Local bowling teams battle at tourney

Five local high school boys and girls bowling teams took the long trip to Bossier City to compete in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association's bi-regional tournament on Monday.

Although none of the teams advanced to the state finals round, in the boys bi-regional bracket, 12th seed Vandebilt Catholic advanced all the way to the bi-regional finals, beating No. 5 St. Thomas More (21.5 to 5.5) in the first round and No. 13 Bossier (24-3) in the second round.

In the bi-regional finals, the Terriers battled No. 1 Barbe to a tie at 13.5-all.

The two teams needed a roll-off to decide the winner, and Barbe picked up the victory by edging Vandebilt, 5-3, in the extra session.

Vandebilt boys coach Doug Hamilton said the Terriers had an improbable run through the bi-regional meet, but they fell short at the end.

"We've been playing well as a team," Hamilton said. "Barbe is one of the top teams in the state. The difference was literally one pin between us in the roll-off. Our boys are disappointed, but we've bowled our best in the last two or three weeks. We can't be too upset. We're only losing two seniors. We're going to be fine next year."

The bi-regional meet consisted of teams from the Lake Charles, Lafayette, Morgan City, Houma and Shreveport areas.

Terrebonne's boys team also competed at the bi-regional tournament. As the No. 6 seed, the Tigers defeated No. 11 St. Louis Catholic 20-7 in the first round, but they suffered a 24-3 loss to No. 3 Morgan City.

Terrebonne's Carlton Baudean bowled a 600-series against St. Louis.

Boys teams from Barbe and Morgan City, who won their respective brackets at the bi-regional meet, will represent the region in the state meet at All-Star Lanes in Baton Rouge on April 14.

On the girls' side, three local teams competed in No. 4 Ellender, No. 6 South Terrebonne and No. 9 Vandebilt.

Vandebilt defeated No. 8 Acadiana, 15-12, in its first match, but the Lady Terriers fell to No. 1 Lafayette, 24-3, in the second match.

Ellender opened with a 24-3 win over No. 5 Comeaux, but they also couldn't get past next-round foe Lafayette, who rolled to a 18-9 win over the Lady Patriots.

Ellender coach Ann Labat said the Lady Patriots tried their best against Lafayette, which has won two of the last three state titles. Lafayette and St. Louis Catholic's girls teams will represent the region at the state meet.

"I told my girls we had nothing to lose," said Labat, who had five combined seniors on Ellender's boys and girls teams. "The pressure was on Lafayette, not us. I was extremely proud of them because they fought hard all the way through. It was really exciting for us just to be there in our second year of bowling. They had a really great time competing. They were positive the whole time. They really did a great job this year.

South Terrebonne's girls lost its only match to No. 3 Benton, 18-9.

While at the bi-regional meet, Labat said all the local teams put their rivalries aside and supported each other.

"It was the whole parish cheering for each other at bi-regionals in Bossier City," she said. "It was a really nice thing to see. I was totally impressed to see how these kids came together and cheered each other. It was pretty cool. They were so happy to be together. They really came together as a group."

Although no local school will play in the team portion of the state finals, several area bowlers qualified for the state singles competition at the state meet in Baton Rouge.

Marlon Hinton of H.L. Bourgeois and Alex Zanca of Terrebonne will compete in the boys singles competition at the state meet.

For the girls, Colleen Cheramie of Vandebilt, Carly Callais of South Lafourche and Angelica Tran of Ellender will square off in singles competition.