Gateway bowlers set for Western Regional championship tourney
Four Gateway bowlers are making final preparations for Friday's Western Regional singles championships at North Versailles Bowl.
The tournament begins at 9 a.m., and Gator juniors Tori Smith, Angela Chusko, Morgan Sayre and Jon McAnany will battle it out with the goal of winning a regional title and being one of 12 boys or 12 girls bowlers to qualify for states.
“They've all been practicing pretty hard over the past couple of weeks, and they are ready to go,” Gateway head coach Andrew Smith said.
Chusko, Tori Smith and Sayre each will bowl in the regional singles tournament for the second year in a row. Tori Smith and Sayre also competed at regional singles as freshmen in 2011.
Last year, Smith placed 11th in the singles qualifying tournament and punched her ticket to states. She also advanced to the bracketed playoffs to determine the regional champion and made the quarterfinals.
“All three have the goal of making it to states, and I think that each one of them has a good shot at coming in the top 12,” coach Smith said.
“They are all really excited to compete at one of the highest stages.”
Chusko, Smith and Sayre finished fifth, 10th and 21st, respectively, in the final WPIBL rankings for regionals, but coach Smith said it will come down to who is bowling the best that day.
“Any of the top 72 has a chance,” he said. “That's why they take that many.”
Each boys and girls bowler will roll six games in the qualifying round, and the top 12 finishers will be the qualifiers for states.
The 12 also will move into the bracketed playoffs. The top four will receive byes to the quarterfinals.
McAnany will bowl at regionals for the first time, and he finished 36th in the WPIBL rankings for regionals.
“Jon has really improved his game since the end of (section play),” coach Smith said.
“He's an underdog, but he is focused.”
The WPIBL bowlers at regionals will be joined by several bowlers from a league in Erie.
The PA state bowling championships will be March 15 and 16 at Dutch Lanes in Ephrata.
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.