by Adam Baum, Cincinnati Enquirer
GREEN TWP. - The bowling at Oak Hills High School this season has been as advertised - really good.
The boys finished runner-up in the Greater Miami Conference, while the girls collected a third straight GMC trophy.
But, the previous two titles were both split three ways. This year, the Highlanders, ranked No. 4 in The Enquirer Division I coaches' poll, won the conference outright.
"I expected them to be high-ranking," said third-year head coach Robin Hoernschmeyer. "We kind of knew we had it. We had to get past Middletown and Middletown was strong but they had to come down and bowl at our house this year."
Hoernschmeyer knew she had a lot of talent returning this season, led by her "dynamic duo."
Seniors Mandi Chafins and Alyssa Baldwin are as experienced as high school bowlers can be.
"They've been together all four years and grown together," said Hoernschmeyer. "I can't put them together on the same pair cause they're both very competitive ... they're very driven bowlers."
Baldwin has the fourth-highest game average in the GMC at 183.0, and Chafins ranks seventh with a 178.3.
Hoernschmeyer said her three juniors are a really tight-knit group, led by Mary Hein, who posted the sixth-highest GMC average this season at 181.6. Danielle Martini and Dez Bolden have provided depth to a dangerous lineup, along with senior Megan Hoeting.
Martini went from junior varsity last season to posting the 13th best average in the GMC this season with a 167.5.
"Last year she was consistently around 130 (average) and now she's averaging over 160," said Hoernschmeyer of Martini. "She's having a very strong year, much stronger than I anticipated."
Bolden didn't bowl last year, and Hoeting, who's only in her second season bowling, has really picked up the pace in the latter part of the year.
"Each month (Hoeting) gets better and better," Hoernschmeyer said. "She's been making an impact, especially the last few weeks."
Oak Hills finished the regular season 13-2 overall and 9-0 in the GMC. The Highlanders final regular season match was a showdown against No. 1-ranked Seton on Feb. 11. Oak Hills edged the Saints 2,404-2,354 and will carry more than a month-long winning streak into the sectional tournament Feb. 18 at 9 a.m. at Colerain Bowl.
Hoernschmeyer said the Highlanders have advanced as a team from sectionals to the district tournament in three consecutive seasons.
"But we don't get out to state," said Hoernschmeyer. "We want to make that final jump (this year). I want them to get past that hurdle." [Read More]