The Highland High School boys bowling team split a pair of home conference matches in as many days. After having its five-match winning streak halted Tuesday by Triad — which also handed HHS its only other loss in dual-match competition on Nov. 21 — the Bulldogs bounced back in a big way to strike down the visiting Jerseyville Panthers on Wednesday at Poplar Junction Lanes.
With the exception of Triad, Highland’s dual-match record is perfect. But even with the the two defeats to the Knights, HHS’ overall dual-match record is still a sporty 10-2 while their Mississippi Valley Conference mark stands at 4-2.
Triad remained undefeated and climbed to seventh in the boys state rankings poll. Three days prior to beating Highland for the second time this season, the Knights repeated as champions of the Southern Classic at Bel-Air Bowl in Belleville.
Bulldogs maul Panthers
Highland bowled its strongest match of the season as five individual bowlers hit for a 600 series to help the Bulldogs conquer Jerseyville 37-3 after sweeping all 20 of the match’s team points while also claiming all but three of the 20 individual points.
Highland won the match’s overall pin count by the decisive margin of nearly 500 pins — 3,217 to 2,743 — after taking all three team games by hefty margins of 1,180 to 983, 1,068 to 873, and 969 to 887.
In a match that featured seven of the 10 bowlers rolling a 600 series, including all five for the Bulldogs, HHS senior Tanner Huelsman, the second bowler in the lineup, was the overall No. 1 bowler in the match with a 675 series. He also rolled the mach’s second and fifth highest games with a 256 second one and a 237 first one.
Finishing close behind for Highland were junior Brandon Munie, the leadoff bowler, and senior Collin Korte, the anchor. Munie finished with a 663 three-game aggregate on consistent and ascending games of 213, 216 and 234. Korte wound up at 660 with the top individual game at 266. He also added a 202 game.
Sophomore Adam Buske and junior Andrew Mettler were also strong in the middle of the lineup with series of 612 and 607, respectively. Buske also bowled the second best game with a 253 first one and Mettler had high games of 211 and 204.
Jerseyville was led by Greg Towell with a 659 series and top games of 243 and 225, and Jeffrey Gump with a 615 series and games of high games of 224 and 201.
In the JV match, Wyatt Wiese led the Bulldogs to a 5-2 victory after bowling a match-best 662 series with consistently strong games of 204, 234 and 224.
HHS falls to Triad
Just like the first time, the match was closer than the final score of 26-14 may indicate.
Triad slightly edged the Bulldogs 11-9 in the match’s individual points and took 15 of the 20 team points. But the Knights only won the overall pin count by 131 pins, 3,099 to 2,968 and that was due almost entirely by its margin of 135 pins in the third team game, 1,062 to 927.
Highland actually won the first team game by one pin, 1,000 to 999, and Triad captured the second team game by a mere five pins, 1,042 to 1,037.
Triad’s Nick Beeler (709) and Gavin Pisetta (697) accomplished the match’s two highest series. Beeler In addition to the best series, Beeler had the second and third best games at 266 and 263, while Pisetta, one of the top bowlers in the entire state, fired the outright individual game with a 268. Pisetta also had games of 218 and 211.
Also for the Knights, Bryce Pisetta, Gavin’s younger brother, added a 607 series with top games of 243 and 203.
Huelsman once again led the Bulldogs, this time with a 624 series and high games of 223 and 203.
Munie had a 620 three-game set with best games of 232 and 212.
Also bowling 200 games for Highland were Mettler (222), Korte (213) and Buske (202).
HHS places fifth at Southern Classic
On Dec. 10, the Bulldogs came in fifth in the gold division at the Southern Classic at Bel-Air Bowl in Belleville.
The 16-team tournament featured three games in the morning, from which the teams are then placed in either the gold or silver division depending on their pin counts. Then the teams play head to head in a bracketed format in their respective division.
The Bulldogs were seeded third in the gold division after the morning session and wound up fifth.
Individually, Munie placed 10th overall with an overall pin count of 1,329 over six games, which equates to a strong average of 221.50. His line was impressive as follows: 215, 235, 234, 224, 227 and 194.
Mettler finished with the fifth highest individual game of the tourney with a 278 first game. He also had games of 244 and 201.
Korte also finished strong with a six-game total of 1,312 and games of: 200, 195, 237, 243, 225 and 212.