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Armstrong boys win bowling regional

| Sunday, March 9, 2014, 10:54 p.m.

It only took one season for Armstrong bowling to reach the top.

The Riverhawks boys team captured its first trophy and extended its inaugural season by winning the Pennsylvania Western Regional Team Championship on Saturday at the North Versailles Bowling Center.

Armstrong finished with a score of 3,993 from five individual series and two Baker series, which put them well ahead of the 3,850 rolled by runner-up Hempfield. The win also clinched a spot for Armstrong in the state championships next Saturday, also at North Versailles.

“It was total chaos after they announced Hempfield finished second. We were screaming and hollering. It was a totally awesome feeling,” Armstrong coach Tom Shaner said. “I cannot say enough about the boys. They lit it up and really bowled as a team and cheered each other on.”

The Riverhawks led after the first game but fell to second after the completion of the two Baker series, in which each player rolls two frames per game for a single team score. Armstrong put away the title with Baker series scores of 563 and 539, which was the second-best pair of scores out of the 18-team field.

Jared Shaner led Armstrong with a 670 series, and all four other bowlers — Evan Shaffer, Owen Zablocki, Josh Barnett and Jacob Bowser — exceeded their individual averages by bowling a series of 544 or higher.

“I'm so proud of both our teams. For a first-year program, this is awesome,” Tom Shaner said. “They've worked so hard this year to earn it.”

The Armstrong girls' season ended with a ninth-place finish out of 20 teams at the Western Regional. The Riverhawks finished with a score of 3,014, and Norwin took the team title with a score of 3,554.

In the Western Regional Singles Championships held a day earlier, Jared Shaner also booked a spot in the state singles finals.

The junior rolled a six-game score of 1,077, which earned him the 12th and final spot in the stepladder round out of 74 bowlers.

In the single-elimination stepladder, Shaner knocked off Penn Hills' Michael DelleFemine, 254-159, before losing in the quarterfinal round to eventual champion Jonathan Henderson of Hempfield, 197-170.

On the girls side, Armstrong sophomore Cierra Gray rolled a six-game 884 series to place 47th in her first regional. Another Section 2 bowler, Butler's Megan Paul, won the girls singles title.

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