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Greensburg Salem captures WPIBL team bowling championship

| Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012

One bad game can be overcome. The Greensburg Salem boys bowling team proved as much Wednesday.

The Golden Lions claimed the WPIBL team bowling championship Wednesday at Legacy Lanes in Baldwin, but only after a rough first game that nearly had their coach writing them off.

Greensburg Salem (9-2) stood in ninth place out of 16 teams after the first game of the three-game competition, 136 points out of the lead. Fortunately for the Golden Lions, there still were two games left.

"The first game, we shot 834, which is pretty bad," coach Greg Piper said. "... They dug such a hole. ... I mean, their third game was huge, and it dug them out of the hole -- but I never thought that they would come back from that 834. So it's pretty awesome."

Greensburg Salem rolled a 968 in the second game to move into fourth place, then rolled a 1,062 — the highest single-game team score of the day — to vault over second-place Hopewell (2,849) and third-place Hempfield (2,825), the defending champion.

"The second game was good, so I said to them, 'You're not out of it. You just need a big game,' " Piper said. "And we missed a lot of spares the first game, and spares are everything, especially on a tougher (oil) pattern, which is what we bowled on today."

While each of the 16 teams competing yesterday advanced to the Western Pennsylvania regional competition March 10, where they will bowl for a berth into the state finals, Greensburg Salem won its second WPIBL title and its first since 2006.

They did it thanks in large part to Dylan Dirado and Adam Weyandt, who each had a 234 in the final game, and Logan Telford, whose 605 series led the team.

"After one, we were in ninth. Then, we brought it up to fourth and exploded in the last game," Dirado said. "It's a good confidence-booster going into regionals."

Hopewell's Zach D'Agostino had the highest three-game score of any individual bowler yesterday with a 654, including 237 in the final game. The best single-game score belonged to Penn Hills' Michael Della Femine, who shot a 254 in the second game.

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