Penn Hills girls bowlers to compete at WPIBL championship

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Saturday, February 10, 2018 | 12:21 AM


After missing the WPIBL team championships last season, the Penn Hills girls bowling team returns to the event after finishing as runner-up in the East division.

The girls team, which had a 7-2 record through the first nine weeks of the season, will appear in the team Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Bowling League championship Thursday at Family Bowl-Away in Butler.

The Indians have been led by senior Christina Marra and freshman Ashley Hepler. Marra, who is ranked fourth in the East section, has averaged 173.30 pins through 27 frames, while Hepler has averaged 154.96.

Marra, who has made three straight regional appearances, finished in 37th place with a three-game total of 514 at the WPIBL singles championships last season.

The girls team qualified with only five bowlers this season. Sophomore Audrey Grainy, freshman Tayler Parco and junior Maykayla Delo round out the rest of the Indians starting lineup. Grainy averaged 146.96, while Parco bowled a 134.95 and Delo had a 123.67 average heading into the final week.

Heading into the season, the Indians looked to replace Maya Logan, who made two regional appearances and finished in 42nd place with a three-game total of 511 at WPIBLs last season.

Penn Hills finished in 10th place in its last WPIBL team championship appearance in 2016. Marra, who was a sophomore, was tied for second on the Indians with a three-game total of 457. Logan led Penn Hills with a total of 467 pins, while Rebecca Kleck tied Marra with a 457 pin total.

The boys team, which had a 5-4 record in the first nine weeks of the season, finished third in the East section behind Plum and Franklin Regional.

Senior Colin Bistarskey led Penn Hills with a 185.40 average through 25 games. Bistarskey, who made an appearance at regionals during his sophomore year, finished in 100th place at WPIBLs last season.

The rest of the Penn Hills lineup was led by four sophomores — Jimmy Lagana, A.J. Collins, Ryland Amato and Noah Houghtelin. Lagana averaged 156.50 pins and Collins averaged 154.05 through 22 games. Amato bowled a 147.43 and Houghtelin had a 142.70 average through 23 games.

The WPIBL boys singles championships will be held Feb. 21 in North Versailles, and girls singles championships will be Feb. 22 at Sims Lanes.

If any of the Indians qualify within the top 74 bowlers, they will attend the Western Regional championships in March at Princess Lane. The state championships will follow later in March.

Andrew John is a freelance writer.

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