By BILL SNIER
It wasn’t the finish head coach Carol Kozbial and senior Brittany Ferrara wanted in their final high school bowling match.
But as OHSAA assistant commissioner Roxanne Price said when the finale of the seventh annual OHSAA Girls State Bowling Tournament was history, Hubbard “sure has a lot of hardware from the event.”
For the third year in a row, the Eagles fell short in their quest for a state title, losing in the title match 3-2 to defending state champion Coldwater on Friday at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl.
“Now I have triplets I guess. I don’t like being the bridesmaid,” siad Kozbial, who is leaving coaching after this season.
“It’s tough, but it’s still a good feeling because the kids fought back real hard. We were never supposed to get to this point, but I’m proud of each and every one of these girls.”
The final came down to Game 5, unlike a year ago when the Cavaliers swept the Eagles in three games.
Coldwater threw a double to start the the finale, and the two teams were within a few pins of each other all the way. But a critical missed 10-pin in the ninth opened the door for the Cavaliers in a 180-171 win.
“It’s a little rough right now — we wanted this so bad,” said Ferrara, who had a third place her freshman year to go along with three seconds.
“We wanted this really bad. We had to go to five games every match, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It just wasn’t there for us.”
Hubbard, the No. 3 seed after qualifying, topped No. 6 seed Sidney (3-2) and No. 2 seed Kettering Fairmont (3-2) to reach the finale. Both of top-seeded Coldwater’s earlier matches went just four games.
The Eagles were led in qualifying by senior honorable-mention All-Ohio selection Jenna Wise with 562 and Ferrara with 548.
“It was a nice run for our seniors. We do have a lot of hardware, and they should be proud of that,” Kozbial said. “I cried, but it’s OK. I’ll still be out there rooting them on.”
FITCH MISSES CUT
For the first time in 13 state trips, Austintown Fitch failed to reach the round of eight. The Falcons, 16th following Game 1, finished 14th in the 16-team field.
“I really don’t know what went wrong. They just weren’t getting the reaction on the ball they were used to seeing,” said Fitch coach Don Morrison. “A little bit of frustration set in and they started pushing. It kind of snowballed from there.”
Sophomore Jessica Halas led the Falcons with a 510 series.
Among area individuals, Garettsville Garfield junior Anna Brigham finished 20th with a 544 series and Girard senior Casie Cupan had 532 to finish 26th.