon Caris, who bowled a 221 in the opening match, bowled a 288 in the second match to lead the River Rats.
Saline and Huron finished tied at 15. But the match went to Huron on a tie breaker: The River Rats best the Hornets in pin count, 2,407-2,243.
“You have to hand to them. They’re an improving team and they bowled great. I think they were bowling 30-40 points above their averages,” Saline coach Jeff Rishel said. “I thought we had our moments today. We’ve struggled with spares lately. Sometimes, you start pressing too much when you just need to relax and bowl.”
The Hornets settled for second in the SEC Red. They’ll focus now on the regionals
“We’ve got a pretty young team. We’ve got the ability to go to states. We just need everyone to be at their best,” Rishel said.