Elizabethtown, Warwick and Ephrata are sitting 1-2-3 in the Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Two bowling standings as the league prepares for the 2022 portion of its schedule.
This week will go a long way in showing how telling those current standings actually are.
L-L teams have been on their holiday hiatus since Dec. 22, but are scheduled to resume league play on Monday.
For one of those L-L Section Two contenders, the first week of the new year will be a doozy.
The Warwick bowling team will meet its two top competitors in the highly competitive section race, which includes three of the best in the league, not just the section. All the three teams did in the 2021 portion of the season is post a combined record of 58-5: Elizabethtown, 21-0; Warwick, 19-2; and Ephrata, 18-3.
The Warriors will take on Ephrata on Wednesday at Dutch Lanes, then host Elizabethtown on Friday, also at Dutch.
These will be the first meetings between any of the three. Conestoga Valley (7-14), which was also considered among the better teams in the section coming into the season, had the tough task of facing E-town and Ephrata, losing both 7-0.
Warwick’s two points lost came in a 5-2 win over Hempfield while Ephrata beat defending L-L champion Penn Manor 4-3.
The remaining Section Two battle between the current top three is Jan. 14 when the Bears host the Mountaineers at Clearview Lanes.
But actually, it’s just the first go-round for the three as intra-division matchups occur twice. So they’ll do it all over again later in the season.
Section One battle
While Section Two is tight, One is even tighter — just not with as impressive records. Only one point separates the top three teams: Penn Manor and Hempfield are tied at 13-8 and Cedar Crest is 12-9.
The Comets and Black Knights have already squared off and it was a close affair, with Hempfield winning 4-3. Cedar Crest’s nine points in the loss column include a 7-0 whitewashing by Elizabethtown.
The Falcons’ other two lost points came against McCaskey, which did not win a match last season. Cedar Crest will host Penn Manor Thursday at Palmyra Bowling.
There don’t appear to be a lot of pressure-packed matchups in the bottom two sections so far, though the top two in each section square off this week.
Garden Spot is atop Section Three at 14-0, with Cocalico second at 14-7, while Northern Lebanon is 14-0 in Four, with Columbia next at 11-10.
Columbia takes on Northern Lebanon at Palmyra Bowl on Tuesday and Garden Spot and Cocalico square off at Dutch Lanes on Wednesday. The Spartans follow that one up with a match against third-place Manheim Central (12-9) on Thursday at Cain’s Lanes.
Cedar Crest’s Darren Zombro III continues to stand atop the average list with a 239 through nine games, while freshman girls phenom Taylor Miller of Warwick is right behind at 238, though just with six games. Miller’s 784 series in the season-opener remains the league’s best.
Here are some of the the top averages so far this season.
Section One: Cedar Crest — Connor Firestone, 209 average (9 games). Hempfield — Derick Keller, 216 (9 games); Priest McKensie, 210 (7 games; 725 series on Dec. 20 against Penn Manor). Manheim Township — Nick Tomlinson, 220 (9 games); Logan Wenger, 200 (6 games). McCaskey — Julee Getz, 205 (9 games). Penn Manor — Derek Warfel, 222; Josh Stock, 210 (8 games); Zach Carroll, 207 (9 games).
Section Two: Conestoga Valley — Ryan Muckle, 210 (9 games). Elizabethtown — Ayden Pope, 229 (9 games); Zach Wentzel, 210 (9 games). Ephrata — Nathan Barnica, 219 (9 games); Andrew Barnica, 210 (9 games); Tanner Murray, 209 (9 games). Warwick — Damian Erisman, 221 (4 games); Matt Geib, 201 (9 games).
Section Three: Cocalico — Chris Quadarella, 204 (9 games). Elco — Hunter Heinsey, 190 (9 games). Garden Spot — Lacey McCalicher, 201 (6 games). Lampeter-Strasburg — Ethan Snyder, 192 (9 games).
Section Four: Northern Lebanon — Aliza Shirk, 196 (6 games).
Shirk was the lone L-L bowler to be named to the all-tournament team at the SnowRoller Showdown Dec. 18 at Leisure Lanes after rolling a 751 series.
Also at the SnowRoller, the Elizabethtown JV girls team was the lone L-L squad to advance out of qualifying, losing its first match in the semifinals.