COLUMBUS - Austintown Fitch coach Don Morrison knows there are bad days at the bowling alley. However, until Friday at the state bowling tournament at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl, the Austintown Fitch Falcons didn't really know what those days were like.
The Falcon bowling team failed to qualify for the championship round, rolling a 2,873 after three individual games and three baker games to finish in 13th. The top eight advance to the championship round.
"We were fighting a battle all day long," Morrison said. "We weren't getting any breaks. They were throwing the ball well, but we weren't getting the breaks. They were starting to get frustrated, then started pressing."
The Falcons, who normally average 920 per series as a team, got off on the wrong foot with a 693. They were able to rebound with an 833 and 835 in the final three games, but it wasn't enough.
Fitch finished the day with a total of 512 in the baker games. The finish kept them 101 pins away from the cut.
"After the first game, we were in last place, but they were only 100-some pins back," Morrison said. "They just couldn't get that out of their minds."
Sophomore Jessica Halas led the Falcons with a 510 in her three games. Juniors Lynnette Seebacher bowled a 490 and Katie Viglio added a 486.
Though the Falcons didn't finish the way they intended, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Not one Fitch bowler graduates, making the Falcons hungry to get back to state next year.
"The bottom line is we had a phenomenal season," Morrison said. "We achieved a lot of our goals and we are intact next season."
Seebacher is quite confident in her team getting back - and even winning a state title in 2014. So confident, she put some money on it.
"I bet (two teammates) $60 each that we will win a state title next year," Seebacher said. "Last year, we didn't make it to state, but this year we won districts and got here. Next year, it's ours to win."
CUPAN FINISHES 25TH: All Girard senior Casie Cupan wanted to do was break the 200-mark at the state tournament.
She did it - in her final game as a high school bowler.
In her third of three games at the state bowling tournament, Cupan rolled a 205, which capped off her day with a 532 series.
"I just wanted to break 200," Cupan said. "I'm very happy with a 200-game in my last ever game."
Cupan's day started off strong with a 188, but her second game was her downfall on the day, a 139. But she bounced back in the third to finish 25th overall. The overall results include bowlers who were bowling as individuals and teams.
Cupan added she wished she finished with a higher series, but in all, this was an experience she'll never forget.
"By far, this day was the highlight of my career," Cupan said. "It was just a great time and a lot of fun."
ALL-OHIO: Hubbard bowler Jenna Wise was the lone bowler from the area to earn All-Ohio honors at the state tournament. Wise was named honorable mention.
All-Ohio is based on the individual game scores. The top 15 are named to All-Ohio, with five bowlers each going to the first, second and honorable mention teams.
Wise bowled a 562 series, with a high game of 224 to finish at 14th overall.