DAYTON — The Sidney High boys bowling team suffered its first loss of the season — and first league loss in three years — Thursday in action at Marian Lanes, losing to Vandalia by just 39 pins in a battle of the top two teams in the Greater Western Ohio Conference.
Both teams are now 13-1 in the GWOC American North and tied for first place with one match remaining. Sidney takes on last-place Greenville on Monday at Bel-Mar Lanes, while Vandalia bowls against fourth-place Tipp City at Troy the same day.
Overall, the Jackets are now 16-1 on the year.
The final score had Vandalia with 2628 and Sidney with 2589.
The Jackets had to come from way behind early when the Aviators rolled an 1183 in the first regular game to Sidney’s 968. That left Sidney with a 215-pin deficit.
But the Jackets made up for it in the second game, rolling an 1177 to 1051 for Vandalia to shave 126 pins off the Aviator lead going into baker games.
Sidney got closer with 213 in the first baker to Vandalia’s 181, and outdid the Aviators in the second baker game with a 231 to 213 margin. But the Jackets still came up short.
Sidney had some outstanding individual efforts, with four bowlers averaging from 207 to 245 in their two games.
Damion Phillis led the way with a career-best 491, which included a match-high game of 279. His first game was a 212.
Austin Simon had games of 203 and 248 for a 451 series, and Josh Abbot added a 444 on games of 244 and 200.
Sean Martin made it four 400 series for the Jackets. He started out with a 136, then came back and rolled a 276 for a 415 series.
Logan Finke had 170 and 174 for a 344.
“Butler is a great team,” said Sidney coach Trent Knoop. “We knew they would be ready after we beat them at our place. Butler bowled superb, plain and simple. Most teams would never lose a match shooting a 2589 like we did. We were undefeated going into this match, and we shot over 2589 only twice all year. That puts into perspective how well we even bowled tonight. This was our first league loss in three seasons, but we will move on to the next game holding our heads high, knowing we bowled well. This one loss doesn’t change our season. We are having a great year.”
Sidney won the junior varsity match.
•The Sidney High girls also bowled well, but also came up short in action against the Lady Aviators.
The Lady Jackets rolled an even 2000 but Vandalia’s girls were in the zone, finishing with a season-best 2458.
The loss left Sidney with a 9-5 North record and a 9-8 mark overall. Vandalia remained in a tie for first place with the win.
Jenna Beatty and Heather Gold both bowled well for Sidney. Beatty had a 234 followed by a 195 for a 429 series, and Gold had a 222 and a 1978 for a 420 series.
Kathryn Saunders had games of 159 and 180 for a 339, and Allison Ickes had a 158 game.
The Lady Jackets also go up against Greenville Monday at Bel-Mar Lanes on Senior Night.
“Butler bowled their season high against us tonight,” said Knoop. “They bowled just as well as the boys did. A 2458 would beat a lot of boys high school teams. It’s tough to beat the good teams at their house. Our girls fought and bowled well. Can’t take anything away from the fight they have.”
The Lady Jacket junior varsity won by eight pins.