Tough loss at WPIBL championships helped spark victory at regional for Norwin bowlers

Friday, March 15, 2019 | 7:49 PM

One lousy pin. That’s how the Norwin boys bowling team ended its season last year, falling one pin short at the Western Regionals and being denied a spot in the state tournament.

The Knights are tired of hearing about it and instead of leaving anything to chance, Norwin went out and just won the whole thing by downing rival Plum, 2-1, at the Western Regional March 9, at North Versailles Bowl to clinch one of the spots at the state tourney.

“That one-pin quote has been brought up a number of times, and they’re tired of hearing it,” Norwin coach Ed Lundy said. “You gotta pick every pin you can. You’re one of the top-12 teams in all of Pa. At the state level, you’re bowling the best of the best.”

The top six teams in the Western Region all earned a trip to the state tournament, which was held at 222 Dutch Lanes in Ephrata, last weekend, after deadline for this edition.

“The last couple of seasons have been a little disappointing,” Lundy said. “They had the highest state average which puts a bulls-eye on their backs.”

The postseason could have gone either way for the WPIBL Center Conference champion Knights. Norwin was one of the favorites going into February’s WPIBL team championships. And after the first match, it looked like Norwin was well on its way to winning. Then, the Knights got cold and fell to eventual runner-up North Allegheny in the WPIBL semifinals.

“When you reach the baker format, the game sort of changes,” Lundy said. “Every bowler has to pay attention to what they’re doing. You have to pick up that spare, no open frames, the pressure starts to build, and that’s where mistakes are made.”

A tough loss in WPIBL championships paved the way for the Knights at this year’s regionals.

“They came in focused,” Lundy said. “The last couple of years, they were intimidated, and this year they were the intimidators and they came out and proved a point.”

The Knights are led by anchor Zachary Marzec and C.J. Turek in the No. 4 spot. Marzec is crucial to the team’s overall success and Norwin was missing the standout at the WPIBL championships.

“(Marzek) is the key to our success,” Lundy said. “He’s back.”

Ethan Dutka, Ethan Decker and Mike Fekete rounded out Norwin’s lineup for the state team tournament.

Norwin also has a few singles bowlers who competed out east for the state singles tournament.

Turek finished in sixth place at the regional singles championships and qualified for states for the second time after turning in a five-game pin total of 1,073.

The top-12 bowlers all made it through to states.

“(Turek’s) probably one of the most level-headed kids I’ve ever coached,” Lundy said. “He’s a very talented spare shooter. You can’t tell if he’s bowling poorly or great. He has the perfect disposition. He was there last season. He got taste of it last year, and he’s a little hungry this year. I’m expecting big things from Mr. Turek.”

Norwin had two girls bowlers in Rachel Lundy and Ashley Krivansky who made the tip east. Lundy finished first in the qualifying round at the Western Regional with a five-game pin total of 1,053. Coach Lundy is expecting big things from his daughter.

“It’s her second season there and hopefully this being her senior year she wants to go out on a high note,” Lundy said. “She has to take pride in that she’s top 24 in the state. I think she’s hopefully a little over excited so he can focus a little more. She anticipates bowling really well.”

Krivansky is an up-and-coming star for the Norwin girls team and will making her first trip to state singles championships.

“It’s a pleasant surprise,” Lundy said. “She should do well as along as she keeps her emotions in check.”

William Whalen is a freelance writer.