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Even when qualifying for the four-player boys’ stepladder playoffs looked dire Monday afternoon at Dix-E-Town Lanes, North Hardin senior Kawika Glover never lost hope during the 2nd Region Bowling Tournament.
Sitting next to last entering the eight-player two-game semifinals, Glover finally caught fire with a 255 in the opener – third-highest in the 100 total boys’ games. He followed it up with a 178 to earn the No. 3 seed, and more importantly, 1-of-4 spots in next week’s state tournament in Louisville.
“This is great because I met my expectation from last season,” said Glover, who became the first area individual of either gender to earn back-to-back State berths. “After last year, I think anything less than a region championship would have been a disappointment.”
Glover was far from disappointing when he ran the gauntlet, knocking off fourth-seeded Central Hardin senior Seth Oberdorf in the quarterfinal (199-183), second-seeded Taylor County freshman McKinley Knopp in the semifinal (181-171) and top-seeded Taylor County sophomore Winston Cook in the championship (237-212).
“When you get hot like that, everything is just clicking,” Glover said. “Everything feels like you can do no wrong and it feels like you’re getting every break. This is crazy and it’s unbelievable to think something like this can happen. It hasn’t really sunk in yet that I just won the region tournament.”
It will be a crazy ending for Oberdorf, who will make his State debut next week after finishing 15th in last year’s region tournament. He has a shot to get there as part of a team if the Bruins finish first or second in today’s region team tournament at Dix-E-Town.
“I just had to bowl,” Oberdorf said. “It was just practice, practice, practice to get here. Now I have to worry about tomorrow about getting to State there, too.”
With both players’ State spots secure, Oberdorf said his match with Glover was pretty laid-back. The two constantly chatted and congratulated each other on good shots and would lament on bad breaks.
“I had fun bowling against him,” Oberdorf said. “I wasn’t worried about getting beat too bad.”
Entering the boys’ semifinals, the area was guaranteed to have at least one boys’ State qualifier with five players combined from Central Hardin, John Hardin and North Hardin in the final eight along with the Taylor County trio of Cook, Knopp and freshman Matthew Hedgespeth.
John Hardin senior Alex Humes (174 average) was eighth in the semifinals, while Central Hardin senior Chris Bates (180.8) was seventh, Matthew Hedgespeth (186.8) was sixth and John Hardin senior Lucas Ward (190.4) was fifth. Ward, the two-time Hardin County Tournament of Champions boys’ individual winner, entered the semifinals ranked second with a 216.3 average through his first three games.
Last season’s champion, Green County junior Johnny Walker, finished ninth and missed the semifinals by 13 pins.
Also competing for North Hardin were senior Aaron Davis (11th place, 530 qualifying score in three games), junior Kevin Ho (13th, 523) and senior Braden Price (22nd, 433).
Central Hardin’s other two competitors were sophomore Andrew Schmit (tied for 15th, 481) and sophomore Alec Burgess (18th, 461).
Sophomore Aaron Gunter (14th, 516) and senior Steven Ray Vittitoe (tied for 23rd, 429) joined Ward and Humes as John Hardin’s entrants.
Nathaniel Bryancan be reached at (270) 505-1758 or email@example.com
2ND REGION INDIVIDUAL TOURNAMENT
ELIZABETHTOWN — Individual results for Central Hardin (CH), Green County (GC), John Hardin (JH), Nelson County (NC), North Hardin (NH), Taylor County (TC) and Thomas Nelson (TN) from Monday’s seven-school, 27-player 2nd Region Bowling Tournament on the top-hat oil pattern at Dix-E-Town Lanes:
Advanced To Four-Player Stepladder Playoffs
1. Winston Cook (TC, 10) 258-265-202-215-180—1,120
2. McKinley Knopp (TC, 9) 245-186-181-232-178—1,022
3. Kawika Glover (NH, 12) 193-224-168-255-178—1,018
4. Seth Oberdorf (CH, 12) 244-179-176-199-186—984
Eliminated After 5-Game Qualifier
5. Lucas Ward (JH, 12) 232-208-209-183-120—952
6. Matthew Hedgespeth (TC, 9) 202-193-210-164-174—934
7. Chris Bates (CH, 12) 236-177-179-156-156—904
8. Alex Humes (JH, 12) 216-176-174-135-169—870
Eliminated After 3-Game Qualifier
9. Johnny Walker (GC, 11) 226-166-161—553
10. Kyle Rogers (TN, 11) 177-190-173—540
11. Aaron Davis (NH, 12) 191-180-159—530
12. Vince Metcalfe (TN, 11) 187-195-145—527
13. Kevin Ho (NH, 11) 159-185-179—523
14. Aaron Gunter (JH, 10) 153-161-202—516
15. Brett Dones (TN, 11) 156-171-154—481
15. Andrew Schmit (CH, 10) 160-150-171—481
17. Tanner Ford (TC, 11) 152-159-165—476
18. Alec Burgess (CH, 10) 139-154-168—461
19. Michael Matney (GC, 12) 159-169-124—452
19. Derek Roby (TN, 11) 152-139-161—452
21. Blake Brandenburg (GC, 12) 162-238-134—434
22. Braden Price (NH, 12) 150-147-136—433
23. Dalton Berry (NC, 11) 151-135-143—429
23. Steven Ray Vittitoe (JH, 12) 146-132-151—429
25. Aaron Brown (NC, 12) 137-126-159—422
26. Aaron Gamper (NC, 12) 111-93-136—340
27. Cody Unseld (NC, 11) 110-110-99—319
FOUR-PLAYER STEPLADDER PLAYOFFS
Glover def. Oberdorf, 199-183
Glover def. Knopp. 181-171
Glover def. Cook, 237-212