Just as they did a week ago, Lancaster-Lebanon League bowlers must take a wait-and-see approach.
Six from the L-L punched their tentative tickets to the state tournament Friday after qualifying in the Eastern Pennsylvania Regional Championships at Leisure Lanes and 222 Dutch Lanes.
But they'll have to wait until today, when bowlers from outside District Three do their qualifying. Some can obviously be a little more confident they'll be competing a week from now.
"As I was bowling, I just kept thinking I was doing really well and I could get in the top eight," said Manheim Township senior Drew Jaquith, who was third to lead all L-L qualifiers. "Going into the last game, I didn't think I was going to place top five, but seeing how I did last game (277), I did."
And one of them could be quite thankful that he's in the running for a state berth, sitting in fourth place after getting into the regional field when another bowler was unable to compete.
"I didn't really think I had a chance," Hempfield freshman Derick Keller said. "I had been bowling really bad this whole week."
But now he has a good chance at advancing. "I'm not really worried about it, because I put myself in fourth," Keller added. "I'm pretty confident about it."
"I think it's simply amazing he got an opportunity," Hempfield coach Tom Degnan said. "And he took advantage of it by earning his way into the fourth spot. … I couldn't be more proud."
There were 48 boys bowling at Leisure on Friday.
The tournament was split into two weeks because of COVID-19 protocols. The team tournament was held over two days last weekend.
Antietam's Ayden Davis led the boys qualifiers Friday with 1,232 pins while Daniel Boone's Alex Horton was second at 1,225. Horton totaled 597 pins in his last two games with a 297 and 300.
Jaquith was next with 1,191, including a 278 and 277, and Keller had 1,156, with a high of 257.
"I'm really happy, I'm super excited," Jaquith said. "I was looking forward today to hopefully averaging 200, and I made adjustments based off of how I bowled last week (during the team tournament at Leisure)."
"He bowled well all day," said Manheim Township coach Chris Jensen. "He had the one game where he was a little iffy (second game of 176). … I'm really proud of him."
"I'm pretty excited about it," said Keller. "I knew what I needed to do the last game (242), and I did it."
While Jaquith and Keller appear to be in good shape to remain as state qualifiers, the L-L's other two boys currently in the top eight, Cedar Crest's Darren Zombro III (tied for fifth with 1,130 pins) and Warwick's Matt Geib (eighth, 1,107) are more tenuous.
Cocalico's Tristan Current missed the top eight by one pin, and Warwick's Tyler Miller was 10th with 1,091 pins.
At Dutch Lanes, Northern Lebanon's Aliza Shirk and Penn Manor's Delaney Reitnauer sit sixth and seventh, respectively, after Friday's qualifying.
Shirk, who is the only returning L-L bowler who had finished in the top eight last year, totaled 1,044 pins while Reitnauer had 1,021. Governor Mifflin's Camryn Brown led the girls with 1,172 pins.
McCaskey's Julee Getz was ninth (1,000 pins), missing the top eight by 15 pins, and Elizabethtown's Eryn Moore was 10th (999).
Today's qualifying gets under way at 12:30 p.m. at Leisure (boys) and Dutch (girls). The bracket finals, which will include the overall top eight, are scheduled to start at about 4 p.m. While all eight advance, the bracket finals will determine the regional champions and places for the remaining seven.
The Pennsylvania State High School Championships are scheduled for March 19-20 at North Versailles Bowl in East Pittsburgh. Last year's tournament was canceled due to the pandemic.