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Oxford boy bowlers tie for top-spot in OAA Red



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February 12, 2014 - After losing the Clarkston Wolves by eight pins earlier in the season, the Oxford boys were looking to get even on Feb. 7.

The Wildcats came out with a 6 to 4 lead after the Baker games. The Wildcats won baker game 1 207 to 202 but lost game 2 236 to 233. Both games went down to the final frames before being decided.

Game one of head up bowling wasn't that way. Oxford shot the lights out with Sr Co-captains leading the way, Brandon Hurlburt shot 244 and Sean McKinney shot 235. Drew Pappas shot 225 and Brady Wynkoop had seven strikes in a row in route to a 234. Oxford would win game 1 1125 to 1024. Game two wouldn't be so easy. The Wolves mounted an attack and the Wildcats had seven splits to loss their 101-pin lead. It went into the 10 frame and the OAA title was on the line.

After three bowlers the Oxford Team was seeing the OAA title slipping away. Then to the rescue came their captains. Sean McKinney, who had three of the seven splits, threw strikes in the 9th, 10th and 11th frames to keep hope alive. Brandon Hurlburt would step up in the final frame after back to back splits in the 8 and 9th needing to strike. He delivered with a strike and a spare to force Clarkston's Kerstin to throw two strikes to win. Kerstin tossed a perfect shot on the first ball for a strike but the second shot was a seven count. The Wildcats win the match 17 to 13 by just 9 pins. The win ties Oxford and Clarkston with 8 and 1 records for the top spot in the OAA Red division. The two teams have bowled twice with just one pin separating the two teams.

"This is a classic rivalry. Both teams have a lot of talent going head to head," said Head Coach J.R. Lafnear. "We feel like we let the last match get away and I'm sure they feel that way today."

The girls, unfortunately lost both baker games but battled Clarkston tough. Game one of head up play the Wildcats Ladies lost by a mere 4 pins. Game two the improving girls of Oxford won by 2 pins.

"Even though the girls lost today they proved to themselves they can compete with real good teams," Lafnear said. "This team is going very much in the right direction and I love the future of it." The girls record in now 5 wins and 4 losses.

Lafnear also congratulated Brandon Hurlburt and Sean McKinney for winning the First Annual Farmington Doubles Tournament.

The two boys beat 25 other teams to take top honors at Country Lanes in Farmington. In the finals the boys lost game one but rallied to win games two and three to capture the crown against a strong team from Royal Oak.

Oxford had three of the top eight teams in the tournament and five of the top 16 teams. Jake Delong won the singles crown and was named to the All Tournament team. Mitch Kessler and Eric Armbruster joined Jake as Oxford had three of the 5 spots on the All Tournament team.

The boys' varsity also battled Lake Orion this past week on Feb. 3 with needing a win to give them hope for an OAA title.

They made quick work of it in the baker games. Game one the Cats threw nine strikes in route to a 253 to 196 victory. Game two the Wildcats clamed down a little and won 201 to 177. Armed with a 10 to 0 lead Oxford slammed the door with a 1086 to 1007 win in game 1. Sr Captain Brandon Hurlburt lead the way with a 256 game followed by Brady Wynkoop's 233, Drew Pappas's 202 and Sean McKinney's 204. In game 2 the Jason Petty had a 224, Pappas had a 212 and Kyle Woody shot 211.

"This was a fun night for the boys. They were bowling well and just seemed to get up for LO today," Lafnear said. "They are looking forward to Friday night but didn't let that over shadow the match with Lake Orion."

The Oxford girls have had a couple girls with injuries so JV bowlers Anne Johnson and Kelly Caldwell made their Varsity Debut. Lake Orion put the match away early winning both baker games and all five matches in game one. The Oxford girls didn't quit though. In game two the Cats bowled an impressive 912 game lead by Sophomore Hannah Farmer's 266 game. Alyssa Hurlburt tossed a 180 in support.

The teams will bowl away next in the OAA Crossover on Feb. 14 at 5-Star Lanes in Sterling Heights.

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