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PALMYRA — While the rest of the Lancaster-Lebanon League section leaders have been battling for bowling supremacy, Columbia has avoided all the drama.

The Crimson Tide, with a 5-2 win over Northern Lebanon on Thursday at Palmyra Bowling, secured the section title with about two weeks remaining in the regular season.

“I knew in Section Four that we were the one team that had a lot of returning players,” Columbia coach Becky Kinser said. “So we knew we were hopefully going to be in a good position. These boys ... none of them have disappointed at all this year. They’ve all stepped up.”

With the win, the Tide improve to a league-best 50-6 while the Vikings fall to 28-28. With three matches remaining, the worst Columbia could finish is 50-27.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean anything for us,” Kinser said of the top record, “other than it makes us proud to show that the kids in the small schools play with all their hearts, just as in the big schools.”

Led by the coach’s son, junior Derick Kinser, who rolled a 662 series, the Tide posted team scores of 904 in the first game and 901 in the third, winning those two by a combined 234 pins. The Vikings won the second game 833-831.

“Definitely,” Derick Kinser said of his team celebrating the win. “One of our teachers just bought us pizza, so now we’re going to eat pizza.”

Columbia’s title ends Northern Lebanon’s six-year run as Section Four champion. The Vikings — who despite Thursday’s loss are one point from clinching the section’s second L-L tournament playoff spot — lost their top two bowlers from last season, including three-time L-L girls champion Aliza Shirk.

“They beat us like every year for the past how many years and we’re really happy to clinch the deal and beat them this year,” Derick Kinser said.

“Usually we’re the underdog. This year we’re doing really good, which is making us all proud and happy,” he said.

Northern Lebanon sophomore Charlie Albright nearly matched Kinser, rolling a 656 series. Kinser entered Thursday’s match with a 205 average, Albright a 203.

Elsewhere in L-L bowling this week, Sections One and Two devolved into absolute dogfights.

In One, last year’s L-L tournament finalists met for the second time this season, with defending champion Hempfield whitewashing Penn Manor 7-0 to move into a tie — actually, a three-way tie — for first at 41-22. Most surprising was the 399-pin margin, especially since Penn Manor won their first meeting 5-2 in December and both matches were bowled at Leisure Lanes.

Manheim Township joined them in the three-way tie with its 7-0 win over Cedar Crest. Only two of the three will qualify for the league tournament.

Section Two isn’t quite as tight, but is pretty close.

Warwick’s 4-3 win over Elizabethtown on Tuesday at Clearview Lanes pulled the Warriors, who won the first meeting 4 1/2-2 1/2, to within two points of the Bears. And Ephrata, which has one less match, is actually a half-point ahead of Warwick and 1 1/2 behind Elizabethtown in the loss column.

Section Three has its own intrigue, with Cocalico (27-22) and Garden Spot (30-26) posting surprising wins.

The Eagles stunned Manheim Central 7-0 on Thursday while the Spartans were 4-3 winners over Lampeter-Strasburg on Wednesday. The Pioneers (45-11) were bumped from the lead Wednesday, before returning there after the loss by Manheim Central (40-16).

All that makes the next two weeks full of exciting matches.

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