Xenia High School girls bowling coach Robert Rose describes senior Kailee Palecek as his four-year anchor. On Monday, Palecek helped the Buccaneers get a firm hold on the Baker Bash championship.
Xenia – as did the other 12 teams in the girls field – trailed Greater Western Ohio Conference rival Centerville after the qualifying round, quarterfinals and semifinals. But the Bucs overtook the Elks in the four-team, two-game final. Xenia bowled 360 in the final round with games of 202 and 158. Greenon was second (187-167—354), Centerville third (127-175—302) and Mechanicsburg fourth (155-103—258).
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Centerville beat Xenia in the team’s previous two meetings this season.
“We were thinking about second or third. We never really thought about first,” Palecek said. “ … There was a point we knew we had them. When we saw them get a split it was like, ‘Yes!’”
The Baker format consists of five bowlers per team, each bowling two frames. The first bowler rolls frames 1 and 6, the second bowler 2 and 7, the third 3 and 8 and so on. Palecek handled frames 5 and 10 for the Bucs.
“We’ve been very close to Centerville in a couple other of occasions,” Xenia coach Robert Rose said. “Today they gave us an opening and we were able to close the door.
“It’s been a long running, relatively friendly, feud.”
Joining Palecek in the victory were Kelsey Rose, Caity Moody, Shayna Caraway, Gillian Miller and Gracie Howell.
“It feels good to beat them because we don’t usually beat them. It just feels great,” Palecek said. “Just stay positive. We had a positive attitude. That’s all it was really.”
Centerville’s 2,184 total led all teams after the 12-game qualifying round. Xenia was second with 2,139. The field of 14 was cut to eight for the quarterfinals, six for the semifinals and four for the final round. The Elks rolled a 405 in the quarters and Xenia was second with 373. The Elks led the semis, too, with 427. Xenia was second with 372.
“We just ran out of gas the last game,” Centerville coach Eric Edmondson said. “We had the lead all through and had a letdown at the end. We lost focus at the end.”
Centerville leads the GWOC National East standings at 7-0 overall and in GWOC dual meets. Xenia is 9-2 overall and 8-1 in the GWOC, tied with Fairborn for the American East lead.
Mechanicsburg won the boys titles over a 17-team field with a final-round 496 (245-251) to beat fellow finalists Butler (223-233–456), Centerville (223-212–435) and Xenia (193-205–398).
Centerville led after the qualifying round with a 2,590 total, ahead of Xenia’s 2,538 and Butler’s 2,415. The Elks also had the highest score after the 10-team quarterfinals, but Mechanicsburg led both the semifinal and final rounds.
“I was hoping for it,” Mechanicsburg coach Matt Mayberry said. “We have some freshman that are really good. We have a senior and some middle classmen who are very good. I thought they were more than capable of doing it.”
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