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Smith finishes tied for third at regionals

| Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Gary Bills | For The Times Express
Gateway junior Tori Smith will bowl at states for the second time in as many seasons March 15, 2013.

Gateway junior Tori Smith is a veteran of the Western Regional singles tournament.

Friday's tournament at North Versailles Bowl was her third in as many seasons.

After a rough regional experience as a freshman, Smith came back last season and finished 11th in the six-game state qualifier.

The top 12 bowlers in both the boys and girls regional singles tournament qualified for states, and this year, she left no doubt she would be one of the 12.

The 12 from the western regional will compete against the top 12 from the eastern regional at the Pa. State Champ- ionships on Friday at 222 Dutch Lanes in Ephrata.

“Tori bowled great,” Gateway head coach Andrew Smith said.

“She was hitting the head pin and picking up spares. I told all the bowlers those things would be important, and she followed that. She was leaving easy spares, and I was happy with the way she converted them. She kept her cool, nailed the spare and moved on to the next ball.

“Her ball doesn't curve much. It's pretty straight and powerful. It was good for what was a tough oil pattern. It was a very difficult shot the whole day. A lot of the better bowlers struggled.”

Smith compiled a six-game-qualifier score of 1,120, and that was good for a tie for third.

She moved on to the stepladder finals to determine the regional champion, and she was one of four bowlers to receive a bye to the quarterfinals.

Smith won her quarterfinal match, but suffered a 216-158 loss to No. 1 seed and eventual runner-up Cortney Weirs of Hempfield in the semifinals.

“Tori's style should serve her well at states,” coach Smith said.

Gateway juniors Morgan Sayre and Angela Chusko also bowled at regionals.

Sayre placed 32nd with a six-game score of 1,000 pins, while Chusko came in 46th with a 949 total.

Coach Smith said prior to the regional championships that both the boys and girls tournaments were up for grabs.

That was evident on the boys side, as Woodland Hills senior Stephen Ero, ranked 70th in average among the regional qualifiers from the WPIBL, placed third at regionals with a score of 1,302 pins for six games.

He rolled five games of 200 or better, and his best game was a 248 in game five. He averaged a 217 over the six games, and his WPIBL season average was a 185.58.

Gateway junior Jon McAnany, ranked 36th in the WPIBL in terms of average, finished 48th with a six-game score of 1,005.

His best game was a 201 in game five.

Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at mlove@tribweb.com.

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