by darren reese
GREENEVILLE - The Greeneville boys' bowling team lost to Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett in the Region 1 championship game last year.
This afternoon, the Devils will get a chance to avenge that loss.
Senior Tyler Longenbach rolled three straight games of 200-plus Wednesday to lead No. 2 seed Greeneville to a 17.5-9.5 win over Cherokee in the region semifinals at Olympia Lanes.
Today's championship showdown will begin at 3 p.m. On the girls' side, Dobyns-Bennett and Cherokee will square off for the title.
"We came out confident today, and a lot of guys stepped up to help us get this win," Longenbach said.
"We are ready (to face D-B). We have worked hard to get this opportunity. This is a different team than last year, and we want to come out and win a championship."
Greeneville jumped out to a 6-2 lead after game one, but watched the Chiefs cut the deficit to 9-7 after the second.
Longenbach, who bowled a 212 and a 206 in the first two games, respectively, turned in his best effort in the third and final game with a 236.
The momentum carried over to the rest of the team as the Devils pulled away for the victory.
Caleb Nunn and Garrison King won individual points in game three, while John Seaton Pilkington split his matchup to gain a half point.
Greeneville earned two points by holding a 975-919 pinfall advantage in game three, and three points for leading the category 2944-2859 at the end.
Nunn, King and Longenbach each won all three of their individual matches on the day to pace Greeneville.
"Tyler was about 20 pins above his season average, but that's what he is capable of," Greeneville head coach Johnny Painter said.
"I told the kids after game two, we were only up 29 pins and every pin was going to be important."
Greeneville and D-B have met five times this year, with the Devils winning three of them. Painter expects another hard-fought match with the championship on the line.
"I really enjoy bowling D-B," Painter said. "It's always a competitive match, and it puts us up against the caliber of team that we could see on down the road."
Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett defeated Cumberland Gap 17-10 in the other boys' semifinal match Wednesday.
The Indians led by a slim 4.5-3.5 margin after game one but dominated the second to pull in front 11.5-4.5.
Andrian Lagassie had the high game for D-B with a 213 in the first.
Zach McAdams won two of his head-to-head matches and split the third for the Indians.
Greeneville's run of four straight Region 1 girls' championships came to an end Wednesday as the Lady Devils were defeated by Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett 23-4 in the semifinals.
In the other girls' contest, Cherokee recorded a 22-5 win over Chuckey-Doak.
The Lady Indians led Greeneville 16-0 after the first two games.
The Lady Devils rolled their best team pin total of the season (809) in game three to pick up four points and avoid the shutout.
Madison O'Neal and Abbi Jones scored the only individual points for Greeneville. The Lady Devils got their two other points by knocking down the most pins in the third game.
Jones had the high game for Greeneville with a 161.
MeKaila McReynolds rolled a 184 and 194 in the first two games, respectively, for Kingsport.
The Lady Indians knocked down 911 pins in the first game and 980 in the second. They finished the day with a 2679-2267 advantage.
On the other side of the bracket, Cherokee used a big second game to pull away from Chuckey-Doak.
The Lady Cheifs swept the six individual matches and get the two bonus points for knocking down the most pins in the second. They held a 1061-731 pinfall advantage, and finished up for the day, 2936-2409.
Maggie Keene, Alexis Seay and Kimmie Fillers won individual matches for Chuckey-Doak in game one. Keene and Faith Tolliver recorded wins in game three.
Keene had the high game of the day for the Lady Knights with a 165 in the first.