State champs!

Boys bowling team captures 2018 state crown

The Ben Davis boys bowling team came through in the clutch during Saturday’s state finals, rolling strikes in five of the final six frames to ease past Merrillville for the state championship.

Coach Brad Rinehart could not have been happier.

“During our 12 games of qualifying for the finals (only 4 teams make the finals of the 12 that were there), we were very steady with a handful of 180/190 games, but also had three 150 games and a 161,” Rinehart said. “But we finished our last two games with 213 and a tournament high game of 276 to move ourselves from 8th up into 4th to make the stepladder finals.

“Once there, it was a two game baker format with the highest total moving on to the next seed.  We defeated #3 seed Warsaw 349-292 in the first finals match.  We then defeated #2 seed Huntington North 412-368 in the second finals match.”

In the championship match, Ben Davis bowled 196 while Merrillville bowled 129.  However, Merrillville came back with a big run of strikes, bowling a 276 in their second game.  Ben Davis answered the bell on every shot in the last 5 frames, getting strikes in 5 of the last 6 frames to bowl a 235 and defeat #1 Merrillville 431-405 to win the State Championship.

The Giants were ranked in the top three all season and it was the week that they lost their No. 1 ranking that changed the season.
“Well, last season we made it to state finals like we did this year, but we fell short for many reasons,” Rinehart said. ” We got down on ourselves quickly in tough situations, were a bit too “serious” at times as players/coaches and just didn’t quite have the whole talent package to win it all.  This year we gained a couple of talented bowlers that helped a lot in the playoffs and also worked on our mental game every week.  It sank in after a tournament in early January, in which we got our butts kicked, that we have to give our very best every shot, and we did that during state tournament.”
Rinehart was pleased with how the day went for the Giants as they claimed the school’s first bowling state trophy.
“The environment was nothing less than electric,” he said. “We had great support from our parents, siblings and friends from the BD community come to cheer us on.  It was amazing to find out how much energy you can actually bring to a tournament like this and sustain it for a 4 hour period.  We as a whole team enjoyed every moment of it.”