The Huntington North High School girls' varsity bowling team advanced to the Indiana High School Bowling State Finals after finishing third at the South Bend Semi-State at Chippewa Bowl in South Bend on Sat. Feb. 9.
The South Bend Semi-State contained the state's top four teams and seven of the state's top 10 teams, plus seven others, hoping to grab one of six advancing spots to the state finals. The fourth-ranked Lady Vikings staged a big comeback in the final two Baker games to jump from eighth place to fourth and into the stepladder finals with a chance of winning semi-state.
Against Jimtown in their first match, the same team they lost to at regional in the stepladders, the Lady Vikings threw five strikes in a row in the second Baker game to defeat the Jimmies, 356-312. Huntington North moved on to face second seed and No. 1 Portage, with the Indians edging the Lady Vikings, 328-308.
To get to the finals, each team rolled two regular team games and five Baker games. In game one, Huntington North rolled a 753, good enough for ninthplace and 60 pins out of the sixth qualifying position. Ashley Clark led the Lady Vikings with a 166, followed by Mackenzie Faurote's 156, Lauren Smart's 153, Alex Rittenhouse's 146 and Megan Manes' 132.
In game two, Huntington North surged back with a 908 to jump into sixthplace with a total of 1,661 going into the five Baker games. Clark, Faurote and Rittenhouse led the Lady Vikings with 202, 198 and 163, respectively. Manes and Kaitlyn Conley combined for a 163 and Smart rolled a 162.
Huntington North struggled in the first three Baker games, rolling 138, 163 and 161, which dropped them to eighth, but only 20 pins out of sixth. In the final two Baker games, the Lady Vikings rolled 204 and 197, which jumped them four places to fourth, punching their ticket to the state finals.
Portage defeated Boone Grove for the semi-state title.
Also qualifying for state were Jimtown, Lake Central and Highland.
In the singles tournament, 38 girls competed for 13 state spots and Rittenhouse placed 18th with a 531, missing the state finals by 10 pins. Faurote finished 20th with a 510, only 31 pins from advancing.
The Lady Vikings will compete for the state title beginning at 2 p.m.
Complete caption: The Huntington North High School girls' varsity bowling team placed third at the South Bend Semi-State at Chippewa Bowl in South Bend on Feb. 9, to punch its ticket to the Indiana High School Bowling State Finals on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Mike Aulby's Arrowhead Bowl in Lafayette. Team members are (front row from left) Manager Rachel Fields, Susanna Vining, Mackenzie Faurote, Kaitlyn Conley and (second row from left) Head Coach Stacey Bischoff, Alex Rittenhouse, Lauren Smart, Ashley Clark, Megan Manes and Assistant Coach Mel Fruit Jr.