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FHSAA BOWLING ROUNDUP: Mainland High boys finish 2nd in battle with Titusville Astronaut

Daytona Beach News-Journal logo Daytona Beach News-Journal 11/6/2020 Chris Boyle, The Daytona Beach News-Journal
The Driver brothers, Adam (pictured) and Kory, along with Walther Lents, have given the 2020 Mainland's boys bowling team a lethal trio this fall. © David Tucker/News-Journal The Driver brothers, Adam (pictured) and Kory, along with Walther Lents, have given the 2020 Mainland's boys bowling team a lethal trio this fall.

Mainland's bid for a first state boys bowling title in 11 years fell one win short Thursday.

The Buccaneers lost twice to Titusville Astronaut in the Florida High School Athletic Association's championship round, instead settling for their second runner-up finish in the last four years.

Astronaut rallied from an earlier semifinal loss to Mainland to win back-to-back Baker matches, 3-0 and 3-1, at the Boardwalk Bowl Entertainment Center in Orlando.

a person posing for the camera: Adam Rosenberg, Mainland high bowling coach © MAINLAND HIGH SCHOOL Adam Rosenberg, Mainland high bowling coach

"It was a long two days, and I think the guys were getting worn out a bit," first-year coach Adam Rosenberg said. "Astronaut kept up the intensity a little bit better than we did, and the pins were falling a little bit more on their end than ours.

Mainland, which won last week's District 3 tournament, qualified as the No. 3 seed for the Baker tournament and stormed to the championship round with victories over Tampa Prep, Orlando East River, Tampa Bay HEAT and Astronaut.

Astronaut edged Mainland by less than 10 pins in the first two games of the opening match, then cruised to a 238-177 victory to force a decisive elimination contest.

Mainland responded with its best score of the entire tournament (278) to start the second match, but Astronaut rolled a 682 series to win the final three games and close out its first championship in program history.

Mainland won it all back in 2009, and finished as runner-up in 2017.

"This is the best group of bowlers I’ve ever witnessed as a full team," Rosenberg said. "They not only put the work in on the lanes, but they truly care about the sport and they’re passionate about it."

a person posing for the camera: Kory Driver, Mainland High boys bowling © News-journal file Kory Driver, Mainland High boys bowling

Two local bowlers secured fourth-place finishes in the FHSAA's individual tournaments — Seabreeze's Kara Beissel and Mainland's Kory Driver.

Beissel started her Friday morning session with a 700 series, defeating Oviedo's Justina Nielsen in the opening best-of-three elimination match. However, she lost both games in the following round to Lake Mary's Sierra Poole.

A freshman and winner of the Professional Bowling Association's Teen Masters tournament over the summer, Beissel led the Volusia-Flagler area with a 208.88 average during Seabreeze's undefeated regular season.

"It's definitely what I expected — kind of crazy and loud," Beissel said of her first state tournament experience. "Even when your team is down, you know you can pick everyone up and be happy. I made most of my spares, and am content with how I did."

a group of people posing for the camera: Kara Beissel, Seabreeze girls bowling © Photo provided by Kristan Miles Kara Beissel, Seabreeze girls bowling

The Sandcrabs earned the No. 6 seed in Baker qualifying, opened with a win against Sebring but suffered consecutive defeats to Oviedo and Apopka on Wednesday.

Driver won four matches over the two-day individual tournament, but lost both head-to-head battles with North Fort Myers' Brandon Rucker. Driver stayed alive with a 278 in his second game, but lost 267-217 in the third.

A round earlier, Rucker bested Driver's brother, Adam by 10 pins in another three-set thriller. Adam was the top local performer in the boys' qualifying session with a 961 score across four games.

This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: FHSAA BOWLING ROUNDUP: Mainland High boys finish 2nd in battle with Titusville Astronaut

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