Burrell’s Lydia Flanagan captures state bowling title

Friday, March 18, 2022 | 8:18 PM

Burrell’s Lydia Flanagan found a groove and rolled to a state title Friday.

Flanagan topped Warwick’s Taylor Miller, 223-156, in the championship match of the Pennsylvania girls singles bowling championship at 222 Dutch Lanes in Lancaster.

It was the first time a girl from the western region won a girls title since Butler’s Megan Paul did it in 2015.

“It feels really good,” Flanagan said. “I feel like all my hard work paid off. My goal was to get in the top five because I hadn’t done that before, and once I did that, the next goal was to go win it.”

Flanagan, a senior, was the second seed after qualifying with a six-game total of 1,276 pins, 11 behind Miller, the top seed. She rolled her best game of the day in the semifinals to defeat Plum’s Mareana Pilyih, 247-173. Flanagan took that momentum into the finals and got a comfortable win.

“They reoiled the lanes, so I was able to get back to where I started at the beginning of the day,” Flanagan said. “When I was practicing I felt really comfortable with how I was throwing the ball and with the ball I was using. I knew I had to hit my marks and make spares when I didn’t strike. I didn’t expect to do that well in the semifinal, but after I got a bunch of strikes in a row I got really comfortable.”

Pilyih qualified fourth and won two matches to get into the semifinals. She defeated Central York’s Madison Brenneman, 222-165, in the opening round and Shikellamy’s Ariana Woodcock, 189-180, in the quarterfinal match.

Apollo-Ridge’s Mia Ament and Deer Lakes’ Kaylee Lipp narrowly missed making the bracket, finishing sixth and seventh. Other local girls competitors included: Penn Trafford’s Alyssa Balest (10th), East Allegheny’s Skyy Nicholls (11th), Greensburg Salem’s RaeAnn Record (21st), Burrell’s Leah McCandless (22nd) and Penn-Trafford’s Abby Veychek (23rd).

No local boys competitors cracked the top five to reach the bracket round.

Latrobe’s Alex Brubaker was the highest local finisher in seventh.

Butler’ Rocco Rice (eighth), Hempfield’s Dominick Vallano (10th), Hempfield’s Vincent Mincucci (13th), Latrobe’s James Gatto (14th), East Allegheny’s Ian Baker (15th), Bishop Canevin’s Jonathan Bernotas (17th), Greensburg Central Catholic’s Mike Mullaney (18th), Montour’s Maxwell Vermeulen (19th), Freeport’s Colin Cummings (20th) and Plum’s Cade Schimmer (23rd) also competed.

The boys and girls team state championships are Saturday at 222 Dutch Lanes.

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer

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