The Western Panthers bowling team is headed to the Indiana High School Bowling state finals in Fort Wayne. Pictured are members who bowled in the regional tournament: (front row) Alex P., Cameron Shane, Gabe Bennett., Nolan S.; (back row) coach Gerald Kelley, Jacob Brown, Kevin C. and Ethan C. (Herald Photos/provided)
The Western Panthers bowling team is headed to the Indiana High School Bowling state finals in Fort Wayne. Pictured are members who bowled in the regional tournament: (front row) Alex P., Cameron Shane, Gabe Bennett., Nolan S.; (back row) coach Gerald Kelley, Jacob Brown, Kevin C. and Ethan C. (Herald Photos/provided)
The Western High School boys bowling team recently captured the Kokomo Sectional before finishing third at both the Marion Regional and Anderson Semi-State. They will participate in the Indiana High School Bowling State Finals at Pro Bowl West in Fort Wayne on Feb. 18.

Under the guidance of coach Gerard Kelly, Western finished third in the semi-state to claim one of the six state finals qualifying positions. They defeated Warren Central 376-316 before losing to Bloomington North 373-355. Kokomo’s Eric Mathews, who qualified for the semi-state as an individual, rolled a 607 for 13th place, missing a trip to the state finals by three pins.

In the Marion Regional at Crest Lanes, Alexandria took home first place (2,217), followed by Huntington North (2,124) and Western (2,042) Gabe Bennett of Western rolled the high series with a 681 (201, 277, 203). Mathews was fourth (609) and Western’s Cameron Shane was seventh (586). Bennett won the step-ladder match with a 181 game to claim the individual regional title.

In the sectional round at Kokomo’s Heritage Lanes, the Panthers bowlers outpaced runners-up Kokomo 2,168 to 1,907. Tipton was third with a score of 1,898. Mathews of Kokomo rolled the high series with a 669, followed by Shane (659), Taylor’s Tyler Koon (642), Western’s Jacob Brown (625) and Tipton’s Eli Bogart (617). Mathews was the individual sectional champion by rolling a 236 to defeat Brown in the step-ladder match.

In the girls Kokomo Sectional, Western defeated Eastern 1,379 to 472. Haley Harbaugh of Northwestern had high series with a 546, followed by Tipton’s Charli Dwiggans (527) and Western’s Jama Claxton (519). Claxton was the individual sectional champ after rolling a 193 in the step-ladder match.

In the girls Marion Regional, Claxton rolled a 526 series and won the individual regional title by winning the step-ladder match with a 173 game.