The Washington boys bowling team had some holes to fill after graduating four seniors from last year's regional champions.
After Saturday's regional this year at Franklin Lanes, it appears those holes were filled just fine.
Washington won its second consecutive regional title, bowling 3,115 to finish first in the qualifying round before shooting Baker games of 235 and
190 to win the regional championship against Terre Haute South.
"We graduated four seniors from last year¹s team," Washington coach Kevin Bowen said. "We had one senior this year and even one freshman. The margin of winning this year was rather surprising. Six of the eight teams had posted very good sectional scores." The Hatchets will also send individual qualifiers Kelsey Burton from the girls competition and Wes Richardson in the boys competition to the semistate set for Southern Bowl in Greenwood.
Burton shot 540 to make the individual field, while Richardson shot 654 in the boys competition.
Washington easily topped Terre Haute South in the team qualifying with South shooting 2,937 to Washington¹s 3.115.
Terre Haute South then lost the final stepladder final match to the Hatchets with games of 176 and 183.
"It is very satisfying to have a team come back and bowl this well," Bowen said. The two regional titles have been the first achieved by teams from Washington. "They have bowled very well all year (undefeated in Blue Chip South competition). I had my four and five bowlers back (Chase Ragens and Nathan Sult). Nathan has been our anchor bowler the last two years, and he feels very comfortable in that position. The team has really hit a different plateau this year in the tournament." Ragens and Jon Harner had also qualified for individual competition for boys. Ragens (592) missed the final spot by nine pins and Harner (589) by 12. They will be the second and third alternates to the semistate.
Twelve boys teams will be in competition at Greenwood, seeking six spots for the state final at Mike Aulby¹s Arrowhead Bowl in Lafayette the following weekend.