Louisvilleâ€™s top bowling teams are set to tangle with the best from across the Commonwealth at the second annual KHSAA-sanctioned state tournament this Thursday and Friday at Executive Strike and Spare.
The top two teams and top four individuals from eight regional tournaments advanced to the event.
In Region Four qualifying last month, Manualâ€™s Raylin Benningfield downed Maleâ€™s Marissa Thomas 203-191 to win the girlsâ€™ individual crown. Also advancing were Manualâ€™s Amber Kleitz and Senecaâ€™s Amber Wright.
Male bested Sacred Heart three games to one to take the team title.
Trinityâ€™s Conor Minogue knocked off Manualâ€™s Kiefer Hillerich 224-214 to take the boysâ€™ individual crown. Minogue and Hillerich both advanced, along with Manualâ€™s Kyle Abell and Maleâ€™s Michael McCubbins.
Manual whipped Trinity 3-1 for the boysâ€™ team championship.
PRPâ€™s Keelyn Cox nipped Mercyâ€™s Megan Minch 196-194 to earn top individual honors among Region Three girls. PRPâ€™s Shelby Bigos and North Bullittâ€™s Courtney Donaldson also punched their ticket.
PRP topped North Bullitt for the girlsâ€™ team title.
Jared Armstrong of Fern Creek delivered a perfect 300 game in the boysâ€™ final to take down PRPâ€™s Anthony Alvey. Bullitt Centralâ€™s Jareth Howerton and Fairdaleâ€™s Jerry Whobrey also advanced.
PRP held off Bullitt Central for the boysâ€™ team win.
Boysâ€™ and girlsâ€™ singles tournaments will take place simultaneously beginning at 10 a.m. on Thursday.
The team tournament will be held Friday. The girlsâ€™ competition begins at 7:30 a.m. and the boysâ€™ tournament is scheduled to start at approximately 1:15 p.m.
The Scott County boys and PRP girls are defending state champs.
Admission is $10 or $15 for a two-day pass.
Two teams entered this week with flawless records and a chance at regular season perfection.
On the girlsâ€™ side, Marion County, No. 1 in the Lexington Herald-Leaderâ€™s Cantrall Ratings, has rolled to a 27-0 record, defeating opponents by an average margin of 34.6 points.
Standing between the Knights and a blemish-free regular season are No. 15 North Hardin (Feb. 8), No. 3 Henderson County (Feb. 9) and No. 6 Mercy (Feb. 12).
The state runner up in 2012, Marion County is led by 5-foot-10 senior guard Makayla Epps (21.6 ppg., 4.1 rpg.), who recently surpassed 3,000 career points, and 6-foot-1 forward Kyvin Goodin-Rogers (12.3 ppg. 7.5 rpg). Epps is the daughter of former UK player Anthony Epps, while Goodin-Rogers is the daughter of former Louisville player Tick Rogers. Both have signed to play at UK.
In boysâ€™ play, No. 13 Holmes had a 24-0 record before taking on Boone County earlier this week. The Bulldogs face No. 10 Newport Central Catholic on Feb. 8, Conner on Feb. 12 and George Rogers Clark on Feb. 14.
Here are this weekendâ€™s top matchups on the hardwood (Ratings from the Lexington Herald-Leaderâ€™s Cantrall Ratings):
Friday, Feb. 8
No. 24 Eastern at No. T9 Ballard, 6 p.m.
Central at No. 4 Manual, 6 p.m.
No. 6 Mercy at Fern Creek, 6 p.m.
No. T9 Assumption at Male, 6 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 10
No. 6 Mercy at No. T20 Sacred Heart, 6:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 8
Eastern at No. 2 Ballard, 7:30 p.m.
No. 1 Trinity at No. T19 Lafayette, 8 p.m.
No. 3 Bullitt East at North Bullitt, 6 p.m.
No. T7 PRP at No. T10 Fairdale, 7:30 p.m.
Christian Academy at No. T10 Male, 7:30 p.m.
No. 23 St. Xavier at Fern Creek, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 9
No. 1 Trinity at No. 22 Central, 7:30 p.m.
No. T10 Fairdale at Doss, 7:30 p.m.
No. T10 Male at No. 23 St. Xavier, 7 p.m.
â€¢ Boo Crabtree, a three-sport standout at Fairdale, has signed to play football at Lindsey Wilson. The 6-foot-5, 205 pound senior was a four-year starter at quarterback for the Bulldogs, finishing with 5,866 yards passing, 428 yards on the ground and 70 touchdowns.
A shortstop and pitcher on the baseball diamond, Crabtree maintained a .901 fielding percentage and is also averaging 12.6 points and 5.7 rebounds per game for the No. 10 Fairdale basketball team, which entered this week with a 14-6 record.
After two years covering prep sports for The Voice-Tribune, this will be my final installment of the High School Sports Report. It has been an absolute thrill contributing each week and I am grateful for the tutelage of Sports Editor Earl Cox and the support of the kind and talented staff at The Voice.
While I am stepping down to devote more time to other pursuits, I look forward to following the progress of the many athletes, coaches and administrators who have made my time here so rewarding.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this column as much as I have enjoyed writing it.
Contact columnist Chris Cahill at email@example.com.