“Titletown” has some new hardware coming its way.
Boyle County defeated South Warren, 3-1 (202-215, 233-204, 215-180, 225-164) in the team finals of the KHSAA State Boys’ Bowling Tournament Friday evening at Collins Eastland. The Rebels became the fifth different school to win the boys’ title in the sports’ six-year history (Scott County won the first team title in 2012 and again in 2014). It was Boyle County’s first bowling title of any kind.
“This is our third year in a row (competing at state) and we’ve come up on the short end of the stick,” Boyle County Coach Zach Cooley said. “It’s a total group effort. We’ve got 13 boys on this team and they’ve all worked their tail off since October 1 when we started this thing this season. This is the most deserving team that could ever get this.”
Complete boys’ team results Complete girls’ team results
Cooley, whose family bought the bowling alley in Danville where Boyle County practices when he was seven days old, couldn’t pass up the opportunity to coach his alma mater when the team started four years ago.
His first class of freshmen, who are now seniors, included Cameron Walker, a two-time singles state runner-up who fell just short of winning the boys’ individual title on Thursday.
“He is the absolute backbone of this team and we hop on and go for a ride,” Cooley said. “And we seem to do it often.”
Boyle County posted the top score in the qualifying round to earn the No. 1 seed in bracket play. The Rebels swept No. 16 Elizabethtown, No. 8 McCracken County and No. 5 West Jessamine.
South Warren, seeded 11th of the 16 participants, knocked off No. 6 Scott County, No. 14 North Hardin and No. 2 Seneca to reach the finals. The Spartans’ Cinderella run seemed to have extra legs after they stole the first finals game from Boyle County.
“That was our first loss all day,” Walker said. “Honestly, in my opinion, we probably needed it so we don’t get too big-headed. We knew that we had it there so we dug down even more.”
The Rebels quickly answered with a game-two win and never relented in the deciding stretch.
“I always tell ‘em, if somebody comes out and swings at ya, what are you gonna do?,” Cooley said. “Are you gonna stand there and take it or are you gonna swing back? Well, we swung back.”
Central Hardin, the top-seeded team after qualifying in the girls’ team tournament, needed five games to take down No. 2 Harrison County, edging the Fillies 168-163 in the deciding match.
Bryan Station, also competing in the girls’ state field, lost to Fleming County in the opening round of bracket play after earning the No. 10 seed in qualifying.