Boone Grove girls, Lake Central boys win, Merrillville's Larson tops individually
PREP BOWLING

Boone Grove girls, Lake Central boys win, Merrillville's Larson tops individually

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It was a banner day for the region at the IHSB state finals Saturday at Mike Aulby's Arrowhead Bowl in Lafayette.

The Boone Grove girls and Lake Central boys each won the team titles while Merrillville's Carly Larson took top honors in girls singles.

The Wolves beat the L.C. girls 315-304 in the final two-game series to earn the medals.

"It's awesome. We had five seniors and they were all crying," Wolves assistant coach Matt Steinhilber said. "They're pretty darn happy."

The Indians trailed by a single pin after the first game in the finals, 145-144, but Boone finished playing it's role of David versus Goliath with a 170-160 second game.

"We knew the second game was our game," senior Angelique McKeny said. "We had faith."

"All we hear about is the bigger schools (are better teams)," Haley Steinhilber said. "I think all that we've done to prepare for this moment has paid off."

The Wolves have finished progessively better each of the last three seasons, inching closer to Saturday's crowning achievement.

"It's surreal. I'm in disbelief," Madeline Smith said. "All of the seniors, we worked so hard for so many years to accomplish this."

The bulk of coach Mike Kraushaar's squad, including his daughter and top individual bowler, Paige, will be lost to graduation.

"I couldn't ask for a better way to start (my high school bowling career)," freshman Meaghan Spalla said. "Out of 209 schools, we're one of the smaller ones and we come and do this. This proves that anyone can do it."

Lake Central brings the boys championship back to St. John, after beating Franklin Central 422-420 in the final.

Franklin Central ran through the postseason, finishing first in each tournament it bowled before the state finals. L.C. only escaped both the sectional and regional as the wildcard but Nathan Maciejewski said the Indians made practice a little lighter before the semistate and state tournaments, watching videos and going to their collective "happy place."

"We were bowling too uptight and we needed to loosen up," he said.

Maciejewski needed to pick up at least one pin on a 3-6 spare in the final frame to ensure the victory. He got both.

"I was worried I would let the team down," Maciejewski said. "It's unbelievable. It feels great that we brought not one but two championships back to northwest Indiana."

Larson topped Homestead's Sydney Brummet 235-234 in the girls singles final. The Pirates senior was the second qualifier with a 670 series. Brummet, who was the state winner in 2011, was top qualifier at 710.

Larson is the first region kegler to win the IHSB singles state championship.

Boone Grove's Paige Krauchaar finished sixth. Nate Sipe, of Chesterton, was the top area boys finisher in 11th place.

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