Expectations have been high all season for the Woodridge boys bowling team.
The Bulldogs clinched one of their first goals Feb. 11 with a dominant performance at the Portage Trail Conference Championships at Bill White Spins Lanes in Springfield.
Woodridge won the tournament with 4,316 pins, beating runner-up Coventry by 201 pins. Crestwood finished third with 4,094 pins.
The victory, combined with Woodridge's 17-1 record in PTC dual meets, gave the Bulldogs the overall title in the PTC.
Woodridge coach Keith Shovestull made it clear winning the PTC was a top goal for the Bulldogs this winter.
"That was no. 1 on our list. That was our top goal and top priority this year," Shovestull said.
Spins Lanes uses a synthetic bowling surface, similar to the Bulldogs' home lanes at at Legend Lanes. However, familiarity with the surface didn't help the Bulldogs early on.
The Bulldogs got off to a bit of a slow start, but got stronger as the tournament progressed. The format of the PTC Championships was three regular games followed by six Baker games.
Woodridge opened game one with a score of 898, which had the Bulldogs sitting in fourth place to start.
"We scored under average for our first game," Shovestull said. "I think it was a bit of championship jitters for our guys. We found our spot and found our lines in the second game. We ran with it.
"Coventry was a concern," he added. "We were down 80 pins after the first game to Coventry. We told the kids we knew that an 80-pin deficit was not something that was going to hold us back."
Indeed, Woodridge rolled a scored of 1,038 in the second game to move up to third place. Then, the Bulldogs rolled a 1,132 in game three, allowing them to take first place heading into the Baker games with a score of 3,068, just four pins ahead of Crestwood.
The Bulldogs kept the momentum going through the Baker games, rolling 210, 190, 231, 268, 172 and 177 for a 1,248 total to claim the title.
Woodridge was led by Alex Fuller, who earned medalist honors with a 727 series (212, 246, 269). Fuller's third game of 269 was the second-highest game of the tournament.
"Alex Fuller had a great day," Shovestull said. "I'm happy for him. He's a senior and it was his last PTC match."
Woodridge also saw freshman Bryce Oliver take fourth in the individual standings with a 646 series (189, 244, 213).
The Bulldogs also got a 606 series from Zane Patterson (180, 200, 226) and a 586 series from Austin Fleming (157, 213, 216) in the win.
Shovestull noted Woodridge's team depth once again was a deciding factor.
"We have seven guys averaging over 200 for the season. That's pretty deep," Shovestull said. "That allows us to make changes. The depth of the team has been our ace all season."
Woodridge was set to open its posteason run at the Division II sectional tournament at Stonehedge Lanes in Akron Feb. 18, but results were not available at press time. The top three teams and top three individuals not on the top three teams advance to districts.
The Division II district tournament will take place Feb. 25 at noon at Hall of Fame Lanes in Canton.
"We're taking it one frame at a time," Shovetstull said. "Right now, our goal is to bowl well at sectionals."