Hempfield’s Amelia Droste, GCC’s Mike Mullaney claim WCCA bowling titles

Saturday, January 20, 2024 | 4:16 PM

The third Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association bowling championship was held Saturday at Hillview Lanes in Greensburg.

Hempfield sophomore Amelia Droste took home the girls individual title after finishing second in last year’s competition. Senior Mike Mullaney of Greensburg Central Catholic earned the top spot on the boys side.

Droste started off hot, rolling a 215 in her first game, then bowled her highest score of 223 in the second. She rolled a 182 in the third game to finish with a 620 series.

“I felt I rolled it pretty good today. The lanes were a little different then normal, but they weren’t too bad,” Droste said.

Mullaney rolled a 198 in his first game but had some struggles in his second, rolling a 178.

“There was something wrong with my equipment,” Mullaney said. “I made a little tweak and once that was fixed, I felt a lot better in how I was throwing the ball, and it gave me the confidence to execute.”

His adjustments made a huge difference as he recovered in the third match for a high game of 267 to finish with a 643 series.

“Started off a little shaky, it was not my best start by far, but I brought it back and got focused,” he said. “It feels great to win. I’ve been here before, and it was a lot of fun.”

Droste’s leading score helped boost the Hempfield girls team to the championship trophy with a total score of 2,515 pins, leapfrogging last year’s winner, Kiski Area (2,045), which finished second, and last year’s runner-up Latrobe (1,912), which came in third.

Three of the top four finishers on the girls side were Spartans — sophomore Lauren Naeger was second with a 547 series and sophomore Ashley Bensur placed fourth with a 541 series. Senior teammate Sarah Leasure finished ninth with a 415 series.

“We worked really hard, practiced all week, so it’s really nice to see both teams end up as the champions,” Droste said.

Kiski Area junior Veronica Flanagan finished third with a 547 series. Naeger edged Flanagan for second because of a higher Game 3 total, 207 to 202.

On the boys side of the lanes, Hempfield finished with a total score of 2,867 and also leapfrogged the top teams from last year — Franklin Regional (2,680) placed second and Greensburg Salem (2,612) finished third.

Valley sophomore Baxter Diehm rolled a high game of 236 and a 620 series for second place, and Franklin Regional senior Luke Denny was third with a 616 series and a high game of 225.

Spartans teammates Josh Cayer and Evan Konieczka finished fourth and fifth with 615 and 591 series, respectively, and sophomore Eli Johnson finished 10th with a 545 series.

This year’s competition included bowlers from the aforementioned schools, as well as Penn-Trafford, Valley, Belle Vernon and Burrell. All proceeds from tournament ticket sales go toward scholarships for graduating seniors.

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