Manheim Twp. vs. Elizabethtown - L-L League bowling

Elizabethtown’s Derek Deardorff in action against Manheim Twp. during an L-L League bowling match at Clearview Lanes in Mt. Joy Thursday Jan. 11, 2024.

There’s a lot of the bowling season left in the Lancaster-Lebanon League, but, as Elizabethtown senior Evan Kimble said, “We’re the team to beat right now.”

There’s little disputing that. The Section Two-leading Bears have the best record at 52-4 and are averaging a league-best 1,071 pins per game. They are also the defending L-L champions.

The Bears’ starting five all boast 200-plus averages, with senior Derek Deardorff leading the way with a 224. Fellow senior Evan Kimble, who struck out in the 10th frame of the third game of Thursday’s match to help complete a 7-0 sweep of Section One leader Manheim Township, is at 220 and sophomore Mason Moore is at 217.

Declan Lentz averages 207 and Ella Eberle 206.

Keeping up that pace is certainly not guaranteed, but the Bears have weathered a big part of the storm. Their biggest remaining matches are against Warwick, Ephrata and Conestoga Valley, all solid teams. The Buckskins looked to be E-town’s most formidable competition, but after Warwick beat them 7-0 Friday, they fell further off the pace at 40-16. CV had defeated the Warriors 7-0 in their first meeting in December.

Now, CV will be looking more to hold on to second place in Section Two, and a spot in the L-L tournament, currently with a five-point lead over Warwick (35-21). The Buckskins, who are second in the league averaging 1,034 pins per game, get a second shot at E-town Jan. 26 at Dutch Lanes and is one of two teams that earned points against the Bears.

Before then, CV meets Section One leader Manheim Township Friday at Dutch.

More intrigue

While Sections One and Two have their own drama, the battle in Section Three has some intrigue of its own.

Defending section champion Lampeter-Strasburg is currently in control, rivaling E-town’s league-best record at 45-4, though obviously against different competition. Manheim Central (41-8) has remained in striking distance. L-S won 5-2 in their first meeting Dec. 14; they meet again Jan. 24 at Cain’s Lanes.

Not completely out of the picture in the section is Elco (41-15), which easily boasts the two top averages in Sections Three-Four in Morgan Kline, whose 230 is tops in the league, and Hunter Heinsey (227) — next closest in the two sections is Garden Spot’s Gavin Courtney at 213.


Kline’s average has a small asterisk next to it: it comes in just 15 games. The Elco senior, who has already committed to bowl at one of the top bowling colleges in the country, Wichita State, is obviously in demand. The reason for her absence from the lineup recently was provided by Raiders head coach Pam Rittle, who said Kline has been competing at tournaments, including the PBA Juniors this past week.

Don’t forget us

As we mention Section Three contender Manheim Central, it should be noted that the Barons suffered a pair of 5-2 losses to Donegal, which is playing a nonleague schedule this season before joining the L-L in 2024-25. Cooper Palmer rolled a 729 series in the Indians’ latest win over the Barons on Thursday.

The Indians are 23-26, bowling against a mix of L-L teams and others outside the L-L. The Indians should fit in nicely next season

Cue the music

At Monday’s Penn Manor-McCaskey match at Leisure Lanes, things got off to a rocky start for both teams, as McCaskey assistant coach Nora Petrosky related it that evening during the Mixed Nuts League at Leisure.

As the bowlers stood for the national anthem, there was only silence. Seems the recording wouldn’t play. The high schoolers were thinking somebody should lead them in singing The Star-Spangled Banner.

But before any of them took that bold step, several gentlemen playing in the billiards room took the initiative. They led all in singing the anthem, and then the bowling match began.

Things went smoother after that, at least for Penn Manor, which won the match 7-0.

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