January 18, 2012 - The Oxford and Lake Orion varsity bowling teams battled it out for M-24 supremecy on Monday, Jan. 9 at Collier Lanes.
When it was all said and done, Oxford earned a split against the rival Dragons, with the boys picking up a 21-9 win, while the girls suffered a 19.5 to 10.5 defeat.
Varsity bowling coach JR Lafnear said after weeks of improvement, everything came together for the boys.
"They wanted this win and it showed," Lafnear said.
The boys rolled their best two baker games of the season, a 220 and 228 and jumped out in front of Lake Orion 10-0 heading into the singles matches.
In the first set of head-to-head play, Lake Orion made a strong comeback by winning four of the five matches, with the only win coming from Wildcat sophomore Michael Johnson, who won 169-150.
Game two was a complete turnaround from game one as the Wildcats fired a school record 1126 team game, winning four of the five matches.
According to Lafnear, lead off bowler sophomore Kyle Woody bowled a 202, junior Shawn Donaldson shot a 264, senior Mitch Guzanek rolled a 198, sophomore Sean Mckinney 259 and sophomore Brandon Hurlburt a 203 to account for record-scoring game.
"What a performance by these boys," Lafnear said. "They are just starting to see how good they can be, and I think this is just the start of a long run for them."
With the win, the boys moved to 2-2 on the season.
On the girls side, the Lady Dragons jumped all over Oxford in the baker games, winning 206-177 in game one and 172-156 in game two.
The Wildcats made a game of it in the first set of head-to-head matches, with seniors Heather Lafner (246), Colleen Walters (233) and Alex Logan (220) headlining a season high 997 match, which pulled the girls within five, 12-7.
Bu that was as close as Oxford would get.
In game two, Lake Orion outbowled Oxford 979-866, with the only points for Oxford coming from ties by Walters and Logan.
The girls dropped to 2-1-1 on the season.
"This was a great match and it was awesome to see our girls fight back," JR Lafnear said. "They let it get away in baker and that's not like us. We need to fix a couple things and get ready for the second half of the season."
Despite the .500 record for the boys and loss by the girls, Lafnear said both teams were in the hunt for a conference title.
"They both just need to keep bowling well and if (we) eliminate a few mistakes, we can do big things this second half of the year," Lafnear said.
Next chance for the bowlers to hit the lanes is during the Oakland County Tournament on Saturday, Jan. 21 and Sunday, Jan. 22.
Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.