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  Boardman Girls Win Ohio Div. 1 Bowling Title  
  Greenaway Wins Individual Laurels:   March 14, 2024 Edition  
State Champions: BHS Girls Bowling Team
     COLUMBUS, OH.---Boardman coach Justine Cullen said she just “felt something in the air” when her bowling team walked into HP Lanes on Saturday.
      “I was amazingly calm all day,” Cullen said. “Normally, I’m really worked up, animated and screaming. I was relaxed because I knew we had it.”
      After taking over the top position in the 16-team field after the first game, Boardman was never stopped the rest of the way, defeating #3 seed Troy, 3-1, in the best-of-five Baker System match-play finale for their second title in nine state appearances.
      “There is just no word to describe it. Winning a state title period is so rare and incredible,” said Cullen of Boardman’s first title since 2010.
      “These girls are just the nicest girls in the world. They work hard and play for each other and they’re not selfish at all. They are all friends, and they are sweethearts. They deserve this in every sense of the word, and I’m so happy I was able to help them get there.”
      In addition to the team title, Boardman junior, Kaitlyn Greenaway, also won the state individual title with a 653 series, finishing one pin ahead of Wilmington junior Kylie Fisher and two ahead of Ashland senior Jada Baker in one of the closest individual races ever.
      Greenaway did not have an open frame during her three regular games.
      “It’s just our team … we’re a big group of friends,” said Greenaway, who finished fourth a year ago (644 series) and sixth in 2022 (604). “We play for we each other and we build off the energy of each other. It’s just unbelievable.”
      But Boardman also had some help from Troy, that was making its 14th state appearance, with one title (2016) and now three runner-up finishes.
      The Trojans were their own worst enemy during the final round, missing 12 spare conversions through the four-game match. Troy missed four in a 184-142 loss in the first game; five during a 158-144 loss in game two.
      As for the Lady Spartans, they had just seven spare misses to go with four splits.
      “We’re not always going to strike, but we’re going to cover, and that’s pretty much us all the time,” Cullen said. “If another team isn’t doing that and we are, I know our confidence level is going up. We know in that case, we’re going to come out on top.”
      Troy won game three, 203-171, to keep their title hopes alive.
      A key moment in the fourth game came in the ninth frame after Boardman failed to convert a 2-9 spare in the eighth. However, Troy failed to convert a 2-4-5 spare to give Boardman an opening.
      Junior Marissa Funk, who also earned second-team All-Ohio honors, was not going to let it go by.
      “I had the chance to set (Greenaway) up good and get it all ready for her,” said Funk, who shot 594 during qualifying, good for 10th place overall after finishing 18th a year ago (581 series).
     
      “I knew she would take it home for us.”
      Funk threw a strike in the ninth, and Greenaway followed with the first two in the 10th while Troy’s anchor was able to throw just one strike in the frame as Boardman took the win and the title, 179-168.
      Individually for Boardman, junior Kaitlyn Greenaway, claimed the individual state championship title, shooting games of 218, 190, and 245 for a 653 set.
      Lady Spartan teammate, junior Marissa Funk, was named second team All-Ohio, finishing in 10th overall with games of 190, 179, and 225 for a 594 set.
      Also on the lanes for the newly-crowned state champs, junior Gabby Vennetti rolled games of 178, 169, and 177 for a 524 set, landing her in 32nd individually. Other Boardman contributors were junior Emily Leonard with games of 179, 152, and 145 for a 476 set, junior Lily Haase with games of 164 and 179, senior Audrey Anderson with a combined game total of 138 with Haase, and sophomore Jasmine Kortes in baker game play.
     
      PICTURED: STATE CHAMPIONS: The Boardman High School girls bowling team, under the direction of Justin Cullen, won the Ohio Girls Div. I state title last weekend in a field of 16 teams at HP Lanes in Columbus. After taking over the top position in the 16-team field after game #1, Boardman was never stopped the rest of the way, defeating #3 seed Troy, 3-1, in the best-of-five Baker system match-play finale for their second title in nine state appearances. The Lady Spartans also won a state bowling title in 2010, and their appearance in this year’s state tournament was their fifth in a row. Members of the team, in front, from left, Marissa Funk, Kaitlyn Greenaway and Audrey Anderson. In back, from left, Gianna Rohan, assistant coach; Jasmine Kortes, Gabby Vennetti, Emily Leonard, Lily Haase and Coach Cullen.
 
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