JACKSON — A few pins separated East Union from another state championship for the school, but the Urchins and Lady Urchins had a great showing in Jackson, both reaching the finals for Class I last Friday.
“It’s kind of bittersweet,” East Union coach Brad Browning said. “They made the finals, and that’s great. Had we closed the deal, we could be celebrating a little more.”
The Lady Urchins went from last place after the first of four games up to second and remained in that position, behind eventual state champion Itawamba. Going into the Baker Style finals, the Lady Indians rolled 2958 pins to the Lady Urchins’ 2902 pins.
One hundred and five pins separated East Union from East Webster after the four games, 3585-3480, but like on the girls’ side, the two teams battled through the best of five games in the finals, with East Webster edging the Urchins.
In the Baker Style finals, Itawamba took the first game by 13 pins on the girls’ side, but East Union took the next two games, leading 2-1 and in position to take the state title. Itawamba pulled away to win the final two games.
East Webster and East Union went back and forth throughout the finals, with the Urchins taking the second and fourth games. Browning noted the uniqueness of having both teams play for in the finals.
“It very easily could have gone the other way,” Browning said. “Just a pin here and there, and the outcome could have been different. I think once it’s all over with and they have time to reflect on it, they’ll realize that it’s pretty remarkable for a small school to have both teams in both state finals in the same year.”
West Union finished in the top five for both boys and girls, while New Albany boys finished fourth overall.